Transmission problems are very common for car users. It is very important that you maintain the transmission of your car by checking it regularly.
A transmission filter is just at the top of your transmission. Its job is to prevent unwanted particles from getting into the transmission. But what happens when the transmission filter gets clogged?
To fix a clogged transmission, locate the transmission filter in your car which is usually just above the transmission pan and beneath the pickup tube, remove the drain plug or the transmission pan to drain the fluid, carefully remove the transmission filter and clean it thoroughly or just replace it with a new filter.
Can a Transmission Filter Get Clogged?
Yes, a transmission filter can get clogged. A clogged transmission filter is one of the major causes of transmission problems in a car.
If you drive a car that has automatic transmission, the car has fluid that moves through the transmission to keep it efficient.
The fluid has to go through the transmission filter before it gets to the transmission itself. A clogged transmission filter will cause several problems.
What Will Happen if Transmission Filter Get Clogged?
Before we get into what happens when a transmission filter gets clogged, let us consider the role of a transmission filter.
The transmission filter performs a very important function. It filters transmission fluid in order for the transmission to be free of unwanted debris.
With time, as more fluid flows into the filter, gunk or debris will build up in the filter and it can hinder the free flow of the transmission fluid.
When transmission fluid is impeded or restricted from flowing into the transmission, it will cause a lot of problems.
The fluid is responsible for not just lubricating the transmission but cooling the temperature of the transmission as well.
When this fluid is impeded, the transmission might overheat and parts within the transmission can get damaged.
A damaged transmission will cost a lot to repair so the best thing to do is to avoid a clogged transmission filter.
Now, what happens when a transmission filter gets clogged? There are a lot of signs that you will notice or observe when the transmission filter is clogged:
1. Rattling Noises
Weird noises produced by your vehicle are a sure sign that something is out of place or something is wrong. It is not proper to ignore these noises.
If you hear a rattling noise from your car, it can be caused by many things. Mostly when metals are hitting on other metals.
If you cannot trace an obvious source of the noise, such as a loose exhaust hanger, you should check the transmission.
If you notice that the transmission fluid is dark in color, it shows that the filter is clogged and it is restricting the flow of the fluid.
2. Burning Smell
A clogged transmission filter will produce strange scents such as burnt smells. Just as stated earlier, with a clogged transmission filter, the fluid cannot flow as it would normally.
The parts in the transmission will be starved of adequate lubrication and this will cause them to grind on each other and produce serious heat.
When the temperature gets too high, the temperature fluid will begin to burn. This is what will lead to a burnt smell.
If you notice a burnt smell emitting from your transmission fluid, it is best for you to replace it and see if it stops. Perfect transmission fluid should produce a sweet and pleasant scent.
3. Shifting Problems
This is one of the most obvious symptoms of a clogged transmission filter. The transmission needs enough lubrication for it to work efficiently.
When the transmission filter is clogged, the transmission fluid will not be able to flow into the transmission well.
So, what will happen is that you will not be able to shift from one gear to another seamlessly. When you notice that you cannot shift gears normally as you used to do, check on the transmission filter.
A clogged transmission filter might not be the direct cause of leaks in the car. With so many fluids in the car, it is quite hard to find out the exact cause of the leak.
With trails of fluid under your car anytime you park it, you should check up on the transmission filter. It might be the AC water, fuel, or radiator water leaking but you should never ignore it.
5. Noise When in Neutral
When your car is in neutral, a clogged transmission filter might cause weird noise. When your car is placed in neutral, there should be no noise at all from the engine.
But a clogged transmission filter cannot flush out debris that will flow through the transmission and produce strange noises.
6. Problems Reversing
A clogged transmission filter will definitely lead to problems entering the reverse gear. Because the clog prevents transmission fluid from flowing into the transmission, the reverse gear might lock. This will hinder the car from going into reverse.
7. Contaminated Fluid
A very good symptom of a clogged transmission filter is contaminated fluid. When the transmission filter is loaded with debris, it will not be able to perform its function of removing contaminants from the fluid.
8. Poor Fuel Supply
The fuel tank and injection pump are linked by the transmission filter. If the transmission filter gets clogged, you will notice a poor fuel supply.
Furthermore, you might notice a drop in fuel pressure and a reduction in the efficiency of the injection pump. In extreme cases, you might observe a reduction in engine power. Check on the transmission filter when you notice this.
9. Engine Stalling
A clogged transmission filter can cause the car not to start and it will lead to poor fuel supply. Poor fuel supply will lead to stalling of the engine while in motion.
How to Fix a Clogged Transmission Filter
Since you know what happens when a transmission filter gets clogged, it is now time to learn how to fix it. It is pretty simple and straightforward though.
What you should do is locate the transmission filter in your car. It is usually just above the transmission pan and beneath the pickup tube.
When you do that, remove the drain plug or the transmission pan in order to drain the fluid into a pan. When that is done, you carefully remove the transmission filter and clean it thoroughly or just entirely replace it with a new filter.
You see, it is not as difficult as it seems. It is just that it might be an untidy and time-consuming task.
Can You Clear Your Transmission Filter?
Yes, you can clear your transmission filter yourself. When you locate it, with the aid of some special tools, you can clear it of the debris and other unwanted material inside it.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Clogged Transmission Filter?
The cost of fixing a clogged transmission filter depends on the make, model, and year of the vehicle you use. Also, the price varies from one mechanic shop to another.
For replacing a transmission filter, the repair costs are between $320 and $380 on average. The labor or workmanship cost will be between $140 and $180 on average. This might be lower or higher depending on the mechanic you use for the job.
Fixing a clogged transmission filter can be done by yourself but it is recommended that you make use of a professional to do the job well because of the nature of the parts.
If you want to purchase the transmission filter yourself, you can get it from $6 to $70 on some sites such as AutoZone.
Before you purchase a transmission filter, check your vehicle’s manual and be sure of the exact specifications that you need to use.
There are hundreds of transmission filters on the market, you have to be sure you are purchasing the one you need for your car. If you get the wrong one, you will not be able to use it because it will not fit in your car.
Pros of Fixing a Clogged Transmission Filter
Some of the benefits of fixing a clogged transmission filter include smooth shifting between gears, ease in getting into reverse gear, no grinding or whirring noise, no leaks, and an increased overall driving feel. There are many more benefits as well.
A clogged transmission filter is harmful to your transmission. It can lead from strange noises to a complete breakdown of the transmission. As soon as you notice a clog in your vehicle’s transmission filter, you should clean it or replace it. It is dangerous to drive with a clogged transmission filter.