Why is my car struggling to change gears?

Friday 8th March 2024

Have you found that your car’s gearbox doesn’t change gears as seamlessly as it used to? You could have issues with your gearbox. Detecting potential problems quickly can save you money and prevent further gearbox damage to your car. Formula One Autocentres looks at common scenarios that might cause your vehicle to struggle with changing gears. 

The gearbox is leaking fluid

If you notice your car struggles to change gears, park in a safe place and check for fluid leaking from the gearbox. If your gearbox is beginning to leak red fluid underneath your car, we recommend booking a service immediately. Our team will identify and fix any leaks quickly before they develop into serious issues that could affect your car’s gearbox.   

A worn-out clutch

The clutch plays an important role in ensuring smooth gear shifts, particularly with a manual gearbox. Over time, the clutch will succumb to wear and tear due to regular use or incorrect driving techniques. This can make it difficult for your car’s gearbox to engage and disengage between gears. If you have a problem with your vehicle’s clutch, book your free clutch check at your nearest Formula One Autocentre branch. 

Delayed response when changing gears

When you are driving, your car should respond swiftly to gear changes. If your car struggles to go between gears in a manual vehicle, it could be due to gearbox issues. Low gearbox fluid or driving through flood water can also damage parts inside the gearbox.  

Damaged gear linkages

Gear linkages that are damaged can make it challenging to shift between gears in your car. Regular gear shifts and exposure to various driving conditions can lead to damage or worn-out gear linkages, making it difficult for you to shift between gears. If your car’s gear linkages need replacing or inspecting, pop down to your local Formula One Autocentres branch, and one of our clutch specialists will carry out a free gearbox check for you. 

Don’t let your gear shift issues affect your car with our how-to guide to check if your gearbox or clutch is at fault. Does your clutch need to be replaced? Is your vehicle due for an MOT or service soon? Visit your nearest Formula One Autocentres branch today, and our helpful team will fix any gearbox issues you have with your car.  

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What people are saying about us...

  • Really easy to sort out on line and staff were very helpful to make sure tyres were correct.

    - Jurek, Coalville - Apr 8, 2024
  • I have been using Formula 1 since the closure and new ownership of a nearby garage. I have found the staff very helpful, the online booking system convenient - and once, when the bonnet hinge on my car had seized up, one of the mechanics freed it without charge.

    - Roy, Burgess Hill - May 16, 2024
  • I always use the Cowley F1 auto centre. The staff are really friendly and helpful and always work quickly to the car back on the road asap. I wouldn't use anyone else

    - Cowley - May 13, 2024
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