Identifying Transmission Noises

If your car begins making strange noises, especially transmission related noises, you might become a little worried about repairs and the impact they may have on your bank account. Taking your car to an experienced mechanic is a good idea, especially if you do not have extensive car repair knowledge. While some transmission issues are very costly, other issues are easier to resolve. Here is a list of some common transmission problems that can result in worrisome noises and what you should do to fix them.

Transmission Fluid

If you are hearing noises at all times, whether your car is in gear and moving or not, you should check your transmission fluid. Noises can result if the fluid levels are low or the fluid is contaminated. This is probably the easiest fix. The problem can be resolved by changing the transmission fluid or completely flushing the old fluid and replacing it with the right level of new.

Torque Converter

Problems with your torque converter can also cause transmission noise. A common problem that occurs within the torque converter is damaged or worn needle bearings. The transmission may make noise while in gear if the needle bearing becomes too warm. Grinding and brushing sounds are not uncommon and usually stop when your vehicle is in neutral. Repairing the torque converter is rather complicated, so unless you have both the knowledge and tools to do it yourself, it is a job best left to your mechanic.


The transmission fluid filter keeps debris from contaminating the fluid. If the filter becomes clogged or obstructed it can hinder the proper flow of transmission fluid. This results in transmission noise. Transmission fluid filters can be replaced at home with just a few tools, but the process is a little tricky and you have to have a reliable car jack. If you do not have any car repair experience this is another job for your mechanic.


You should also check to see if the transmission is securely attached. If any fasteners are loose or missing, the transmission or the fasteners can create a rattling noise. Missing fasteners can be easily be replaced and loose fasteners can be tightened at home or with the help of a mechanic.


Overly worn or damaged gears within the transmission can also cause noise. If the gears have not been properly mounted the result is noisy as well. Your local mechanic can help you by replacing, mounting, or remounting gears in your transmission. In some cases, the transmission may need to be rebuilt or replaced.

These are just a few of the potential problems that can result in transmission noise. Your mechanic can take a listen and help you identify the source of the problem since this can be difficult for the untrained ear. Make sure you get your car to the mechanic as soon as possible after you begin hearing a strange noise. Waiting too long to get it checked out can turn a simple repair into a much more serious, and expensive, problem.