Symptoms of a rough shifting transmission can be nerve wracking, as every gear shift might mean a jerk and a bang. When a vehicle's transmission is hard to shift, go to your mechanic promptly so he can diagnose the problem and hopefully catch it in the early stages before it morphs into a full-blown transmission issue.
But, How Much Will it Cost You?
To be honest, when this happens, the first thing that goes through your mind is how much will it set you back to get it fixed. The fortunate news is that most of the time, it is nothing too costly. If your vehicle has an automatic transmission and you are experiencing hard transmission, slipping gears, or shifting late, it might not necessarily translate to a huge repair cost as long as you attend to the problem as soon as it manifests. That's especially true if you use discount transmission parts and work with a knowledgeable mechanic who can replace just the items that are broken or missing.
Transmission problems could simply mean that your transmission fluid has run low, and that is an easy problem for your mechanic to diagnose by simply checking the transmission dipstick to see if the fluid is low. If the fluid is low, it means the primary problem actually is that your transmission fluid is leaking.
The mechanic could apply transmission treatment and a "leak stopper" which are both relatively inexpensive options. The leak stopper will aid in finding the leaking spot and blocking it. At the same time, it goes ahead to clean moving parts while fighting corrosion. Hard shifting or slipping can also be as a result of low, old, or discolored transmission fluid.
In manual transmission, hard shifting might mean that you have a bad clutch, and transmission repair might include changing it, which should take care of the problem.
Changing the transmission fluid will go a long way to smooth out the transmission process and this should be done after every 100,000 miles.
Other causes of hard shifting that call for extensive transmission repair include the following:
Failing transmission. Over time, usually past 100,000 mile mark, there may be extensive wear on the gears and parts inside the transmission so that they simply have to be replaced. This can be further exacerbated if the car is driven on low transmission fluid. Typical symptoms will include hard shifting, clunking, humming, and grinding.
Failed transmission solenoid. Solenoids are responsible for flow control of transmission fluid inside the transmission. A symptom of failing solenoids is always manifested as hard shifting transmission.
It is recommended to have your mechanic examine your car as soon as you experience any hard shifting in your transmission. Delay might mean a total overhaul of your transmission due to extensive damage and can prove to be a very costly. On the other hand, if diagnosed early, it might save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.