What Should I Do if My Transmission is Slipping?

vintage shifter on a manual transmission

What Should I Do if My Transmission is Slipping?

Your car’s transmission is one of its most complex systems. There’s a lot that needs to happen in order for it to function and shift gears properly. While regular maintenance is always a good idea, it could also be the beginning of a more serious problem, especially if it isn’t given attention immediately. You should definitely know the early warning signs that your transmission needs to be serviced. 

The Signs That Your Transmission is Slipping

There are many possible indicators that your transmission might be having trouble, the most notable is a slow or delayed shift when accelerating. You can usually tell that your car is shifting gears by the change in pitch and a drop in your RPM. If your car is changing gears suddenly without acceleration or deceleration from you, get your car serviced immediately as it could be dangerous to drive. Other warning signs include grinding noises, revving or “chugging” sounds, issues with driving in reverse, or If you smell burning or other unexpected smells. Don’t wait until you see all of these signs, the sooner you get help, the better chances you have. 

The Causes Behind Your Transmission Issues

Because automatic transmissions especially are such complex machines, there’s a quite a few possible reasons for your troubles that range from more common to more serious.

Lack of Fresh Transmission Fluid Can Cause Slipping

The majority of transmission issues stem from low or burnt out transmission fluid. Luckily this is the easiest and least expensive way to regularly maintain your transmission. Depending on the manufacturer, you will want to change the fluid every so often. A well taken care of transmission is bound to last you many more years than one that hasn’t been given enough attention. Take your car to your mechanic to get a fluid flush if the transmission fluid is low, burned out, or old.

Worn Out Transmission Gears Can Begin to Slip

Failure to regularly maintain your transmission fluid can begin to wear on your gears. The excess heat that is usually dispersed by fresh fluid builds up and causes the gears on your transmission to slip. If they cannot engage properly they will slip out of synch. There could also be a malfunctioning set of gears, which could be caused by an error in the car’s production.

Your Transmission Has A Defective Solenoid

The solenoid is the part of your transmission that controls the flow of transmission fluid using electromagnetic fields. When you shift gears, the solenoid pushes transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the next gear. A defective solenoid could be causing a lack of transmission fluid to enter the transmission, which could cause overheating and slipping. If you’ve been regularly servicing your transmission fluid, replacing the solenoid could be the next step to solving your issues.

Worn Out Transmission Bands Can Cause Slipping

Bands are the elements of the transmission that link the gears of an automatic transmission together. In order for the transmission to reach optimal performance, bands and clutches must engage and release the different gears with precision. Broken or worn out transmission bands can cause slipping and need to be either adjusted or completely replaced. Clutch plates in both the transmission and torque converter might also be worn out and require a replacement. These issues most commonly stem from a lack of clean transmission fluid.

Your Clutch Needs to Be Replaced

Rather than a main clutch in a standard or manual transmission, automatic transmissions employ the use of a torque converter. These converters connect to the engine through the bell housing. Both torque converters and manual clutches rely heavily on clean transmission delivery from the solenoid. Over time, clutches are worn out from normal use and commonly need to be replaced at some point after the midpoint of the car’s life.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing any of the above issues, or if your transmission needs a thorough diagnosis, we are happy to provide you with top quality transmission services, give us a call at 617-489-0291 or contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

BMW Mechanic in Boston MA

Here at Boston Motor Werks, we are your one stop BMW mechanic shop! We offer repairs, regular maintenance checkups, oil changes, body damage repair and more!

We are located in Belmont MA, and have been repairing BMW models, both old and new. for over ten years! We serve the whole Greater Boston MA area!

Some of the services and products we provide to our clients include:

  • BMW Original Parts: For all of our repair and maintenance services, we only use original BMW parts; we are a firm believer that BMW parts are more durable than regular parts. Even though we uses these more expensive parts, our repairs and services are still at a more affordable price than dealerships! Also, when you use BMW parts for a repair, the repairs tend to last a lot longer than it would if you used discounted parts.
  • Factory Scheduled Maintenance: Regardless of how new or old your BMW is, we encourage all of our clients to take their cars in for regular maintenance checkups; just like you should go to the doctor at least once a year, your car should see one of our mechanics! These checkups will help keep your car running smoothly!
  • Transmission Service: We encourage our clients to check their car’s transmission every 60,000 miles or so, or for every Inspection II. These regular checkups will replace fluids, filters, and pan gasket. If you choose not to perform checkups on your transmission every once in a while, you’re jeopardizing its health; if you’re transmission ever fails, you’re looking at a $4-$5,000 bill to replace it!
  •  Programming & Coding: We use the most up to date technology to not only diagnose your BMW’s problems, but to also apply the best and most reliable repairs!
  • Brake Service: As you know, brakes are probably the most important part of your car, and you should do everything in your power to make sure they are working properly. For all repairs and installations, we only use original BMW brake pads and rotors. Don’t jeopardize the safety of your life and your loved ones’ by investing in cheap brand brake parts; put your trust in the expertise of Boston Motor Werks and our original BMW parts we use for each brake repair!

Here at Boston Motor Werks, it is our goal to provide the most reliable services and repairs that will last for years to come, at an affordable price; we always make it a goal to provide the best services that are comparable (and even sometimes better) than the dealership, for a fraction of the price!

For more information, or to schedule an appointment for your BMW, please feel free to give Boston Motor Werks a call at 617-489-0291.