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Transmission Slipping: What Is It, Signs, and Fixes

Finding it hard to stay in gear while driving? It’s probably something called transmission slipping or slipping transmission. You see, transmission slips happen when your car experiences gearshift problems. Although it is common to most automatic transmission vehicles, manual transmissions are also not immune.

With automatic transmission vehicles, the problem often starts small but worsens quickly. Knowing what this problem is and how to quickly fix it will save you a lot of headaches.

Transmission Slipping: What Does it Mean?

Transmission slipping happens when your vehicle’s speed doesn’t correspond with the gear level. This can often cause your car’s engine to rev loudly without a corresponding increase in speed.

Transmission slips are often a sign that your vehicle needs maintenance.

What Does a Slipping Transmission Feel Like?

Transmission slipping happens when your car revs up without accelerating. This means your vehicle won’t respond as it should when the throttle is depressed. This problem usually signals a disconnect between the engine and the wheels; that is, the power produced when you depress the throttle isn’t getting to the wheels.

Knowing what a slipping transmission or slipping clutch feels like is the first step toward diagnosing this problem. If you’ve noticed such a revving response, then you may have a transmission slip problem.

What Causes Transmission Slips?

In automatic transmissions, slipping can be caused by low transmission fluids, damaged or worn clutch plates, or the wear and tear of transmission bands and solenoid packs. In manual transmission vehicles, it’s caused by worn-out clutches.

Transmission Fluid Leaks

Transmission fluid leaks are more common than you can imagine and can be diagnosed with proper attention to detail. As typical of all leaks, you can expect to see a pool of fluid on the floor when your vehicle is moved.

Watch out for red or pink fluids on your driveway, particularly in areas underneath your vehicle or places where your vehicle has been.

Transmission fluid leaks can often be traced back to problems with seals, cooler lines, or the head gasket. You should attend to this problem as quickly as possible by checking your transmission fluid level using the dipstick under the hood. Leaving this problem unattended can cause engine damage.

Burnt Transmission Fluid

Burnt transmission fluids are often signaled by strong burning smells when driving. You can also detect burnt transmission fluid in stationary mode by checking the dipstick for black fluids.

It’s best to replace black or burnt transmission fluids in time before they cause bigger issues with your transmission and engine.

Worn-out Clutch

Transmission slips are 99% of the time caused by worn-out clutches. Worn-out clutches are often a result of extensive use without proper maintenance. Vehicle owners should pay attention to their clutch as soon as they reach 20,000 miles – depending on the type and quality.

Faulty Solenoid

Transmission slips can also be traced to faulty solenoids. When the solenoid within the car’s transmission is damaged, the fluid flowing across the transmission begins to experience an irregular flow which can affect its functionality.

It is important to fix this problem as soon as possible, especially because it can affect your vehicle’s performance and safety.

Signs of Transmission Slipping

Although you can always detect transmission slips when your car slips into gear, revs loudly but fails to deliver corresponding speed. However, there are other signs to watch out for when diagnosing a slipping transmission problem.

Some common signs of transmission slipping include;

  • RPM goes above 3,500

  • Distinct burning smell during acceleration

  • The check engine light comes on

  • The reverse gear fails to engage

  • No acceleration when the throttle is depressed

  • Strange sounds or noises when you shift gear

How to Prevent Transmission Slipping

You can prevent transmission slipping by maintaining a good car maintenance culture. This involved ensuring the appropriate level of transmission fluids, detecting and addressing transmission fluid leaks, and paying attention to worn-out clutch, gears, solenoids, and torque converters.

Doing these will help you save a lot of money, especially because replacing any of the above parts can be expensive.

How to Fix Slipping Transmission Quick Fix

We recommend visiting the nearest auto repair shop to have the problem diagnosed and fixed. You can also purchase a used auto transmission or other used auto parts at Orthodox Auto Co., to replace any damaged vehicle parts.

Our junkyard offers a pick-n-pull solution that saves costs and restores your vehicle to its functional state. You can also contact us via phone to order your used auto parts and have them delivered to you as quickly as possible.

Where To Buy Used Transmissions

Used auto parts is how many drivers and car owners save money on repairs while keeping their vehicles at top performance levels. At Orthodox Auto Co., we make it easy for you and other car owners to save money on car parts by offering a pick-n-pull solution for all used auto parts needs.

Our salvage yard has been open for over 5 decades and we have continuously provided premium quality used auto parts to customers across Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.

You too can save money on used auto transmissions, car batteries, and others when you call us on (215) 608-3270.


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