Pay attention when your truck acts up. If your truck experiences any of the three issues listed above, you may need to get your transmission examined, as your transmission could be damaged and in need of repair.
#1 Your Vehicle Starts Leaking Fluids
One of the most obvious ways to tell if your vehicle's transmission needs to be repaired is by keeping an eye out for leaking fluid. Transmission fluid does not look like oil. It is generally clear or translucent in color, with a slight pinkish to red colored tint. It is not dark black or brown like oil. If you spot this type of fluid under your vehicle after, for example, it has been parked in your garage overnight, that means your vehicle is leaking transmission fluid. You can verify that it is transmission fluid leaking by checking the transmission fluid levels and seeing if they have been dropping.
When this happens, the most common culprit is a broke tube, gasket or seal that needs to be replaced in order to fix this issue.
#2 Your Vehicle Overheats
Your transmission helps keep your vehicle cool and when it is not working properly, the chances that your vehicle will overheat greatly increase. It is pretty easy to tell when your vehicle is overheating. You will start to see steam rolling out from around the edges of your vehicle and you will notice that the gauge on your vehicle that monitors heat will increase.
When this happens, you should pull over, stop driving and turn off your vehicle. If you have thick gardening or construction gloves that you carry in your vehicle, get them out and open the hood of your vehicle. This will allow the steam more space to escape. However, if you don't have gloves, just sit and wait for the steam to subside as the steam can be really hot and burn your skin.
You should not, under any circumstances, attempt to open the transmission fluid cap at this time. It is not a good idea to open your transmission fluid cap in general when your engine is hot, and it is an even worse idea when your vehicle is overheating.
Once your vehicle cools off, you'll want to take your vehicle to your mechanic. It could just be that the fluid is low or needs to be flushed, but you could also have a more serious issue such as a blocked fluid line that is causing you all of these issues.
#3 Slipping & Sliding Gears
Another serious consequence of not taking care of your vehicle's transmission is slipping and sliding gears. When your transmission fluid is dirty and needs to be flushed, or when you don't have enough fluid in the first place, your transmission cannot do its job and keep your gears in place.
You will feel this as you drive as a jerk or surge. What happens is if your gears suddenly slip into a lower gear while you are driving, you'll feel your vehicle pull or jerk backwards as its momentum is slowed down. When the gears slip, they generally go from a lower gear to a higher gear, which can cause your vehicle to feel like it is being pulled forward. Both conditions are equally dangerous because they take away your ability to control your vehicle.
If you experience any of the conditions described above, you need to get your truck to a truck transmission repair service right away to figure out what transmission malfunction is causing these issues.