Almost every automobile driver or enthusiast knows that the gearbox plays a pivotal role in the running of a vehicle.  Apart from cars, gearbox systems are used in several other applications such as in heavy machinery and cranes. The fundamental function of a typical gearbox is to effectively transmit the required torque.

Gearbox designs can vary from model to model and depends on the manufacturer. For example, a majority of new Volkswagen vehicles have a direct-shift-gearbox system, which is considered to be one of the most advanced technologies of its kind.  Certain tell-tale signs are common for almost all gearboxes to indicate that they are not operating to full potential. Below are some of the signs that indicate that your VW gearbox needs repairs.

Initial warning lights: Although not present in every vehicle, dashboard engine lights are present in almost all high-end vehicles. The transmission temperature light on your dashboard is a perfect indicator for detecting higher than normal temperatures for your transmission fluid. If such is detected, all coolant levels and transmission levels should be properly inspected.

Fluid Leakage: Fluid leakage has to be one of the easiest and earliest signs that something is wrong with a vehicle’s gearbox. Checking for leakages should be regularly conducted to check for the signature red colour of the transmission with a slightly sweet smell. Transmission fluid levels should always stay constant to allow the vehicle to run effectively.

Low fluid levels: A low fluid level for transmission is another important red flag for gear functionality. A low fluid level can indicate any of the following problems.

  1. Problems with the engine and transmission mounts
  2. Damaged bell housing
  3. A loose transmission pan or pan leak
  4. Drive shaft out of balance
  5. Sign of a clogged filter or loose plug
  6. Worn seals or gaskets
  7. Worn axles on a front-wheel drive vehicle

Smell and Odour: Light smells and burning odours can sometimes leave a tart fragrance on a vehicle that is experiencing gearbox problems. In most cases, it is a sign that the system is not being properly lubricated by the transmission fluid. A burnt smell might be indicative of a total gearbox failure.

Notable Noises: A slight knocking noise while changing gears can be indicative of loose gears or broken parts in the clutch. If clicking or whistling noises continue for an extended period of time, there’s a high probability that the bearings have been worn down.

Final Thoughts:

Detecting early warning signs of a gearbox malfunction is crucial for maintaining a safe vehicle. Even small signs should not be ignored to ensure that further damage is not incurred.  Any lingering issue in a gearbox can be a huge problem and sometimes fatal if the vehicle is used without inspection. The above list includes some of the tell-tale signs of gearbox damage, to make sure that you are not running on a broken or damaged gearbox.

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