What To Do If Your Manual Transmission Won't Shift

If you have a manual transmission in your car or truck and it has started to grind or slip out of place when you try and put it in gear, you may have a problem with the transmission. The transmission could have a problem with a gear set inside the gearbox, or the issue could be related to the clutch. 

Grinding Noises When Shifting

One of the first signs that you have an issue with your transmission is slight grinding or hesitation when you shift from one gear to the next. In a standard transmission, pressing the clutch pedal disengages the clutch, effectively disconnecting the transmission from the engine. This allows the transmission to stop spinning, and the gear set to be changed as the shifter is moved to the next gear. 

Modern transmissions use gears that are cut to slide together easier and synchros inside the transmission to allow the gears to line up and slide in without grinding. If the gear is damaged or the Syncro is broken, the transmission gears may not align as they should, and the result could be a grinding noise as the gear is moved from one gear to the next. The only way to tell if there is a gear or Syncro problem is to open the transmission case and inspect the gears inside, but only a qualified technician should do this.

Clutch Failure

The cutch consists of a pressure plate, a friction plate, a throwout bearing assembly, and the pedal assembly. If any of these parts fail, the transmission many not shift because you can not disengage it from the engine. The friction plate is covered in friction material that is a lot like the material used on your breaks, and if that material glazes over from the heat and wear, the plate can slip under pressure, cause the clutch not to work. 

The pressure plate in the clutch assembly can stop working and make it hard to disengage the clutch when you are ready to shift gears. These parts are all replaceable, but the technician at the transmission shop will need to verify that they are the cause of the problem you are having, and often that means opening up the transmission. 

Taking your vehicle into a transmission shop is the first thing you should do if you start to notice that it is not shifting the way it should. The earlier the transmission shop diagnosis, the problem, the less damage you have to the components, and in many cases, the cheaper it will be to fix the transmission in your vehicle. Visit a website like ACTIONTRANSMISSIONPROS.COM to learn more.