Gearbox Repair & Replacement

Your vehicle’s gearbox is basically a highly complex set of precision-made cogs and rods bathed in oil. It forms part of the transmission system that links the engine to the wheels, and the gearbox allows the wheels to turn at a different speed from the engine’s rotation speed. A faulty gearbox makes your car impossible to drive, and there are so many things that can go wrong, it takes a real expert to find and repair gearbox problems. The AutoMend network has access to over 9000 garages and mobile mechanics, and among them are many gearbox repair specialists, with locations all across the UK. Don’t spend valuable time searching the internet for ‘gearbox repairs near me’, simply enter your post code on our site to start the process of finding your nearest gearbox specialist. Pick your location and you will see all the car and van garages plus mobile mechanics in your area, along with their phone numbers and how near they are to you. Call a garage direct for help and advice or fill in our simple online quote form, and then sit back and wait for the quotes to come to you. We’ve taken the hassle out of getting your gearbox repaired, or even replaced. We even have garages on the network that can fit a new or reconditioned gearbox on the same day or next day.

How can I tell my gearbox needs repairing?

The gearbox contains a series of toothed gear wheels which are located on shafts. The whole assembly is located within a closed casing and is filled with transmission fluid (oil) which cleans and lubricates (and for automatic gearboxes cools) the moving parts. There is always friction when metal parts mesh together, so the components within the gearbox are constantly being worn away. Low levels of transmission fluid can cause an increase in wear and heat, so it is vital to get the fluid level checked regularly. There are very many manifestations of gearbox problems, including difficulty in selecting a gear. However, the clutch and the gearbox work closely together, so if you are apparently having a problem with your gears, it may in fact be a clutch problem. It’s always wisest to get any mechanical issue checked out straight away by one of our AutoMend experts, as fast remedial action as soon as you find a problem can save you bigger bills later on.

Recognising Gearvox Problems

‘Check Engine’ indicator is displayed

This is a warning indicator you should never ignore – it is a sign that something is either about to fail or has already failed in your vehicle. There will be one or more sensors located in your vehicle’s transmission system, and they are there to pick up problems such as vibration or other signs of failure before you are even remotely aware that there is an issue. If the light comes on and remains on, get an expert to run a thorough check as soon as you can – quick action could save you an expensive gearbox repair.

Slipping Gears

If you engage a gear, but the car slips out of gear again, this is an immediate indicator of a gearbox problem. You may have excessive gear wear, in which case parts will need to be replaced. The excessive wear can have many causes, but one of the commonest ones is low transmission fluid levels. Whatever the cause, slipping gears need immediate attention because the problem will only get worse over time.

Can’t Select a Gear

Difficulty in getting the car into gear, such as feeling resistance on the gear stick may be a gearbox or a clutch problem. If it’s the gearbox, it could be a sign of low transmission fluid level, and you may simply need to get the fluid topped up. Other causes can include slack linkages, and even an issue with the engine management system, all of which require timely investigation.

Noises and Vibrations

As with other parts of your vehicle, unusual noises or vibrations can be clear indicators of a developing problem, and you need to get them checked out. Here are just a few you may encounter.

Noises with vehicle in neutral

If you can hear an odd noise with the engine running and the gear in neutral, you may have a gearbox problem. As with many gearbox faults, this may be a transmission fluid problem and the level needs topping up. If it’s not the fluid levels causing the problem, it is probably gearbox wear.

Grinding gears

This is not normal in a properly-functioning car, so even if the noise seems to be gradually increasing, or it’s just a minor noise, don’t ignore it. If you hear (or feel) grinding when going from one gear to another, it may be an issue with the synchronisers in the gearbox, or it may be the clutch not disengaging properly. You may need gearbox or clutch parts replacing, but if you ignore this kind of problem, it will continue to get worse until your car is undriveable, and your final repair bill will be even higher. Ask the AutoMend experts to check it out for you – they will be able to put you on the right track.

Other strange noises

It’s always wise to keep an ear open for any new sounds that develop in your car. There can be an infinite number of causes of noises, however, the transmission is often the culprit. An abrupt clunking noise when you manually change gear, or if you have an automatic gearbox when you decelerate, accelerate or go uphill could be a gearbox problem in the making.

Smell of Burning

It’s never a good thing to smell burning within your van or car, so as soon as you notice it, pull over and call for roadside assistance. If the source of the smell is the gearbox, it is most likely to be overheated transmission fluid. The fluid is responsible for reducing the metal to metal friction within the gearbox, which in turn produces heat. In an automatic car, the transmission fluid is also the coolant for the gearbox. It stands to reason that a fluid leak or low fluid levels for whatever other reason can allow heat build-up, hence the burning smell. Heat and friction will cause excessive wear within the transmission, and what should have been an inexpensive fluid top up can turn into a more expensive gearbox or clutch replacement.

Transmission Fluid Leaks

Your transmission can only work efficiently if the transmission fluid levels are correct. This is particularly the case with automatic transmissions, which rely on the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) to be a coolant as well as a lubricant. You can tell if an automatic transmission has a leak because ATF fluid is bright red in colour and should have a sweet odour. If you find a pool of this type of liquid, you may have a straightforward leak which can usually be corrected fairly simply by your garage mechanic.

However, if you find you have a pool of liquid that is dark and smells of burning, you are looking at a more severe problem. The transmission fluid has become overheated and needs to be drained completely out of the system. The root cause of the problem needs to be identified and repaired, and the system flushed out before all new transmission fluid is installed.

Some frequently asked questions

Why do I need a gearbox?

Your gearbox is attached to the engine through the clutch and allows the wheels and the engine to run at different speeds. A vehicle engine runs at a high rate of revolutions per minute (RPM), and if you didn’t have the clutch/gearbox combination, your car wheels would need to spin at the same speed as the engine all of the time, which is clearly unworkable. An efficient gearbox gives the driver the ability to select the best gear for the road conditions, with smooth acceleration and braking, and efficient use of the engine RPM and therefore good fuel economy.

Can my manual gearbox be repaired?

The answer is almost certainly ‘yes’, and if you are fortunate, any problems can be resolved with an adjustment, a new seal or a new part. However, in certain cases the internal workings can become so worn or are so badly damaged, that a replacement is recommended. You can rely on the members of the AutoMend network to give you the best possible advice on repair or replacement, based on their years of experience in fixing gearboxes.

I have an automatic gearbox, can it be repaired?

The answer is the same as for a manual gearbox – yes. An automatic gearbox contains many of the same parts as a manual gearbox and suffers from many of the same problems. However, there are some special considerations with automatic gearboxes which means that some garages specialise in them. Our network has access to over 9000 mechanics and local garages, some of whom are automatic gearbox specialists, so there is bound to be help available nearby.

Should I choose a new or a reconditioned gearbox?

If your gearbox is too badly worn or damaged to be repaired cost-effectively, a total gearbox replacement may be advised. However, depending upon the age and value of your vehicle, it may be wise to consider having a reconditioned or refurbished gearbox fitted instead of a new one. A reconditioned gearbox is one that has been removed from another vehicle and brought back up to as close an ‘as new’ standard as possible by a gearbox specialist. Prices for reconditioned gearboxes vary widely, but they will always be cheaper than the brand-new equivalent. If you need a new gearbox, it is always worth considering a refurbished alternative. 

How does AutoMend work?

AutoMend has a huge network of car and van garages, plus mobile auto mechanics, and it reaches from one end of the UK to the other. We insist that all our members are highly experienced industry approved experts, capable of performing gearbox repairs as well as many other aspects of vehicle maintenance and testing.

Our quote process makes getting in touch with local garages and mobile mechanics incredibly easy. You have the choice of contacting your local garage directly for help, advice and a discussion because we provide phone numbers and locations when you give us your post code. Or you can get yourself one or more online quotes, and you’ll be pleased to know they are free and put you under no obligation to proceed with work on your car.

Busy people praise AutoMend for its total convenience. They are happy to get away from the need to contact garage after garage for individual quotes and explaining the problem time after time. Instead, they can use the time for something more useful or enjoyable. The ability to get as many quotes as you like to enable you to make a comparison is particularly popular.

AutoMend will only accept members into the network if they are not only experienced but trusted. We want you to be able to put your vehicle repair into their hands in the knowledge that the job will be done properly, and that the price will be competitive.