If you have been noticing that your car is unable to accelerate properly or loses power as you speed up, you may have a problem with your transmission. If you suspect that you do, see if your vehicle is making one of the following three odors that could mean the transmission is malfunctioning.
Sickly Sweet Smell
If you smell a strong, sickly sweet odor, it is likely caused by the transmission fluid. This could indicate that your fluid is low. Check the dipstick to see if the level is where it should be. If it is too low, add fresh fluid until it reaches the level indicated for your vehicle. However, do not overfill, since this could cause too much pressure in your transmission, damaging the gears or blowing the gaskets.
Before trying to fill the transmission fluid, look for drips of red fluid under the transmission. If you see any, this is the transmission fluid and could indicate a leak. If you see this, you should have a transmission specialist take a look in case the casing is cracked or the gasket has deteriorated.
Burning Rubber Odor
Another odor you could possibly detect is the smell of burning rubber. If you are smelling this, the gaskets inside the transmission may have torn or are deteriorating. If they have become loose, the heat inside the transmission could be causing them to burn.
Eventually, this could cause irreversible damage to the transmission, requiring it to be replaced. If you think this is the problem, take your car to a transmission service as soon as possible.
Old Metallic Smell
If you are smelling something that resembles old metal, this could be an indication that the gears have started to wear down inside the transmission. You may also hear a grinding noise as the gears' teeth become off-centered and rub against each other.
If you smell and hear these signs, your transmission could be in immediate danger of seizing up, causing you to break down. You should have a professional look at it before you drive it again to avoid being stranded.
If you smell the above odors, you may have a serious issue with your transmission. If you suspect this is the case, you may want to take your car to a transmission shop as soon as possible so they can diagnose the problem and discuss your options depending on the problem, from making repairs to replacing the entire transmission.