Your transmission allows your vehicle to switch gears. When your transmission begins to slip, it’s an early warning sign of potential transmission failure, or immediate repairs that need to be made. Never allow your transmission to continually slip without getting it inspected by a professional. Early detection will help you avoid costly repairs or replacements in the future.

The following 9 signs are common with a slipping transmission:

  1. High RPMs that go over 3,500.
  2. Delayed acceleration.
  3. Being unable to go in reverse.
  4. Check engine light illumination.
  5. Difficulty shifting gears.
  6. Shifting followed by a jolt or harsh response from the vehicle.
  7. Strange noises when shifting.
  8. A burnt or unusual smell.
  9. Sluggish performance when switching gears.

There are several reasons why a transmission may be slipping. The most common are:

  • Low Fluid: Transmission fluids allow your gears to switch smoothly. When fluid levels are low, this can cause overheating as well as not allowing hydraulic pressure to be high enough to engage the gears.
  • Burnt Fluid: The smell of burning or fluid that is black is caused by overheating. Ineffective fluid might be the culprit and a change in transmission fluid may remedy the problem.
  • Leaking Fluid: The same as low fluid. When fluid levels drop because of a leak, the transmission will slip. This could be caused by ruptured fluid lines, faulty seals, worn gaskets or even cracks in the torque convertor. If a leak is present, you need to seal it quickly, or risk burning out the transmission.
  • Worn Bands: Transmission bands link the gears and automatic transmission. When these bands are worn, they may cause slipping.
  • Clutch: Especially in manual vehicles, clutches are 90% of the cause for a slipping transmission. A faulty clutch may need to be replaced or have an adjustment made.
  • Worn Gears: Gears inside of the transmission become worn due to normal use. If these gears are too worn, they will cause the transmission to slip.
  • Solenoid: The solenoid controls the fluid of transmission fluid through the transmission itself. If there is a problem with the solenoid, the transmission fluid will not flow properly through the transmission, causing slippage.

There are several other reasons why slipping may occur, including torque convertor issues. When slipping occurs, it’s best to have a skilled technician inspect and diagnose the problem so that it can be remedied as quickly as possible without causing undue damage to the transmission.

9 Signs of a Slipping Transmission