Slipping is one of the most common problems a transmission can experience. Slipping transmissions can be unnerving, frustrating, and even frightening. A slipping transmission is by no means the end of the world, but it’s definitely not something you should let go unaddressed, lest the problem worsens, endangering the health of your vehicle, as well as you and other drivers on the road. This article will address some of the causes of slipping as well as what to do about them.
Sometimes noticing a slipping transmission is easy. Other Times, the symptoms are more subtle. Indicators of a slipping transmission can manifest in a number of ways. Such indicators include delays in acceleration, a high RPM (over 3,500, for example), the inability to reverse, experiencing difficulty shifting gears, a harsh response to the shifting of gears, unusual or burnt smells, strange noises, and, of course, the check engine light switching on.
All of the above symptoms are signs of a slipping transmission. There are a varied many possible causes for slipping transmissions and the sooner you discover the cause of your slipping transmission, the better your chances of repairing it before significant damage has been done to your transmission. So what are the causes of a slipping transmission?
Causes of a slipping transmission
The following is a list of some of the most common causes of a slipping transmission:
- Low fluid levels – The single most common cause of a slipping is insufficient fluid levels. Low fluid levels can create a plethora of problems, including overheating and a lack of hydraulic pressure being produced to engage gears.
- Damaged fluid – Fluid can be become damaged when it is burnt or otherwise rendered ineffective by too many contaminants from normal wear and tear. Regular fluid changes and top ups are needed to prevent transmission slippage.
- Leaks – One of the common causes of low fluid levels are leaks. A transmission leak requires a reseal.
- Worn or broken transmission bands – Sometimes transmission bands can break or become worn, which can cause transmission slippage, as well as engine troubles and worn down gears.
- Clutch problems – In manual transmissions, clutch problems are responsible for transmission slipping up to a whopping 90% of the time (the other 10% being leaks). Automatic transmissions also use clutches but have clutch plates throughout the transmission as well as in the torque converter. These clutch plates can get worn or burnt from insufficient transmission fluid.
- Worn out gears – Worn and frayed gears won’t properly link together which can cause slippage. Worn out gears should be replaced.
- Solenoid problems – The solenoid is an electro-hydraulic valve. Its purpose is to control the flow of fluid throughout your transmission. Any damage or computer problems can cause incorrect amounts of fluid to be dispersed, which may result in transmission slippage.
- Torque converter issues – Torque converters convert the engine’s power into torque. Transmission fluid flows through the torque converter, but if it fails to do so properly, then it can act up and transmission slipping is frequently a symptom.
If your transmission is slipping or you have any questions about slipping transmissions, or anything else to do with transmissions, please contact our transmission shop today.Back