What Is Transmission Slipping And How to Fix It?

What is transmission slipping?

Transmission gears wear out and start slipping. Over time gears can wear out, especially if they have been running hot and inefficiently due to a lack of or worn out the transmission fluid. Slipping gears are usually due to normal wear and tear, which causes them to not engage properly and to slip in and out of sync.

You will know that your vehicle has a transmission slip when you hear the engine spinning during a gear change. For a moment it can feel like you are driving over ice. At first glance, it may seem small and easy to shrug off. However, without proper maintenance, the problem can escalate and you will face much more serious transmission problems.

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What Are Other Symptoms of Transmission Slipping?

The symptoms of transmission slip may indicate other unrelated problems as well. Your transmission might not necessarily slip, but problems can arise in other ways. There are many ways your transmission can wear out. It is best to take your vehicle to a mechanic to have it checked.

Signs Your Transmission is Slipping:

  • Delay in acceleration
  • Burnt or other unusual smells
  • Excessively high RPM, over 3,500
  • Trouble shifting gears
  • Harsh response any time you are able to shift gears
  • Check engine light constantly turning on
  • Strange noises coming from the transmission

None of these are good. You want to get your car inspected immediately before the problem progresses.

What Are the Usual Causes for a Slipping Transmission?

There are a few ways your transmission could go down this way. Perhaps the most common reason is your transmission having low fluid levels. You should check your vehicle’s fluid level a little frequently.

Here are some reasons your transmission is slipping:

If your transmission is slipping, grinding, or making loud sounds that you know are just bad, chances are it needs a thorough diagnosis.

  • Low, worn out, or burned transmission fluid
  • Solenoid problems
  • Worn or broken transmission bands
  • Clutch problems
  • Worn out gears
  • Torque converter issues
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When checking, make a note of whether the value is lower than recommended. You may just need to refill the fluids. If the problem persists, there may be a leak in the system.

Another cause is the various parts in your car’s transmission. Over time, these parts can break or wear out. If this is not corrected soon, it can very likely lead to a transmission error.

Finally, the transmission of your car can cause clutch problems. This is the most common cause of transmission slippage in vehicles with manual transmissions. The only way to correct this is to replace the broken or worn clutch.

Most vehicles, however, are designed for flexible couplings. Depending on the exact car you drive, you’ll need to swap out the clutch between 20,000 and 200,000 miles.

How to Fix Transmission Slipping?

The solution to this problem ultimately depends on what exactly the problem is. It could be so easy to add more transmission fluid when your car is running low. However, if the current fluid is badly burned, the transmission likely has internal damage that needs to be checked.

Parts such as the clutch or other gears may need to be replaced. A possible solution to this problem could be simply installing a completely new transmission system. This is the most expensive option, but it may be the only way to get your car back in service.

Get your car checked as soon as you see any problems to reduce the chances of a full replacement.


What Is Transmission slipping?

Transmission slipping refers to a situation in which your vehicle slips into gear without corresponding to its current speed. This can be discomfiting and troubling. In many cases, it is a signal that your vehicle needs thorough maintenance. This is why it is usually risky to leave your transmission unchecked.

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What causes transmission slipping?

The following situations or conditions may cause your transmission to start slipping:

  • Solenoid problems
  • Worn-out gears
  • Broken or worn transmission bands
  • Burned, low, or worn-out transmission fluid
  • Clutch problems
  • Torque converter issues

How do you fix a slipping transmission?

Burnt or Worn-Out Fluid – Drain & Refill

  • Jack the vehicle up and unbolt the pan.
  • Remove and replace the filter.
  • Scrape off the old transmission pan gasket and replace it.
  • Bolt on the pan and fill with ATF.
  • Start the vehicle and check for leaks.
  • Use copious amounts of kitty litter to clean up the mess that you’ve just made.

Can a transmission be fixed if it’s slipping?

If your transmission problem isn’t due to worn-out bands or fluid leaks, then you either need to replace the clutch, the worn-out gears, the solenoids, or the torque converter. Any of these is a costly repair that is best performed by a mechanic with little you can do about it.

What does a transmission slipping feel like?

When the transmission slips, it might feel like the vehicle is slow to respond. Sometimes it doesn’t respond at all when you press the gas pedal. The noticeable change in the transmission’s performance might be accompanied by noise or a change in pitch as it changes gears.

Can I drive with a slipping transmission?

To put it briefly, no you should never drive your vehicle if you believe there to be an issue with your transmission in any case. Once a transmission starts slipping it needs to immediately be repaired. Every time you drive it after you feel your transmission slip, it is a risk.

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How much does it cost to fix a transmission slip?

On average, the cost of a transmission repair may range from $1,800 to $3,400 depending on various factors. Basic transmission repair jobs will be more affordable. This will be around $300 to $1,400.

How long can a slipping transmission last?

Without service and maintenance, some transmissions can fail in as little as 100,000 miles. If you drive around 10-15,000 miles a year, your transmission could be down for the count in seven years! With care and service, transmissions can last 300,000 miles or more.

What causes a slipping transmission?

Part of normal wear and tear, your gears will wear out over time. If your transmission fluid is old, contaminated, and/or too low, it will speed up that wear-on tear on your gears. This can cause them to not engage properly, leading to a slipping transmission.

Will a dirty transmission filter cause slipping?

When the transmission fluid isn’t clean or is blocked by a clogged filter, the internal components won’t have the lubrication they require to function properly. This could lead to shifting issues, grinding gears, slipping transmission, or other common symptoms of transmission problems.

Why is my acceleration slipping?

There are a number of reasons why your manual or an automatic transmission is slipping: The clutch may be wearing out or is worn out. Other components in the transmission may be failing. The transmission fluid level is low.

Should You Drive While the Transmission Is Slipping?

The short answer here is no. It is not safe to drive with a transmission system that is not working properly. Your car could shift unexpectedly while driving and present a dangerous situation. You will have problems with acceleration that you don’t want to deal with on the road.

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