Car Shaking When Shifting: Is It A Transmission Problem?

You’re driving down the road and everything seems normal. Then all of a sudden you feel the car shaking when shifting gears.

Or maybe it seems to stop shifting and now it has no power when you take off from a stop.

Then again, maybe the engine RPM is a little too fast when you’re cruising down the road because the transmission isn’t shifting into high gear.

Transmission problems? Maybe. But there’s an even better chance that what you’re dealing with has actually nothing to do with the transmission itself. All of these problems are often related to the computer systems in today’s cars.

Transmission Problems Or Computer System?

Once upon a time, the transmission was a completely separate system from the rest of the vehicle. So, when the transmission acted up it was nearly always because of a transmission failure.

But every system on today’s cars and trucks is firmly integrated with all the others. A problem in the engine, brakes, body — or, yes, the transmission — can affect performance in the rest of the vehicle.

So how can you tell whether the “transmission” problem you’re facing is actually in the transmission or something else entirely?

You can’t. Not in most cases.

Vehicle Control Systems

Fortunately, your local Cottman center technicians can. They’re extensively trained in all the latest vehicle control systems. They know how to pinpoint problems that can affect transmission operation in any one of a dozen or more related vehicle systems.

Your job is simply to let them know exactly what you felt when the problem occurred. You need to be able to describe the problem in detail, including:

  • What exactly did you feel?
  • What were you doing (driving conditions) when the problem occurred?
  • How long had the car been running?

…and any other details that could help the technician duplicate and pinpoint the specific failure that’s causing your transmission to act up. Once they have that information, they’ll be able to find and correct the problem you’re experiencing.

Today’s transmission problems may not have anything to do with the transmission. But if you do find your car shaking while shifting gears, there’s still one place you can count on to find the root cause of the problem… and fix it: your local Cottman center.