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When you press the gas pedal and the transmission is in drive, you expect your vehicle to accelerate smoothly. That’s how things work when your transmission is healthy, but if you’re noticing that the gears are slipping when accelerating, there’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Your transmission is a complex system with a very wide range of components. That’s true whether you have an automatic or a manual transmission. With that being said, slipping is much more common in an automatic transmission than in a manual, so we’ll focus our attention there. Really, the primary cause of slipping in a manual transmission is a damaged clutch, which should be replaced.
In an automatic transmission, everything must work in harmony in order to shift gears and provide power. The fluid level must be full (without the right amount of fluid, your transmission may slip badly), and it should be clean. You also have a number of clutch packs scattered throughout the transmission that need to engage at the right time. Transmission bands connect the gears together, and they can become worn or damaged over time.
If debris or contaminants clog up the system, or have blocked up the filter, it’s impossible for the transmission to work properly.
Low Transmission Fluid: If you’re of driving age, you’ve heard this one time and again, but it bears repeating. The number one cause of all transmission problems, from slipping to abnormal sounds, is low transmission fluid. If the fluid is low, a number of problems can crop up that will make the transmission slip, including overheating.
Fluid Is Burnt: Just as you need the right level of transmission fluid, you also need that fluid to be in good condition. Like engine oil, transmission fluid needs to be changed periodically, or it becomes burnt and the level of contaminants in the fluid can rise to dangerous levels.
Transmission Fluid Leaks: This one relates directly to low fluid, but it’s the cause of the transmission fluid being low. Transmission leaks can range from miniscule to catastrophic, but they all affect the level of fluid in your transmission.
Gear Wear: If you have a high-mileage vehicle with the original transmission, the gears may just be worn out. This applies even if you’ve taken care of the transmission with regular services. There are simply only so many miles the average transmission can operate. If your gears are worn, they won’t mesh together properly, creating slippage.
Broken Transmission Bands: Transmission bands connect the various gears in your transmission to one another. Over time (and particularly if you don’t maintain the transmission or drive with low fluid), they wear. Once they become too worn, or they break, your transmission will slip.
Failing Torque Converter: The torque converter is what transforms energy from the engine into something your transmission can use. They work with transmission fluid, so low fluid levels could cause damage here as well. Once the torque converter is damaged, your transmission will slip.
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to verify the operation of your transmission, including slipping and any abnormal noises. The mechanic will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
The mechanic will inspect your transmission and may need to pull trouble codes from the car’s computer via the OBD II interface. A test drive may also be necessary to verify that the transmission is slipping, as well as any unusual/abnormal sounds it might be making during operation.
If your transmission is slipping, it’s crucial to have the problem repaired immediately. Even if it is slipping for something as simple as low fluid, that situation can quickly lead to very serious damage. One of our professional mechanics can diagnose the reason for the slippage and get your transmission back into good condition.