Most Common Reasons Why a Transmission Slips

Updated on January 8, 2017
eddiecarrara profile image

Eddie spent 33 years in the automotive business with Honda. He is an ASE Certified Master Technician and has bruised knuckles to prove it.

We all know what an automatic transmission is, basically—very basically, at least—so I'm not going to bore you with the details about how it converts power from your engine into power at the wheels. But you should know that the process involves plenty of hydraulic fluid as well as gears and clutches.

If you don't know why your car’s transmission is slipping, I just might have the answer, though you may not want to hear what I have to say.

The cause of a slipping transmission will depend on the type of transmission you have in your vehicle. There are three types of transmissions: automatic, standard (or “manual”), and CVT (continuously variable transmission). I will discuss the two most common types, automatic and standard.

Why Is My Automatic Transmission Slipping?

If you have an automatic transmission and it "slips" while you are driving it—that is, the car engine revs without the power going to the wheels—the most common cause (though not the only possible cause) is low transmission fluid. If the slipping is caused by low fluid, it will get worse as the transmission gets hotter.

Why Is My Manual Transmission Slipping?

A standard (“manual”) transmission uses fluid too, but leaks aren’t a common issue; a standard transmission could lose all its fluid and never slip at all, though eventually it would lock up while driving down the road. If you have a standard transmission, and it’s slipping—the engine revs but it doesn’t transmit power to the wheels—the problem is usually in the clutch.

Further down in the article I discuss how to diagnose this problem.

Sounds Like Low Transmission Fluid to Me

If Your Automatic Transmission Is Low on Fluid

The next question is, why? Probably because you have a leak. Maybe you have noticed red transmission fluid in your driveway or your parking spot at work, but it didn’t occur to you that it came from your car. The cause of your leak is probably a failure of one of the seals that keep the oil inside the transmission (though there are other places the transmission might leak). How many seals the transmission has depends on whether you have a front-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive, or rear-wheel-drive car.

If you do have a seal that is leaking, and you catch it in time before it damages your transmission, there’s a chance it might be relatively cheap to repair. Seals themselves are not expensive parts, but depending on where they are located, it might take a lot of labor to replace them.

Transmission Axle Seal: A Common Site for Leaks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
An axle seal might cost you about $20. It's the labor that kills you. An axle seal that is not leaking fluid.Axle seal inside the transmission, with the axle removed.A typical axle seal leak.This axle seal is just starting to leak.A great view of the axle going into the transmission. You can see the transmission fluid starting to leak down the transmission case.
An axle seal might cost you about $20. It's the labor that kills you.
An axle seal might cost you about $20. It's the labor that kills you. | Source
An axle seal that is not leaking fluid.
An axle seal that is not leaking fluid.
Axle seal inside the transmission, with the axle removed.
Axle seal inside the transmission, with the axle removed.
A typical axle seal leak.
A typical axle seal leak.
This axle seal is just starting to leak.
This axle seal is just starting to leak.
A great view of the axle going into the transmission. You can see the transmission fluid starting to leak down the transmission case.
A great view of the axle going into the transmission. You can see the transmission fluid starting to leak down the transmission case.

If you have the leak checked out by your mechanic, and he tells you it’s just your axle seal, it could just cost you for a couple hours of labor, and you could be back on the road in a few hours if the parts are readily available. Axle seal failures are common, and the dealer will usually have those seals in stock. But if it's your input shaft seal, plan on leaving your car for a day or two, and expect the labor cost to be upwards of eight to ten hours.

Input Shaft Seal: Another Site for Leaks

Leaking input shaft seal.
Leaking input shaft seal.

This photo shows an input shaft seal leak. To replace this seal, the transmission needs to be removed from the car; this job can get costly.

Be sure to check your owner's manual on how to check your transmission fluid.
Be sure to check your owner's manual on how to check your transmission fluid.
Typically you fill the transmission through the dipstick tube, using a small funnel.
Typically you fill the transmission through the dipstick tube, using a small funnel.

Checking and Topping Off Automatic Transmission Fluid to Prevent Slipping

If your transmission is leaking, you will want to fix it. Meanwhile, if you must drive a car with a leaking transmission, you should top off the fluid.

Check your owner’s manual to see exactly how you should check your transmission fluid level. Some manufacturers will want you to check the transmission fluid level when the engine is warmed up and running with the transmission in park, other manufacturers like Honda will have you check it with the engine warmed up but not running. So be sure to read your owner's manual, DON'T GUESS!

If your transmission fluid level is low and not showing on the dipstick, add transmission fluid--the proper transmission fluid. Each car manufacturer uses a specific fluid. If you use the wrong fluid, you could damage your transmission internally, so again, check your owner's manual. Fill it to the top line on the dipstick and then drive it to your mechanic.

Note: Sometimes when an automatic transmission is low on fluid and you top it off, air pockets develop inside the transmission that keep the fluid from getting to all the parts of the mechanism. After adding the fluid, I suggest that while the car is running, you move the shift lever through the different gears on the shifter selector, and then check the fluid again. Running the shifter through the gears redirects the fluid to different parts of the transmission and removes the air pockets. You may have to do this procedure several times, or even drive the car around the block, and then recheck the fluid level.

Note: I do not recommend using additives that are supposed to stop leaks; they can plug up the transmission. Use the automatic transmission fluid your car manufacturer makes.

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Other Fluids That Leak From Cars

If you are concerned about other fluids besides automatic transmission fluid that seem to be coming out of your car, here's some useful advice.

Clutch disc and pressure plate. The clutch looks like it blew apart. If you ride your clutch it may look like this.
Clutch disc and pressure plate. The clutch looks like it blew apart. If you ride your clutch it may look like this.

Common Cause of Manual Transmission Slippage: Worn-Out Clutch

If you think your clutch is starting to slip, you can try a stall test. Put your car in third gear and try starting off like you would normally, as if you were in first gear. If your clutch is working properly, letting the clutch out all the way should stall the car. If, however, the clutch is slipping, the engine RPMs will rise, the car will slowly start rolling, and you will have a smell like burning paper coming from the engine compartment. When a clutch starts slipping you will smell it. It’s like the smell of overheated brakes.

There are many reasons why a clutch would slip, but the most common reason is that the clutch is worn out. A clutch disc can last anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000 miles—it all depends on the way you drive—but like a brake pad, it’s a consumable item, and will be used up eventually, leaving the parts grinding metal-on-metal. If the clutch disc is worn out, you need to replace it, generally also along with the clutch plate and one or two bearings. If you don't replace a worn clutch in time, you might have to replace the flywheel (the big chunk of metal next to it) as well.

Riding your clutch—that is, leaving your foot on the clutch pedal when you aren’t using it—can really eat up a clutch disc fast, especially if you drive in hilly areas. Just being a newbie and learning to use a clutch for the first time can cause a lot of wear and tear. Learning to drive on a standard transmission can end up costing you money if you don't get the hang of it quickly.

Then again, clutches slip for reasons not related to wear and tear or abuse. If your input shaft seal is leaking gear oil onto the clutch disc, this could very well cause a slipping clutch. Another common reason for a slipping clutch is a faulty or damaged pressure plate. The pressure plate is operated by a high-tension spring. If for some reason the pressure is not distributed evenly over the clutch disc, the clutch will start to slip.

Blown Clutch: It's Completely Worn Out

I Appreciate Your Questions!

There are many possible reasons for a slipping transmission and I could not cover all of them above. If you have any questions just leave them in the comment box below. If you find this article useful, do share it on Facebook or Twitter (see buttons at top of page).

Questions & Answers

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    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 24 hours ago from New Hampshire

      Hi KC,

      How does the engine run? Do you think it's a problem with a clogged catalytic converter?

    • profile image

      KC 41 hours ago

      Hi Eddie,

      My automatic car will go through the gears fine but after a few minutes and usually when in the higher gears when I try to go faster (push peddle down) it seems to lose speed. It will usually go into fourth and stay there for a long time but when it does go to higher gears it still has no power. what could this be?

      Thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eloise,

      Manual or automatic transmission?

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      Eloise Mayonr 8 days ago

      What is wrong when I am having touble getting my car to change gears?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 8 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Linda,

      If the leak is bad enough to continuously have low transmission fluid, then yes. When the fluid is low the transmission will slip, so keep it topped off and don't drive it, you don't want to get stranded. Keep me posted on how you make out. I wonder if the mechanic needed to remove one of the hoses to perform the transmission flush? If so, did they cause the problem?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 8 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bylor44,

      You're in a tough situation, the mechanic will need to verify the problem first, check for any stored temporary codes and check all your fluid levels and condition. If the mechanic can't reproduce the problem and there are no codes stored the mechanic can only go by your description of the problem and check for any service bulletins on the issue. Hope this helps.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 8 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Shawn,

      Are there any warning lights on? Shift solenoids work only one gear each, you have several that control the complete operation and if one is not doing it's job it will usually set a code in the computer. Changing the fluid may help but the problem is only during one shift and that seems to very specific like a solenoid or clutch pack issue.

    • profile image

      Shawn Christ 9 days ago

      Hi Eddie. Have a question on a jeep liberty 3.7 v6 auto transmission. Here in the last week or so ive noticed a slip or hesitation when going into second gear.Only in second. I feel like it would be a shift solenoid but wouldnt that happen on all gears not just one? Checked fluids they are fine. My only other thought would be a full filter/fluid replacement. Any directions would be great. Thanks.

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      bylor44@yahoo.com 11 days ago

      I have a 2015 328 i BMW that is under extended warranty. In the last 6 months when I started the car that was parked it did not move when I put it in reverse or drive until after many trys it finally did go into gear and move fine. No lights go on when this happened. It would happen a few months apart so i"d forget since its seldom used by me. Only 20 thousand mies and only goes to BMW.. I'm bring it back this time and telling them the situation. In the past when a car I have is under warranty there is nothing serious wrong until its run out and then they finally find the problem and I pay plenty. Fact is I don't trust dealerships anymore. I think its the transmission but if they BS me I need info to hold my ground and insist they fix it Remember it doesn't do this all the time so it may run beautiful when they test it. Please help me.

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      Linda 12 days ago

      Ok so I have a 2002 GMC Envoy I bought a few weeks ago. It needed a new radiator, so we had one installed by a friend. I had lube express do a oil change, filters, and they talked me into a tranny flush. Anyhow it wasnt leaking fluids. Yesterday I was close to my home, and it kept slippping badly. I went to Auto zone where they said the transmission fluid was very low. They put a half a gallon in it, I proceeded 1 min up the rd to Lube express, and told them my tranny fluid had all drained out. Mind you we were smelling cat piss, but no leaks outside or in, and no lights coming up on dash. They told me a hose was busted, now Im thinking did the guy who put my radiator in do it? I dont know, have no idea about vegicles. Next I drove next door to the garage, they put it up, and said 2 hoses are cracked. Lube plus had filled it, but it’s leaking out when I drive. They did the changing of the gears, and said I should be ok until Thursday when they can fix the hoses, just keep making sure the tranny fluid is goid. Now it’s not slipping as bad, but it’s still slipping, enough that I dont want to drive it. Will the hose fix, fix the slipping problem is my question

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Danny,

      Did you change the pressure plate at the same time? Do you smell clutch disc burning when this happens?

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      Danny 2 weeks ago

      I just changed my clutch disk (manual), and I don't think that there's any oil leaking inside, yet my car doesn't react as it used to be. I start my car on steep hill, my RPM goes about 5000 RPM in 1st gear and my car just have a 40km/h power. Before, at 5000 RPM on the same hill I was going at 100km/h. I'm desperate, it's been almost 1 year now that my car does that!

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eternityksa,

      Have you ever had the transmission serviced? How does the fluid condition look? How is the transmission fluid level?

    • profile image

      eternityksa 3 weeks ago

      I have lexus ES 2011, Auto transmission is having some issues of hanging and then sudden shifting with a slight jerk move from 2nd to 3rd or 4th gear in between 40, sometimes 60 to 65 KM /H, also the RPM needle sometimes slightly go up down kind of shaky movement by himself, any suggestion would be warm welcome :)

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Teresa,

      If the transmission only grinds in third gear, most likely the problem is inside the transmission and not the clutch.

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      Teresa lee 3 weeks ago

      How do Ifix this...I have a Mitsubishi Raider grinds in 3rd gear we just replaced the clutch. It worked before we put in new clutch please help with ez fix it was hard to put in clutch...( first time ) .. brother supervised but I'm learning to fix it my self .....thanks tuns

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Robert,

      I'm not sure what you mean that your clutch pedal moved close to your brake pedal. That sounds like the bushings at the pivot point on the clutch pedal arm is worn or the bracket has broken. I recommend crawling under the dash with a flashlight and checking the clutch/brake pedal bracket for any damage.

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      Robert 4 weeks ago

      My clutch moved really close to my brake pedal and has gotten a short travel what can i do

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Pricilla,

      I'm not sure what is going on with your vehicle but the fluid near the rear axle wouldn't cause your issue, you don't have 4 wheel drive so the only fluid back there is brake fluid and fuel.

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      Priscilla 4 weeks ago

      Eddie, no the pedal feels the same whether its normal or acting up. Clutch engages at the top end of half way depressed, if that makes sense, which is about where its always engaged. This stupid issue has now completely burnt out the clutch and since its been sitting unusable ive noticed quite a bit of fluid puddling under the rear end, about where the axle is...

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Frank,

      You could try a transmission service with a new filter and fluid but it's a shot in the dark.

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      Frank 5 weeks ago

      I have a 1992 dodge caravan when I come to a complete stop when I try to go the transmission jerks before it shiftes in gear

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ben,

      Did you check the transmission fluid level and condition?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Michael,

      Does it drive good in the forward gears? Any hesitations or skipping? Any check engine light or other warning lights on?

    • profile image

      Michael 5 weeks ago

      My f150 2005 when I put it in reverse it feels like it slips or shakes.

    • profile image

      Ben 5 weeks ago

      Hi,

      I have a 2005 ford focus that when taking off it lacks power plus rpms will go sky high and car feels like it stops forward motion. If you ease off the gas it will eventually shift gears. Once a bit warmer same type of thing happens except all drive motion stops once 1st is wound out and after a few seconds will slam into next gear and jerking car dramatically. Help please.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Heather,

      Your shifting issue may be because of low transmission fluid and they don't know how to check it properly. If the car is driving, the axles are installed completely. To check you fluid, park it on level ground, engine off, pull the transmission fluid dipstick and make sure the fluid level is between the crosshatch marks on the dipstick. If it low, use only Honda genuine fluid to top off, and make sure the garage didn't use an aftermarket fluid in your transmission, that would be the cause of your shifting problem as well. Let me know hat you find out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Heather C. 5 weeks ago

      I have a 99 honda accord ex 6 cylinder and it drove great until my axels in front needed replaced! Now ever since its not shifting right and valvoline said all my fluids were good, but wondering if the axles weren't properly put in did be the cause?

    • profile image

      john 6 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have not seen a check engine light yet but I will let you know if I see one on the 2004 Honda

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eddie,

      It sounds like a shift solenoid is failing, is the check engine light on?

    • profile image

      Eddie 6 weeks ago

      I have a 2004 Honda accord v6 transmission replaced 24k miles ago

      When my daughter derives car at slow speeds (cold) it seems to go into neutral. SHe turns car off and restarts then car drives fine anty thoughts

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi BobDan,

      If you don't mind driving it like this, you will have a hard time selling it in the future but if it works for you and you don't mind all the lights on, go for it. One thing to think about, if you live in a state with emissions testing it will. probably never pass.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mimi,

      Are you sure it's the transmission and not the engine?

    • profile image

      Mimi 6 weeks ago

      Help, I have a 2002 dodge Dakota pickup. When I start to take off it doesn't go fast it hesitates then a couple secs it goes. When I'm at a light or stopped it jerks forward and when I press the gas it wont take off just real slow till a few secs then it goes fast.

    • profile image

      BobDan 7 weeks ago

      I drive a 2003 Acura MDX Touring which has a 2005 engine and transmission installed in it (I bought it fairly used that way). I was usually having transmission issues of which I had previously replaced the gearbox on 4 occassions); leaking seals and bad transmission fluid were among the problems I encountered. I eventually installed a 2007/08 Honda Accord V6 FWD gearbox which of course don't have the VTM-4 system attached to the transmission and fitted perfectly well to the vehicle; I as well got the propeller yanked off.... Pls I would like to know if it was a good decision to have had this type of transmission installed...... Thank you!

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bobby,

      Sometimes an engine skip or misfire can cause the same issue. If it was the torque converter it would most likely do it in every gear, but it's hard to say with out driving the vehicle.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joey,

      Yep, sounds to me like you're smelling the clutch disk overheating, it usually smells like burning paper.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Matt,

      Have you checked the transmission fluid level since the repair? It could be low.

    • profile image

      Mathew Williams 7 weeks ago

      Hi mate i have a vz ss 5.7 automatic and after having the trans plate seal and kit done i now am noticing slipping in the transmission what could it be ?

    • profile image

      joey 8 weeks ago

      hello, my 2009 honda civic si is having a problem. the cluch is slipping when warm and it has a very bad smell after driving it, im wanting to say it is the clutch going out

    • profile image

      Bobby 8 weeks ago

      My auto trans will gyrate and bump when under load at any speed. If I let off the gas and re-accelerate, it’s fine. Taking the vehicle out of overdrive solves the issue, but obviously that is not a real solution to the problem. Is my toque converter going bad?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 8 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      HI Jillian,

      Maybe you don't want to hear my reply lol. Yes it sounds like your transmission has an issue, possible pump problem or torque converter failure. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 8 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jsaavedra,

      No the oil would not have anything to do with this noise.

      A synthetic blend oil is perfectly find to use, in my opinion using a full synthetic oil has no benefit, even if you have used it since the car was new. I recommend checking the transmission fluid level and the power steering fluid level. The power steering is probably the noise when turning and the grinding noise. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Jsaavedra 2 months ago

      Hi, i have a 2002 acura mdx touring and the car makes a noise when i turn the wheel, and i hear a light grinding noise when i drive, and every now and then the transmission slips while driving, and i have to put it in neutral and back to drive for it to start working again. What could it be? My wife recently had the oil change done and after that is when i noticed the changes, i asked her to see what oil they used and normally my car would take full synthetic and they used a synthetic blend. I drained it and put the correct one but by that time we had already driven a few hundred miles with it.Could this have had anything to do with that?

    • profile image

      Jillian 2 months ago

      Hi Eddie, looking for your take on my situation! I have an 07 Gmc Yukon, runs great never had any issues until my fuel pump went out on it 2 weeks ago. My husband replaced it and the vehicle was back to running normal all except a soft clicking noise while it was running and idleing. Before he could get a chance to find the cause of this noise, my car quit working on me on the way home. The best way to describe it was a jerking or vibration when I first put it in reverse that morning. As I continued driving I noticed all of a sudden a lack of power when I was pressing on the gas. The rpm's were going up and my car revved as if everything was fine, but my car slowly came to a stop and eventually I had to pull over. Yukon cranks up fine, shifts into gears fine, but stepping on the gas there is nothing. Does this sound like the transmission has went out? It isnt low on transmission fluid. Thanks, looking forward to hearing your input lol.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lawrence,

      Yes, it sounds like maybe either your pressure plate has failed or your friction disc is worn out completely. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

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      Lawrence barnard 2 months ago

      I have a chevy spark 1.3 manual and it's revving high with hardly moving the car but when I put it in gear it doesn't scratch or anything it just doesn't move like expected I set the clutch cable setting and that made a small difference but not much there is no burning smell or any such thing when in operation am I correct to assume I need to change the clutch ?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Pricilla,

      When this happens does the pedal feel any different? Does the pedal release all the way and spring back up to the top? It's possible your throw-out bearing is hanging up on the shaft or the pressure plate is defective. There is not a whole lot that can cause this issue. Let me know, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Yes Anthony,

      Shift solenoids can also make a automatic transmission slip if they leak pressure or are not working properly.

    • profile image

      ANTHONY 2 months ago

      What about shift pressure solenoids or other solenoids?

    • profile image

      Priscilla 2 months ago

      Also, I'm not 100% sure if I'll get a notification that you replied, so if you wouldn't mind emailing your reply to me, just in case I dont, I would appreciate that as well. You seem very knowledgable and I'm very interested in your thoughts. Pris.holm13@gmail.com

    • profile image

      Priscilla 2 months ago

      Sorry bout the multiples. So im hoping you can help me, or atleast point me in a useful direction. I have a 94 honda civic ex 5 speed thats having clutch issues. If i drive in normal city street traffic for more than 10 minutes my clutch starts slipping, but on highways no problems until i hit city streets. Also it does this most often when the temperature outside is above 40degrees. Meaning if its 30 degrees or below, I can drive longer before the slipping starts, but above 30 and slippage. I have had the clutch, flywheel, pressure plate, and master and slave hydraulic cylinders replaced professionally, the first time they did all that, the 2nd they claimed they had faulty parts, had had to replace the clutch and flywheel for another customer as well, and replaced mine. That worked for about 2 months I so, then the slipping started again. I really do not want to go back to them, they dont seem to know wth theyre doing, but I like to know which direction to look myself and either do the work or be able to tell a trustworthy mechanic what to look for... any info Wii be MUCH appreciated:)

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Yousuf, ask for the transmission 1-2 shift solenoid, they should know what you're talking about :)

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      Yousuf Kadeer 2 months ago

      Thank you Eddie. Appreciate your help. I hope to find this part as 1-2 solenoid. Is a pressure valve or should i just say transmission solenoid 1-2?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Greg,

      That sounds like a flow issue inside the transmission. When was the last time the transmission filter was replaced? How is the fluid condition and level?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Shannon,

      Are there any lights flashing or just on steady? I think you have an external issue and it may be repairable without removing the transmission.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Alejandro,

      I don't think the two are related, there's no connection. Are you sure it's not your engine skipping?

    • profile image

      alejandro 2 months ago

      I have a 2003 saturn ion it runs fine i do all the service on it but when i flip the switch on the A/C my transmission start to slip and its a af23 aisin transmission

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      Shannon 2 months ago

      I have a 92 lexus sc400, the transmission was slipping, but when I would stop the car turn off engine and restart it would work. Now it will shift but won't work in reverse or drive?

    • profile image

      Greg 2 months ago

      My 89 gmcwith turbo 400 automatic is whining and won’t shift until it is warmed up

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Yousuf,

      It sounds like you may have a problem with th e1-2 shift solenoid on the out side of the transmission. I recommend having it checked for proper operation.

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      Yousuf Kadeer 3 months ago

      Hello Mr. Carrara:

      I have a 203 Honda Accord CL7...While on automatic transmission, the car jumps/jerks going from 1st to 2nd gear....but when I use the manual transmission where I have the control to go to the 2nd gear, it is okay...I have already replaced the gear oil. Please advise. Thank you.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Justbe,

      I think you need to start with replacing the clutch if the rpm's would rise when shifting gears.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Michelle,

      A new key would not cause this problem, have you checked the transmission fluid level yet?

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      Michelle 3 months ago

      Hi. I have a 2004 toyota camry altise. Recently had key replaced due to key broke in half. Car worked as usual. Its only been 3 weeks since key replacement. Yesterday when reversing I changed back into drive and it clunked. Started sliding in gears, slow changing. Then today drove it cold to end of street, went to drive off and it slow changed. Then it just had nothing. Pulled over. Checked through gears. Nothing. Felt it go into park. So I got tow truck to take it home. Got in car and gears work. I dont wanna drive it cause it might make it happen again. Any ideas would be helpful. Could it be computer from change of key?

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      JustBe78 3 months ago

      I have a 96 honda civic 5 speed, 1st changing gears would make my engine rev up here and there only changing gears, now my car is shaking, trying to cut off, the check engine light is flashing.. its hard to go I have to force it to go and its scary. Ive been told to get a tune-up and new fuel pump.. I think its the idol control vale and the clutch? Nobody has a complete clue. I am to scared to drive anywhere at this point. Its shaking, jerking, feels like its want to stale out, and it doesnt have any power!!

      Ive this car for 14 years, this is new problems and they are very scary when driving.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Michelle,

      Are you sure it's the transmission that is slipping and not the engine skipping or misfiring?

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rudy,

      Maybe a leak from an axle seal dripping onto the hot exhaust system?

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      Rudy 3 months ago

      I have a 2012 Honda Accord SE. runs well. But it smells like burning oil. Transmission oil. Why could be doing that?

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      michelle 3 months ago

      i have a 2003 focus trans fluid is full and it still slips...mostly around 45mph and sometimes at 25 mph. what could this be?

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Albert,

      I would double check the fluid level but it sounds like you may have an electrical issue with a solenoid starting to fail. If it only happens rarely, keep an eye on it and try to keep notes on when it happens (like what speeds and conditions your driving in) so when you have it checked out you'll have good information to relay to the mechanic. Hope this helps.

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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Paul, it sounds more like an engine problem than a transmission problem. Will the engine rev when in park or neutral?

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      Albert-Y 3 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have a 2003 Camry LE (4 cylinder, auto transmission) which runs well, but very rarely I have had the experience where I am going at a constant speed (freeway or street speed limits) and when I suddenly accelerate, the gear seems to slip and lose power and the rev goes suddenly much faster, then when I let up on the gas, it will get back to gear. I recently had an oil change at the dealership, and their checks show a normal transmission fluid level. Do you still think it might be a borderline low level that causes this or might this be an omen for something more serious. It happens so rarely that I never paid much attention to it. It has around 144K miles on it and never had any major issues, and I keep to the manufacturer's recommended service for the most part. Any insights would be appreciated, whether it puts my mind at ease or at least if the problem can lead to future problems, I can be proactive about it. Thanks!

      Albert

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      Albert-Y 3 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have a 2003 Camry LE (4 cylinder, auto transmission) which runs well, but very rarely I have had the experience where I am going at a constant speed (freeway or street speed limits) and when I suddenly accelerate, the gear seems to slip and lose power and the rev goes suddenly much faster, then when I let up on the gas, it will get back to gear. I recently had an oil change at the dealership, and their checks show a normal transmission fluid level. Do you still think it might be a borderline low level that causes this or is might this be an omen for something more serious. It happens so rarely that I never paid much attention to it. It has around 144K miles on it and never had any major issues, and I keep to the manufacturer's recommended service for the most part. Any insights would be appreciated, whether it puts my mind at ease or at least if the problem can lead to future problems, I can be proactive about it. Thanks!

      Albert

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      paul 3 months ago

      Hi! I have a problem with my 97' corona exsior a/t, it shifts into 2nd gear but cant rev up, it moves, but even if I step on the accelerator to its max, it can't rev even up to 2500.

      thanks!

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Darcie,

      If you bring it to a transmission shop they can advise you on if it's worth putting the money into the car or not.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dee,

      Can you describe the problem in more detail? Is this an automatic or standard transmission?

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mario,

      I recommend getting a second opinion. Before you replace the transmission I recommend replacing the transmission fluid and having the vehicle checked over for rodent damage. A vehicle sitting for 3 years can make a lot of nice homes for rodents the like to chew wires. Let me know what you decide to do.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Louie,

      Most newer cars have a grade logic transmission, so when going down a steep hill the transmission will downshift using the engine to help slow the vehicle down, this will cause high revs, so yes this is normal

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      Louie 4 months ago

      Hello, I have a Toyota 2014 Corolla and whenever I go down a steep hill, it feels like the transmission goes into neutral and also the revs start to go high. Is this normal?

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      Mario L 4 months ago

      Hi, Eddie.

      I have a 01 Grand Cherokee and had the transmission rebuilt. I had the car parked for 3 years and started driving it again recently, after checking all fluids.

      I've put about 200 miles in it. Last time I drove the car, I noticed the car lost power when going about 60mph.

      I took it to the shop and they say I need a new transmission. What could have happened?

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      DArcie 4 months ago

      I have had a slipping auto transmission for a while, it seems to slip into a neutral for up to 3 seconds at times. I had the fluid flushed and replaced, but still having a problem. The car is only worth $3000. Worth paying price to get it looked at?

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      Zbyszek 4 months ago

      I have a Ford Windstar GL, 1995, engine 3.8, V6.

      I have replaced all three shift solenoids, vehicle speed sensor and have a torque converter renewed - all about 20 000 miles ago. Gaskets in the engine and wires too.

      Also, there is no check engine light on...

      Of course there is no O/D light blinking, so it's not an electrical fault/problem in the transition. Am I right? In a case of solenoid failure there is always an overdrive light blinking.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Amitava Bose,

      It sounds like a possible torque converter problem. You'll need to find a mechanic who knows transmissions well so they can do some testing on it.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Zbyszek,

      If the trans is not shifting into 3rd, it could be just a solenoid, but I'm not sure what the year make and model are or even if it has solenoids.

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      Zbyszek 4 months ago

      Hi!

      I wonder if You could help me...

      I have an automatic transmission problems. Driving with speed around 35 and higher the car is shaking and it seems it can't shift into a gear. It also doesn't shift right when slowing down. RPM is rising and there is no gear on.

      The O/D limp is not blinking, so it's not an electrical problem, am I right?

      Is there a possibility of transmission oil pump breakdown and problem with right pressure needed to change gears? Could it be only fuse or wire problem?

      Fluid level is right. Fluid colour is normal and smells brand-new. There are no leaks in the engine or transmission.

      I wonder also, could a 5 minutes stopover on N caused damage in the transmission?

      I did it once or twice and somehow after that I had some problems with tanny...

      1, 2, R are okay. It shifts properly and smooth.

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      Amitava Bose 4 months ago

      I have a Lexus ES350 2007, 143K miles (automatic transmission). The transmission is slipping when going intro 3rd gear when taking off from a stop. Also, rumbling in gears between 40 and 60. Please advise what would be the best way for me to get this resolved.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      A leaking clutch pack?

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Trina,

      The fluid could be very dirty and it could be clogging the filter, once you shut it off the debris falls off the filter and you can drive again for a few. I would check the condition of the fluid first.

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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tim,

      It does sound like you're losing pump pressure, the question is why? If you have a transmission shop in town, they can pressure test it for you to get a better idea of what is causing the problem.

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      Trina 4 months ago

      I have an 04 Buick Rainier automatic transmission and I felt a jerk while driving the other day and the transmission started acting like it was in neutral but if I wait awhile and turn the vehicle off the transmission will some times work for a short distance then back to acting like in neutral again. It has adequate amount of transmission fluid and no leaks. Have had no problems until this happened. Any idea on what the problem may be?

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      Hi Eddie 4 months ago

      My car has been slipping on what seems to be the 1st gear(it’s an automatic). What could that be?

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      Timothy 4 months ago

      96 Chevy truck I replace the filter the gasket and it still slips whenever it gets warm when I first Crank It Up it drives fine till about a hundred yardsthen I cut it off for 2 minutes and it'll drive another hundred fifty yards and then does it again is it the transmission pump

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      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi James,

      It sounds like you're losing internal pressure in reverse, but usually, reverse is gear driven?

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      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Amjad,

      I'm sorry but I'm not familiar with the VSS system or what it does.

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      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Terence,

      It's possible you have a solenoid problem, but if you just had it rebuilt, I highly recommend bringing it back to the shop that did the repairs. I'm sure you paid out some good money to have that done and the vehicle is still not fixed. I recommend putting it back on the mechanic.

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      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi B. Morre,

      Your RPM's go up and the car will not move very fast or at all.

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      B. Morre 5 months ago

      How do you know when your transmission is slipping bad

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      Terence Hermoso 5 months ago

      Hi Sir Eddie. How are you?

      I have a Hummer H3 with 4L60E automatic transmission. Before the rebuilt of my transmission, everything was alright except for the 4th gear. I hear a very little grinding noise when i step on the gas. So, I immediately sent my car to the mechanic. But after the rebuilt of my transmission, I got a P0894 code (Transmission Component Slipping). All gears are working fine, but everytime when i drive long, my 4th gear is getting lost, and the 1st gear shifts very hard to 2nd gear. So, I have to pull over my car for 30mins to let the engine and the transmission cool down so that the 1st/2nd shift & the 4th gear will work fine again. What do you think is the problem?

      Thank you.

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      Amjad 5 months ago

      hi Ed

      i also happen to get a P0500 VSS code when i scan the vehicle,could it be that the whine and wheez in between gear changes is related to the vss going bad?

      thnx

    working