Automatic transmission slipping when hot might be a minor issue to spend your efforts on, but in the long run, it will surely pay off. Otherwise, this problem can leave you with the possibility of high risks when hitting the road.
Most of the common reasons are low or high levels of transmission fluid or burnt fluid along with the clogged filter, failing torque converter, and so on. Adding or reducing the transmission fluid and bringing some tiny changes can easily get the work done.
There’s more to this than just basic adjustments – so let’s get to the main topic without any further delay!
What Is Automatic Transmission Slipping?
The automatic transmission makes our work easier, but it has its fair share of troubles.
As you all know, it is basically a mechanical malfunction. Even though it is quite common, not all cars get affected.
The situation doesn’t indicate the fact that your transmission is going to fail, but it warns you to take the necessary steps.
During that time, the car’s response is weakened, or your acceleration doesn’t work at all.
Due to various issues with the transmission fuel and other components, sometimes the engine becomes less efficient or even might not respond. Thus, making it unsafe for you to take your car on the road.
At this point, you should make the right diagnosis to fix up the problem.
Symptoms of Automatic Transmission Slipping When Hot
The problem just doesn’t appear; it also brings many symptoms. It is your responsibility as a dutiful car owner to be able to identify those traits.
One of the most common ones, as mentioned previously, is the delayed response of your car. No matter how much you press the gas pedal, you will get a delayed outcome.
Not only that, you will be deprived of the option of using the reverse gear along with facing difficulties while shifting the gears.
Some people also face weird smells, which can be a strong burning smell from the engine.
Due to all these performance-related issues, it is absolutely not safe to drive during automatic transmission slipping when hot. Unfortunately, if you face any of the mentioned traits, you must safely park the car in a secured place as soon as possible and see the solutions yourself, or you might want to call the mechanic.
Causes and Solutions of Slipping
Most people get scared when this situation arises, but you have nothing to worry about as this is quite common. Typically, the following are the reasons for this issue to occur –
Low Level of Transmission Fluid
It is essential to understand that transmission fluid is the main component behind the good performance of the transmission. Anything wrong with the fluid can cause the transmission to slip when hot.
Now, the question is – how will you understand if the level of fluid is right or not?
There are several ways to notice this change, and one of them is a burning smell; if you smell anything burning, then that might be an indication of low fluid levels.
Not only that, humming rhythmic noises, delayed response, and check engine light turning on are also clear indications. In such a situation, you should quickly check the fluid level. Add more transmission fluid if necessary.
Different models of car engines use different types of fluid. Therefore, you will have to know the type of fluid needed to get an estimate of the total cost. Do keep in mind that the price might vary from dealer to dealer.
Most of the time, 4-12 quarts are enough to fill up the empty space, which might cost you about $7 to $20. This situation doesn’t appear often, so it will only be one-time in a long-time expense!
Incompatible Transmission Fluid
Due to several reasons, you might notice that your transmission fluid is not doing good, or in easy words, it’s worn out. And you will hear undesired whining noises coming out from the gearbox, or your gears might stop responding.
Transmission fluids tend to last for several years, extending up to 5 years if the proper care is provided.
But sometimes, when the transmission fluid is not provided with the optimum conditions or the engine is worked out too often to last up to 5 years.
Believe us when we say you don’t want your transmission fluid to be worn out.
This is because the worn-out fluid is more prone to transmitting heat at this state, making it able to sustain much more heat. Therefore, the transmission gears will simply not be able to work the way they were programmed to and lose their rhythm.
Unfortunately, if a situation like this comes, then you will have to spend a hefty amount on changing the gearbox.
Usually, they cost around $1800 to $3400 in the market, which is based on the type of model you desire for your car and the car workshop you choose to visit for the replacement.
Overused Transmission Fluid:
Another common reason is due to over usage of the transmission fluid. As mentioned previously, transmission fluid can be used for long years. To be more specific, you can say that it will last you for about 100,000 miles.
When calculated as an average, it will probably be okay for 5 years, considering 20,000 miles are crossed every year. When this phenomenon happens, your engine will start to heat up above normal temperatures, accompanied by a whining or churning sound.
If you want to be more sure, then you can check the transmission fluid, which will, at this point, turn into a brown or deep red color from a crystal clear or pinkish shade.
In case this shows up, you will have no other option than to replace the entire fluid.
This will obviously cost you more than just adding up some transmission fluid. However, the criteria that you must follow will stay the same.
By that, we mean you must be sure about what brand to choose your fluid from according to the preference of your car’s engine model.
Depending on the quality, this will probably hit you from $300 to $500.
Transmission Fluid Leakage
Unlike the circumstances, we dealt with previously, this one is different. This is not the fault of your fluid but of the leak. Sadly, leaks are very common in cars. As you have guessed, this will reduce the amount of transmission fluid left in your car.
Therefore, your transmission will slip. At this moment, the most important thing is to locate the leak, which might be anywhere from the fluid lines to even the pan gasket!
Driving a car with a leak present is no less than a suicidal attempt, as it can cause internal damage to the car.
So, sealing the leak with the aid of friction modifier additives is the way to go if you don’t want to cause any harm to the torque converter system.
If you know about cars, then you must be familiar with shifting solenoids. They play a vital role in the maintenance of the transmission fluid.
Mostly, you will find two solenoids in each car. These parts aid in the functioning of the transmission control module.
In easy words, the solenoids are in charge of rotating the fluid around the transmission. They make sure that the fluid is distributed equally in each of the components.
However, if you see that the transmission warning light is on or the shift, skip, and sticking gear features are delayed, then you can be pretty much sure that the shift solenoid is not doing good.
If the symptoms are not good enough to convince you to spend about $200 to $500, then you can take the assistance of a multimeter or voltmeter.
The readings will show if the solenoid is fine or not. The only solution to this problem is replacing the old one with a new one. Installing new solenoids is fairly easy than it sounds, so no worries!
Troublesome Transmission Bands
The transmission bands are located between the automatic gearbox. Much like the transmission fluid, the bands can give rise to various troubles in the functioning of the transmission slipping when they wear off.
After long-term usage, they will not be in a state to function. As a result, you will notice that the transmission is slipping or even the gears might be damaged. The one and only solution to this problem is changing the worn-out bands with brand-new ones. This is much less expensive than the previous ones and easier too.
As you can see, there are several reasons why your automatic transmission slips when hot. But we hope that the fixes will help you to solve the problem without any additional panic.
You just have to recognize the problem and just follow the solutions as suggested. Then you should be all packed up and ready to hit the road safely again on your favorite vehicle!