Transmission Slipping Symptoms: Causes & Reasons

Transmission Slipping Symptoms

The slipping of your transmission can be a big problem for you, especially if your car comes with an automatic transmission. If you ever notice your vehicle is showing symptoms of slipping, then you need to take it out for fixing. You should prevent any chance of allowing this problem to escalate.

When a Transmission is slipping you will experience symptoms such as Engine Revs High, Delayed Shifts or Missing gears, Unusual Burning smell. Transmission plays a great role in ensuring the proper functioning of the engine. There are reasons this component of the vehicle can slip. Because it is critical to the overall performance of your vehicle, the transmission has a long lifespan. But out of carelessness, you can shorten the longevity of the transmission and by extension that of your car.

At first, transmission slipping might seem like a little issue; you will hear the engine revs each time you try to change the gear. This may sound as though your wheels are on an ice drive. But if you don’t pay close attention to it, it can become a big thing that will cost you lots of dollars along the way. 

Read on to find out what causes transmission slipping and how you can resolve it.

What Does Transmission Slipping Mean?

When you run an automatic transmission, speed changes is easily detected to provide your wheels with the necessary power required to keep up. When the transmission is in stellar condition, gears can shift smoothly when you’re slowing down or speeding up. Transmission slipping however means when the car slips into a different gear than the current speed.

Slipping doesn’t mean that your transmission is failing, sometimes it just signifies a need for maintenance. It is a common problem, and although there could be many causes when dealing with automatic transmission, it is usually a problem with the clutch when using a manual transmission.

Symptoms of Failing Transmission

Sometimes, the symptoms of slipping transmission usually connote other issues. Sometimes, your transmission isn’t slipping, but there are other issues it is facing that causes the slip. Many things could wear your transmission down, which is why it is important to carry out regular maintenance on your vehicle. Below are some of the important symptoms of a slipping transmission.

Transmission Won’t Stay in Gear One of the earliest signs that your transmission is in bad shape is that your transmission won’t engage the gear. This way, the car won’t move due to low transmission fluid. There might also be a leak or that the shift cable and the shifter is not having some issues. The valve frame may be faulty. In sum, when there is a get a terrible response every time you successfully shift gears, the is a chance the transmission is slipping.

  • Engine Revs High

The engine will begin to rev higher than normal when there’s a problem with the transmission. Other reasons for the engine’s high revving also include lack of maintenance, worn-out clutches, contamination of the transmission fluid, internal wear and tear, and water intrusion  

  • Delayed Shifts or Missing gears 

If you observe that the transmission doesn’t move into gear, the first suspect is that transmission fluid is not in good condition. It is either the car is running on the contaminated transmission or the fluid is leaking. This way, the vehicle will start to overheat, leading to potential damage to the internal transmission components. You may also need to check the engine for any engine-related problems. The problems will hamper the computer from carrying out its function to transfer power to the transmission. As a result, the transmission to move into higher gears.

  • Unusual Burning smell

Typically, when you perceive a burning smell from inside your car, the first suspect is a leak in the transmission. This is often due to low level of the transmission fluid. The burning smell often occurs in the clutch. If you’re able to notice the leak on time, you can nip the smell and prevent damage to the transmission. 

Other symptoms of a slipping transmission include:

  • Slow and weak acceleration: there is a delay when accelerating:
  • Strange grinding, whining noises from the transmission
  • Engine light keeps turning on
  • Difficulty in going in reverse
Gear Shift Stuck

Slipping Transmission: Causes

Several reasons could be responsible for a transmission slipping, below are some of the reasons why transmission slips.

  • Low Fluid Level

This is a common cause and could lead to a host of other problems in the vehicle like overheating and lesser pressure required to change gears. In cases like this, check the fluid level to ensure it isn’t low or leaking, and if it is, then you need to get help from a mechanic.

  • Burnt Fluid

When you notice a strange or burning smell from the transmission, then your transmission fluid could have turned black, or the transmission may be overheated. Either case calls for a transmission professional to avoid damages.

  • Damaged Transmission Bands

A band is what links the gears together when you’re using an automatic transmission. If the transmission bands are broken or have been worn out, your transmission might begin to slip. Have it replaced or adjusted to effectively handle the solution.

How to Fix Slipping Transmission?

You can easily solve the problem yourself if the problem is low fluid or transmission leaks. This requires either changing the oil or leaking fixed immediately. However, when the cause is more complicated, simply get a professional to have a look. 

Sometimes, internal damage has been done and therefore, needs to be inspected for a solution. One way to fix the problem is to get a new transmission system; this is an expensive solution but will ensure your vehicle is up and running again. You can also check if the transmission speed sensor is failing to be able to do a proper diagnosis. 

Final Thoughts

If you notice a problem with your transmission or you discover any of these transmission slipping symptoms, the ideal course of action is to have the vehicle checked out. If you feel something is wrong, don’t ignore it; ensure you have an inspection carried out. Ensure you don’t overlook any strange, burning smell or noise as this could turn out to be a lot of issues for you in the future if not handled immediately.