When your vehicle's automatic transmission begins to act up, you want to get this checked out right away. Ignoring problems with the transmission can mean allowing it to burn up due to heat and friction, and it may simply lock up and fail. It might also not be able to change gears so you're stuck in neutral, and this can happen even when you're driving. Diagnosing some common problems with an automatic transmission can help, as you can then know what to expect by way of repair bills.
If your car's transmission has a fluid leak, very often this is a faulty gasket. A gasket is a rubber piece that goes around the reservoir pan and keeps it properly sealed; it's not unusual for the gasket to get brittle over time so that it doesn't provide that seal and fluid then begins to leak. The pan itself might have developed holes or cracks; if your car has a lot of rust underneath, this can mean that the pan has rusted and fluid is leaking through those holes. In this case, the entire pan may need replacing and not just the gaskets. The transmission fluid lines may also be leaking, and these are somewhat easy to replace.
When you put your car into gear, it should immediately respond. If it doesn't move forward or back and then seems to "clunk" into gear, this can be low fluid levels or burnt fluid that needs replacing. However, it may also be a defective vacuum line. This is what helps to pull the fluid through the transmission system. When the vacuum lines are torn or have leaks, the car's transmission isn't getting adequate fluid, and it may then delay.
Your vehicle's transmission works very hard to keep it in gear when you're hauling or towing something, so if your trailer or caravan is over the maximum towing weight of your vehicle, the transmission will overheat. If this happens at other times, usually this is the result of burnt or dirty transmission fluid. When your car gets warm, the fluid in the transmission system also gets warm. If your car drives very hot, this fluid can get burnt so that it's not as thick and viscous as it should be; transmission fluid can also get contaminated with rust flecks and other debris. The transmission then gets hot from working too hard without proper fluid. A flush and fill of fresh fluid can allow your transmission to operate at proper temperatures.
For more information, contact a business such as Gearbox Express.