At Autoworks in Ithaca, NY, our mechanics have diagnosed and repaired every transmission problem in the book. We’d like to pass some of our knowledge along to you, in order to help you understand your transmission a little better. Here, we discuss the synchronizers in your manual transmission, and how to know if one of yours is faulty.
Synchronizers, or synchros, were a simple but revolutionary invention in automotive technology. In decades past, one had to use the “double-clutch” method to shift gears in automobiles equipped with a manual transmission; meaning the clutch had to be depressed twice, and some skill was necessary, to achieve a smooth shift - each and every time. This method was tedious, and the design greatly increased the chance of damaging the gears in the transmission, so the synchronizing mechanism used in all modern standard shift transmissions today was devised. Essentially, a synchro simply matches the speed and position of the gear you are shifting out of, and the gear you are shifting into, by use of friction as soon as you depress the clutch pedal. When the synchros are in good operating condition, the transmission can be shifted quickly and smoothly with no grinding, double-clutching, or RPM matching necessary.
While synchros are typically very reliable and extend the life of your gears, occasionally they do malfunction. Whether it’s from dirty lubricant, heat, or wear and tear, eventually a synchro will stop synchronizing as well as it used to. As a result, when you shift into a gear with a bad synchro, your transmission will grind into gear. Typically the problem starts out small, only allowing the gears to grind slightly or occasionally, but will worsen over time.
If you are experiencing difficulty with your synchros, let one of our experienced technicians take a look. Sometimes, a fluid change or cleaning additive will solve the problem, freeing up a malfunctioning synchronizer, or the synchro can be replaced altogether. For any and all of your transmission repair or maintenance needs, call or come by Autoworks today.
Thank you for visiting Autoworks in Ithaca, NY. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.