Gear Synchronisers: What You Need to Know

While some people enjoy how simple it is to drive a vehicle with an auto transmission, there are still a large number of drivers who would rather opt for the increased control offered by a manual transmission system. If you drive a car with a manual transmission gear box, it is important that you are aware of the issues you may face and the warning signs that something is amiss. This article will focus on one particular part of your car's gearbox - the gear synchronisers.

How a Gear Synchroniser Works

The gear synchroniser is located within the transmission system. When you are driving and changing gear, the process should be smooth. The reason that you can seamlessly change gears is due to the gear synchroniser, which ensures that the gear you wish to change into is spinning at the same speed as the gear which is currently selected. While the precise design of gear synchronisers differ between the different car manufacturers, the basic design is the same. A synchroniser features a number of rings which are attached to each gear. The rings have teeth on the outer edge. The rings come into contact with each other before the main gears touch, which synchronises the gears, so they are spinning at the same speed when the different gears meet. If the gears are spinning at different speeds, it can cause a number of problems.

Signs of Gear Synchroniser Problems

Over time, gear synchronisers can suffer from wear and tear. This normally occurs when the teeth become worn down or broken. There are two classic signs that your gear synchroniser is failing. 

You might hear a grinding or scratching sound during gear changes, as the teeth of the gears clash because they are moving at different speeds.

You may also select a gear and then notice that the car is still running in the previous gear or the in neutral.

If you notice either of these problems, it is important that you take your vehicle to an auto repair shop. A qualified mechanic will be able to inspect your transmission and gear box so they can diagnose the problem. A car that has malfunctioning gears can pose a danger to yourself, your passengers and other road users and pedestrians. You may lose control of your car when driving around or you may find that you cannot select the right gear when trying to set off at a green traffic light. If you are having gearbox problems, contact a mechanic today.