Transmission Slipping: The Common Causes

Posted on: 6 March 2015

A slipping transmission is more problematic for automatic cars than the manual ones and it usually signifies that extensive maintenance is required or that the transmission is facing imminent failure. Diagnosing this issue is difficult for drivers without mechanical skills or knowledge but there are common symptoms which point towards a transmission problem. These include delays during acceleration, difficulties in shifting the gears and strange burning smells. If you notice such anomalies in your vehicle, you should consult an auto technician for proper diagnosis and repairs. There are different primary causes of slipping problems and you can prevent the occurrence and escalation of transmission issues by identifying them.

Fluid Levels

Low transmission fluid level is the most common source of slipping problems. Insufficient fluid means that the hydraulic pressure created when the car is in operation will not be enough to facilitate engagement of gears. You should always be vigilant in ensuring that the fluid is at optimal levels to moderate the need for repairs. If your car is constantly experiencing low fluid levels, there may be a leak in the system so inspect the ground underneath the stationary automobile.

Leaks can crop up in the pan and linked gaskets, fluid lines and even the torque converter so do not continue using the vehicle without proper repairs. It is also crucial to note that burnt and ineffective fluid can facilitate transmission slipping. You should consult a technician if the fluid has visible contaminants or is no longer red in color.

Transmission Bands

Transmission bands are crucial components in the automatic transmission system because they link the gears. Over time, the bands may become worn out or break and cause extensive problems including slipping transmission, engine malfunctions and gear failure. Replacement of the defective component or refurbishment of slightly worn bands can help in restoring smooth functionality.


The solenoid is a key module that controls the general flow of the transmission fluid throughout the system. It is an electro-hydraulic valve so small damages and electrical faults can cause the dispersal of the wrong volumes of fluid. It is important to check the condition of this component periodically by plugging an auto scanner to your vehicle's computer system. Mechanics will either replace or repair the solenoid if there is a problem.

Clutch Problems

Worn-out clutches are the primary cause of slipping in manual transmissions so the discs should be checked and replaced as necessary. Clutch breakdown and bad adjustments can also cause similar problems but such occurrences are rare.

For more information, check out companies such as Auto Torque