Reasons Why Your Manual Transmission Slips Or Pops Out

A manual transmission can give you the feel of control over your car, but it also has some issues when it begins to wear out. One of these issues is that the gears will sometimes slip or pop out. This makes it hard to change or stay in gear. When this starts to happen, it could mean that parts of your transmission need replacement. Sometimes, the fixes are simple and inexpensive, other times you may need a total transmission replacement.

Signs and symptoms of slipping:

The first sign of a problem is that your transmission seems sluggish when you shift gears. The response gets longer and longer as components continue to wear. Your engine might rev up to high RPMs before the gear "catches." You may feel that your car is sluggish and sense a burning smell under load. In some instances, the shift lever will either not go into gear or pop out of gear, often when accelerating. You might feel resistance if you try to push the gear back in or find you have to hold the lever. You could also find your car going straight from second to fourth and skip over third.

Common causes and costs for slipping transmissions:

If you're experiencing general sluggishness and hesitation, then it may be time for a clutch replacement. Clutch inspection should be a part of your overall maintenance and signs of aging and wear can often be noted well before any serious problems start. Depending on how you drive, these clutches can last only a short time or the entire lifetime of the car. Clutch replacement generally costs a few hundred dollars depending on where you live and your make and model. However, if you find your car popping out of gear entirely while driving, then you may have serious internal damage and wear. This could mean an entire transmission rebuild or replacement.

Fixing the problem:

The first thing you do, before assuming you have a major repair job ahead of you, is to have your transmission checked out by a specialist. It's not unusual for the problem to be caused by something simple such as low fluid, bad mounts or misaligned linkages, especially if the symptoms came on suddenly. It's important not to wait as a simple problem can turn into a serious one quickly. Sometimes, you can still continue to drive with these problems until they get worse, but you should have an expert assess your situation to make sure your car can continue to be operated safely and you won't be stranded.