Transmission Slip? (6 Causes and How to Fix It)

What is a transmission slip

Problems with your transmission are often something to avoid as these problems can often lead to expensive repair costs. Unfortunately, car problems can happen whether you like it or not.

But what about a transmission that slips? Will it always lead to expensive repair costs, or is replacing the transmission fluid enough to fix the problem?

In this article, we’ll discuss the most common symptoms and causes of a transmission slip and how to fix them.

Symptoms of an Auto Transmission Slip

The most common Transmission slip Symptoms is that the engine speed does not match the speed of the vehicle. If you’ve owned your car for a while, you’ve probably learned how your engine behaves and when to shift your transmission to the next gear.

If you feel the engine speed increase when you try to accelerate, but the car does not go faster, you have a slipping transmission.

Other symptoms that can result from this include burning smells from the transmission, grinding noises, or warning lights on your dashboard. You may also notice various shifting issues such as slow and delayed shifting.

So now as we get to know the most common symptoms of a smooth transfer, let’s take a look at the common causes of why it happens!

Causes of Transmission Slip ( Why Does a Transmission Slip)

The most common cause of a transmission slip is a low or burnt transmission fluid level. It can also be caused by worn drive belts, a bad torque converter, or bad shift magnets. In rare cases, bad traditional Chinese medicine can cause this.

Here is a more detailed list of what can be the causes when a transmission slips: 

1. Transmission fluid low

Low transmission fluid is probably the most common cause of your transmission slipping and probably the easiest to repair.

When the fluid level drops, the pressure required to properly engage the gears is reduced. This creates a strain during shifting, causing it to slip and then overheat the transmission fluid.

Checking the transmission fluid is often very simple just by looking at the dipstick in the engine compartment or referring to the service manual on how to check the transmission fluid level.

Remember that the transmission system is a sealed system and the transmission fluid should not disappear if it is not leaking. Therefore, you need to fix any leaks to avoid the same problem in the future.

2. Burnt Transmission Fluid

Transmission slip can also be caused by burnt transmission fluid. Burnt liquid smells like burnt toast and is abnormally dark in color. If the transmission fluid is burned, it will no longer be effective.

This can cause problems with most functions of your transmission and can therefore also cause your transmission to slip.

If your transmission fluid smells burnt, it is definitely time to replace it or replace the failed transmission part.

Burnt transmission fluid occurs when the transmission overheats, but it can also be a mixture of very old transmission fluid combined with a high fluid temperature. Worn parts can also mean that the black transmission fluid in the transmission needs to be replaced.

3. Worn or broken drive belts

There are drive belts on many types of automatic transmissions that connect the gears of the automatic transmission together. These tires will wear out over time, so you may need to adjust them.

However, this was much more common on older broadcasts, where changing the broadcast bands was sometimes part of the scheduled service.

These days you shouldn’t have to replace these belts during the life of the car, but it can happen. Unfortunately, you have to convert the entire transmission for this and you really want to replace the belts.

Not all transmission types have these transmission belts, but many do, so it’s definitely worth considering when looking for reasons why your transmission is slipping.

4. Faulty Torque Converter

A faulty torque converter is a common component that can cause transmission slippage. The torque converter is the part that acts like a clutch in automatic transmissions.

It is filled with transmission fluid and uses it to convert engine power into torque for the wheels.

The most common problem with the torque converter is that it does not build up pressure to transfer torque properly and therefore causes transmission slippage.

5. Faulty Switch Magnets

Shift magnets are electronic valves that control hydraulic pressure to shift the transmission at just the right time.

If these solenoids do not open or close properly, they will cause problems with proper gear engagement, and one problem that can occur is that the transmission will begin to slip.

Bad wires to shift solenoids can also cause them to malfunction and in rare situations can even be caused by a bad transmission control module.

6. A slipper clutch

You may think clutches are only fitted to manual cars, but this is far from the truth. In fact, most modern automatic gearboxes use clutches. The fact is that many modern gearboxes are manual gearboxes, but a robot operates the gears.

You often find these gearboxes in European cars such as Volkswagen or BMW. Often referred to as DSG or Direct Shift Gearbox.

However, these transmissions usually have two clutch plates, wet or dry. The common thing about them is that they wear out after a while and therefore need to be replaced.

Fixing Transmission Slip : How to Fix a Transmission Slip?

The first step to take to repair your slipping transmission is to check the transmission fluid level and inspect the condition carefully.

If the fluid level is low but the color appears to be OK, try topping up first. If it is brown in color, you should consider changing the fluid and filter.

If the fluid is black and smells burnt, you will definitely want to replace it and have the transmission flushed.

You can also read the trouble codes with a diagnostic scanner that can read the transmission control module. Check for problems related to the switching magnets.

If you’ve changed the fluid and can’t find any related trouble codes but the problem persists, take your car to a transmission expert for inspection and perhaps a transmission rebuild.

Can a manual transmission slip?

A worn-out clutch is a reason why your manual transmission starts to slip 99 percent of the time. The clutch can wear out quickly and stop working after prolonged use. Your clutch should be able to go between 20,000 and 200,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.

Can you drive a car with a slipping gearbox?

It is not recommended to drive your car with a slipper transmission. When the transmission slips, it creates a lot of heat in the transmission fluid, which can burn and damage many other expensive automatic transmission parts.
Therefore, it is recommended to fix the problem or let an expert analyze the problem before you decide to go on a road trip.

How to avoid transmission slip?

To prevent your transmission from slipping, you need to properly maintain your car and transmission.

The easiest way to prevent transmission slippage is to change your transmission fluid and filter regularly or on the schedule for your particular car model.
Check the fluid level once a month and repair any transmission leaks to prevent the transmission fluid from getting too low. This will prevent many problems with your transmission.

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