Most Common Car Gearbox Problems, Their Reason and Prevention
A very intriguing operation of your car is transmitting power to the wheel from the engine. One of the essential mechanical elements in this process is your car’s gearbox.
However, it completes this function through continual grinding, rotation and combating friction which causes significant wear and tears. Therefore, you can encounter several inevitable gearbox problems.
What Is a Gearbox?
A gearbox is a mechanical unit that contains a series of consolidated gear within an enclosure. It is used to transfer energy or power from one instrument to another. In addition, it adjusts speed and torque between driving devices such as a load and a motor.
List of Common Car Gearbox Problems, Their Reasons and Solutions
Now that you know the definition, look into some significant problems of car gearbox as follows:
1. Insufficient Acceleration or Throttle Response
There is a problem in throttle response if you find a slight delay in your car’s acceleration in manual transmission. In some instances of an automatic transmission, this delay can be more frequent and prolonged. Nevertheless, it is alarming if you notice no change in your car’s speed while increasing torque after a gear shift.
- Faulty clutch
- Exhausted plates
- Worn out clutch springs
- Deteriorated master cylinder
- Presence of air in the fluid passage
Sometimes multiple parts mentioned above can be damaged, causing this gearbox malfunction. In such a case, replacing those units can be the only solution. However, in the case of air in the apparatus, simply draining the fluid channel can solve the problem.
2. Transmission Fluid Spillage Under Your Car
A car gearbox needs transmission fluid to lubricate it for a better rotating mechanism. However, if you notice liquid accumulation under your car, you must check whether it is transmission fluid. This fluid is easily identifiable as it has a bright orange colour.
- Excessive high oil level in the enclosure
- Incorrectly installed or damaged oil seals or gaskets
- Crack in the gear casing
- Loose nuts or bolts
- Filler plug or loose drain
It is vital to take your car for an oil level check and change the damaged oil seal or fluid pan. However, if you detect this problem too late, just changing the broken seal will not be enough. The components of your gearbox may suffer from further damage that can heavily cost you to repair.
3. Grinding Noise and Buzzing During the Gear Shifts
One of the most common gearbox problems is the shaking and grinding of your car during a gear shift. In cases, you may also visibly notice your car shaking along with the buzzing feeling.
- Dry rear wheel bearing on the main shaft
- A damaged speedometer drives gears
- Insufficient lubrication
- Worn out bearings and shaft
- Too much recoil in a gear train
If you notice this problem by pressing your clutch pedal entirely or taking off your foot, opt for immediate replacement.
4. Difficulty in Gear Shifting
If you are having significant trouble in a gear shift, you probably are encountering an attention-worthy problem. It simply may feel that your car’s gear is not working or completely stuck.
- Defective or damaged clutch linkage
- Excessive tough shifter lock spring
- Distorted main shaft’ splines
- Synchronisation error in automatic transmission
- Thrashed gear teeth
You must immediately take your vehicle to the servicing centre to repair or replace its damaged units accordingly.
5. Gears Slipping
If your car does not synchronise with your actions despite being manual, it is one of the most common gearbox problems. You may notice that your vehicle turns back to its previous gear after a gear shift; it is called a gear slip. In most cases, the gear falls into a lower or neutral gear which can be dangerous while manoeuvring your car.
- Damaged or broken shift fork or lock spring
- Insufficient gear mesh
- Exhausted gear, bearing retainers or bushing
- Faulty gearbox and engine alignment
- Excessive clearance between gear teeth in mesh
- Insufficient transmission fluid
It is crucial to take your car to the servicing centre to repair these parts after diagnosing any damage. In most cases, these parts, if damaged, must be replaced as soon as possible before attempting a manoeuvre.
6. Burning Smell
If you sense a burning smell while driving your car, it is highly possible to originate from your gearbox. However, you must notice if it is accompanying a faulty gear shift, as it can also result from other faults in your gearbox.
- Overheating of transmission fluid
- Low fluid level in the enclosure
- Inappropriate fluid usage
Your first and foremost course of action should be using proper transmission fluid in such a problem. In addition, you must fill it promptly as it cools and lubricates the gearbox components down.
7. Congested Filter
A filter is an essential role player in keeping the gearbox fluid clean to ensure lubrication and prevent friction while shifting. Therefore, if the filter is clogged with impurities, it becomes hard to keep the oil clean.
- Not changing or replacing the filter for a long time
In most cases, replacing a filter can solve multiple gearbox problems at once. On top of that, it is one of the most basic automatic transmission services in most auto centres. They also intimate you about how often you change a filter.
How to Prevent Gearbox Problems?
So, now you must know how to fix a gearbox along with why these problems occur. However, you can take several preventive measures before your car gearbox attains the risk of any damage. Below are some of those precautions:
- Check your gearbox transmission fluid level regularly to ensure there is no insufficiency.
- Warm up your car to allow the fluid to flow through all the parts of your gearbox and prepare for a drive.
- Never overheat your vehicle transmission as it causes problems such as damaged or cracked gear, broken seal, faulty bearing etc.
- Additionally, always be extra careful to switch gears properly to ensure the transmission is functioning right.
- Use your car’s parking brake to park your vehicle for preventing unwanted wear and tear.
- Not overloading your car may seem ignorable but is crucial for preventing damage to your gearbox.
- Finally, take your car for regular servicing and an annual check-up of powertrain transmission.
In conclusion, you can say that now you know everything and must be aware of all the gearbox problems along with their solutions. However, most importantly, you can follow these precautionary measures to save your gearbox from possible damage as well as money.