You don’t have to be a Mopar enthusiast to enjoy the epicurean pleasure of driving a stick-shift, but it helps to know what happens between the shifting knob and the wheels when you do need professional auto repairs. Manual transmissions are less mechanically complex than automatics, but they have several unique components that can malfunction. Below is a walkthrough of how manual transmissions work and of some common problems:
Clutch The clutch allows the engine to continue running while shifting or while the wheels are stopped, and most of the action occurs at the clutch plate and flywheel; they rotate in sync and transfer power normally to the transmission while in gear, but when the clutch pedal is depressed, a throw-out bearing release fork disconnects the two surfaces. The clutch plate has friction material on its surface similar to brake pads, but it can wear out over time, especially if you tend to slip the clutch. Conversely, a “sticky” clutch may cause grinding or difficulty in shifting if the cable linkages are improperly adjusted or if there are slave/master cylinder leaks.
Gear Selector Fork & Synchronizers When you move the gear shifter, the stick controls a gear selector fork, which is in turn is connected to the collars. Synchronizers on the collars use friction material to rotate the selected gear and collar at the same speed before the dog teeth make contact. Problems in the gear selector fork or synchronizers typically affect individual gears and may result in grinding.
Differential The differential is located in the center of the axle, and it allows each wheel to rotate at different speeds. Without a working differential, making tight turns would be virtually impossible. Broken or chipped teeth can cause a skip or vibration at all times.
Don’t risk damaging your vehicle if it exhibits any of these major symptoms. Schedule a service appointment with A1 Auto Tech by calling (888) 722-1970 today. We’ve been serving the Mountain View area for over 25 years as a STAR and ASE-certified auto repair shop. Visit our website to learn more about our car repair services.