3 Transmission Sounds That Mean Trouble

May 11th, 2017 by

As a car owner, there’s almost nothing more stressful than a mysterious noise coming from under the hood of your vehicle. While there can be many causes of strange vehicle noises, many of these mystery sounds come from your vehicle’s transmission. Noises coming from the transmission of your vehicle almost always indicate a serious problem that deserves immediate attention from an experienced mechanic.

To make sure that your vehicle is receiving the maintenance it needs, it’s important to learn about some common noises you could hear coming from your transmission and what they might mean.


When you’re operating your vehicle, you may notice a whining sound coming from your transmission. The difficulty when a whining noise comes from your transmission is that there are a variety of potential causes, making it difficult to pin down the issues without help from a dealership maintenance professional. However, there are a few things that you can check after noticing a whining noise.

If you the whining noise coming from your transmission gets worse when your vehicle is in reverse, this usually means that the transmission fluid line is clogged. A clogged transmission line is often symptomatic of much more severe transmission issue, which means you should take your vehicle to the service and parts department at your dealership as soon as possible.

Should the whining noise of your transmission continue whenever your vehicle is in gear, this can mean there is a problem occurring in your torque converter. Check to see if the noise desists when you shift the vehicle to park or neutral. A constant whining noise when your car is in gear needs professional attention.


If your car has an automatic transmission, one of the most disconcerting noises that you can hear coming from your transmission is a grinding noise. When a grinding noise occurs with your transmission, it could mean a serious problem with your planetary gear system. Automatic transmissions depend on a planetary gear system to function probably, and if this system is allowed to fail, it can result in major damage throughout your transmission.

When the planetary gear system starts experiencing problems, you first notice a whining noise. Once you reach the grinding stage, the gear system is suffering from major issues. If you suspect that the planetary gear system in your transmission is damaged, you need to schedule a maintenance check right away. Your dealership maintenance technician will be able to diagnose the issue and will tell you about your options for repair.


If you’re like many drivers, you often forget to check the fluid levels in your vehicle, and if the fluid level in your transmission is too low, you will notice a gurgling noise. This noise is caused by the excess air in your transmission line. Commonly, drivers will notice this gurgling noise when their transmission slips while shifting gears. If you hear a gurgling noise, particularly while shifting gears, it may mean that your fluid levels are low enough to cause damage to your transmission.

After noticing any of these noises coming from your transmission, make sure to bring your vehicle to a dealership professional for service.

Posted in Auto Tips