Your vehicle’s transmission has a vital role. When you change gear, your car’s transmission works to transfer the engine’s power to the wheels to move your vehicle along. Whilst this sounds like a relatively simple and straightforward process, transmission involves the use of countless components, all of which have to work together in perfect harmony to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly. With such an essential part to play, transmission problems and failures have the potential to literally stop a vehicle in its tracks, a fact that makes being aware of the warning signs and associated issues important for any car owner.
Here at Collison Motoring Services, we provide a long list of mechanical repair services to ensure your vehicle functions well from the inside out. As a result, we understand the transmission system more than most, and know the problems that can become apparent and the solutions that will help get your vehicle on the road once more. Read on to discover the most common transmission problems affecting vehicles today and, more importantly, how to fix them.
Low or contaminated transmission fluid
Both manual and automatic transmission vehicles need specialist fluid to keep the clutches and bands that are integral to the gear change process well lubricated. Transmission fluid however doesn’t last forever. Over time or as a result of leaking or contamination, transmission fluid can become low or dirty. Both issues prevent the gears from getting as lubricated as they need to be, causing problems like grinding, overheating and slipping. Continuing to operate your vehicle with low or contaminated transmission fluid can cause complete vehicle failure in time.
The solution? Apply the right amount of clean and debris-free transmission fluid to your vehicle, it’s as simple as that! Conducting regular fluid level checks will also mean low levels, contamination and leakages can be spotted early and successfully rectified. Checking your transmission fluid once a month is recommended. How often the transmission fluid is changed however can vary from vehicle to vehicle. Some cars and vans require their transmission fluid to be changed as little as every 30,000 miles, others need it changed every 100,000 miles. New vehicles with automatic gearboxes require no fluid changes at all, unless failure strikes, with the fluid sealed within meant to last the life of the vehicle.
A worn clutch or gear synchroniser
Manual transmission relies on several components, two of which are the clutch and the gear synchronisers. Failures in either of these components can cause significant transmission problems, including total transmission failure. Wear and tear of both components can happen over time, whilst mechanical errors can be caused by hydraulic fluid leaks and even human error, if your driver is frequently changing gear without releasing the clutch.
The solution? Depending on the level of wear, your clutch or gear synchroniser may need to be replaced to get your vehicle’s transmission working smoothly again. Correcting some of the underlying issues, i.e. fixing leaks and changing driving habits, is also recommended.
Needle bearing failure
Some transmission problems are only applicable to automatic transmission systems, the most common being needle roller bearing failures. These bearings may be small and light but they have essential roles to play in preventing the grinding of gears in automatic transmission systems. As well as resulting in grinding and brushing noises emitting from your transmission system, failed needle roller bearings can stop gears from moving efficiently.
The solution? As with any transmission problem, spotting the warning signs early and acting fast is important. Keep an ear out for grinding noises when your vehicle is in motion and don’t put off seeking professional help.
If the transmission fluid in your vehicle has changed colour or condition, fluid levels are low, you spot signs of a leak, your transmission is slipping or your transmission is overheating, it’s time to call our specialist team for help.