Manual Transmission Maintenance, Repair, and Rebuilding in Tempe, AZ

As automatic transmissions become more efficient, the demand for manual transmissions has decreased.  However, manual transmission still hold a place and some people as a personal preference would choose the manual transmission over the automatic.  Reasons for the continued use of manual transmission might be that they are less expensive to maintain, often times less expensive to repair and many believe more reliable with less moving parts.

With this said, there are fewer and fewer shops in Tempe, AZ who understand the older technology.  As simplistic as they may seem, because of the lack of frequency in which shops work on manual transmissions, they often miss-diagnosed in which the customer spends money needlessly.

What Are the Signs of Manual Transmission Problems?

Manual transmissions are designed to operate smoothly and efficiently. Although fairly basic in design, like with anything mechanical, there can be component failures. Most manual transmission problems start small and produce these types of symptoms:

  • Hard Shifting: Manual transmissions are designed to produce smooth, easy, controlled shifting between gear sets. When the clutch is activated during a manual transmission gear shift, the gears are designed to glide freely and smoothly from one gear to the next. If you cannot shift easily or if excessive force is needed to shift, that's a sure sign of a problem. In more severe cases, the ability to shift may not be possible at all.
  • Gear Noise: When manual transmissions are functioning properly and efficiently they rarely make noise -- at least excessive noise. A manual transmission that makes noise -- either during shifting or as the car is being driven at a constant speed -- is a sign that something within the transmission is not quite right. Although the problems may require only slight adjustment or repair, a noisy manual transmission is one that needs evaluation by a qualified transmission diagnostician. If your car makes grinding or scraping sounds during gear shifting, don’t ignore it, it needs attention immediately!  Ignoring it will only cost you more money.
  • Gear Disengagement or Popping Out of Gear: Manual transmission gear disengagement occurs when a manual transmission gear moves or slips out of place. This condition causes a transmission freewheeling, which seriously affects your vehicle's operation. A manual transmission gear that slips out of place from a fixed gear position into neutral unassisted is a common symptom of a manual transmission problem.
  • Hard Clutch Pedal: A vehicle clutch is a very important part of manual transmission function. It’s what connects the engine to the transmission.  A healthy clutch mechanism allows for the smooth, efficient shifting of the manual transmission. A clutch that is hard to press down on is a sign of a problem within the clutch, the clutch linkage or clutch hydraulics.  With hard clutch pedal what you don’t realize is that more than likely the clutch is not disengaging all the way, which can lead to premature transmission failure. Hard clutch is a sign that the clutch may very well need attention.  Click here for more information about clutch repair at Tri-City Transmission. 
  • Soft Clutch Pedal: Just as a hard-to-engage clutch assembly is a common symptom of a manual transmission problem, a clutch that is too easy to press down on -- or one that simply lacks enough tension is a sign of a possible problem within the clutch. Although a soft clutch is easy on your calf it sometimes is caused by clutch pressure plate that is worn out or simply a clutch that needs adjustment.  In either case hard or soft clutch pedal needs to be looked into.

While we all correlate clutch to the manual transmission, it is not generally integral to the manual transmission itself.  It is simply the point of connection between the engine and transmission.  The clutch allows you to modulate this connection with your foot.  It is what allows the engine to be running while the tires are stopped.  Knowing all this, If the clutch is not operating properly, the transmission cannot operate properly.  More times then not, there is where the misdiagnosis will happen.  Someone will replace a transmission, when only a simple clutch adjustment or repair was needed.

Here are a few more Manual Transmission Facts:

Manual transmissions were the very first in existence and have evolved through many stages over the years. Today, they are used in every type of vehicle. Manual transmissions started off as three-speed and advanced to four, five, and even six-speed transmissions in cars. Trucks have advanced to transmissions with dual ranges from low to high in each gear by using two different-sized reduction drive gears.

Service intervals for manual transmissions & transaxle are 30,000 miles. Factory recommendations for service vary depending on vehicle make, model and fluid type, so consult the factory manual provided with your vehicle or call for specific details. Tow vehicles will require more frequent service.