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4 Signs That Your Gearbox is Failing

A car without a gearbox is like a bull without horns – lots of power but no way to turn that power into poke. Technically speaking, the gearbox converts power from the engine into the appropriate amount of rotational energy and torque to drive your vehicle’s wheels. It’s a bit like a set of gear cogs on a bicycle wheel but much bigger and potentially expensive should it go wrong.

The best way to avoid a hefty repair bill is to diagnose problems early. A modern gearbox should always be smooth to operate and easy to put into gear with the clutch pedal fully depressed. ‘Smooth’ is a relative term considering the various cars and the quality of their builds, but as a rule of thumb, it should never be difficult to select a gear using a single hand to shift the gear lever.

Here’s a quick guide to gearbox warning signs. If you find your gearbox is suffering any of the following problems, get in touch with your trusted mechanic as soon as possible.


1. Listen to your gearbox for any noises

Inside the gearbox is a rotating plate that can make any number of noises if dysfunctional. Whirring, chattering and shaking are all signs that your gearbox needs attention and will likely continue to degrade without professional intervention.


2. Can you smell burning?

Clearly burning isn’t something that healthy gearboxes do. If you smell burning coming from the gearbox, that means the oil within it is burning for some reason. This is not a job for a hobby mechanic and requires special attention to put right. Take the car to a professional for checking and repair.


3. Failure to engage a gear

It’s always best to have your car towed to the mechanic if any gear fails to engage, but sometimes you’ll have no choice if 1st or 2nd are failing to engage. On occasion, one of the gears in the middle or end of the box will break. If 3rd, 4th, 5th or higher gears break, you’ll be able to ‘work around it’ but not for long. It’s a warning sign that a larger problem is ongoing and requires professional repairs immediately. “Don’t delay” is our advice!


4. Your gearbox ‘feels’ different

If you’ve been happily driving your car in automotive bliss for years and the gearbox ‘just doesn’t feel right’ – get it checked. You know your car the best and if you suspect something is wrong in the oily bits then chances are you’re right. Take it for a quick check over and you may be pleasantly surprised that the problem is easily solvable. Gearboxes are complicated, but issues with them aren’t always a death sentence for the vehicle! Get it looked at sooner rather than later to give you the best chance and the lowest price.

Here at Oaks Services, we are proud to offer the finest automotive services and repairs for any make and model of vehicle. Our wealth of experience and family values guarantee dependable repairs and replacement of brakes, clutches, exhaust systems, gearboxes and hundreds of other crucial mechanical components to ensure thousands of miles of trouble-free driving. For more information on any of our services, or to book an MOT test, contact our team today.