Common Gearbox Related Problems


There is great importance attached to having a robust and efficient gearbox on your automobile. There are a number of factors that could interfere with the normal functioning of the gearbox. It is important for every motorist to understand some of the common problems to expect with the gearbox at one point or the other.

This article discusses a few of these problems


This is perhaps the most common problem that affects automobile gearboxes. Misalignment problems are either static or dynamic. Static misalignment problems are caused by errors during the manufacturing process of the gearbox system while dynamic misalignment is caused by external factors such as thermal expansion.

Misalignment problems in a gearbox system often manifest through bearing failure as well as wear and tear on the ball bearing cage. Misalignment can also cause early pitting on either end of the gear tooth.

Your gearbox may also suffer misalignment problems if the gear shafts are not accurately parallel (misaligned).This often results in sufficient gear tooth contact in one direction at the expense of the other. This can also cause pre-mature pitting of gear teeth.

Last but not least, misalignment can also result from over-heating within the gearbox as well as thermal expansion due to long time exposure to excessive heat.

Gearboxes adjacent to hot machinery or hot processes may suffer misalignment from thermal growth. The hot side of the gearbox expands more, resulting in shaft centre distances increasing on that side.

Thermal Instability

Thermal instability is increasingly becoming a common reason for gearbox failure. Thermal instability refers to a situation in which there is a huge difference between the shafts located inside the bearing and the cage that shelters these bearings.

The huge temperature difference results in pre-loading of the bearings because they have lost their internal clearance ability. In a large number of cases, the damaging effects of thermal instability are seen through the presence of pitch-black bits of twisted metal.

There are several factors that can increase the likelihood of thermal instability in your gearbox.  These include rapid acceleration on a regular basis, penetration of heat from the atmosphere into the bearing shaft and even hollowness in the gear shafts.

This problem often occurs shortly after the vehicle has been ignited because the bearing cage has a greater thermal mass than that of the gear shafts.

For more information on gearbox related repairs, contact Precision Differential & Gearbox Centre.  


18 March 2015

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