A car's transmission system adjusts the gear ratios to allow the vehicle to slow down or speed up.
But, due to the many moving parts of a transmission system, it is prone to wear and tear. Excessive wear and tear in a transmission system can lead to malfunctions that warrant transmission repairs.
Delaying transmission repairs can lead to transmission failure. And if your transmission fails due to severe damage, you must replace it or have it rebuilt. Thus, you should know how to detect various transmission issues so that you can schedule prompt transmission repairs.
Here are three common signs that tell you it's time to schedule transmission repairs.
1. Hesitant or Slipping Gears
Excessive gear cog wear and tear leads to issues such as gear slippage and delayed gear engagement.
Gear slippage is when a vehicle randomly changes gears or shifts back to neutral. Gear slippage indicates that your transmission system has worn out gear cogs. When the gear cogs wear out, the transmission system loses its ability to engage and hold gears. As a result, the gears either disengage, or your car changes gears randomly.
Delayed gear engagement means that your transmission system takes longer to engage gears. Delayed engagement occurs because worn-out gear cogs can't engage gears effectively.
Thus, if your transmission system starts slipping or hesitating, have a transmission repair technician check it out before it fails.
2. Jammed Clutch
A jammed clutch refers to a stuck clutch pedal. A jammed clutch usually occurs when a manual transmission system sits idle for a long time, forcing the clutch disc to stick to the flywheel. Other reasons why your clutch might jam include:
- The bearing has detached from the fork or bearing cage
- A broken clutch cable
- Low fluid levels in the master cylinder
- Presence of air in the transmission fluid
Determining the exact cause of a jammed clutch can be challenging unless you are a transmission repair technician. Thus, if you encounter a jammed clutch, have a transmission repair technician assess your transmission system.
3. Grinding Noises When Shifting Gears
A grinding noise when shifting gears indicates poor lubrication of the gear cogs. Insufficient lubrication causes the metal cogs to rub against each other, producing a grinding sound or vibrations. In most cases, the situation occurs due to low transmission fluid.
However, if your transmission fluid levels are okay, the next possible culprit is a leak. If your transmission fluid leaks, the gear cogs may not receive enough fluid for lubrication. Hence, the cogs grind against each other, causing vibrations or grinding sounds.
Neglecting the above issue could severely damage your planetary gear set. Thus, you should schedule transmission repairs as soon as you encounter grinding sounds when shifting gears.