One of the worst vehicle problems is a slipping transmission. Slipping gears means the car struggles to shift or stay in gear, and it feels like your vehicle has lost most of its power. If this sounds like your vehicle, consider our list of common causes for slipping transmission gears to pinpoint and remedy the problem.
Low Transmission Fluid
Usually, the culprit for slipping transmission gears is a lack of transmission fluid. Most vehicles don’t have dipsticks to allow you to check the transmission fluid level, so maintaining and gauging the fluid level can be difficult.
If your vehicle’s transmission fluid is low, it’s most likely due to a leak in your car’s system that you must fix immediately. If you find any signs of leaks, bring your vehicle to a mechanic immediately for repairs; adding more transmission fluid will just cause a bigger leak!
A bad or worn-down flywheel is another common cause of slipping transmission gears in a vehicle. A performance flywheel increases and decreases RPMs quickly, allowing the driver to shift gears smoothly.
If something goes wrong with the flywheel, like it gets oil or grease on its surface or becomes too worn down, it won’t get a steady grip on the clutch plate. If you’ve had a performance flywheel for a long time, it may be time to replace it. Watch for other signs your performance flywheel needs to be replaced, such as burning odors or clutch vibrations.
The gears in your vehicle’s transmission, known as the planetary gears, are critical components and could be the reason the transmission keeps slipping. Transmission gears should last for a long time and be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear, but they won’t last forever.
If your vehicle has many years and miles on it, slipping gears could indicate that the transmission gears are too worn down to mesh with the companion gears. Other signs of worn planetary gears include loud noises and jerking vibrations from the vehicle while shifting gears.
If your car has an automatic transmission and the gears slip, it could be due to a broken transmission band. Automatic transmissions feature bands that shift gears. These bands endure a lot of friction and can wear down and break after so many years of use. If the transmission bands are causing the gears to slip, they usually make a loud grinding sound when shifting gears. If this sounds like your car, you’ll need to get it checked by a professional mechanic immediately, as driving a car with broken bands could damage the vehicle and threaten your safety on the road.