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How To Tell If Your Manual Transmission Gear Synchronizers Need Replacing

There are those people who love the ease of driving with an automatic transmission, and there are those who enjoy the sense of control a manual transmission gives them. As one of the latter, you need to be aware of all types of potential manual transmission issues so you can spot the warning signs. With summer coming, many people take the opportunity to drive more for both weekend getaways and end-of-year holidays. Gear synchronizers are one part of a manual transmission to wear out over time, so it's important to educate yourself about what they are and what are the problem warning indicators.

What is a Gear Synchronizer?

The location of the gear synchronizer is within the transmission housing. When you are driving a car, it needs to be a smooth process as you change up or down the gears. For this seamless transition to occur, the gear you are going to change into must be spinning at the same speed as the gear you are already driving in. If they are turning at different speeds, then moving from one to the other could cause you to slip out of gear, which is very dangerous.

The gear synchronizer is the device which makes sure the two gears are spinning at the same speed. The design differs between car manufacturers, but the principal works the same in all manual transmissions. The synchronizer joins the two gears together so they can spin at the same speed until transmission changes from one gear to the next.

Signs of Problematic Gear Synchronizers

Gear synchronizers wear down over time, so how do you know when the synchronizer needs replacing? There are several telltale signs:

  • You hear a grinding or scratching noise when changing gear. This sound noticeably happens when you are changing down gears, and in particular when changing between first and second gears.
  • You feel a noticeable delay in the gear change. A gear change should happen immediately you move the gear stick, but when the gears aren't running at the same time, this cannot occur.

Once these issues occur often enough to capture your attention, it is time to take your car to a manual transmission specialist to have it professionally diagnosed. A car that cannot correctly change into gear while driving is distracting to the driver. Additionally, not being able to change gears in traffic becomes a nuisance to other vehicles around you, particularly if you cannot move away from traffic lights. Get your transmission problems sorted now, so you don't need to be concerned about your car letting you down over the upcoming summer months.