Everything You Need to Know About Autos

Three Automatic Transmission Problems You May Notice

Cars with automatic transmission systems are popular because they don't require the driver to do a lot while driving. However, these systems can develop defects that can affect the ability of the car to perform as expected. This article discusses some of those problems that may develop in the automatic transmission system of your car.

Gears Fail to Engage

Have you ever moved the gear lever from "park" to "drive", and your car didn't respond as expected? Automatic transmissions can fail to engage gears. This may be due to a defect with the solenoid that controls the brake light. A defect with that switch mechanism can make the gear selector fail to work. A serious shortage of fluid within the gearbox system can also create this problem. Sometimes, an electrical defect, such as a shorted speed sensor, can prevent the gears from engaging. Your car may also fail to go into gear if its flex plate is unable to transfer engine power to the car's transmission system.

Gears Keep Slipping

Your car may also keep slipping in and out of gear. The most common cause of this problem is a reduction in the level of the transmission fluid. A failing gear-shift solenoid can also cause the gears to keep slipping. Worn or burnt out transmission clutch bands or discs could also be responsible for making your car's gears keep slipping.

It Fails to Shift from First Gear

Some cars may engage the first gear and fail to shift to other gears as driving conditions, such as speed, change. In such a case, the solenoid controlling the second gear may have shorted. A blown fuse can also make the controller of the power-train control module (PCM) unable to function. PCMs may also become defective and result in your car remaining in the first gear as you drive. A defective vehicle speed sensor can prevent the gears from shifting since the control module will be unable to send signals instructing the system to shift to another gear in response to the increase in the car's speed.

Only a few of these gearbox problems, such as low fluid in the system, can be fixed easily by a layperson. All the other defects should be attended to by a professional who can use the appropriate diagnostic tools to identify the exact cause of the problem. It is always advisable to take prompt action when you suspect gearbox problems so that costly gearbox repairs are avoided.