My Transmission Is Slipping

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in AAMCO Diagnostics Center     Comments No comments

Transmission slipping can be a major problem, especially for automatic transmissions. If your car is showing signs of slipping then you need to get it fixed right away. What can start off as a minor problem can easily turn into a bigger much more expensive fix down the road. Slipping does not necessarily mean that your transmission is near failure but it is signaling that maintenance is required. Because of the sophistication behind automatic transmissions there can be many causes while for manuals the problem is often associated with the clutch.

Signs Your Transmission Is Slipping

There are a few common signs that you should look for. Signs of slipping can appear in a number of forms when you are driving. Signs include:

  • High RPM (over 3,500)
  • Delays in acceleration
  • Inability to reverse
  • Unusual or burnt smells
  • Check engine light
  • Difficulty shifting gears
  • Shifting gears produces a harsh response, or any strange noises.

If you experience any of these symptoms then your car is likely showing signs of a transmission problem. There are a handful of causes for these symptoms, we strongly recommend scheduling an appointment with your Local AAMCO location. Have a technician inspect your vehicle, and avoid doing more damage to this costly component.

What Causes a Transmission to Slip?

  • Low fluid levels – The most common cause for slipping is low  fluid levels. Low fluid levels can create a number of problems, such as overheating and not enough hydraulic pressure being produced to engage gears. The best way to find out whether you have low fluid levels is to check the fluid via the dipstick in the engine compartment. The transmission fluid is in a closed system and should never be low; low levels could indicate a leak in the transmission.
  • Burnt fluid – Can be distinguished by the smell of burnt toast or a color that is black. Burnt fluid occurs when your transmission overheats, you will have to change the transmission fluid quickly or have it looked at by a transmission specialist in order to diagnose for further damage
  • Worn or broken transmission bands – Transmission bands can become worn or broken, which can cause your transmission to slip. Bands are what links the gears in the automatic transmission together. To remedy this problem, you need the defective band replaced or adjusted.
  • Clutch problems – Automatic and manual transmissions both make use of clutches. Automatics have clutch plates throughout the transmission and in the torque converter that may become worn or burnt from inadequate transmission fluid.
  • Worn out gears – Over time gears can wear out, this is due to normal wear and tear or a malfunctioning set. Worn or frayed gears don’t properly link together so this can cause a bumpy shift.
  • Solenoid Problems – The solenoid is an electro-hydraulic valve, its function is to control the flow of fluid throughout your transmission. Any damage or electronic issues can cause the wrong amounts of fluid to be dispersed.
  • Torque converter issues – Torque converters are what changes the engine’s power into torque that the transmission can use and these can become worn. Fluid flows through the torque converter,  if it fails to do that, your transmission will act funny and transmission slipping is often a symptom.

How to Fix Transmission Slipping

You can solve transmission slipping yourself if it’s simply low fluid, burnt or ineffective fluid, or transmission leaks. This will often require you to either check the fluid, change the fluid, or fix the transmission leak.

On the other hand, problems such replacing or adjusting clutches, replacing or adjusting bands, and replacing gears will require you to dismantle the transmission. These procedures are complicated to explain and will require experience. If you are a novice with transmissions, it’s best to have them done by an expert here at AAMCO.

How to Prevent Transmission Slipping

To prevent your transmission from slipping, you need to regularly maintain your vehicle. This means that you should check the fluid often for any signs of problems, such as leaking, low, dirty, or burnt fluid. Any of these signs can lead to transmission slipping. We recommend that you have your transmission flushed and a new filter installed at least once every 30,000 miles.

If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to submit a question on our Ask A Mechanic section.

Schedule your appointment today. If you have any questions, feel free to call and talk with one of our courteous technicians. Or, fill out the form below to reserve your time, date, and location.

  • *Please note that we do our best to serve each and every customer. Appointments booked less than 24-36 hours in advance might not be available. A manager will contact you directly.

AAMCO Denver

187 W. Alameda Ave. | Denver, CO, 80223

AAMCO Colorado Springs

432 W. Garden of the Gods Rd. | Colorado Springs, CO, 80907

AAMCO Brighton

10500 Havana Ct. Unit A | Brighton, CO, 80601

Call: (303) 287-5181
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 8:00am - 5:00pm

When you bring your car to AAMCO of Brighton, Colorado you'll see firsthand how much we care about giving you the best service possible for all your transmission and auto repair needs. We offer a full range of automotive maintenance and repair services, including transmission rebuilds, oil and filter changes, air conditioning repair, engine cooling system and radiator service, brake repairs and service, fluid service, suspensions, tune-ups, exhaust systems, and more.

AAMCO Aurora (Hampden & Tower)

18355-A E. Girard Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80013

AAMCO Aurora, E Colfax Ave

14871 E Colfax Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80011

AAMCO Arvada

6437 Miller Street | Arvada, Colorado, 80004

Call: (303) 431-1991

AAMCO Littleton

10168 W. Chatfield Ave. | Littleton, CO, 80127

My Car's Air Conditioning Doesn't Work
AAMCO Pueblo

1910 W US Hwy 50 | Pueblo, Colorado, 81008

AAMCO Northglenn

11450 Huron Street | Northglenn, Colorado, 80234

AAMCO Longmont

1611 Vista View Dr | Longmont, Colorado, 80504

AAMCO Greeley

2445 West 29th St. | Greeley, Colorado, 80631

AAMCO Lakewood

8808 W Colfax Avenue | Lakewood, Colorado, 80215

AAMCO Fort Collins

3737 S. Mason Street | Ft. Collins, Colorado, 80525

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