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Depending on whether you have an automatic or a manual transmission, it could make any number of different sounds during normal operation. A grinding sound from the transmission is much more common with manual models, but it can occur automatic transmissions as well.
Your transmission takes the energy generated by your engine and transmits it to your wheels. Depending on the setup of your vehicle, you may have two constant velocity (CV) axles that connect the transmission to the front wheels, or you may have a driveshaft that runs from the transmission back to the rear differential.
Automatic and manual transmissions do the same job, but they work in completely different ways. Manual transmissions are operated by the driver – you must shift gears in order to accelerate. With an automatic, the transmission shifts on its own at preset RPM settings.
Both manual and automatic transmissions require fluid (but not the same fluid) in order to operate. A staggering number of transmission failures have nothing to do with wear and tear, and everything to do with either too little or too much fluid.
Transmission Fluid Is Low: You may hear a grinding, whining or growling sound if your transmission is low on fluid. It may also be a gurgling sound. It varies a great deal from one transmission to another.
Transmission Fluid Is Contaminated: Your transmission fluid should be changed regularly to ensure that contaminants and debris are removed from the system. Over time, “fines” (small metal particulates) can build up in the fluid and cause damage.
Differential Low on Fluid: If you have a rear-wheel drive setup, it might not be your transmission making the sound. It could be the rear differential. If you have an all-wheel drive vehicle it could be your center or front differential. All differentials require fluid to lubricate internal parts.
Cracked or Chipped Gear: An automatic transmission producing a grinding sound may also have a chipped or cracked gear. If a final drive gear is chipped or cracked, you’ll hear a grinding or growling sound that stays consistent even with gear changes.
Failed Synchronizer: If you have a manual transmission and you’re experiencing a grinding sound when trying to shift gears, the problem is likely to do with the synchronizers. These help you smoothly shift into each gear and when they go out, it feels like you’re trying to shift without using the clutch.
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to inspect your transmission, the transmission fluid, differential and other components. The mechanic will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
The mechanic will first need to test drive the car to verify the grinding noise and to determine possible causes. The mechanic will also inspect your transmission, the transmission fluid and possibly your differentials depending on the results of the test drive.
Your transmission is a critical component, and a grinding sound is a definite sign that something is wrong. In almost all instances, not repairing the problem promptly can lead to total transmission failure, which means your car won’t be going anywhere. One of our professionally trained mechanics can inspect your vehicle and determine exactly what is causing the grinding sound, and then provide an expedient repair.