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How can I tell if an automatic gear box is in good condition?

I want to buy a used automatic car. Are there some things I can look for to so that I don't pick a car with a knackered automatic gear box?

October 2003
check colour of oil it should always look like new ruby red in colour if brown dont buy it if dull pink water contaminated from radiator. also do a hill start put car in drive no gas let hand break of if car rolls backwards worn clutches ps dont buy an automatic with engine size less than 1600cc i dont think they work very well. good luck

john brunton
June 2007
when you put the car in gear for instence "D" or "R" you shoulnt feel any bump it should go in gear smooth if it does bump in to gear there is a big chance box has excesive wear in clutch packs i am writing with 12 year knowladge

master chief
December 2004
It is difficult to tell whether autoboxes are in good condition at first glance. Have a check of the gearbox fluid. Normally this should be a red/pink colour if the car has has it's fluid changed at regular intervals. If the fluid in the box is dirty then there is a good chance that the car has not been serviced regularly. When you test drive the car you want to check that the car changes gear smoothly and there isn't hesitation or indecision at the point where the car ought to be looking for another gear. Check the kickdown by driving at about 30mph and then suddenly pushing the accelerator down to the floor as if to accelerate away fast - the car should quickly drop down the gears.

Matt Phelps
October 2003


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