What It Means When Your “Transmission Slips”

You’ve heard the term “slipping transmission” before, and you know it’s nothing good. What exactly does a transmission slip feel like, and how much of a problem is it if your transmission is slipping? At Wayne & Sons Automotive Repair in Santa Rosa, CA, our expert technicians have diagnosed and repaired every type of transmission issue in the book. Here’s a short explanation of transmission slippage, and what action you should take to get rid of it.

How do I know if my transmission is slipping?

When a transmission “slips,” it is either not engaging properly, or not staying engaged. A transmission may slip when you shift it into drive or reverse, and it takes a moment for the wheels to get power. Another type of slippage is feeling the transmission disengage when you push the throttle - the engine will rev up, but the car won’t move, then suddenly or slowly the transmission may catch up and the car will feel normal again. Lastly, while cruising down the road, a transmission may fade in and out of engagement, or stop pushing the vehicle on and off sporadically. Severe slippage will prevent the car from moving under its own volition at all, while moderate slippage will propel the car along disproportionately to the engine RPM. Both are a serious cause for concern.

What causes this?

A variety of things can cause a transmission to feel like it’s slipping; low transmission fluid, a faulty throttle position sensor, a bad solenoid, worn clutch discs, overheating, and faulty actuators, to name a few. A bad sensor or solenoid may not cause a transmission to truly slip...failure of the clutch and friction plates to engage, due to low fluid, worn clutches, etc., is what defines an actual “slip.” However, it can be difficult to distinguish between an electrical issue and a slipping transmission...while one is certainly worse than the other, don’t bank on it being harmless.

What should I do?

If your transmission is behaving irregularly, check the transmission fluid as specified by the owner’s manual. If it’s low, bring it up to the correct level, and see if the condition persists. Check for leaks, and keep an eye on the fluid level. Any other issue will require professional attention - do not hesitate to have your transmission inspected. Every time your transmission slips it is accruing damage, and it doesn’t take long for a neglected issue to ruin a transmission.

If your transmission needs attention, bring your car, truck, or SUV by Wayne & Sons Automotive Repair today. Our well-qualified mechanics are experts in the field and can diagnose and treat your issue, whether your vehicle needs a fluid flush, electronics repair, or internal parts replacement. For all your transmission repair and maintenance needs, Wayne & Sons Automotive Repair has you covered.



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Thank you for visiting Wayne & Sons Automotive Repair in Santa Rosa, CA. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.

Schedule your appointment today (707) 546-3492 or REQUEST APPOINTMENT HERE.

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Wayne & Sons Automotive Repair

1845 Piner Rd Unit B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

location small (707) 546-3492

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