About Me

Talking About Automotive Maintenance

Hi there, my name is Nancy. Welcome to my site about automotive maintenance. My car has lasted for more than 10 years without any major problems due to the strict maintenance schedule I follow. Vehicle maintenance includes oil changes, tune ups, tire rotations, alignments and a host of other important services. These services protect the vehicle’s components from excessive wear and unexpected failure. I will use this site to explore all of the different maintenance procedures and schedules available. I hope you can use the information on my site to keep your vehicle in great shape over the years. Thanks for visiting. Come back soon.

Talking About Automotive Maintenance

Common Causes Of Erratic Shifting In Automatic Transmissions

by Saira Tanis

It can be very disconcerting when your car's automatic transmission starts to shift erratically. These problems may come on all of a sudden, or you may have noticed them get gradually worse. Even though these symptoms are alarming, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will need an expensive transmission repair. Here are some common reasons why transmissions shift harshly or erratically.

Fluid and lack of maintenance:

If the fluids are too low, then the transmission can't maintain the proper pressures need to change gears. If you need to add fluid, especially if you need to do so often, then you should also check for leaks. Clogged filters and dirty fluid can also restrict fluid flow and cause shifting problems. In the past, most transmissions also had internal bands that needed periodic adjustment. However, bands are much less common with newer models, so it is no longer necessary if your car is fairly new. Having your transmission serviced is often enough to solve minor shifting problems.

Cable or gearshift problems:

It's not uncommon for gearshifts and cables to become misaligned, especially if your car is driven over bumpy or rocky roads. Cables can also break and bolts can become loose. This is generally an easy and inexpensive fix with the cable or missing parts being replaced and the gearshift indicator aligned with the proper gear on the transmission.

Bad solenoids:

Solenoids are the parts that open and close to control fluid pressure to and from the clutches in order to shift of maintain the gears. Sometimes, they leak or fail either as a single component or an entire pack and will need to be replaced. The cost of repair varies based on how many solenoids are bad and where they are located.

Bad clutches or internal damage:

This is the worst case scenario and is also the most expensive possibility.  If the clutches or other internal parts of the transmission are worn or damaged, then you may need a complete transmission rebuild or replacement. Clutches can go bad either from poor maintenance, bad driving habits, or from poorly made or installed components.

Erratic and delayed shifting doesn't always mean that you will need an expensive repair. If you address the problems early and keep on top of routine maintenance, then you may save money and reduce the likelihood that you will have to replace your entire transmission. Any time you have a problem with shifting, be sure to find a quality auto transmissions repair specialist who will pinpoint the exact problem and repair it efficiently.