When you hear and feel the gears grinding in your vehicle, it is one of the most common signs of a transmission problem. This is especially true if your car has an automatic transmission because you definitely know it's not your own fault like it can be in a manual transmission vehicle. Grinding gears means that the clutch isn't completely disengaging from the engine during shifting while the gears are rotating.
Here are 6 reasons why your gears might be grinding according to the Fairbanks auto repair specialists at Simard Automotive:
1. Torque Converter
An automatic or CVT transmission utilizes a torque converter and a special planetary gear system to automatically shift between gears as you accelerate or decelerating the vehicle. If the torque converter is damaged, the car will obviously not shift smoothly.
2. Clutch Assembly
In a manual transmission vehicle, the clutch system is what allows you to manually shift the vehicle. If any of the components are damaged or not working correctly, it will cause problems. Grinding gears, the vehicle not staying in gear or trouble shifting between gears are all common signs of clutch damage.
3. Transmission Fluid
Another common cause of grinding gears is low or poor quality transmission fluid. If there isn't enough fluid lubricating the gear system or the fluid itself is old, dirty, burnt or full of debris, then there won't be enough lubrication. The vehicle will not shift properly and other internal transmission damage can develop the longer you try to drive with bad transmission fluid.
4. Internal Transmission Damage
There can be any number of things wrong within the transmission or drivetrain system that will cause shifting issues and grinding gears. That's why it's best to have a knowledgeable automotive technician inspect the key components, run tests and determine specifically what's wrong.
5. Gear System Damage
One or more of the gears could actually be damaged in some way. When you have trouble shifting into or out of one specific gear, then that can sometimes narrow down the issue to a specific valve or gear that is causing the problem.
6. Your Own Driving Habits
Grinding the gears and causing transmission damage is sometimes the fault of the driver. We see it a lot in manual transmission vehicles where the driver really pushes it hard with heavy loads, aggressive driving or less-than-ideal shifting technique. Automatic and CVT transmission drivers can also push their vehicle harder than necessary and cause significant transmission damage. Take care of your vehicle and it will take care of you. This means the occasional transmission service and not putting extra stress on the car or truck if you don't have to.
These are some common reasons why you might be hearing/feeling the gears grinding or experiencing other transmission issues. For all your transmission repair needs in Fairbanks, turn to Simard Automotive. Call either of our two local shops today at (855) 690-0889 (Airport Shop on Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 (Chevron Shop on Gaffney Rd.). Or you can also book your service appointment online.