A black Dodge on a wide open road with purple mountains in the distance.People come into the Ralph’s Transmission shop every day with a variety of different transmission problems. There are many common signs of transmission damage, including transmission fluid leaks, slipping gears, grinding gears and overheating transmission systems. One of the most common problems we see is when the vehicle isn’t shifting properly in lower gears.

Trouble Shifting?

Shifting trouble can typically occur whether the engine is hot or cold. If there is some sort of internal damage within the transmission, it really won’t matter if the engine is warmed up or not. Sometimes, the problems will primarily occur at lower speeds and in the lowest gear ranges. Once you are driving at full speed on the highway, the vehicle might seem like it’s running fine. Once you slow down again, however, you might start to notice the issues again. Some examples of low-gear transmission problems might include:

  • Sluggish acceleration at low speeds
  • Not shifting into certain gears (forward or reverse)
  • Slipping out of gear or between shifts
  • Grinding or clunking noises between shifts
  • Transmission overheating
  • Excessive engine revving (high RPMs)

Automatic vs. Manual Shifting Problems

Many low-gear transmission problems occur in automatic transmission vehicles when there is damage to the torque converter. It is often the culprit when it comes to any significant shifting issues. It is a very critical component in an automatic transmission as it controls all the shifting, so when there are problems it tends to be most noticeable when the vehicle is in lower gears and thus shifting more often. At high speeds when the vehicle is in its highest gear, there is no shifting happening and therefore any issues are less noticeable.

Shifting problems in a manual transmission vehicle may be a result of damage within the clutch system or one of the gears themselves. There could be any number of concerns when the vehicle isn’t shifting properly, whether the vehicle is manual, standard automatic or CTV (continuously variable transmission). It may simply be a transmission fluid issue and a standard maintenance service is all that’s needed.

Don’t Wait for the Problems to Get Worse

Whenever you notice any shifting trouble, you will want to get your vehicle checked out by a transmission specialist. It is usually best to catch these kinds of problems early before major damage is done within your transmission system. Otherwise, it will likely just keep getting worse over time and you’ll find yourself having to replace or rebuild your transmission once the internal damage is beyond repair.

If you are in the Central Valley, bring your vehicle into Ralph’s Transmission in Modesto for a free initial transmission inspection. Our technicians will run tests and look over your transmission to determine what the problem is, and then we’ll recommend the necessary maintenance or repairs. We also offer free towing within a 30-mile radius of our shop if you aren’t comfortable driving your vehicle in. Call us today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.

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