What Is Transmission Slipping And How to Fix It?

Transmission Rebuild

What is transmission slipping?

Transmission gears wear out and start slipping. Over time gears can wear out, especially if they have been running hot and inefficiently due to a lack of or worn out the transmission fluid. Slipping gears are usually due to normal wear and tear, which causes them to not engage properly and to slip in and out of sync.

You will know that your vehicle has a transmission slip when you hear the engine spinning during a gear change. For a moment it can feel like you are driving over ice. At first glance, it may seem small and easy to shrug off. However, without proper maintenance, the problem can escalate and you will face much more serious transmission problems.

Related Article: What Is Transmission?

What Are Other Symptoms of Transmission Slipping?

The symptoms of transmission slip may indicate other unrelated problems as well. Your transmission might not necessarily slip, but problems can arise in other ways. There are many ways your transmission can wear out. It is best to take your vehicle to a mechanic to have it checked.

Signs Your Transmission is Slipping:

  • Delay in acceleration
  • Burnt or other unusual smells
  • Excessively high RPM, over 3,500
  • Trouble shifting gears
  • Harsh response any time you are able to shift gears
  • Check engine light constantly turning on
  • Strange noises coming from the transmission

None of these are good. You want to get your car inspected immediately before the problem progresses.

What Are the Usual Causes for a Slipping Transmission?

There are a few ways your transmission could go down this way. Perhaps the most common reason is your transmission having low fluid levels. You should check your vehicle’s fluid level a little frequently.

Here are some reasons your transmission is slipping:

If your transmission is slipping, grinding, making loud sounds that you know are just bad, chances are it needs a thorough diagnosis.

  • Low, worn out, or burned transmission fluid
  • Solenoid problems
  • Worn or broken transmission bands
  • Clutch problems
  • Worn out gears
  • Torque converter issues

When checking, make a note of whether the value is lower than recommended. You may just need to refill the fluids. If the problem persists, there may be a leak in the system.

Another cause is the various parts in your car’s transmission. Over time, these parts can break or wear out. If this is not corrected soon, it can very likely lead to a transmission error.

Finally, the transmission of your car can cause clutch problems. This is the most common cause of transmission slippage in vehicles with manual transmissions. The only way to correct this is to replace the broken or worn clutch.

Most vehicles, however, are designed for flexible couplings. Depending on the exact car you drive, you’ll need to swap out the clutch between 20,000 and 200,000 miles.

How to Fix Transmission Slipping?

The solution to this problem ultimately depends on what exactly the problem is. It could be so easy to add more transmission fluid when your car is running low. However, if the current fluid is badly burned, the transmission likely has internal damage that needs to be checked.

Parts such as the clutch or other gears may need to be replaced. A possible solution to this problem could be simply installing a completely new transmission system. This is the most expensive option, but it may be the only way to get your car back in service.

Get your car checked as soon as you see any problems to reduce the chances of a full replacement.

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