Transmission Clicking Noise When Accelerating – Causes & Fixes

The release of a transmission clicking noise when accelerating is a subtle problem that can severely damage a car’s transmission system if not handled carefully.

While most vehicle enthusiasts enjoy the roaring sound of their powerful engine, only a few ever notice the subtle clicking noise until it becomes very obvious. However, identifying the causes of this malfunction and how to fix the problem is sacrosanct.

This article is strategically drafted to pinpoint specific causes that are responsible for a clicking noise when driving and what to do about them.

What Causes Transmission Clicking Noise When Accelerating?

Knowing the causes of a transmission clicking noise is one of the fundamental ways of getting a solution to the problem. If you’re wondering, “Why is there a clicking noise I accelerate my car?” Some of the major causes of this problem include the following:

clicking noise when driving

Low fluid level

Insufficient transmission fluid level is one of the foremost causes of clicking transmission. The fluid is meant to lubricate the transmission system and prevent overheating.

Running on a low fluid level will cause metal parts in the transmission system to produce a clicking sound due to a lack of proper lubrication. This can result in overheating in the long run if not rectified on time.

Dirty fluid

A vehicle’s transmission fluid is expected to be dirt-free. Deposits and other contaminants can affect the proper flow of the transmission fluid, resulting in a clicking sound from the system. This is why using recommended transmission fluid cannot be overemphasized.

Worn-out gears

Broken gear teeth or worn-out gears are yet another culprit to a clicking transmission. The gear is one of the major components of a vehicle’s transmission system.

The gear teeth transmit power between a vehicle’s wheels. When this component is broken, the defect is characterized by a clicking sound.

Faulty metal bands or pulley

The metal bands and pulleys work in synergy with the transmission system for proper acceleration. Any defect in these components will alter the smooth running of the transmission system and produce a clicking sound. This sound will most likely remain until you rectify the issue.

How To Fix Transmission Clicking Noise When Accelerating

Once you inspect and diagnose the actual cause of your vehicle’s clicking transmission, fixing the problem becomes easy. If you finally figure out what the problem is, try following solutions as it concerns the faulty parts.

Top off the fluid level

If you discover that you have a low fluid level, kindly refill. Refilling the transmission fluid will help to stop the clicking sound and prevent overheating in the long run.

If you’re asking, “Why does my transmission make a clicking noise?” Kindly verify the fluid level to know whether this is the issue.

Change the transmission fluid.

Running on dirty transmission fluid can be frustrating because of its effects. If this is the issue, changing the transmission fluid with the recommended product will help to handle this issue.

Replace worn-out gear

Broken gear teeth will only get worse until you fix them. If you experience a clicking sound when accelerating uphill, you most likely have worn-out gear.

Replacing the component is the best way to go about this issue. However, you better contact an expert auto mechanic to handle this replacement.

Replace defective bands or pulley

Also, if you have a defective band or pulley, you may risk being stranded due to a sudden breakdown. So, if you’re having this issue, replace the parts as soon as possible before they get damaged completely.

transmission clicking noise automatic


Q: Why is my car making a clicking noise when I put it in drive?

Driving is expected to be as smooth as possible, especially when your car is in perfect condition. So, if you’re asking, “Why is my car making a clicking noise when I push the gas pedal or put it in the drive?” It is most likely you’re running on a low oil level, or the engine oil is dirty.

A car’s engine oil is designed to lubricate every part of the engine, preventing them from wear, rust, sludge, and deposits build-up. This is why using good synthetic oil is necessary, as some conventional oil may not deliver maximally.

Therefore, it is vital to stick with the recommended engine oil for your car, especially fully synthetic engine oil. Also, ensure not to run on a low oil level at any time.

Q: What does it mean when your transmission is ticking?

A ticking transmission is abnormal in a car. If your vehicle’s transmission produces a ticking sound, it means you have broken gear teeth.

Any defective part of the transmission system will usually manifest when you drive; however, a set of broken gear teeth is quick to release a ticking sound.

It may be possible to drive with this problem in your car, but not for too long. Although some vehicle malfunctions can be managed in the meantime, neglecting them for too long can cause severe damage to the car.

So, if your car’s transmission is ticking, get to an expert auto mechanic to diagnose and rectify the problem immediately. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine.

Q: What does your car sound like when the transmission is going out?

When a car’s transmission is going out, it will usually produce a clunking, whining, or humming sound. This is one of the most pronounced symptoms of a defective transmission, among others.

So, if you don’t figure out there is a problem resulting from any other malfunctions, these sounds send a strong warning that you must not ignore.

You may be able to drive around with a whining, clunking, or humming transmission; however, the sound may degenerate into a more severe and extremely costly problem. So, don’t wait until your car breaks down completely after hearing any of these sounds.

If your car’s transmission is making a clicking noise when accelerating, make sure your auto mechanic to inspect, diagnose, and fixes the problem immediately.

Q: Can a transmission make a ticking noise?

Not necessarily! A vehicle’s transmission does not directly release a ticking sound. This sound is usually traceable to a defective differential component, axle, pulley, or belt.

If you hear this ticking sound increasingly as you engage your vehicle’s gear, ensure to find out what could be wrong. Every component mentioned above is important to the proper functioning of your car.

In case your mechanic’s diagnosis shows a defection in any of the parts, ensure to repair or replace them immediately. In fact, ensure to imbibe the culture of responding to issues early enough before they escalate.

Q: What are the first signs of transmission problems?

Transmission problems can start with minor signs and migrate into more severe symptoms that can result in quick damage over time. Some of the first signs of transmission problems include the following:

If you’re experiencing a metal clicking noise when accelerating your car, ensure to contact a professional auto mechanic to fix the problem without delay. This will help you prevent causing more damage to the transmission system.

Final Words

If you’re experiencing a transmission clicking noise when accelerating, ensure to implement the solution that corresponds with the actual cause of the problem. However, if the solution requires engaging a professional auto mechanic, do not hesitate to do so.

Meanwhile, prevention has always been better than trying to fix faulty vehicle parts. So, it would be best to imbibe a proper maintenance culture to help keep your car performing at its best. Never forget that prevention is the best way to overcome a problem.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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