What Does a Slipping Transmission Feel Like?


Do you have a slipping transmission? You’re not alone, as many people don’t know when their car starts exhibiting these symptoms. But what does a slipping transmission feel like?

A slipping transmission feels like your car is surging between gear changes, or you feel nothing at all when you press the accelerator. When your car fails to shift into reverse, this means it is slipping, and it should be looked at by a qualified mechanic.

This guide will help you get your car back on the road as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is a compilation of all the information you need in one place so that you can make an informed decision about your car’s health, so let’s get started. 

Signs of a Slipping Transmission

When you have a slipping transmission, there are numerous signs. Your car might feel like it’s surging or jerking, or you might hear strange noises when you’re driving. If you think your car’s transmission might be slipping, let’s take a closer look so you can be sure. 

Your Car Is Surging

If your car feels like it’s jerking or surging between gear changes, it may be a sign that your transmission is slipping. When this happens, the engine revs up, and the gears don’t change properly, which can be dangerous when driving. 

Nothing Happens When You Step On the Gas

If you’re pressing down on the gas pedal and don’t feel anything, it might be because your transmission is slipping. When this happens, the car won’t move forward as quickly as it should, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to get somewhere. 

Your Car Makes Strange Noises

Another sign that your transmission may be slipping is if you start hearing strange noises while driving. Again, it could mean something wrong with the gears or the clutch, and it’s essential to have it checked out by a professional as soon as possible. 

You Notice Transmission Fluid Leaking

One of the most common causes of a slipping transmission is low transmission fluid levels. If you notice that your car is leaking fluid, make sure to bring it in for a check-up as soon as possible. Leakage can indicate that something else is going on with your transmission.

Read: Why Speedometer Is Not Working and Transmission Is Not Shifting?

Your Transmission Smells Burned

If your transmission is overheating or you can smell a burnt odor, it’s time to take it in for repair. These are both signs that there’s something wrong with the system, and it needs attention right away. Another way to tell if something is wrong with your transmission is if your temperature gauge is consistently in the danger zone.

Your Car Doesn’t Reverse

Another common sign that there may be something wrong with your transmission is when your car fails to shift into reverse properly. Again, it could mean something wrong with the gears or clutch, so it’s essential to get it checked out by a professional. 

Causes of a Slipping Transmission

There are several reasons why your car’s transmission may start slipping, including normal wear and tear. Wear and tear are a natural occurrence and are inevitable over time, and certain parts will start to wear out as your car ages, including the transmission. But there are several other causes that need to be addressed with your mechanic.

Let’s take a quick look at them now.

Low Or Old Transmission Fluid

If your car’s transmission doesn’t have enough fluid, it can cause slipping, so be sure to check your owner’s manual to see what the proper fluid level should be and how to add more if needed. 

The age and condition of your transmission fluid can also lead to a slipping transmission. If the fluid is old or burned, it may not provide enough lubrication for the gears. You may need to have the fluid replaced to resolve this issue. 

Read: Why Your Car’s Transmission is Slipping & Fix

Worn Out Equipment

A bad solenoid can also cause a slipping transmission. This component helps control fluid flow in and out of the transmission, so if it’s not working correctly, it can lead to slippage. You could also have worn transmission bands, which are responsible for transferring power from the engine to the transmission. 

If they’re worn out, it can cause a slipping transmission. 

However, you could have a bad torque converter, and if it isn’t functioning correctly, it can cause your car’s transmission to slip. This part helps connect the engine and transmission and is essential for proper operation. A lousy torque converter is caused by several factors, including wear and tear and contamination. 

Or you could have a worn-out clutch, which can affect how smoothly your car shifts gears. The causes of a worn-out clutch include excessive driving, using the wrong type of oil, and not replacing it when needed. 

A slipping transmission may be one sign that your clutch needs to be replaced. 

Read: Why is My Car With Automatic Transmission Jerking?

How To Repair Your Transmission?

A slipping transmission can be a sign that your car needs some repairs. Several possible causes of a slipping transmission and the repairs will vary depending on the grounds. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s best to take your vehicle to a mechanic and have them take a look. 

Common repairs for a slipping transmission include: 

  • Replacing the solenoid.
  • Replacing worn transmission bands. 
  • Cleaning or replacing the torque converter.
  • Repairing or replacing the clutch. 

It’s essential to get these repairs done as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your car and increased repair costs. 

Below are some of the common steps used when repairing your transmission: 

  1. Remove the transmission pan and inspect the fluid for dirt or debris. 
  2. Clean the filter if necessary and replace the fluid, using the correct type of transmission fluid for your car. 
  3. Check all of the wiring and electrical connectors to make sure they’re in good condition. 
  4. Inspect the torque converter for damage or wear. 
  5. Check all of the transmission belts and pulleys for signs of wear or damage. 
  6. Replace any worn or damaged parts as necessary. 

Once all the repairs have been made, it’s essential to test drive your car to ensure everything is working correctly. Be sure to move slowly at first until you’re confident that everything is functioning correctly. 

If there are any problems after driving your car, take it back to the mechanic for further inspection.

Read: Car Diagnosis Cost

Factors To Consider When Taking Your Car for Repair

Below are factors to consider when taking your car for repairs: 

  • The cost of the repairs: This is an essential factor to consider, especially if your car is out of warranty. 
  • The length of time the repairs will take: You don’t want to be without a car for too long.
  • The experience and qualifications of the mechanic doing the repairs: You want someone who knows what they’re doing and will do a good job. 

Read: Why Car Won’t Start in Neutral?

Benefits of Repairing Your Car at a Transmission Specialist

The following are benefits of having your car repaired by a transmission specialist: 

  • The transmission specialist will have the necessary tools and equipment to do the repairs properly. 
  • They will have the experience and qualifications to do the repairs correctly. 
  • They will usually warranty their work, so you can be sure that it’s done right. 

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of a slipping transmission, take your car to a transmission specialist for repairs. Then, get peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is in good hands. 

FAQs About a Slipping Transmission

What Should I Do If My Car Has a Slipping Transmission?

If your car has a slipping transmission, take it to a mechanic and have them take a look. Several possible causes of a slipping transmission and the repairs will vary depending on the grounds. 

How Much Will It Cost To Repair My Car’s Transmission?

The cost of repairing your car’s transmission can vary depending on the extent of the repairs that need to be done. Therefore, it’s essential to get an estimate from a mechanic before getting the repairs done. 

Can I Drive My Car While It’s Being Repaired?

You cannot drive your car while it’s being repaired. But it depends on the severity of the problem and how extensive the repairs are. In most cases, you shouldn’t drive your car while it’s being repaired, but you should check with the mechanic to be sure. 


Your car’s transmission is a vital piece of equipment, and like all machinery, it can experience problems. If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, take your car to a mechanic for diagnosis and repair as soon as possible. 

The sooner you address the issue, the less expensive the repair will likely be.

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