Automatic Transmission Problems Shifting Gears

An up close shot of Transmission gears. Learn all about Automatic Transmission Problems Shifting Gears here.

A transmission is what takes power from the engine and delivers it to the wheels. This is to move your car forward on the roads of Amherst, Manchester, Derry, and beyond. It does this by shifting gears, and it plays a major role in controlling an automobile.

What’s great about an automatic transmission is that rather than having to shift gears manually, the system does it for you. However, there may be an instance where the automatic has problems shifting gears. Are you wondering why your automatic transmission isn’t shifting, we are here to help.

Below, we’ll tell you why that may be happening. Read through our informative guide, and contact us at Ira Toyota of Manchester if you have any questions.

How an Automatic Transmission Shifts Gears

An up close shot of someone holding the Gear Shifter within their car's interior.

There are three systems within an automatic transmission: electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical. These systems have to work together in order for the transmission to work properly.

The electrical system monitors gear selection and speed, along with the position of the throttle. Included in this system is an Electronic Control Module (ECM), which is a car’s internal computer that helps shift gears automatically.

The hydraulic system will select gears based on how much pressure is applied to the transmission fluid. The mechanical system will then help with power at high speeds.

With all these systems working correctly in tandem, there should be no issue with a car not shifting gears properly.

Why the Transmission Won’t Shift Gears

One reason why an automatic transmission isn’t shifting into gear has to do with the fluid. If it’s not at the right level or the incorrect type has been used, then it’ll affect the gears.

Another big reason has to do with the ECM possibly going bad. Also, there could be issues with the sensors or solenoids (a type of electromagnet). There could be a bad connection, or they could be faulty or worn out.

This can especially happen in older models, such as the Toyota RAV4. Once the ECM is damaged, it can’t properly monitor the operations of your vehicle, which could lead to more serious issues. Due to this, you’ll want to replace the ECM as soon as possible.

Other Transmission Issues

An up close shot of someone holding a Steering Wheel while driving.

A transmission not shifting into gears is just one issue that it could face. Other examples include:

  • Humming or buzzing noise: If you hear an unfamiliar noise, like humming or buzzing, then there’s most likely an issue with the transmission.
  • Low fluid: Unlike engine oil, transmission fluid doesn’t burn off when you drive. So, if it’s low on fluid, then there’s a leak somewhere.
  • Burning smell: Transmission fluid is what keeps the many moving parts lubricated and cool. If the fluid ever runs low, then the system will overheat. When that happens, you’ll start to smell a burning odor.
  • Shaking: An automatic transmission should shift smoothly. If there’s an issue, it might start as needing extra time to get the proper gear into place. If you ignore the problem, then there will be a lot more shaking when you try to move to the next gear.

If your Toyota is experiencing any of these issues, then you’ll need to get it looked at right away.

Schedule Transmission Service Today

If you need your automatic transmission checked out near Amherst, Manchester, or Derry, don’t wait. Schedule service at Ira Toyota of Manchester today!

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