What causes gearbox overheating?

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Majority of gearbox failures are a result of overheating. Overheating is often a result of something bad with the transmission fluid, which is the lifeblood of your gearbox, providing key functions such as lubricating different parts of the transmission. However, as the transmission fluid ages, it begins to break down and lose its ability to lower the high temperatures inside the gearbox. Consequently, gearbox overheating occurs. So how can you know your gearbox is overheating? Here are some of the common symptoms to check out.

Burnt or ineffective transmission fluid

Burnt or dirty fluid is a common symptom of gearbox overheating and this begs for a fluid change. Generally, new transmission fluid is clear and pinkish red in color while deteriorated or ineffective fluid is either black or dark brown with bits of metal, contaminants, or dirt. Additionally, if the fluid produces a burning smell, then it should be drained and replaced.

Low fluid levels

Your gearbox requires a specific level of transmission fluid to work, and lack of enough fluid could cause calamitous complications to ensue. Problems caused by low fluid levels include shaking, slipping, shifting problems, overheating, and breakdown altogether. To check the level of your transmission fluid, use a transmission dipstick. For low fluid levels, the solution is to basically add more of the specified fluid endorsed by the manufacturer.

Transmission slip

A car transmission is the gear that transfers power from the car's engine across the driveshaft to the live axle. When your car 'slips' while you're driving, this means that the vehicle engine revs with no power being transferred to the wheel and therefore doesn't accelerate like it normally should. Low transmission fluid is a likely cause for this problem as it causes your transmission not to fully engage.

Faulty solenoid

The solenoid is an electronic component that controls the amount of transmission fluid transferred to the gearbox. In the event of solenoid failure, not enough transmission fluid will be pumped into the gearbox, resulting in gearbox overheating. A faulty solenoid needs quick replacement, though at times the circuitry may be what is causing it to act unreliably.

To prevent gearbox overheating, it's imperative that car owners check their transmission fluid at least once every month. This will help you spot inadequate fluid levels and dirty or burnt fluid. Consequently, you can have the fluid replaced at your preferred auto garage.  Doing so guarantees that your gearbox is working with the right fluid and prevents overheating. For more information about the importance of gearbox repairs, contact a local automotive shop.