It is always frustrating when your gears ain’t answering to your command or your hands’ command. In most cases, it means you are having transmission issues with your car.
Transmission helps the car move by taking power from the engine and transferring it to the wheels in the right proportion and amount.
Reasons why your car is not shifting gear
A lot of faults might be responsible for this anomaly. It ranges from minor issues to some major issues.
It can be a fault you can correct yourself or a problem you need to visit the expert technicians to correct in your car.
We will discuss some faults in this article and also give possible solutions that you can do. It is better to take your car to an Auto care workshop if the repair is technical.
Low Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid is one of the most important fluids in your car, whether it is working on manual or automatic transmissions.
Like all lubricants, it helps to lubricate the moving part of the transmission to reduce wear and tear, and it also reduces the heat associated with the component.
The first and most common reason your car is not shifting gear when accelerating is the low transmission fluid. If the transmission fluid is low, then the transmission will have a hard time getting into gear.
It is either the fluid is leaking somewhere or it has reduced normally.
To ascertain that low transmission oil is the cause of the gear shift failure, check the transmission fluid dipstick, pull it out, and wipe it clean with a soft towel, cloth, or tissue.
Return the dipstick and pull it out again. Look out for the level of the oil on the dipstick, check the color and the smell of the fluid.
If the oil is lower than the limit, you should top up the fluid, but if the smell is of a burnt scent, or the color is black or deep brown, then you need to visit the transmission repair shop.
Make sure you check the transmission fluid when the engine has been warmed up and the car parked in an idle position and level surface.
Use of incorrect transmission fluid
Every vehicle has its specified transmission fluid to be used for its transmission system, when the wrong fluid is being used, the gears would be affected, and this would cause your car not to shift gears.
Check your owner’s manual guide for the type of transmission fluid suitable for your vehicle.
This affects manual transmission systems, when you observe a grinding sound from your vehicle when trying to shift gears, then you know your gears are not properly aligned.
Problem with gears is usually a condition that is related to not releasing the clutch (in manual transmission systems). Situations in which the clutch issues affect the gears are:
The clutch will not disengage and that makes the shift of gears difficult and near impossible.
Bad or Faulty Clutch master cylinder. Air or water in the Clutch cylinder might cause problems.
Work out Clutch
The clutch has a very long life span as it is one of the long-lasting parts of a vehicle, but it still gets worn out over time. And a worn-out clutch can easily and quickly lead to difficulty in changing or shifting gears.
To solve issues like a worn-out clutch or misaligned gears, your car needs to be checked in an automotive repair shop.
Faulty transmission shift cable
When you, the driver, move the shift selector, the shift cable is responsible for putting the transmission into the proper gear that you have selected when you moved the selector.
If the transmission shift cable is faulty, your vehicle might not be able to read the signal that you want the car to shift gear, or be in a particular gear.
Faulty Engine Computer
Most modern vehicles are automatic and unlike the manual vehicles of old which run on manual transmission systems.
Automatic vehicles run on automatic transmission systems, which means their transmission system is controlled by the Engine’s Control Unit (ECU).
The unit uses information like the throttle position and engine speed to determine when to shift gears.
If the unit can not decipher a particular fault in the transmission system, or the unit is faulty on its own due to other factors, then the vehicle will experience difficulty in shifting gears.
To solve this problem of faulty Engine Computer, you will need to reset the Engine control unit or replace it totally, you need to visit an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) technician to do this.
How do I avoid wearing down the clutch prematurely
You can increase the lifespan of your vehicle with the following activities.
Don’t ride the clutch, that is, do not unnecessarily keep the clutch partially disengaged as it causes premature wear of disc and flywheel.
When you stop for more than a second, put your car in neutral gear.
Be gentle on the clutch, even when you try to overtake a gently slower driver that is driving below the speed limit.
One of the most common maintenance procedures for manual transmissions is the clutch replacement, but you can avoid the premature wearing down of the clutch by following the aforementioned.
Does the Check Engine Light also indicate transmission problems?
If the check engine light on your dashboard is lit, it can indicate several car issues which include both minor and serious issues.
The issues range from overheating, faulty sensors, worn-out sparks, low or burnt transmission fluid.
So, yes, the check engine light can also indicate problems within the transmission system amidst others.
But ensure that you take your car to a local technician and he takes a look, in case the source of the problem is imperative.
Can bad transmission cause other car engine parts to get damaged?
The Importance of having a good transmission can not be overemphasized, as a bad transmission sometimes affects other parts of your car as well.
It can affect the drive shaft of the car, and can also affect the suspension of the car.
It affects part of your engine as it only takes some time before your vehicle is not capable of driving anywhere with a bad transmission.
If you choose to risk driving your car on the low transmission fluid and the fluid runs out on the spot, You can damage your car irreparably.
Exhausting transmission fluid is closely similar to the burning out of engine oil.
How often should I service my car’s transmission?
The servicing of your vehicle’s transmission majorly requires that the transmission fluid be drained and replaced with new fluids. A total servicing may also include cleaning or replacing the filter where necessary and examining the pump.
Transmission servicing helps remove dirt and contaminants from within the transmission. Manual transmissions should be served more frequently than automatic transmissions.
So, if you drive an automatic vehicle, your transmission should be serviced around 60,000 to 100,000 miles interval while for a manual vehicle, you should service your transmission around 30,000 to 60,000 miles interval.
How do I know my car is due for transmission servicing?
Here are some signs that indicate you need to service your transmission system.
When you start hearing strange noises that you weren’t hearing before. Noises like humming, buzzing, grinding, clucking, etc.
When you start having troubles shifting gears, difficulty moving from park to drive.
When your car stalls, and jerks forward and back when you start it instead of just moving right away.
When you see the Check Engine Light. Though this can mean lots of other issues, a technician should check the vehicle.
When you observe a pool of red fluid beneath the vehicle, or when the dipstick is lower than normal. It indicates leaking transmission fluid.
We have been able to discuss the possible causes of cars not shifting gear when accelerating, which indicates transmission problems in your vehicle.
We talked about other transmission issues your car might develop and what to do when it happens.
Always check your car as early detection helps to reduce the cost of repair. Proper maintenance of your vehicle also extends the lifespan of various vehicle parts.