Gearboxes are a large part of your transmission power train, and therefore they can be expensive to both repair and replace. So it is vitally important to know what is wrong with the gearbox if we are to help save you money on getting it repaired. Here are a few pointers to help diagnose issues, and help provide insight into the car not working.
Most of the issues are easily spotted – noticeably accompanied by a smell, sound or just an odd behaviour that makes noticing the issue that little bit easier.
Basically, leaking oil/fluid – easily spotted by spots appearing where you park, leaving a lovely stain on your driveway. Now most transmission fluid looks pretty much exactly like engine oil, so initially it might be difficult to diagnose between the two. Keep an eye on your oil levels by checking with the dipstick and if your oil is not going down then it is most likely transmission fluid rather than engine oil.
Your vehicle will jump out of gear and into neutral – annoying but also potentially dangerous. Therefore immediate inspection is highly recommended. It could be number of factors that are causing the issue, but it is most likely to be damaged or loose linkage on the gear shifter, the engine or transmission mounts being loose or the input shaft being worn. All of these problems are relatively simple repairs but they should only be completed by trained professionals.
Gears not engaging
If you cannot engage the gearstick into the gear positions when the motor is running but you can do this easily when it is not running then… Your gearbox is probably fine, and instead you most likely have a clutch problem.
You notice a loud, or at least clearly audible scratching noise when you change gear. What can this be? Well it sounds to us like it is worn synchroniser rings which are not slowing the gears down sufficiently to allow them to engage. The scratching noise could be caused by this, but there are also a couple of other things that could cause this problem.
Instead of having an issue with not enough fluid, the scratching noise could be down to the wrong type of fluid being used. As with your regular engine oil, it is essential to follow the manufacturer guidelines here, so make sure any fluid top-ups are done using the correct grade of oil.
As your gearbox interacts directly with your clutch, it is important to understand that problems between the two are not mutually exclusive. Scratching noises can come from a poorly fitted clutch, a worn clutch or one that is simply not high enough quality for the vehicle it was fitted to. Excessive wear is often an issue as the clutch approaches the end of its working lifetime and as there are so many components it can be difficult to diagnose which is at fault. The best bet is to have your car checked at your earliest convenience.
Knocking, clicking or ticking
Your engine and transmission will make noises all the time, but it is easy to spot a new noise that was not there last year, or last month or even last week. These noises can be assigned to three types – Knocking, clicking and ticking. Knocking noises are the most noticeable and usually indicate a broken gear – or in a bad case, gears. Clicking might indicate a broken tooth on a gear – or set of broken teeth – the gear itself is not broken so it won’t make the knocking sound but the clicks are perceptible. Ticks will most likely be caused by a lack of lubrication – I noticed a ticking noise in my vehicle while at a drive through! My window down, the wall at close proximity to me reflecting the sounds, and it was down to a low oil level.
So if you notice any of the points highlighted here, give A1 Clutches a call and get your car booked in for a thorough check- Identifying and acting on the problems early will always save you money in the long run.