Will the check engine light come on for transmission

When the check engine light in your car suddenly pops on, it can feel like you’ve been given a death sentence for your vehicle. Trust me, feeling the dread in the pit of your stomach as you wonder . About the cost and the nature of the problem is common among vehicle owners. During my time working at Mister Transmission, I’ve seen many customers’ faces fall when they realize. That their car behavior could point to a failing transmission.

Noises that are anything but usual, especially unusual noises from underneath the car, could be alarming indications of major problems. If your car begins to make a sound like it’s on death row as you step on the gas, it’s a clear sign something is amiss. Problems with transmission response can be another telltale sign. When your vehicle doesn’t respond as it should when the accelerator pedal is pressed.

 The engine might be running, but if the car doesn’t go anywhere, or worse. If the response feels like a 50-50 chance even when you’re pressing down hard on the accelerator. Then it’s likely an issue with the transmission. This could potentially be severe, especially if ignored, leading your daily driver towards its own gallows.

Diagnosing such issues requires proper computer equipment to access the vehicle’s internal systems and determine the cause of the problem. The check engine light is a guard, of sorts, designed to warn us of potential malfunctions; when it comes to transmission problems, the light’s flashing is equivalent to a red flag at a bull run.

 Without the right tools, one could only guess the originating issues. When it comes to something as essential as your SUV or truck. Guessing is equivalent to driving blind—everyone knows that’s a no-go. Recognizing these signs and addressing them early on could save you a significant amount in your wallet and avoid . The heightened cost of significant issues developing into a financial death sentence for your vehicle

What is a transmission?

The heart of every motor vehicle is its transmission . A complex system designed to transmit. The engine’s power to the wheels and control the speeds at which a car travels. Whether one savors the driver engagement of a manual transmission, often associated with stick shifts, clutch pedals. A loyal following who delight in the responsibility to shift gears across a range of speeds.

 Prefers the effortless shifts of an automatic transmission Which regulates torque and adapts. To changing speeds automatically using a series of belts and gears—the function is substantial. Manual transmission drivers find joy in the increased control and fuel-saving benefits. Particularly in low gear, while automatic enthusiasts appreciate. The ease with which their cars can easily move, start, and shift without the need to decouple gears manually. Despite the downward trend in manual cars, with less than two percent being sold in the U.S. The design of both manual and automatic transmissions plays. A critical role in the whole job of driving—from the crankshaft that rotates to transmit power. To the gears that connect to axles and ultimately, wheels. 

As a traveler myself who’s tinkered with many a four-cylinder engine and admired the robust growl of a Hemi. It’s thrilling to see . How manual transmission upholds that raw connection between car, driver, and road. For those who prefer to glide through traffic without a second thought to gear changes. Automatic transmissions reflect the comfort and ease of modern travel. Regardless of preference, transmissions stand .

as a testament to human engineering and our perpetual chase for efficiency and connection between engine, movements, and driver experience.

Two types of automatic transmission

In an optimal automotive marvel. The engine deftly shifts power through the automatic transmission’s gears, maintaining speed with complex gear ratios and torque managed by hydraulic transmission fluid. This fluid-filled torque converter system, overseen by a computer module, seamlessly decouples during gear changes, preventing any drop in engine rpms. 

Alternatively, the CVT ditches traditional gears for a pulley system. Adjusting ratios from slow to fast without actually shifting, simulating gear changes when necessary for driver familiarity. Both systems strive to deliver the right amount of power to the wheels. Ensuring a smooth drive with up and down adjustments, despite their different designs and repair challenges.

Signs of a Bad Transmission

Erratic Shifting

In the ballet of transmissions and their intricacies. Erratic shifting can be compared to a dancer’s misstep—an awkward and telling sign. Picture cruising down the road when suddenly the engine revs high, or shifts come late; you are witnessing your transmission’s equivalent of mood swings. 

The jerking or hesitating of the vehicle at odd times is not just an inconvenience—it points to contaminated transmission fluid or worn transmission parts—each a possible prelude to significant transmission problems.

Transmission is Slipping

Imagine pressing the accelerator and instead of a smooth acceleration. The tachometer on your dashboard tells a tale of the needle rising—the engine’s rpms increasing, yet your speed remains frustratingly static. 

This disconnect, akin to racing nowhere fast, could be caused by low, dirty fluid, or internal wear. The notorious culprits behind why a manual transmission’s clutch might be failing—a classic symptom of a transmission slipping.

Your Transmission Will Not Engage or Remain in Gear

When an automatic transmission refuses to engage or remain consistently in gear. It feels as though your vehicle has rejected its call to move. Before searching for messages in the shifter cable, check the essentials—could the transmission fluid be low?

 Is the shift mechanism or control module to blame? Often overlooked until trouble strikes. These components rely on precision to operate drive dynamics, and when they fail to work, it spells trouble.

Vehicle Has No Power

That sense of helplessness when your vehicle has no power. Despite the engine running, often indicates more than dragging brake pads or a faulty brake caliper. It’s as if the engine control module is limiting power because it detects an issue, which could be an internal transmission problem manifesting as a cry for help.

Low or Leaking Fluid

Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of the transmission—its level and condition often reflect its health. A low or leaking fluid level can be the harbinger of doom, often leading to overheating and eventual transmission failure. 

Whether it’s a compromised seal or a problem with the transmission cooler, the presence of reddish-brown stains underneath your vehicle signals leakage—a warning sign that should not be ignored as these systems are not user-serviceable.

Burning Smell

A burning smell is often a red flag; it could be a symptom of overheating transmission fluid or, in the case of a manual transmission, a worn out clutch. This hot cause for alarm may arise from several different components, so distinguishing a burning fluid smell specific to the transmission from, say, engine oil or power steering fluid, is critical for identifying transmission problems.

Engine Overheating

An automatic transmission pushing the engine to overheat is akin to driving a ticking time bomb. One should be alert to the temperature gauge spiking and the ominous steam rising from under the hood—a sure sign to pull over and let the engine cool down.

 Ignoring these symptoms can lead to a litany of engine overheating issues, from a bad serpentine belt to a water pump or engine coolant in poor condition.

Strange Noises Coming From the Transmission

Strange noises emanating from the transmission—be it whirring, whining, humming, or a grinding screech—are never a good sign. 

Such sounds underscore a disconnect, perhaps a bad belt or a CVT transmission straining under poor acceleration, that demands immediate attention.

Check Engine Light Comes On

The Check Engine Light is the silent harbinger that beckons a closer look under the vehicle’s hood. From a faulty transmission speed sensor to solenoid issues resulting in slippage, the variety of problems this light can signal is vast, and addressing them may save you serious amounts of cash. 

Always ensure the low transmission fluid level is topped off, this common cause among the many symptoms often goes unchecked. When the light comes on, a vehicle must be thoroughly inspected by trained technicians, especially before test-driving or purchase—as overlooking it may lead you to look in a direction with little life left in the car.

Transmission Running Too Hot

When transmission fluid is not having enough presence to cool and lubricate, the transmission may be running too hot. Indicators such as a burning smell or a lack of performance suggest a cooling system engine types or malfunctioning—a situation where one must swiftly intervene.

Solenoid Regulation

At times, transmission problems could stem from a less obvious culprit, the solenoid—which regulates the flow of transmission fluid throughout the system. When this component is not functioning as it should, it impacts the transmission’s performance, as evident in unexpected transmission fluid leaks.

Difficulty Shifting Gears

Lastly, a difficulty shifting gears sends a clear message of distress from your vehicle’s transmission. When this trouble becomes evident, it’s like the vehicle is engaging in a protest, refusing to shift smoothly—a serious concern that calls for an inspection by professionals with years of experience.

 Such as those at Mister Transmission, who are adept at diagnosing these issues. Acting erratically or taking too long to shift indicates that something is getting worse, and addressing it sooner rather than later will save on costly repairs.


In sum, the illumination of the check engine light is not to be taken lightly, especially as it pertains to transmission health—it’s a clarion call for immediate attention and action. A responsive car is the linchpin of driving confidence, and any telltale signs of transmission wear, from slipping gears to unusual noises or erratic shifting, can undermine this. 

The transmission’s role, whether manual or automatic, CVT or traditional, is pivotal, translating the engine’s raw power into a symphony of movement. It’s a feat of engineering that makes the complex look seamless and maintains the sanctity of the driver-car bond.

 Professional diagnostics can be the difference between preemptive maintenance and a costly overhaul, reminding us that a vigilant driver is often saved from the crushing finality of a vehicle’s “death sentence.” Regular checks, early intervention, and respect for warning signals such as the check engine light could very well ensure that your car’s transmission remains robust, responsive, and reliably at your service.


Does check engine light come on for transmission problems?

Yes, transmission problems can cause your check engine light to come on. Your automobile’s main computer, the engine control module (ECM), talks with system sensors to make sure everything is okay. If the transmission sensors report a problem, the ECM will turn on the check engine light.

Will the check engine light come on if the transmission fluid is low?

The check engine light comes on to let the driver know that there is a problem in one of the vehicle’s systems. A trouble code or dash light does not necessarily mean the transmission fluid is low, but a low transmission fluid level will cause the check engine light to illuminate on most modern vehicles.

Will a warning light come on for transmission problems?

But what you might not realize is that some vehicles also have a transmission warning light that illuminates to indicate a problem with the transmission. Because the transmission is one of the most expensive parts of your vehicle, if the warning light turns on, you’ll want to address the problem right away.

How does a car act when the transmission is going out?

Signs that a car’s transmission may be failing include slipping gears, delayed or rough shifting, unusual noises such as whining or clunking, leaking fluid, and a burning smell. The lifespan of a car’s transmission can vary depending on factors such as maintenance, driving habits, and the make and model of the vehicle.

What can be mistaken for bad transmission?

However, there are other automotive sources that can also hinder your shifting. It might actually be a clogged catalytic converter, bad O2 sensor, dirty mass air flow sensor (MAF), clogged air filter, dirty fuel filter or some other fuel system, exhaust system or engine issue.

What code is for bad transmission?

The OBD-II scanner error code P0700 problem is a generic code that applies to vehicles equipped with OBD-II. It refers to the transmission control module (TCM) in the automatic transmission. The P0700 code is informational. The code points to a general fault, not a direct fault.