automatic gearbox closeup

Delayed Engagement In An Automatic Gearbox: What Causes It?

Delayed engagement is one of the most common problems for automatic transmissions. It can start as a minor inconvenience, but it can be the sign of a significant problem. Left untreated, delayed engagement and the issues that cause it can make your car inoperable. The more you try to drive it, the more extensive the damage will be. In this post, we’ll look closely at the issue to try and help you determine the problem. 

What Is Delayed Engagement?

In a properly functioning automatic gearbox, the moment you put your car into drive, or reverse, it’ is ready to go and will move off. Delayed engagement describes the situation where you put the car in gear, and nothing happens. The delay can be as short as a few seconds, or it can last up to a minute.

What Causes Delayed Engagement?

Automatic gearboxes are a complicated bit of kit. There are a lot of parts involved in making sure that the car goes into the right gear at the right time. This can make it a challenge to identify the exact cause of the issue since so many parts could be to blame.

1. Temperature

Extreme temperature can cause delays in engagement. So, if you only have an issue when it is freezing outside, and no problem when it warms up, then you most likely won’t have a problem at all.

2. Seals

Over time the seals inside your transmission can become worn. This is more likely if you haven’t maintained the transmission fluid properly. If your seals go then other components in your transmission will wear down faster. Consequently, any of these components can cause the issue.

3. Shift Solenoids

The shift solenoid is a device that controls the flow of fluid through the transmission. If the solenoid fails, the transmission fluid isn’t properly regulated, which can slow down gearshifts.

4. Filter and Pump

If the transmission filter becomes clogged, then this can lead to excessive wear on other parts of the transmission. The same is true of the pump; without it, the pressure of your transmission fluid drops.

What To Do If You Notice Delayed Engagement

There is one big don’t with delayed engagement. Don’t rev your engine if the gearbox has not engaged. This can cause damage to the clutch from the increased friction.

If you have delayed engagement, Milta Technology is here to help. Our workshop is based in Bristol and offers same-day repairs for many transmission issues. If your vehicle is further afield, we can arrange for a collection and delivery service to make fixing your vehicle as easy as possible for you. 


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