Cars With Transmissions Issues? 6 Models To Avoid (Explained)

Transmissions are an essential component in a car and one of the most expensive to fix if things go awry. However, modern cars can now go over 200,000 miles with no major transmission fix.

Modern cars are designed with transmissions that last longer and need fewer major repairs. With that said, transmission repairs are still expensive and would be best avoided in certain cars.

In this article, we’ll be delving deeper into cars that have known transmission issues and how to tackle them.

Let’s get started.

1. Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is a compact and affordable car that has been known to have transmission problems. From 2011 to 2015, models reported having issues with their PowerShift Transmissions.

Some of the Fiestas that were equipped with the Ford DPS6 automatic transmission experienced shuddering.

The transmission clutch on these Fiestas would start slipping and jerking and this makes driving uncomfortable.

When changing gears, transmissions should be as smooth as possible. This makes the drive a little bit more comfortable and pleasant.

With the models that got the DPS6 automatic transmission, the issue was mainly with the clutch housing. This housing leaked fluid which then contaminated the clutch.

Other than replacing the clutch itself, it can also be cleaned if the damage is not too much. However, you would still have to get both input shafts replaced.

Replacing the whole clutch system is way more expensive than simply having it cleaned. The whole transmission of a Fiesta can cost around $3,500 to replace.

The best way to diagnose the problem would be to take it to the dealership. A mechanic can also diagnose the problem and advice on the next steps to take.

The latest model of the Ford Fiesta now ranks average in terms of reliability and value. However, it is still an affordable and versatile car in its segment.

If you’d like to avoid these problems altogether, you may prefer SUVs without transmission problems.

2. Nissan Rogue

Nissan has been plagued by transmission problems in a variety of its Nissan Rogue models. Models that had a problem ranged from 2013 all the way to 2016 models.

Even though Nissan worked to solve these problems, the Nissan Rogue still faced a few recalls. The recalls were mainly targeted at CVT transmissions and only for certain model years of the Nissan Rogue.

Many Rogue owners who have transmission problems say that it starts with jerking and shaking. This then gradually declines to some violent rattling that gives an uncomfortable drive.

Other owners were able to delay or completely prevent these problems with regular oil changes and maintenance. Some transmission issues start with the car not accelerating or suddenly accelerating.

With the Rogue’s transmission, the most common symptom is when the car is placed in the drive gear but cannot move. This could be caused by low CVT fluids, failed transmission pump, or simply a failed sensor.

Failed sensors and pumps for the Nissan Rogue are usually much cheaper to replace or fix. However, a failed transmission will be expensive to replace altogether.

Transmission problems on the Nissan Rogue depend on how well the car was maintained in the first place. Most owners first see transmission problems when the car has about 130,000 miles on it.

Nissan also has these problems on some other models, such as the Pathfinder, Frontier, and Armada models. Problems with these models range from transmission noise all the way to leaking fluids.

Your best bet would be to visit your mechanic or dealership in order to diagnose the problems.

Nissan has also offered an extended warranty on the powertrain for their models that have clutch problems. Furthermore, explore some problems with automatic transmissions.

3. Kia Forte

Transmission problems have plagued the Kia Forte from 2017 all the way to its 2020 models. Owners experienced stalling engines, powertrain failures, and even jerking between gears.

The Kia Forte is a subcompact sedan with a classic exterior design and a stellar performance. Many have chosen it as a good option for its practicality, comfort, and good fuel efficiency.

Even though the Kia Forte has a lot going for it, it still gets a rather large list of complaints for its transmission. Models from 2017 are prone to transmission problems and complaints from owners.

Symptoms of a failing transmission range from the car suddenly revving or suddenly stalling. Many complainants were worried about their safety because the car appeared not to be responsive.

Kia has only issued a few recalls because of transmission problems on the Forte. However, the problems still persist in some of the later models of the Kia Forte.

Gear slippage and the inability to accelerate are some of the more common transmission problems experienced. On fewer models, owners also experienced shifting delays, grinding sound, and the car shaking.

Just like other components in a car, the transmission is subject to normal wear and tear. To prevent this, regular maintenance checks should be scheduled.

Regular maintenance requires exchanging transmission fluids or repairs. Repairs can be done at any Kia service center.

4. Honda Civic

Many owners of the Honda Civic have experienced delays in shifting, shaking, whining noises, and fluid leaks. These are all symptoms that point to a failing transmission.

The Honda Civic has had its fair share of transmission problems with its models throughout the years.

The issues were very apparent in old models of the Civic, such as the 2014 and the 2015 model years, and can still be seen in newer models.

When the car is put into Drive gear, it should not hesitate to change gears, but if it does, this is called a delay in shifting. This means the car refuses to go into gear and this is a big transmission issue.

Other symptoms include clunking noises from the dashboard and shaking when the gears are changed. Noises and shaking when changing gears are a good sign that there is something wrong with the transmission.

Leaking fluid from the engine can also be due to a failing transmission and will need to be checked by a professional. Transmission oil is usually red in colour and indicates that the fluid has to be changed or a hole plugged.

It is also a good idea to keep an eye on the Check Engine light in the dash area. Not all Check Engine lights indicate a faulty transmission, but should still be checked as soon as possible.

To completely replace the transmission on the Honda Civic can easily cost you around $3,500 to $5,000. Repairs and maintenance will usually be cheaper depending on the severity of the damage.

Related: Honda Civic Problems: 4 Common Issues (Explained)

5. Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is one of the best-selling all-wheel drive vehicles in the world. Because of the volume being sold, there are also a lot of complaints about its transmission.

For the Wrangler, the 2018-2019 models are mostly notorious for having transmission problems. The Wrangler is a reliable buy, but owners of these models have had complaints about its behavior.

Owners reported that the Jeep Wrangler would sometimes shake violently, refuse to get into gear, and have a total loss of power. They also reported that it was often difficult for Jeep dealerships and mechanics to correctly diagnose the issue.

One of the first symptoms of a failing transmission in the Wrangler is leaking transmission fluid. Others have also encountered jerking and the car misfiring when accelerating.

Multiple owners also experience a bit of a delay when the car has to change gears. Low transmission fluid was the main cause of this issue.

Fluid leaks can be caused by failing seals, which can be fixed by replacing them. You’d have to take a look in the transmission area to determine where the leak is coming from.

The 2019 Jeep Wrangler was one of a kind when it comes to its 8-speed automatic transmission. The transmission could learn your driving style and adjust the transmission control module over time.

With that said, most owners were concerned when the transmission delayed shifting. This seems to fix itself as the transmission learns your driving style and throttling position.

To be on the safe side, it is advised to visit your nearest mechanic or dealership if you experience any of these symptoms.

A replacement transmission for the Jeep Wrangler can easily cost you well over $4,000. However, with regular maintenance and care, repairs can be cheaper over time.

Related: Jeep Wrangler Problems: 11 Common Issues (Explained)

6. Chevrolet Traverse

With a price tag between $5,000 and $6,000 to replace a transmission, the Chevrolet Traverse can be expensive to repair. The 2017 model of the Traverse has been known to have a series of problems with its transmission.

Owners of the Chevrolet Traverse experienced symptoms such as delayed shift, shaking, and jerking during acceleration.

Upon further inspection, it was because of low fluid, a broken transmission band, or a failing torque converter. Other than normal wear and tear, the other issues were burnt fluid and transmission fluid leaks.

Fluid leaks and low fluid are easily diagnosed and can be cheap to repair and fix. However, if the problem needs a replacement transmission, it can get quite expensive.

With the Chevy Traverse, transmission issues are firstly experienced with delayed gear shifts and fluid leaks.

The Chevy Traverse is a midsize SUV introduced by Chevrolet to target the growing market for midsize SUVs. it features a 3.6-liter V-6 engine and 9speed automatic transmission.

It is quite roomy and should be great for those long-distance travelers that need a reliable vehicle. This 2019 Chevy also gets a decent 17 mpg for city driving and 25 mpg for highway driving.

Such a big engine usually requires that the transmission works smoothly and without any hitches.

Later models of the Chevy Traverse are up against such as the Dodge Durango and Mazda CX-9. However, these competitors do not have as many transmission complaints as the Traverse.

The Traverse also gets quite decent scores when it comes to reliability and safety. Transmission issues fortunately do not overshadow other benefits of the Traverse.

Because of its versatility, the Traverse also comes in automatic and manual transmissions. Both these transmissions have different kinds of transmission fluid to be used.

Both these fluids also have different characteristics, such as heat and levels of fluid needed. To avoid corrosion and transmission failure, the fluids must be checked regularly.

Certified Chevrolet service centers and dealerships should be able to check fluids and perform maintenance on your Chevrolet Traverse.

A consultation with these centers can tell you exactly how much it will cost. Replacements of parts and components will usually cost way more than a simple fluid refill or fixing a leak.

Related: Chevy Traverse Problems: 8 Common Issues (Explained)

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