Noisy Manual Transmission Gear

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Whining sound when car is in gear Inspection Service

Your transmission is responsible for making your car move – it transfers the power from the engine to the wheels. During normal operations, you’ll definitely hear at least some noise. However, when it begins making unusual sounds, particularly a whining noise when in gear, it’s a sign that there is something wrong. The trouble may be pinpointing what it is.

Learn about common manual transmission noises like gear clash and sounds generated from broken rubber mounts. Let’s hope if you hear some terrible noise, it turns into a simple repair. I can tell you that broken mounts sound much worse then the repairs needed to fix the issue.

  1. Detecting 6 Common Manual Transmission Problems. Detecting 6 Common Manual Transmission Problems. 4 (80%) 2 votes. If you are used to driving a manual transmission. A ticking or bearing noise means a wrong gear. In order to avoid further internal damage, you should be consulting a mechanics. Gear Not Engaging in Cold Temperatures.
  2. 'lightweight flywheel noise' 'gear rattle' 'gear lash noise' Sorting out fact from fiction. Variables such as transmission wear, engine smoothness, condition of engine and transmission mounts, drag from other accessories, and exact idle speed can cause significant variation.
  3. Jan 21, 2015  If you have a standard/manual transmission and it makes a noise like in this video, you may need an input shaft bearing.
  4. Manual transmission noise. Thread starter 02GTRX; Start date May 1, 2011; Forums. In first and 2nd gear my transmission makes quite a bit of noise, anyone else have this issue? 3-6 are completly silent. Nothing super crunchy.just a normal Mustang manual trans crunch. I've seen vids on Youtube about whiny trans gears. Don't know what.

How this system works:

Transmissions work in different ways, depending on whether you have a manual or an automatic transmission. If you have a manual transmission, then you’re responsible for changing the gears as your speed (and engine RPMs) increases. For instance, you’ll press the clutch pedal and shift into first gear, then into second gear, then third, and so on in order to accelerate. If you don’t shift gears but continue to accelerate, the transmission will begin to whine very loudly.

In an automatic transmission, all of this is done for you by the transmission and the car’s computer. All you have to do is put the gear selector in drive, and press the gas pedal. The transmission will automatically shift at certain engine RPMs to ensure a smooth acceleration process.

As you can imagine, both manual transmissions and automatic transmissions require many different components in order to operate. Some of these can create a whining noise when in gear. For some transmissions, a little whine in certain gears is completely normal. In others, not so much. The real thing you want to watch for here is a “new” whining noise. Of course, that can be difficult to determine if you’ve just purchased the car or haven’t owned it long enough to know what is normal and what’s abnormal.

Common reasons for this to happen:

  • Low Transmission Fluid: For both manual and automatic transmissions, the primary cause for whining when in gear is low transmission fluid. If the fluid is too low, then the internal components of the transmission are not lubricated properly. What you’re hearing is actually friction between those parts, and it can lead to significant damage. If the fluid is low, it’s advised to check for transmission fluid leaks.

  • Normal Operation: As mentioned, some transmissions have an inherent whine that is completely normal. Depending on the make and model, the whine might be primarily audible in first gear, or it could be more noticeable in third gear, or some other gear. The best defense here is to know what your transmission sounds like normally.

  • Worn Clutch and/or Flywheel: If you drive a manual transmission, there’s the possibility that your clutch is worn out and/or your flywheel needs to be resurfaced. When these components begin to wear, it’s possible to hear whining, grinding and other abnormal sounds.

  • Bad Throw Out Bearing: If you’re hearing the whine while the clutch is not engaged, there’s a chance that it’s the throw out bearing. However, it’s more common to hear noise from this bearing while operating the clutch, rather than driving in gear without any pressure on the clutch pedal.

  • Bad Input Shaft Bearing: This is an internal bearing within the housing of the transmission, and it can create a whining sound when it begins to fail.

  • Bad Wheel Bearing: Wheel bearings are located in each wheel hub, but the sound can travel and seem as though it’s coming from the transmission. It’s more usual for a failing wheel bearing to create a roaring sound, but it’s possible for them to create a whine while driving.

What to expect:

A certified mechanic will come to your home or office to inspect your transmission and verify the whining noise. The mechanic will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.

How it's done:

The mechanic will first inspect the transmission, including the level of transmission fluid. However, it will be necessary to test drive the car to verify the sound and pinpoint its source. The mechanic will also inspect and troubleshoot other areas of the vehicle to eliminate other possibilities.

Noisy Manual Transmission Gear

How important is this service?

If your transmission is whining while in gear, it could be normal, or it could be a sign of a deeper underlying problem. Your transmission is a critical part of your car and if it breaks down, you won’t be going anywhere. One of our professional mechanics can inspect your transmission, listen to the whine, and repair the problem.

Fast and easy service at your home or office


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Although most vehicle transmission noises relate to internal parts and cannot be seen, their behavior and sound frequency always deal with a moving part according to engine rpm or pressure. Other worn vehicle parts can mimic the noise or feel of faulty transmission parts, so it becomes important how to identify noises specific to certain problems.

Step 1

Drive the vehicle, making numerous stops and accelerations. If you hear a constant whining noise, accompanied by a slip in the gears as the transmission automatically shifts, it points to low transmission fluids. Without the proper fluid level, the pump has to push air through the transmission, which causes the noise and produces the hesitation or slippage. Any leaks on the ground will confirm a loss of transmission fluid.

Step 2

Sit in the vehicle with the engine idling and the shifter in park or neutral. Keep your foot off the brake pedal. Push the accelerator pedal, gently raising the engine rpm. If you notice a humming noise that increases in intensity as the engine rises in speed, it points to a malfunctioning transmission pump or pump shaft. Since the gear train has not been engaged in drive, it rules out all the other components. Consult your repair manual for the location of these components.

Step 3

Listen for a buzzing noise while you have the engine idling and in gear with your foot on the brake. This puts the torque converter in operational mode. Since the torque converter pump, stator and turbine spin freely without engagement during neutral or park, the noise will not be present in those settings. Accelerate slowly in drive and listen to whether the torque converter noise will get quieter as the vehicle moves forward.

Step 4

Place your foot on the brake with the engine in neutral and idling. Raise the rpm slightly over idle. Put the shift selector in drive, while maintaining pressure on the brake. If you hear a loud clunk, or feel a chassis shudder, this could indicate that the torque converter mounts have disconnected or broken. Confirm this by checking the tightness of the universal joints, both front and rear of a rear-drive vehicle.

Noisy Manual Transmission Gear Fit

Step 5

Listen for a heavy clunk when shifting from neutral to reverse and back again. Check the transmission cross member mount (rubber dampers) for excessive wear or splits. A noticeable vibration in the chassis frame during the heavy clunk will point more toward a defective transmission mount rather than a torque converter problem.

Drive the vehicle through its normal transmission shifting range from first to overdrive. Use some fast acceleration, allowing the transmission to firmly shift. Listen for any rumbling, growling or mechanical metal-to-to metal noise in each gear just after it shifts. Such noises indicate problems with the individual planetary gears, input shaft or interior transmission bearings. A single gear can be chipped or worn down, allowing only a noise in that gear. Consult your repair manual for the location of these parts.

Noisy Manual Transmission Gear Indicator


Manual Transmission Noises Troubleshooting

  • As an option, place an automotive stethoscope up against the transmission case to narrow down specific noises in order to not t confuse them with other nearby components. Use a floor jack, jack stands, and an assistant to help you safely make these under-the-vehicle checks.

Items you will need

  • Owner's repair manual
  • Auto stethoscope (if applicable)
  • old gearbox dumped in a rest area on the side of the road image by Undy from

Manual Transmission Clicking Noise

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