When changing gears on your transmission, the transition should be smooth. If there is any hesitation when changing gears or if the gears seem to change on their own while you're driving, this is a problem known as gear slipping. Gear slipping isn't just an indication of an internal issue, but it can also be a safety concern. Here are just some of the reasons you might be experiencing this problem.
Especially if your vehicle has high mileage, worn gears could be the reason for the gear slipping you're experiencing. Over time, due to regular wear and tear, the gears may start to fray. In this state, instead of easily gliding over the top of each other, the gears fail to link together, which causes them to slip.
In addition to normal wear and tear, worn gears can also serve as an indication that there is a malfunction within the gear system. Whatever the source of the problem, it's something that needs to be investigated in order to stop the slipping from occurring.
An adequate amount of transmission fluid is necessary to keep the gears moving smoothly. When the fluid level is low, this prevents the gears from moving as they should and causes them to slip. Leaks can occur for a variety of reasons; however, a rupture in the fluid line, a faulty seal or a crack in the torque converter are common reasons.
If you fail to address the leak, you will only lose more fluid and ultimately cause significant internal damage. To check for a leak, look under the hood of your vehicle for the presence of a red colored liquid.
Broken Transmission Band
If you have an automatic transmission, a broken transmission band could be to blame. Transmission bands are basically flexible steel plates that connect the gears of the transmission together. When a band breaks, this can alter gear placement and cause slipping to occur.
In addition to slipping, this can also wear your gears at a more accelerated rate and it can cause engine troubles. In some instances, the band may not be broken, but simply needs to be readjusted back into place. Since the bands are inside the transmission, you won't be able to simply look under the hood to see if it is broken or misplaced.
If your gears are slipping, it's important for you to have your vehicle inspected by a professional technician (such as one from Interstate Transmission & Automotive). Slipping is often a precursor to a more significant malfunction so prompt attention is important.