The transmission converts the power from the engine into motion so the vehicle can move. Vehicles have either an automatic or manual transmission. A manual transmission must be put into gear with a gear selector. An automatic transmission changes gears for you. For the purpose of this article, we are going to talk about an automatic transmission slipping.
Driving with a slipping transmission is not recommended. There are many potential reasons for a slipping transmission. Here are some things to consider if you think you may be driving with a slipping transmission:
One sign that your transmission is slipping is as you are driving it seems like your vehicle switches gears when it is not supposed to. A noise or change in pitch may accompany the change in gear. If your vehicle is unexpectedly switching gears while you are driving, this can be a potentially dangerous situation as the vehicle can be unreliable and start shaking.
Another sign of a slipping transmission is the vehicle does not change gears smoothly. A clunk or thud can be heard while the vehicle goes up or down in gears. Furthermore, the vehicle may have problems accelerating and reaching the proper speed as it goes through different gears.
A third sign of a slipping transmission is a delay before the vehicle starts to move. Once you move the shift from park to drive, there may be a long lag until the car starts moving. The engine may rev during this time, but will not go anywhere.
One of the most common causes of a slipping transmission is a low fluid level. Check the fluid level in your transmission using the dipstick. The vehicle should be idling and in park while you are checking the fluid. If the fluid is low, contact a mechanic to have a transmission fluid service. There may be a reason your transmission fluid is low, such as a leak, and this should be repaired as soon as possible.
A transmission fluid leak is another cause for a slipping transmission. This fluid is red in color, so if you notice it on your garage floor along with the symptoms above, you may have a problem with your transmission. To prevent further damage, contact a mechanic right away to have your transmission fluid leak inspected.
Driving with a slipping transmission is not recommended because the vehicle's safety can be unpredictable. It can go into different gears without warning, shake, and cause damage. If you see ay signs of a slipping transmission, contact a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose the problem and repair it as soon as possible.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With a Slipping Transmission? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.