If you drive a car with a manual transmission, you can count on a few things that other drivers don't get the pleasure of having. For starters, you have the ability to control your driving experience to a degree that drivers of automatic transmissions just can't match. You also might not realize it, but properly cared for manual transmissions tend to last longer without service and need less service intervention over their lifetimes than automatic transmissions.
Understanding when you need to have a qualified transmission repair technician take a look at your manual transmission is key to keeping your manual transmission repair costs contained, too. That's because transmission problems can escalate quickly, so taking care of an issue as soon as it’s recognized is the key, and learning to spot these issues becomes incredibly important.
Common Manual Transmission Warning Signs
If you experience any of the following issues, you should get your car checked for manual transmission problems right away:
- The clutch feels like it is slipping when you change gears. A burning smell and high engine revving when you release the pedal are both signs that slippage is taking place.
- The clutch pedal feels odd. While there may be no particular feeling that describes its oddity, it’s simply a good idea to get your vehicle checked when the clutch starts behaving differently.
- Grinding sounds when the transmission shifts. This can happen when you shift without properly engaging the clutch, so make sure you are shifting normally. If it still grinds or if the clutch goes entirely to the floorboards and it grinds, then you have trouble that needs seeing to.
- If the transmission doesn't get into gear, then you are likely dealing with an issue with hydraulic pressure. That happens when there is a leak connecting the master and slave cylinders.
- Strange smells in general. Even if the smell is not necessarily a burning smell like you would expect when the clutch is slipping, it could be indicative of other issues. Service is always a good idea when your vehicle's exhaust scent changes.
- Delays in movement are also a big sign of transmission issues. If you feel like your shifting is happening a second or two after it should have clicked in, then your transmission is no longer shifting smoothly.
- Any odd sounds other than those outlined here should also be checked out.
Differences Between Manual and Auto Transmission Repair
It’s important to know the differences in maintenance between automatic and manual transmissions, if you are not familiar. In general, manual transmissions are a bit less expensive to repair, and they are built to last, with many people reporting a decade or more before the clutch needs to be replaced. Automatic transmissions also last a long time, but their fluid flushes and change-overs require more attention and occur more often, so they require more maintenance.
Fluid leaks are a common issue with automatic transmissions, but not so much with manual devices. This is because of the way that fluids become exposed or seals that can be compromised as a matter of course, when you are working with high-pressure systems that continuously operate.
If you are experiencing manual transmission problems and all your prior experience is with automatic transmissions, then you need to realize that it's far more likely you will experience a slipping clutch or other symptoms from the list above rather than a large-scale fluid leak. That's simply the nature of the design differences between the two.
Regular Maintenance and Manual Transmissions
If you are used to automatic transmissions, it can be tricky to understand how to read manual transmission signs of trouble; however, the guide above will help and so will taking your car in for regular maintenance. You might not need fluid flushes and changes for a manual vehicle's transmission, but having your other fluid changes and preventative maintenance done on time means having a professional monitoring your car more often. Having the extra set of eyes can help to identify and diagnose any problems early on.
Making an Appointment for Manual Transmission Repair
If you are experiencing any of the problems on the list above, make sure you get in touch with Sun Auto Service today. Our technicians have the experience you need to diagnose and repair your manual or automatic transmission troubles today. Don't wait; your transmission is a critical part of your car.