The worst cars for Transmission issues

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Transmission failure is one of the most common and expensive car repairs. Many things can cause it, but the most common cause is a leak in the system. Transmission fluid leaks can be difficult to spot, because they often happen slowly over time. If you suspect your car has a transmission fluid leak, it’s important to take it to a mechanic right away.

There are many different types of transmission problems, but some of the most common include slipping gears, hard shifting, and delayed engagement. These problems can be caused by low fluid levels, leaks, or wear and tear on the parts. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s important to have your car checked out by a mechanic.

Transmission failure is a serious problem that can lead to expensive repairs or even total replacement of the transmission.

Causes of transmission failure

Transmission failure is one of car owners’ most common mechanical issues, and sadly can be one of the most expensive issues. There are many different causes of transmission failure, but some are more common than others. Here are 10 of the most common causes of transmission failure:

1. Lack of maintenance: One of the most common causes of transmission failure is simply a lack of proper maintenance. Transmission fluid needs to be changed regularly in order to keep the system clean and lubricated, and if this isn’t done, it can lead to serious problems.

2. Cooling system issues: The cooling system plays a vital role in keeping the transmission from overheating, and if there are any problems with it, it can cause the transmission to fail.

3. Clogged filters: Clogged filters are another common problem that can lead to transmission failure as they can reduce the movement of the liquids needed to keep the transmission running smoothly.

What to do if you think your transmission is breaking?

If your transmission is giving you trouble, it may be time for a repair. Here are a few signs that your transmission is breaking down and what you can do about it.

If your car is having trouble shifting gears, making grinding noises, or leaking fluid, these could be signs that your transmission is failing. If you notice any of these issues, take your car to a mechanic for a diagnosis.

There are a few things you can do to prevent transmission problems. Make sure to have your transmission serviced regularly and use the proper type of fluid for your car. If you tow heavy loads or drive in stop-and-go traffic often, these can put extra strain on your transmission and cause it to fail sooner.

If you think your transmission is breaking down, don’t ignore the problem.

Our list of the top 10 cars that will are known to have transmission issues:

So without any more delay we will bring up the list of our top cars to avoid if you are worried about transmission issues, including links to recalls, just so you know we aren’t picking on any specific makes or models out of passive-aggressive pettiness.

10. Nissan Rogue

According to a recent study, the Rogue is one of the 10 cars with the most transmission problems.

Nissan owners have reported many issues with their Rogues, including jerky shifts, delayed engagement, and complete failure of the transmission. These problems can be expensive to fix, and they can also be dangerous if they happen while you’re driving.

If you’re considering buying a Nissan Rogue, be sure to do your research and read reviews from other owners before making your decision. There doesn’t seem to be a full recall with this CVT-based issue, but there was an extension of warranty for many years, which has since run out. So if you are looking at one of these models, we say buyer beware.

9. Honda Accord 2000-2001

Honda’s are supposed to be some of the most reliable cars on the road, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. The ninth spot on our list goes to the Honda Accord from 1998 to 2002. These models were known for having transmission problems. Even though Honda eventually extended the transmissions’ warranty, which is nice… but not as nice as having a car without a faulty transmission.

If you’re in the market for a used Honda Accord from this era, it’s important to be aware of the potential transmission issues. As there is no more extended warranty, we would steer clear….. ( a nice pun in there ) if you’re looking at one of the automatic versions from these years.

8. Chevrolet Traverse 2020-2021

Next on our list is a relatively recent model, the Chevrolet Traverse. This is what they have to say about the recall:

Braun Corporation (Braun) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Chevrolet Traverse wheelchair accessible vehicles with Power In-floor Ramp conversion. The screw and clip that hold the inner wheel-well plastic shroud in place may chafe against the transmission case, possibly resulting in a transmission fluid leak.

The Traverse is a large SUV that is built on the same platform as the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. It was first introduced in 2009, and it has been one of Chevy’s best-selling SUVs. Despite its popularity, the Traverse has had a number of problems with its transmission.

So while this is one of the newest vehicles listed, make sure you are checking out if your model is affected by this issue if you’re looking to buy a Traverse.

7. Infiniti QX60

This SUV has been plagued with transmission issues, and owners have reported everything from hesitant shifting to complete failure. Many people have said there is a pretty strong shudder and requires more maintenance to keep it running decently.

Infiniti has attempted to address the problem with a software update, but it doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. One owner even had to replace his transmission just 3 months after they purchased their new car.

If you’re set on an Infiniti SUV, you may be better off going with the QX80. Though it’s not without its own issues, transmission problems don’t seem to be one of them.

6. Ford Fiesta 2012-2016

From 2012-2016 Ford sold a lot of Fiestas……… which ended up causing a lot of people a lot of problems. It just seems that their transmissions. It seems that when they started using their DPS6 PowerShift transmission, it came with a lot of issues… to the point that several lawsuits have been set up against Ford due to the issues.

They even had to pay someone $49,000 due to the issues, but the worse aspect is that it seems Ford knew of the issues and just kept on selling the cars.

5. 97-02 Honda Prelude

There are a lot of cars that have transmission issues, but the Honda Prelude is one of the worst. The transmission problems with the Prelude just seem to have come out of nowhere, and it seems that this is due to a faulty design. Some people were lucky and enjoyed their automatic car for a long time, while others had to change their transmission several times… or until they changed the car.

If you’re looking for a used car, it’s best to avoid the Honda Prelude. Even if you find one that’s in good condition otherwise, the chances are high that you’ll have to replace the transmission sooner rather than later. And that’s an expensive repair job. And we love the styling of this Prelude, so if you don’t know how to drive standard this could be the case to learn. Honestly, looking at this drawing takes us back to the first time the VTEC kicked in:

drawing of last generation of the Honda prelude
97-01 HOnda Prelude

4. Nissan Pathfinder 2013-2014

Nissan has been having some serious transmission issues as of late. The Pathfinder is one of the models that has been affected. Nissan has issued a recall for the Pathfinder, but many owners are still having problems with their transmissions.

If you own a Nissan Pathfinder, it’s important to keep an eye on your transmission especially if you have one that falls within these years. There has already been a class action that has been proposed, so you know that this issue impacted a lot of cars ( and people)

3. Ford Focus

Transmission issues are one of the most common complaints about the Ford Focus. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, transmission problems are the second most common complaint about the Focus (after fuel economy not being where it should be).

There are a few different symptoms that can indicate your Focus has transmission problems. These include: gears slipping, hesitating when shifting gears, and grinding or shaking when shifted into gear. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, you should take your car to a mechanic for a diagnosis.

2. Kia Forte 2011

The Kia Forte is one of the top 10 cars that have transmission issues. The main issue with the Forte’s transmission is that it can slip out of gear, which can be dangerous. Additionally, the Forte’s transmission may also have difficulty shifting gears, which can lead to a loss of power and efficiency. If you’re considering buying a Kia Forte, be sure to check the car’s transmission by a qualified mechanic before making your purchase. For this specific year there was also an issue which is as follows:

Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2011 Forte vehicles manufactured August 27, 2010, to November 11, 2010. The affected vehicles have a transmission fluid cooler hose that may have been improperly manufactured, resulting in a transmission fluid leak.,Description%20of%20Recall%3A,in%20a%20transmission%20fluid%20leak.

1. Nissan Sentra 2012-2016

This was the number one car on our list, which usually is a good thing.. but in this, it is a bad top-ten list to top. This car had the same Nissan CVT transmission that caused issues in other models that were just no good. Again, this issue has caused an investigation into the possibility of starting a class action lawsuit against nissan for their transmission issues.

We would just stay away from this make and model, especially for these years, if you are worried about a huge transmission bill in the future.


After looking at the list of cars with transmission issues, it’s easy to see that many of them are older models, but one or two are pretty new. This is likely because transmission technology has come a long way in recent years, and they have fixed their early stumbles with new technologies they were trying out.

There are a number of things that can cause transmission problems, ranging from simple issues like low fluid levels to more complex problems like faulty sensors. Fortunately, most transmission problems can be fixed relatively easily, but most of the cars in this list will have total failures…. which is no fun and is expensive.

Hopefully, we have helped you avoid getting a lemon, and you can continue searching for a new/used car that will have a long and happy life with you and your family.