What You Need to Know About Automatic Transmission Slipping

September 6, 2018 | By Mister Transmission

What You Need to Know About Automatic Transmission Slipping

Slipping is one of the most common problems experienced by automatic transmissions. It is also, potentially, one of the most dangerous. And, as with many otherissues you may experience with your vehicle, the sooner you deal with the problem, the better – especially because transmission slipping can always get worse. Here’s what you need to know about transmission slipping.

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Automatic Transmission Slipping

When you shift gears while driving your vehicle, you pretty much expect your vehicle to stay in that gear. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In modern automatic transmissions, when you shift gears, the vehicle’s computer sends a signal to the transmission that allows the change to take place. Sometimes, however, these gears can change on their own. Often (though not always) the gear might change to neutral on its own. Sometimes the transmission will “reject” your gear change and revert to its previous gear. This is annoying at best and downright dangerous at worst.

What to Look For

If you have noticed your transmission beginning to slip, there are a number of things you can look for before bringing it in for an inspection. By examining other parts of your automatic transmission and vehicle, you can get a better idea of what might be causing your automatic transmission to slip. Some things to look for include:

  • Is your check engine light is on?
  • Does your automatic transmission try to upshift, then fall back into a lower gear?
  • Does your automatic transmission refuse to upshift?
  • Does your automatic transmission fall into a lower gear, causing the engine to run at a high RPM?
  • When you step on the gas, does your engine’s RPM increase, but the vehicle speed remains the same?
  • Does your automatic transmission fail to engage in reverse?
  • Can you smell a strange or burning odour?
  • Do you hear unusual noises when shifting?
  • Can you feel hard or rough gear changes?
  • Do you see red oil on your driveway ?

All of the above are common co-occurrences with automatic transmission slipping. If you have noticed some of these issues but not others, this can give a hint as to what the cause of these problems might be.

Causes of Automatic Transmission Slipping

As with all transmission problems, a good place to start is with the transmission fluid. Automatic transmission problems can be caused by a lack of transmission fluid. If you are experiencing slipping, the first thing you should do is check your transmission fluid levels. If they are low, you should top it up and check for leaks. Slipping can also be caused by burned or worn out fluid. Sometimes transmission fluid needs to be replaced, which itself can be a sign of internal wear and tear of the transmission. Good quality fluid should be clear with a reddish tint. Poor quality fluid will be discoloured and can have an unpleasant odour.

Other causes will be difficult to determine without bringing the vehicle in for inspection. Another common cause of automatic transmission slipping is a solenoid problem. This often requires a technician to interface with the vehicle onboard computer to see where the problem might be and the best way to fix it.

Get In Touch

If you would like to learn more about automatic transmission slipping, or to find out what’s causing your transmission to slip, please get in touch with us today.

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I recently went in to see dez for a transmission in a 90's silverado. After he rebuilt the transmission he called me toTell me i needed a new shifter cable.i told him I didn't care about the new cable but he threw the cable in for free. Definitely good service and the price was very good too
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I went in to set up an appointment for them to see what exactly was wrong with my car, because they were busy and couldn’t see to my car they wanted to know what they were dealing with.When they saw my car Bob the chap I was dealing with advised me against driving it any further until repairs were done.I could have had a terrible accident and my car could have been totalled.If I need anything done to my car and they can do it , I’m going to them.
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I went in to set...
Blue
I went in to set up an appointment for them to see what exactly was wrong with my car, because they were busy and couldn’t see to my car they wanted to know what they were dealing with.When they saw my car Bob the chap I was dealing with advised me against driving it any further until repairs were done.I could have had a terrible accident and my car could have been totalled.If I need anything done to my car and they can do it , I’m going to them.
Date: May 14, 2022
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Marty Roberts
The staff and franchise owner are trustworthy and professional. Service is excellent, being in the automotive business I have used Mister Transmission in Peterborough more than once with positive results.
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I've had a great experience with this local auto shop: Giorgio is a fantastic business owner, with an honest and reliable work ethic, favouring and fostering long-term relationships with his customers, and offering very fair prices compared to larger dealerships and other shops. Comes strongly recommended by my neighbours, and I would vouch for his excellent quality of service as another witness to his workmanship.
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Gus is very professional, honest and his customer service is amazing. He explained everything to me so I knew exactly what he had done. I would recommend him to anyone
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Marcus W.
The gentleman at Mister Transmission was incredibly helpful and professional. He looked at my car and diagnosed that the problem wasn't the transmission itself, but likely the transmission computer.  He then helped me contact the dealer to confirm that the model had been having problems.  Rather than charging me for the repairs, he worked with me to get me the best deal.  He put the customer ahead of the bottom line, and I couldn't be more grateful for his work ethic.
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These guys are very helpful, I did not have any work done here but he still helped me on phone and answer my questions about transmission in the car I was going to buy.
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