My Transmission Won’t Shift When Accelerating – What Do I Do?

The transmission is one of people areas in a car that you really do not really shell out considerably consideration to. It’s just there, and it performs. Nevertheless, when it begins to malfunction, difficulty follows. For illustration, what do you do when it refuses to change gears when getting speed? Well, the very first thing to do would be to check the ECM. 2nd, examine the clutch disc and the transmission fluid. Correcting weak connections could also resolve the issue.

Indeed, this will get some trial and error prior to you get to the bottom of it. In this guidebook, we’ll protect the most frequent causes of the shifting problem and share tried out-and-correct methods for fixing them. Following, we’ll chat about how to increase the transmission’s lifespan and far more. Let’s get to it!

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How Does the Transmission Work?

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These days, most cars can be outfitted with either a manual or computerized transmission. As the identify suggests, an automatic gearbox does all the shifting autonomously, while a handbook transmission relies on the driver for that. Manual transmissions are less expensive but a little bit more challenging to master, particularly for a initial-time driver. They consist of a shifter, the actual gears, the input/output shafts, and a clutch pedal.

The driver selects a equipment and activates the clutch. You’ve received twin-clutch (partially automated), AMT (mostly the same, but less costly), unsynchronized (only used in older cars), and synchronized (less complicated to use) handbook transmissions. Computerized transmissions, in switch, don’t have any clutches—they’re changed by torque converters. And there is no equipment shifting as the laptop handles almost everything.

Fixing the Shifting Problem: A Detailed Guide

  • The first thing to check would be the ECM. It stands for Electronic Control Module, and when it’s malfunctioning, you’ll have a hard time shifting through the gears. It’s the onboard computer that controls the air-to-fuel ratio, emissions, and gear shifts. If you’re lucky, the problems with shifting will be caused by bad connections, which are easy to fix. But if it’s the software, only a professional can repair it.
  • Worn-out sensors and bad solenoids (alternatively known as valves) can also make the transmission “act up” when going up or down the gears. The mechanics are calling this a “no shift” condition. It prevents the driver from successfully switching between gears. Again, have a mechanic check the solenoids and sensors. Most likely, they’ll find that a broken shifter cable is causing all this trouble.
  • Next, we would recommend checking the engine. It might be that blown fuses or bad connections (like throttle cables) inside of the motor are to blame here. If you have experience with engines, replacing these won’t be a problem. If not, an auto shop will take 1–2 hours to handle everything.
  • Couldn’t find any issues with the motor? Then check the transmission fluid. Is there enough of it, or maybe the fluid levels are low? If so, you need to top it up. But before you do that, it would be best to flush the old fluid, as it will, most likely, be contaminated. This will take some time—keep that in mind. If you don’t see any metal pieces mixed in with the fluid, that’s a good sign; it means the fluid is relatively clean.
  • When was the last time you checked the torque converter? It might very well be that the gearbox isn’t shifting properly because this part is malfunctioning. Without it, the wheels won’t turn, essentially making the car useless. A faulty converter leads not only to trouble shifting but also to smoke and even burning.
  • Lastly, we’ve got the gear shift lock. This is a system that protects the car from accidental gear shifts (like maybe a reckless passenger or a child playing around with the gearbox). With the lock activated, the transmission won’t shift when accelerating. Luckily, this one’s very easy to override; on the console, you’ll find a slot. Insert your key, and that should unlock the gearbox!

Should You Hire a Mechanic for This?

Automatic Transmission
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If you can afford to pay an vehicle store to fix the transmission, then indeed, you need to absolutely do that. Very first, they’ll have the required equipment and skills to properly diagnose not only the gearbox but the whole car. They’ll read through the error codes making use of a scanner (the “Check Engine” light may well show that there’s an concern with the transmission, not the motor) and appear up with a answer.

For an additional fee, the expert will also inspect the transmission for any symptoms of leaks, cracks, dents, and put on. Worn-out seals/bearings will not cost a lot to change. The identical is real for patching a leak. Nevertheless, if you have been driving on lower fluid/oil stages for a extended time, exposing the transmission to excessive heat, that will expense a good deal more to fix/substitute.

How Long Do Transmissions Last?

In automobiles, the gearbox is liable for protecting against abnormal engine use and tear. Apart from, with no a transmission, the motor will get eternally to accelerate, and it will get loud as you strategy peak RPMs. It’s also the transmission’s work to “feed” the electricity/energy produced by the engine to the wheels. You can find it set up on the chassis of the vehicle in the front.

It does use out above time, though, specially if you do tons of off-roading or just take part in aggressive racing. On typical, the transmission in a modern-day automobile can serve for 100K miles. Given that the average American drives 10–15K miles a calendar year, it will final for at the very least 6–7 many years. Nonetheless, if you take proper care of it, the transmission will go on for 250–300K miles!

Manual Transmission
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Tips for Increasing the Lifespan

Whilst the transmission is fairly hard and can take care of normal factors, tough driving problems, and tons of “abuse”, it even now requirements treatment. Right here are the very best practices for extending its life cycle:

  • Check on the fluid. Transmission oil has two important tasks. First, it takes the heat away from the various mechanical components. Second, it minimizes wear/tear due to excessive friction. When there isn’t enough transmission fluid, that can lead to overheating (and expensive repairs). Check it once every 1–2 months. Also, consider using synthetic oil, as it does a better job of protecting the gearbox.
  • Be a conscious driver. Accelerate slowly and try not to do any aggressive driving. Next, give both the transmission and the engine some time to warm up. Remember: the colder it is outside, the thicker the fluid will be. Keep your eye on the RPMs and only hit the gas pedal when they go down. Finally, resist the urge to shift between gears while the car is still moving and keep your foot off the brake pedal.

car and road divider


The transmission is really a innovative mechanism. Without it, your motor vehicle won’t be ready to start off or perform effectively. And when it fails at shifting by means of gears when accelerating, that can guide to all types of unwelcome repercussions, including sluggish, inconsistent efficiency, faulty begins, and much more. In the worst-situation scenario, you are going to end up in an accident. Thankfully, this issue can be solved.

It will consider some time, knowledge, and the right tools, though. That’s specifically why allowing a certified mechanic deal with every little thing is recommended. But, if you know your way all around autos, correcting the transmission manually will save you a whole lot of funds. Make standard routine maintenance or trips to the closest automobile store a element of your regimen, and content shifting!



Showcased Graphic Credit score: Globetrotter78, Pixabay