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Can a Car Collision Damage Your Transmission?

Published on Apr 26, 2022 at 11:44 am in Auto Safety.

car transmission

Even if you are not all that familiar with what is going on under the hood of your car, you’ve probably heard of the transmission before. This vital piece of machinery acts as a gearbox that is mounted onto the engine itself. The transmission then converts combustion power created in the engine into physical momentum.

The average transmission has either five or six sets of gears. When it works correctly, the transmission lets drivers control how much power the car is receiving without making any changes to how fast the engine is running. A well-functioning transmission will ensure that your car engine is not spinning either too slow or too fast.

If your transmission is damaged or otherwise not functioning correctly, your engine could run at an inappropriate speed and your wheels would not receive the right amount of power. If left unaddressed, transmission problems can destroy your engine.

Regular vehicle maintenance—including taking your car to your preferred auto mechanic for an annual inspection—can help identify any potential problems with your transmission. However, there are times when transmission problems occur in between your regular maintenance. A car collision can damage your transmission and may cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair costs.

Signs of Transmission Damage

If you were involved in a car accident, one of your first steps after receiving medical care is to have your car looked over by a trusted auto mechanic. Your insurance company should maintain a list of preferred mechanics who offer repair services at a fixed price, eliminating the need for negotiations or any uncertainty about final costs. You are not required to use a repair shop on this list, as you might already have a mechanic in mind that you would rather use.

If you are able to drive your vehicle away from the scene of the accident, signs of transmission damage that are often immediately noticeable include:

  • Shifting problems. In an automatic vehicle, shifting from gear to gear should be practically seamless. Although you have probably noticed a slight change in sound when your engine shifts gears, a damaged transition could cause a loud, grinding, or otherwise very noticeable sound as your car changes gears. The impact of a car collision can move the gears out of place and cause them to grind against bare metal. Although this can be fixed, if you continue to drive without getting the problem repaired, it can cause irreparable damage that will ultimately require a replacement.
  • Slipping. Slipping happens when your transmission moves from one gear to another without any input, assistance, or reason to do so. A damaged transmission could cause your vehicle to shift into neutral while driving or could make acceleration difficult. Any trouble accelerating or unexplained shifts in gear should never be ignored. These issues can cause you to be involved in another accident.
  • Leaking fluid. Never ignore fluid that is leaking from your vehicle. While you might not actively notice anything dripping, you’ll see puddles of fluid underneath your vehicle after moving it after it’s been parked. Transmission fluid is essential for overall transmission health, as it lubricates the gears and other moving parts. Insufficient fluid levels cause friction, which can lead to overheating issues. It does not take much to start losing transmission fluid, either. Even a seemingly minor collision can cause a tiny crack that causes leakage.

Never ignore any of the above signs of transmission damage. Your car will not self-correct or repair itself over time. Any damage or problems with your transmission will only worsen if you continue to drive without going in for repairs, and doing so may ultimately cause additional damage to the engine.

Do not let fears of auto repair bills hold you back from taking your car into the mechanic. If you were involved in an accident that was not your fault, a Columbia, SC car accident lawyer can help make sure these costs are covered.

Types of Accidents That Cause Transmission Damage

Any type of collision can cause transmission damage, whether it’s a single-vehicle accident with a light pole or a multi-vehicle pile-up on the interstate. Your transmission is most susceptible to damage in accidents involving the front end, though. This is because your transmission is located with your engine underneath the hood in the front of your vehicle.

Never ignore signs of transmission damage just because your accident was not considered a front-end collision. Any serious impact may cause irreversible damage to your vehicle, including its transmission. Always have your vehicle looked over by a trusted auto mechanic if you were involved in any of the following types of accidents:

  • Front-end or rear-end collisions
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • T-bones
  • Head-on collisions
  • Vehicle rollovers
  • Single-vehicle accidents

You should also call the police after an accident, even if it appears minor. The responding officer will make a report on the accident and will note important details, such as injuries, property damage, and any information that might denote fault.

What To Do if Your Vehicle’s Transmission Was Damaged in a Collision

Do not delay if you suspect a car collision damaged your transmission. After you’ve contacted police, had yourself checked out for injuries, and contacted your insurance company, you need to get your vehicle into a trusted auto mechanic. Let them know you were in an accident and report any troubling symptoms you’ve noticed, including grinding noises, gear slipping, or puddles underneath your vehicle when it’s parked.

The cost of repairing or replacing a transmission is not cheap, though. Auto repair bills can quickly outpace your earnings, especially if you were injured in your accident and are unable to work. You do not have to lose your mode of transportation, though. If the other driver was at fault, you can receive compensation for things like repair costs, medical bills, lost wages, and more.

Insurance companies are often less than eager to help injury victims, which is where The Solomon Law Group can help. Our Columbia, SC car accident lawyers have what it takes to stand up to the insurance company, and we never let them pressure our clients into accepting settlements that do not cover the full scope of their injuries. For an opportunity to speak with a car collision attorney at no cost to you, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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