For many car enthusiasts, there is no better feeling than shifting in a manual car. Every single motion and gear changes give you the feeling of control, and there is nothing like it with any other transmission type. This is why, despite a continuing decline in sales, those automakers aren’t ready to get rid of a manual transmission option.
The breed is rare, so taking care of your manual transmission is even more important as the years go on. That’s why we here at Pro-Tech Transmissions put together another great guide to help you diagnose your transmission problems. The sooner you catch the issue, the longer your transmission will last, as long as you get it repaired immediately.
From clunks to the transmission slipping, we’ve put together the most common issues with a manual transmission.
**NOTE: This is not a DIY blog. This blog is here to help you understand and convey to your tech what issues are really happening inside your manual transmission.**
First off, we need to remind you that a transmission is not supposed to grind or shake. Transmission grinds are bit more complicated to work with because they could stem from a number of issues from low fluid to broken pieces in the transmission.
- Gear synchronizers can be the cause of transmission grinds. Since the synchronizers are the middle man of a gear change, they tend to take a lot of abuse. That means they can wear out pretty easily after years of use. Since their job is to prepare the next gear for the right speed, worn out synchros can cause grinds by nor>speeding up the gears enough.
- The next place to look is the clutch. Are you engaging it fully? If not, your transmission will grind. If you are pushing the clutch in all the way, you might have a worn clutch that is causing the transmission grinds. With a worn clutch, your transmission won’t move the gears far enough away from each other to properly disengage.
- The final reason a transmission might grind is the dog teeth themselves being chipped or broken inside the transmission. Sadly, there is no real way to tell what is causing the grinding noise without scheduling a transmission maintenance appointment with a specialist.
Book a diagnostic appointment now, and we’ll help you with that grind.
Transmission clunks aren’t good for your transmission, and they should be a major red flag.
That is if you haven’t caused the clunk yourself.
Here’s how to avoid that clunk on start-up:
- When you park, put your vehicle in neutral.
- Engage your emergency brake (yes, that one that you almost never use!).
- Now that the emergency brake is set and holding the vehicle’s weight, put your car in gear or park.
This simple procedure will take the weight off of your gears and stop the clunking that was happening as you moved in and out of gear on startup.
This works for any type of transmission.
If your clunking sound happens when you are driving, we focus on a few different areas like the transmission mounts and low or bad transmission fluid. Clunks can also be from faulty speed sensors that aren’t getting your transmission gears up to the speeds it needs to shift properly, or spinning them too fast.
One of our Pro Techs can take care of your clunk with an appointment.
Transmission Slipping and Pops
A transmission slipping or popping out of gear is a fairly common occurrence when it comes to manual transmission problems. Most people find out their transmission has a pop mid-turn. If your vehicle is popping your transmission out of gear, it could be a few different issues with the transmission.
When transmissions haven’t had regular fluid changes at the recommended kilometer markers, their fluid could more or less be holding the gears together at that point. All of the metal shavings and other items that have broken off into the fluid might be the only reason your transmission is still working at all. At that point, don’t have it changed, save your money, just ride it out until it dies or repairs it.
If the pop continues after the transmission fluid change, you have bigger fish to fry.
Our technicians will diagnose the issues and make a recommendation that saves you hassle and money.
- The next place we look at is the shift linkage. From improper installation to simple wear-and-tear, a bad shift linkage can cause a wide array of issues for your transmission.
A poorly adjusted shift linkage could be causing your gears to pop out of place or not engage at all since the shift linkage controls the fork that engages the gears. If you can shake your shifter around while it’s in gear on a manual transmission, there’s a linkage problem.
- Another area we check is the mounts holding your transmission. Even a worn mount can cause your transmission to pop out of place.
These are your typical fixes for transmission pops, but sometimes these won’t do any good because the transmission synchronizers are worn. Synchros help your transmission shift without the need to double-clutch and rpm match.
These little devices in the transmission match the gear’s dog teeth to a matching RPM before they engage with the transmission gears. If you have worn synchros, your gears aren’t matching the speed and that could cause in a pop out.
Listen to Your Transmission, It Talks When It Has Issues
Transmission repairs never have an absolute answer, so it’s important to listen when your transmission talks to you. When a transmission talks, it tends to give you a, “I’ve never heard that sound before,” feeling. The sounds you want to look out for are typically humming, buzzing, or whining noises.
If you experience these sounds or hear clunks, try adding transmission fluid to see if they go away. If not, you should schedule an appointment with a transmission specialist to find the true cause of your transmission problems.
As always, Pro-Tech Transmissions is here to help you with your transmission problems. From hunting down the problem or fixing it, we have your back.