By July 24, 2012 Read More →

Transmission Problem Signs

Reader Question

We have a Chrysler PT Cruiser that has 84k miles. We just purchased and after going for a drive the pt started making a knocking/clanking noise while in drive. It only makes the noise while in drive.
Thanks, Melissa

Hi There Melissa,

Before I jumped to a conclusion that the transmission has a problem I would rule out a few things first.

1. Check the engine and transmission mounts to make sure they are not broken and allowing the transmission to hit the frame of the vehicle

2. Check the transmission mounting bolts to make sure they are tight

3. Listen underneath the vehicle to see if the noise is coming from inside the transmission or something external from the transmission.

4. Check the transmission fluid level and top off as needed, also check the color of the fluid and smell of the fluid on the dipstick. It should be kinda pinkish in color and not really have a smell to it. if it smells burnt, like a BBQ pit and has a dark brown or black color to it….there could be internal wear and you should contact a transmission shop BEFORE you do anything. Do not flush the fluid out until you have them look at it and give their opinion. Doing a flush can make things worse.

5. Check the starter motor to make sure it is not interfering with the flywheel inside the transmission

6. Check the engine fan belt and the accessories that are connected to it. I have seen A/C compressors, P/S pumps etc. cause a rattle noise when in drive, and give the illusion that it was a transmission issue but it is rather a fan belt, belt tensioner type of issue…which is sometimes visible under the hood to the naked eye if you can duplicate the noise and have someone watch.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Transmissions

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."

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