It’s an unpleasant sound, for sure. It never feels good when you are shifting gears and you hear (and usually feel) that awful grinding noise. It’s not good for the transmission, and especially the gears themselves. In this article, we will explore what makes the gears grind. We’ll look at ways to avoid grinding your gears. And, we’ll talk about repairs and maintenance you can expect if you grind your gears a lot.

Automatic vs. Manual Transmission

This article is primarily going to focus on vehicles with manual transmissions. If you hear/feel your gears grinding in an automatic transmission car, that is never a good sign. You’ll want to have that issue checked out as soon as possible. It could be a sign of any number of transmission problems, so it’s best to get it inspected and fixed before it leads to major repairs.

With a manual transmission, you the driver are responsible for the shifting of gears. Stick drivers like having that kind of control and, in some cases, certain vehicles just demand a manual set-up for optimal performance. Though manual transmissions have become less and less common, they will always be around and the grinding of gears will always be something to worry about.

Why Your Gears Are Grinding

In most cases, the gears will grind because of operator error. You might have pushed the clutch pedal in too late or let go of it too early. It takes practice to shift smoothly and some vehicles are more sensitive than others. Plus let’s face it, there are plenty of things a driver has to worry about (watching the road, accelerating/decelerating, being aware of other drivers or pedestrians, tuning the radio, putting on makeup, talking on the phone, etc.). It’s really easy to have a momentary lapse of concentration that leads to the ugly sound of gears grinding. If you are an easily distracted or careless driver, then perhaps a manual transmission is not for you.

In other cases, the grinding of gears may not entirely be your fault. There could be a transmission, clutch or gear box problem. Maybe a shaving of metal or some other contaminant traveled through the system and into the gear box. Perhaps you are low on transmission fluid or it’s burnt, which means everything is not properly lubricated. You might need to replace your transmission filter or the pan gasket. Or, your transmission is just getting old. The gears, clutch and other components will naturally wear out over time with lots of use.

What To Do When You Grind the Gears

Whenever you hear the gears grinding, feel the gears slipping or have trouble shifting into gear consistently (and you are pretty sure it’s not because of your own shifting habits), you should bring your vehicle in for a transmission inspection as soon as possible. You may just need a routine transmission service or there could be another issue worth repairing.

Ralph’s Transmission is the Central Valley’s leading transmission repair shop with a trusted reputation since 1969. Bring your vehicle into our Downtown Modesto repair facility. Our expert technicians and diagnosticians will uncover the source of any transmission problem. We’ll recommend the proper repairs and offer fair pricing, so you can get the service you need and get back on the road safely. Your transmission is one of your car’s most important components and the gears and clutch are very important parts of the transmission/drive train system. Don’t let annoying grinding gears lead to major repairs.

Call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your transmission service appointment online.