Is your vehicle going a little too fast down a big hill? Is it unable to reverse? If your transmission is slipping, it can get real dangerous, real quick. Here’s how you can tell if your transmission is slipping and how you can fix it.
A Slippery Slope
A slipping transmission happens when your vehicle can’t stay in gear or does not shift smoothly. A functioning vehicle will stay in the gear that you put it in. If it doesn’t then this can be dangerous, especially when going downhill, whether vehicle is automatic or manual. To protect you and your vehicle, it’s important to recognize the signs that your transmission is slipping and how to fix it.
Signs of Your Transmission is Slipping
There are many possible signs that your transmission is slipping. We cover the most common signs so you’ll be able to recognize them if it happens to your vehicle.
Clunking or Grinding Noise:
Clutch isn’t Working:
Slip into Neutral:
Unable to Shift Between Gears:
In an Automatic Transmission
In an automatic transmission, the pump that distributes the fluid around the transmission is called a torque converter. This piece is responsible for lubricating the transmission parts, keeping it cool, preventing gears from wearing out, and distributing power from the engine to the transmission. As you can see, it’s important to keep this thing running smoothly. Dirty, burnt, or low amounts of transmission fluid can prevent the torque converter from circulating the fluid properly. In an automatic transmission, this can be the reason why your transmission is slipping.
In A Manual Transmission:
A clutch is like a torque converter without all the bells and whistles. It also distributes power from the engine to the transmission but it does so manually without fluid. If your clutch is damaged, then it prevents your transmission from shifting gears. If you have a manual transmission and it’s slipping, then you should check out your clutch.
transmissions can be automatic or manual, and they both slip for different reasons. If it’s not the transmission fluid or torque converter in your automatic transmission, and it’s not the clutch in your manual transmission, then it could be worn out parts. In both cases, a lack of lubrication can cause gears or transmission bands to wear out. A machine needs all parts to work together to run smoothly, and a transmission is no exception. If you’re transmission is slipping, take it to a mechanic to properly diagnose the cause.
How to Stop Your Transmission from Slipping
Now that you’ve identified the transmission issue, it needs to be fixed. The first thing you should check is the fluid dipstick. If it’s low or darker in color then it’s time to refill or replace it. To replace the transmission fluid, remove the dipstick and add fluid a little at a time until it’s at the right level. You can check the level with the dipstick.
If the problem isn’t with the transmission fluid, then you could have to replace gears, bands, or a clutch. To replace these, you need to take out the entire transmission unit and overhaul it. Unless you’re an expert, we recommend you call a mechanic as soon as possible. A slipping transmission is dangerous to drive, and if it’s not fixed then it could damage the entire system.