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What Causes a Transmission to Slip?

Transmission Cross Section Close-Up

Is your transmission slipping when you’re cruising the roads in and around Providence, RI? It doesn’t necessarily mean your transmission is failing, but it is a sign that you may need to flush and replace your transmission fluid. Your car’s transmission is one of the most complex components of your vehicle, as well as one of the most important, so it is important that you ensure that it is operating properly. Learn more about what causes a transmission to slip, transmission slipping signs, and more from the service team at MINI of Warwick.

Transmission Slipping Signs

Signs of a slipping transmission can appear when you’re driving on Cranston, RI-area roads or just idling in your driveway. Here are a few transmission slipping signs you should be aware of: 

  • Engine chugs or revs irregularly
  • Acceleration is weak, slow, or hesitant
  • Shifting gears is difficult 
  • Check engine light is on
  • Strange noises like grinding or whining 
  • Strange burning smell 

If the transmission is slipping, the vehicle will most likely be slow to respond or may not respond at all when you try to accelerate. If the gears make unusual noises when shifting, or shift or “slip” without warning, you’ll want to schedule service with MINI of Warwick as soon as possible. 

Reasons Why a Transmission is Slipping

One or more of the following issues can cause a transmission to slip: 

  • Transmission Fluid: Your transmission needs the proper amount of transmission fluid to operate properly. If your transmission is sluggish, the fluid is the first thing you’ll want to check. 
  • Defective Solenoid: The transmission solenoid is an electromagnetic component that controls the flow of the transmission fluid. If the solenoid is defective, the transmission may not be receiving enough fluid. 
  • Damaged Transmission Bands: Transmission bands link the gears together. If the bands are worn out, it may be due to not enough transmission fluid. In any case, the bands will need to be replaced. 
  • Clutch Issues: The clutch also relies on fresh transmission fluid to operate properly. Automatic transmissions have a torque converter instead of a clutch, but if you have a manual, you’ll want to make sure that the clutch is working as it should. 
  • Torque Converter Problems: The torque converter converts engine power into the torque that drives the transmission. In addition to slipping, other issues can include burning, smoking, gears jumping, failing to go into gear, or complete transmission failure.
  • Worn Gears: The gears in your transmission can wear out over time. Maintaining the correct amount of transmission fluid is crucial to prolonging the life of the gears. 

Choose MINI of Warwick for Expert Transmission Service 

If you suspect that there is a problem with your transmission, it is important that you seek professional auto service as soon as you can. A simple transmission issue can turn into a major problem if left unchecked. Give us a call at (877) 361-3426 to learn more about our transmission service, and don’t forget to browse our service specials to take advantage of our current offers. If you have any questions or concerns, contact our service department.


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