What Should I Do if My Transmission Is Jerking?

March 29, 2021

Your transmission is responsible for shifting gears. In manual cars, you might experience jerks and sudden starts due to user error, especially if you’re new to manual transmissions. However, automatic transmissions are more popular. A properly operating transmission should move seamlessly from one gear to the next—you shouldn’t even notice that it’s changing. If your transmission does jerk, you need to take your vehicle in for transmission repair in Hanford, CA right away. That’s a sign of a serious issue.

Here are some common transmission issues that cause jerking.

Rough jerking when shifting

If your car struggles to accelerate, you might struggle to change gears or the transition can feel rough. It might feel like a jerk, clunk or thud. This is usually caused by troubles with the vacuum, transmission fluid or a faulty sensor.

The vacuum modulator valve helps older vehicles determine when to shift gears. There’s a hose that connects the valve with the intake through a hose. If the hose is blocked, cracked, broken or bent, the transmission won’t get the signal.

Transmission fluid can also cause problems, whether the fluid level is too low or it’s contaminated. It should be a clear, bright red color—if it’s dark and cloudy, it will need to be replaced.

Modern cars use sensors to guide a number of processes, including gear shifting. If you have a newer car and your vacuum and fluid aren’t the problem, it could be a faulty sensor. You’ll need professional help to repair this.

Shifting and slipping

Sometimes a transmission slips into the next gear instead of smoothly gliding. You might see the check engine light come on, notice burning smells or see that your RPMs are far higher than normal. This is often due to issues with the fluid, clutch, torque converter, gears or solenoid.

Once you’ve checked your transmission fluid levels, bring your car in to a repair shop for further analysis. Your gears, torque convertor and clutch might be worn out, or the solenoid may not be releasing enough fluid into the transmission. This causes the transition between gears to feel rougher than normal.

Delayed engagement

You might also notice a delay between shifting into reverse or drive and when your car actually responds to that command. This is often due to issues with the transmission fluid or solenoid. Make sure you take your vehicle to the shop immediately—delayed engagement can range from a few seconds to a minute, but it’s a serious problem either way.

Ultimately, anytime you notice a transmission issue, you should treat it as a matter of the utmost importance. The longer you let these problems slide, the more likely it is that you’ll need lengthy and expensive repairs. Be sure to keep up with your regular vehicle maintenance, too—automotive techs may be able to spot problems before you notice there’s an issue.

For high-quality transmission service and repair in Hanford, CA, reach out to AAA Sandoval Transmissions or pay us a visit today.

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