Your automatic transmission, along with your engine, makes up the two most important parts of your car, or truck. Without a good working transmission, you're simply not going to move, or will move slowly and erratically.

Keeping your transmission in good working order is critical. A good first step when you sense automatic transmission problems is to flush your system. Here are five telltale signs you may need to flush your transmission.

1. Delayed Movement

If you notice a delay in the movement of your vehicle when you give it gas, you may have contaminated transmission fluid. Even the slightest delay can indicate you need your transmission flushed.

2. Slipping Between Gears

You may notice a slight slipping between gears, and this can be caused by a hydraulic problem with your transmission. If your fluid is bad, there will not be enough hydraulic pressure to kick your transmission over into the next gear. The problem may only happen between one or two stages in your shifting but always warrants further inspection by a trained professional.

3. Jumping Gears

An even more severe problem is when your automatic transmission jumps gears. This is more than just a momentary delay in shifting, or a slight slip. While jumping gear can be indicative of a serious transmission problem, sometimes a good flush and fluid change will fix the trouble.

 4. Unnatural Vehicle Surging

An automatic transmission polluted with dirt and grime can also surge. You will not necessarily notice slipping, or jumping of your gears, but an unnatural surge of your vehicle while you're driving. While this could be an engine issue, the first thing to check is the condition of your transmission fluid. Heavy contamination can cause an automatic transmission to surge, and a flush will often cure the problem immediately.

5. Odd Grinding Noises

If you hear odd noises from directly under your car - strange grinding noises – it is a good time to take your vehicle to a transmission professional. Grinding noises may be the result of worn gears, but it very well could be as simple as contaminated transmission fluid. Tiny particles in dirty fluid can cause your transmission to make excessive grinding noises when it shifts. Like the other problems mentioned above, it will often go away with a transmission flush.

Flushing your transmission will remove all the contamination, dirt and grime. This will allow you to shift properly, plus will help add life to your automatic transmission. See a transmission repair specialist to get the soundest advice on how often to flush your transmission, or if you could use a flush now.