If you drive a car or truck with a manual transmission that is not shifting like it used to, some common problems could be causing the issues. Some of the repairs are simple to make yourself, but if the transmission is acting up and you are not comfortable working on it, you may need to take the vehicle to a transmission repair shop. 

Clutch and Pressure Plate Issues

Inside the transmission's bell housing, the clutch plate rides on the engine's flywheel and is held in place by a pressure plate. When you press the clutch, the pressure plate moves away from the clutch plate, allowing it to slip and the transmission to freewheel.

If the pressure plate is damaged, it may not release the clutch plate properly. The transmission cannot spin freely as a result, and the transmission will grind when trying to shift between gears. The transmission repair shop can replace the clutch and pressure plate for you, but it is a big job and is often expensive. If you suspect your clutch needs to be replaced, have the transmission shop do a full inspection of the system to ensure that it is causing your shifting issues.

Clutch Linkage Adjustments

As the clutch wears, the clutch linkage may need to be adjusted to take up some slack in the pedal and allow you to disengage the clutch to shift the transmission entirely. Often the adjustment involves turning a bolt under the vehicle to lengthen the throw of the clutch pedal, but if you are not sure what you are doing, you may not want to attempt the job. 

A transmission repair shop in your area can adjust the clutch linkage for you, and it typically will only take a few minutes. It is important to remember that you can only adjust the linkage so much before the clutch is too worn to disengage. So if you have had the linkage adjusted before, you may need to start looking at other ways to correct the issue. 

Hydraulic Clutch Cylinders

If you have a hydraulic clutch cylinder, you cannot adjust it. When these stop working, it is usually due to a leak in the system that has allowed air to get in. The hydraulic clutch cylinder can be bled to remove the air, but it is essential to determine where the leak is. 

If the cylinder itself is worn, air can get in around the piston's seals, and the only way to fix it is to replace the cylinder with a new one. A transmission repair shop can replace the clutch cylinder, bleed the system for you, and ensure that the clutch is working so that the transmission shifts correctly.