When Your Car's Transmission Problems May Not Be as Bad as You Think

Posted on: 29 September 2015


A car's transmission can be very expensive to repair, which is why many car owners get panicky when they start to experience problems with shifting the gears. Obviously only a mechanic can tell you what is actually wrong with a transmission by looking under the hood and examining all the parts, but you might be surprised to find out that not all problems with the transmission are as bad as you think. In some cases it can be something very minor that is causing even major problems with the transmission, so note the following problems and discuss these with your mechanic at a place like Precision Automatic Transmissions before you start to panic.

1. The car won't shift out of park

In some cases this could be a chain in the gearbox or shifter itself that is broken and not the actual gears that are a problem. Underneath the shifter stick there is a chain that allows it to move from one gear to another; it may even be that the button on the shifter stick is broken. When you shift, you need to push in this button or the stick won't move. If the inner mechanisms of this button are jammed or otherwise defective, you just need a new stick and not a new transmission.

There is also a sensor and chain connected to the brake pedal and your shifter in most cars. Typically you need to have your foot on the brake before your car will shift out of park. If this chain is broken or the sensor is not working for any reason, your car won't sense that you're applying the brake and it won't let you change gears. These parts are often much more affordable and easier to repair than an actual transmission itself.

2. Sticking or slipping between gears

In some cases a chain in the transmission system may have broken and this will keep your car stuck in one gear or allow it to slip between gears. However, in many cases you may simply need a flush of the transmission fluid. Your car needs pressure from the transmission fluid to stay in gear, and if this fluid gets thin and diluted, the car may slip between gears. If the fluid gets dirty and full of sediment and debris, this can stop the transmission chains from moving. Before you assume your car needs a new transmission in these cases, have the fluid flushed and filled and see if this doesn't address the problem.