If you ever noticed a jerk or lurch while trying to shift between gears in your Toyota, then you’re in the right place to find out why and the reasons you can develop problems with shifting. The transmission system is responsible for shifting gears as your engine transfers power to the tires to turn into motion.
Many Toyota owners complain of jerky shifting when using a manual transmission due to driver error, but automatic transmissions usually should not have a jerky motion when shifting. This should be smooth, as the car’s onboard computer is in charge of telling the transmission when to upshift or downshift with easy transitions.
A properly-functioning gearbox should shift smoothly from one gear to another without you noticing that it has shifted. If your Toyota transmission jerks or you feel the impact of every single gear shift, you should seek an inspection of your transmission from a reliable auto repair shop before it becomes a serious problem.
Reasons for a Jerky Shifting Experience
You know that your Toyota’s transmission is not at its peak performance when it suddenly starts jerking as you try to accelerate. It usually feels like a clunk, thud, or jerk. Most times, this problem is caused by the transmission fluid, vacuum, or a malfunctioning sensor:
- Transmission Fluid: The transmission system needs transmission fluid to function properly. If the transmission fluid of your vehicle is too low or leaking, it can affect the performance of the system and result in jerking while shifting. Contaminated or dirty transmission fluid will reduce the efficiency of the fluid and can also cause problems. If your fluid does not have a bright color and clear color, then you have to replace it with new fluid. We are happy to do that for you.
- Vacuum: The vacuum modulator valve determines when to shift gears in older automobiles. A hose links the valve to the intake through a hose. The transmission will not receive any signal if this hose is obstructed, cracked, fractured, or bent. This will then result in jerky shifting when you want to transition to a higher or lower gear.
- Sensor: Sensors in modern vehicles direct a plethora of functions, including gear changing. If you own a newer car and your transmission does not have a fluid or vacuum issue, then a defective sensor might be the culprit. You will require expert assistance to fix this.
Shifting and Slipping
Instead of gently shifting to the next gear, your transmission can just slip into it. Some of the symptoms you may observe when your gear starts slipping include check engine illumination, burning smell, or higher than the normal RPM. This is frequently caused by problems with the gears, clutch, fluid, torque converter, or solenoid.
If you have checked the transmission fluid level and it is normal, take your vehicle to a professional repair shop for further inspection. Your gears and clutch may have worn out as a result of long-time use, and this could be the reason for the jerky gear shifting.
Delayed Engagement of Gears
You may also notice a delay in response when you shift between Drive and Reverse. This is frequently caused by transmission fluid or solenoid problems. Bring your Toyota to our repair shop immediately when you notice this. Delayed engagement can last a few seconds and is a major safety concern that should be treated without delay.
Let Our Experts at Peak Auto Fix Your Gear Shifting Issues
The moment you observe a transmission problem, you should treat it as an emergency. It could fail as you’re trying to cross oncoming traffic or merge into a high-speed roadway, putting you in danger of a collision. Also, the longer you ignore these issues, the more likely you will require extensive and costly repairs.
Maintaining your car regularly is also essential for its max performance. If you have any problem with your Toyota model, bring it to us at Peak Auto. We have the technical know-how and experience required to fix any problem in your car, light truck, or SUV. Our ASE-certified technicians will carefully diagnose and fix your gear-shifting issues. Visit our Apex, NC shop now or call us to schedule your next service appointment.