The possibility of transmission problems causes many vehicle owners to experience significant anxiety. Fortunately, there are certain preventative maintenance procedures such as transmission flushes that can keep both automatic and manual transmissions running without issue. Most vehicle owner's manuals suggest a transmission flush every 30,000 miles, and although that's an excellent rule of thumb to follow, there may be times when a good flushing is in order no matter what the mileage. Following are three signs that your car or truck's transmission may need to be flushed out:

Vehicle Surges

If your vehicle begins to surge unexpectedly while driving, that could be a sign that your transmission fluid is dirty to the extent that it's interfering with the proper functioning of your vehicle. This happens because clean transmission fluid flows smoothly, ensuring that the gears are lubricated at all times, and dirty transmission fluid can cause blockage that results in malfunctioning gears -- and this can cause your vehicle to surge either forward or backward.

Difficulty Shifting Gears

Difficulty shifting gears is another indication that it may be time to take your vehicle to the shop for a transmission flush. Dirty transmission fluid is most likely the culprit here as well. Manual transmissions will simply require more physical strength on your part to switch, while automatic transmissions will produce a noticeable drag when it's time for them to switch into a different gear.

Funny Grinding Noises

Cars make funny noises for a variety of reasons, including a transmission that's contaminated with grime or sludge. Grinding noises in particular are almost sure symptoms of a transmission in distress. Dirty transmission fluid is often at the bottom of grinding sounds, but they can also indicate the vehicle is low on transmission fluid. You can easily check transmission fluid levels by consulting with your owner's manual on proper procedure -- in most cars and trucks, it involves a simple dipstick similar to the one that's used to check oil levels. If you discover that the transmission is not low on fluid, check to see if the color is bright red. If it's black or brown, this means that significant sludge and grime is present into the transmission fluid and that it's time to see a qualified mechanic.

A transmission flush involves more than just changing the fluid. A thorough transmission flush will completely remove all debris and grime from your vehicle's transmission before fresh new fluid is added. Contact a professional like Culver City Transmission Service for more information.