What Can Cause A Drivetrain To Malfunction?

April 24, 2020 | By Mister Transmission

What Can Cause A Drivetrain To Malfunction?

Your drivetrain is an integral part of your automobile. If your drivetrain malfunctions, you’re going to have problems. But what causes a drivetrain to malfunction? And what should you do about it?

The drivetrain is not simply one part of your vehicle. It is actually a set of different components working together in order to make your vehicle go.

The drivetrain is a series of components that transfers power generated by the engine to the wheels, thus providing the torque for your vehicle to move forward or in reverse. The key components of the drivetrain are the driveshaft, the axles, the transfer case and the transmission. Because the wheels and engine will rotate at different speeds, your vehicle needs to find the right ratio to make the two compatible. The transmission changes the gearbox ratio to keep the engine speed relatively constant.

Without a drivetrain, the power your engine generates has no way of reaching the wheels and thus, your car won’t go. As you can imagine, that means drivetrain malfunctions are quite problematic.

As with any problem, the sooner you spot a drivetrain malfunction, the better. Knowing what to look for could end up saving you a lot of money and headaches in the long run. With that in mind, let us look at some of the most common drivetrain problems and their most common causes:

  • Intense shaking and vibrating – If you experience excessive shaking and vibration when you change gears, or just when driving generally, you likely have a burgeoning problem with your drivetrain. The most common cause of this problem is worn out U-joints. As they loosen, your drivetrain will shake more and more until, if left unchecked, it can eventually just fall apart.
  • More bad vibrations – Excessive vibration is one thing, but clunking and grinding are other matters, suggesting worse problems. If you hear or feel clunking as you drive or change gears, this suggests worse loosening of the U-joints or possible worn-down solenoid packs. Friction surfaces will wear down over time and these can cause problems like clunking and grinding when you shift gears. The latter could also be caused by a lack of quality transmission fluid. Which brings us to . . .
  • Transmission fluid leaks – Transmission fluid leaks can be disastrous for drivetrains. You need transmission fluid to keep your transmission cool and lubricated. If you have a leak, you could be doing damage to your transmission every time you drive. If you see patches of reddish liquid underneath your vehicle after you park, bring it in for service. Thankfully, the fix is relatively simple: transmission leaks need to be resealed.

Mister Transmission

To learn more about drivetrain malfunctions, please contact us.

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Albert Wilton
Good and friendly and reliable people and they work hard to get your vehicle doneService: Transmission
Date: July 25, 2021
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Christy McMurray
Thank you, Mister Transmission! After taking my vehicle to the dealership where I bought it, and paying $150 for them to tell me what I already told them was wrong, the Dealer gave me a quote of $6,500 to replace my 9 year old transmission with a factory rebuilt one, because it couldn't be fixed or rebuilt by them. Thankfully I called Mister Transmission and Chris knew exactly what the issue was, how to fix it, and it only cost me $385 for everything and it was fixed in a day. I am so grateful that Chris and Dawn run an honest operation and provide genuinely great service. Thanks again!
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Cambridge Mister Transmission was awesome....
Sarah MacArthur
Cambridge Mister Transmission was awesome. We ended up having a small issue but they still took the time to show me where on my vehicle the problems were and fully explain the possible issues. They were prompt in getting back to me the following day and I had my vehicle back in no time. Chris and Nick were amazing and the office is so clean and pleasant. Great customer service!
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Great service , friendly and very knowledgeable.Excellent work
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Mazda 3 AT light came...
Chris Elmquist
Mazda 3 AT light came on one with some bad noises and clunking. Dealer said need a new transmission for only $4400. Took it to this and a quick check they determined it needed new TCM which is very common on the mazdas. They took care of it and even did a bunch of extra work fixing a wiring harness all for the cost of the TCM . cannot say enough about how we were treated by Chris and Dawn. Would recommend them. FIRST CLASS!!!!!
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Ely Bolivar
Workers are very nice and explain thing clearly. Also they have an option to finance your repairs.
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Colleen H
They assessed the problem quickly, quoted a good price, provided fast service, in a no-pressure, friendly manner. I've been telling everybodyService: Transmission
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I took my differentials down to get rebuilt and Steve was very professional and the total was 200 bucks cheaper than the quoted price and there was a few things during the whole process that didn’t go as planned as I had brought all the bearings parts and some bearings were the wrong ones and I had brought 4.88s to put in end they would not work and before continuing with anything Steve would call and double check to let you know what needs to be done and get the ok from me first before they would continue overall amazing place Steve and the guys were awesome and the work was done perfect and the diffs have never been more smooth highly recommend.
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