Used cars can be a lot cheaper than new ones. In fact, you can save almost $3,000 if you choose a three year old sedan over a new one. The savings will go up even more the older the vehicle. Older cars will sometimes come with problems though, especially if the previous owner did not care for the vehicle properly. This is why it is always wise to perform a thorough investigation before purchasing a used vehicle. The majority of the investigation will occur during the test drive. However, you can also tell a lot about the vehicle by looking at the fluids. Keep reading to learn what transmission fluid can tell you.
Low Transmission Level
When you pop the hood of the used vehicle you are investigating, look for the transmission dipstick. If you are unfamiliar with vehicles, then look for the dipstick towards the back of the engine if the car is a rear-wheel drive. If the car is a front-wheel drive variety, it will be found towards the front of the vehicle. Make sure to check the dipstick after the test drive. Transmission fluid will expand once it warms up. If you check the fluid when the engine is cool, then the level of fluid may appear lower than normal.
Remove the dipstick from the fluid reservoir and wipe it off with a clean rag. Replace the dipstick and remove it again. The fluid level should be at the full line. If it is not, then there may be a leak in the system. The transmission fluid runs through a closed system and it does not evaporate or burn off like motor oil will. This means that the transmission level should remain at the fill line. If fluid is low, then this may indicate a leak.
If possible, take the car for another test drive and check the fluid level again. If the fluid level has dropped, then a significant leak is likely. There are several different types of transmission leaks that can occur, and not all are serious. For example, the gasket on the transmission pan may be broken and causing fluid to leak, or one of the transmission lines may be cracked. Both of these things are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix, so do not immediately dismiss a vehicle if a transmission fluid leak is suspected. Ask your own mechanic to inspect the car and provide you with a reason for the leak and an estimate for the repair.
Burnt Smelling Fluid
If the transmission fluid is at a normal or full level, you should look at the color of the fluid. Also, place a small amount between your fingers to feel and smell it. Transmission fluid that is in good shape will look translucent and red. It will feel oily and smell sweet. If the oil smells like burnt popcorn instead of sugar, then this may indicate an issue. Transmission fluid will give off a burned odor once it has overheated.
Transmission fluid will overheat when too many contaminants enter the fluid and stop the oil from transferring heat away from the moving parts of the transmission. Also, fluid will start to overheat if the car is run for an extended period of time with low transmission fluid. Extremely hot weather, aggressive driving behaviors, towing heavy loads, and defective solenoids are all causes of overheating transmissions and transmission fluid.
If the transmission fluid has overheated, then this means that the transmission may have been subjected to a great deal of heat. This can cause the seals and other parts within the transmission to deteriorate. A full transmission inspection should occur before you purchase the vehicle to reduce concerns about transmission wear and tear. Also, speak with the auto dealer about a full transmission fluid flush and replacement. This will be required to make sure heat and debris are properly removed from the transmission when you drive.
Before you buy pre-owned Fords in your area, make sure to follow these tips for checking for transmission issues.
Hello, my name is Tony Perez. Welcome to my website about auto dealers. When you need to buy a new car, it is a gamble to make a purchase through private sellers. You never know how well the car was treated before you acquired it. You may have to deal with a multitude of broken components within the first week of ownership. By working with an auto dealer, you know the exact condition of the vehicles on the lot. If any problems arise after making the purchase, you can return to the lot for assistance. I will explore these benefits in more detail on this site. Please come back again soon to learn more.