Your car's transmission pump is designed to circulate transmission fluid and therefore provides the adequate pressure for your transmission to shift gears. An improperly functioning transmission pump can severely limit the amount of control that you have over your vehicle, which in turn can greatly increase the risk of you experiencing a collision. Thankfully, there are some warning signs that you can watch out for to determine when you need to talk to your auto services technician about replacing your transmission pump.
One of the first warning signs associated with a failing or damaged transmission pump is a burning smell while driving. This is because the transmission fluid is sitting stagnant in the transmission, which in turn prevents it from dissipating heat build-up properly. When driving for a significant period of time, this means that the transmission fluid itself will begin to overheat and burn, creating an unpleasant smell. To check to make sure that it is your transmission fluid and not something else under the hood burning, you can pop the hood and take out the transmission fluid dipstick (usually located right next to the engine block). If the fluid is in good shape, it will have an orange or red hue, but if it is burnt, it will have a brown shade to it.
Hard Gear Shifts
Another clear indication that your transmission pump isn't working properly is if your vehicle experiences difficulty shifting. This is due to the fact that not enough transmission fluid is being moved to the transmission, resulting in poor lubrication and difficulty shifting gears. If you experience hard gear shifting, you should head to a mechanic straight away, as the increased friction will increase the overall amount of wear that your transmission experiences and puts other components besides your pump at risk of failing.
In a similar vein to the above point, any sort of grinding or clunking sound coming from your transmission while trying to shift gears can usually be attributed to improper lubrication. The worse the sounds are, the less lubrication there is and the more wear that your gears are experiencing: over time, as your gears are actually worn away, the sounds can get worse, as the extra space between their teeth allows them to hit together with more force, creating a vicious cycle that will quickly leave your entire transmission useless. If you experience any sort of unwelcome noise while shifting gears, you should have your transmission pump looked at immediately.