Transmission slipping can be a huge problem, particularly in automatic transmissions. If your vehicle’s transmission is showing signs of slipping, it is vital that you have it repaired right away by a qualified transmission expert. What can start as a minor issue can quickly turn into a much bigger and more costly repair down the road. While slipping may not necessarily indicate that your transmission is failing, it does signal that your transmission needs to be serviced as soon as possible.
How do I know if my transmission is slipping?
There are several common signs that you should be aware of. Signs include:
- High RPMs (over 3,500)
- Slow to accelerate
- Unable to reverse
- Unusual smells or strange noises
- Check Engine light has come on
- Difficulty shifting gears
- Attempting to shift gears results in a harsh response like unusual noises or grinding
Why has my transmission started to slip?
In order to determine what has caused your vehicle’s transmission to slip, it must first be diagnosed by a qualified transmission technician. The most common causes for this malfunction are:
- Worn out or broken bands — Bands within your transmission can become worn or broken. These bands are what link the gears in the transmission together.
- Burnt transmission fluid — Transmission fluid in good condition is a bright red color. You’ll know that your fluid is burnt if it has turned black or if it has a burnt smell to it. If your transmission overheats, the fluid can become burnt and you’ll need to have it serviced by a technician in order to change the fluid and determine what, if any, damage has been done.
- Low fluid levels — Too little fluid within the transmission system is the most common cause of transmission slipping and can also cause a number of other problems such as overheating. This is another example of why it is important to have your vehicle maintained regularly by a transmission specialist, as most modern vehicles are no longer manufactured with a transmission fluid dipstick, therefore making it difficult, if not impossible to determine the fluid levels in your own home garage.
- Solenoid problems — Solenoids are electro-hydraulic valves that control the flow of fluid throughout your transmission. Damages to these valves or any electronic malfunctions can cause the wrong amounts of fluid to be dispersed.
- Torque converter issues — Torque converters change the power from the engine into torque that the transmission then uses to make your wheels spin. These components can become worn and if fluid is unable to flow efficiently through the torque converter, your transmission will not function properly, often by slipping.
How can I prevent my transmission from slipping?
The best way to prevent problems within your transmission, including slipping, is to have it regularly maintained. You should have your transmission fluid checked often for any trouble signs such as dirty or burnt fluid, leaking, or low levels. Eagle Transmission recommends that you have your transmission serviced every 30,000 miles.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for a free initial diagnostic test, call Eagle Transmission of Rowlett.