Why does an automatic car make noise when shifting gears?

Nothing can give you stress and get overwhelmed than driving a car that produces a whining sound when shifting gears. But, of course, when you hear such issues coming from the transmission, you may feel your driving is not safe.

Therefore, it is essential to understand and know why such noise comes when shifting gears. In this article, you will learn such noises that arise when shifting your car’s gears and common suggestive problems.

The most common causes of automatic car noise when shifting gears include torque converter issues, planetary gear system failure, and a low fluid level in the transmission. But for more details, these issues are discussed below.

Issues with Torque Converter

But first of all, when you hear a whining sound, it may suggest your car’s health is not correct. Such noises potentially indicate major issues and causes of which you should visit the maintenance center for a check-up. 

You may notice your car’s transmission makes noises at different levels, for example, when reversing the car. The whining noise of the vehicle when reversing tells that there is clogging in the transmission fluid line. If the transmission is clogged, it indicates other major issues that will affect the shifting of gears. 

Apart from the whining noise resulting from the clogged transmission, other issues can arise when the car is in gear, such as torque converter issues. Torque converter problems exist either when your car is in neutral or park, and it is good to take the car to professional dealers. 

Issues with Planetary Gear System causing Grinding Noise

Grinding noise is one of the common disconcerting car issues that affect those featured with automatic gear transmission. If you are driving your car and you hear a grinding sound coming from the car’s transmission, know that your vehicle is in major trouble. All this happens when the planetary gear system is in serious trouble. 

You must know that if your car is made to operate under automatic gear shifting, it will depend on the planetary gear system. Sometimes this part can fail, which may lead to major damage to the entire gear system. But faulting the planetary gear system may take time while developing until a whining noise is heard. 

A whining sound marks just a little part of the damage or an early stage that the planetary gear system has issues. After a while, or if the whining alert is not taken care of, it develops into a grinding noise, which is the climax of indicating the whole transmission is on a severe problem.

Therefore, if you suspect that the planetary gear system is the one causing your car’s transmission to make noise such as whining and grinding, consider scheduling for a check-up.

You can also contact your dealer for direction on what action you should take or visit the nearby car maintenance technician. These individuals are experts and can help you identify whether the planetary gear system is the real problem or not. As well, they can fix it for you.

Low level of fluid in your transmission leading to Gurgling noise

Driving without checking the fluid level in a vehicle is a common mistake or thing that most drivers make, but no justification that you do so. But it can be okay if you forget to drive without checking the transmission fluid level in your car.

The most important idea you have to know about is driving your vehicle while the fluid level in the gear system is low; there will be noises such as gurgling. Do you want to know how this causes noise when shifting gears while driving your car?

When the transmission line is empty, excess air can fill it, which may lead to noise. As a driver, it is simple to notice excess air in your transmission line through hearing a gurgling noise or slipping of the gears when shifting. Therefore, when you hear such a noise coming from the transmission, be aware that the fluid level in the gear system is deficient. 

Again you should not neglect the noise as what is happening inside can lead to transmission damages and finally cost you. All that you have to do after noticing such a gurgling sound is coming from the transmission, take your car to maintenance. 


Once you hear a noise when shifting car gears, don’t hesitate to take it to a specialized repair shop technician that deals with car transmissions. This will help prevent major problems that may cost you a lot or make your car a wreck.

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