Transmission fluid maintains the proper functioning of a car

   Jun 19,2023

A vehicle relies on various fluids to operate smoothly, ranging from motor oil and radiator fluid to air conditioning refrigerant. Maintaining proper levels of these fluids is crucial for keeping your car in excellent condition.


One such vital fluid is transmission fluid. While many are aware of the significance of regular engine oil changes, there's often less understanding about transmission fluid - its purpose and when it should be replaced. However, its role is equally significant and shouldn't be overlooked!

What is the function of transmission fluid?

The function of transmission fluid is multifaceted and plays a crucial role in the proper operation of a vehicle's transmission system. Here are some key functions of transmission fluid:

Lubrication: Transmission fluid is essential for lubrication of numerous moving components such as gears and shafts. This reduces friction and heat generation, preventing excessive wear and damage.

Cooling: Transmission fluid helps in dissipating heat generated by the friction of moving parts and the fluid itself. It carries away heat from the transmission, preventing overheating and potential component failure.

Cleaning and Protection: Transmission fluid contains detergents and additives that help clean the transmission by removing contaminants, debris, and sludge. It also provides protection against rust, corrosion, and oxidation, ensuring the longevity of transmission components.

Hydraulic Power Transmission: Automatic transmissions use fluid to create hydraulic pressure, which is necessary for shifting gears. Transmission fluid allows smooth and precise gear changes by enabling the transmission to engage and disengage different gears effectively.

Seal Conditioning: Transmission fluid helps to condition and maintain the integrity of the seals within the transmission system, preventing leaks and ensuring proper operation.

Signs of Low Transmission Fluid Levels

Are you curious about how to identify low transmission fluid levels? Look out for these indicators:

Puddles: If you spot puddles forming beneath your vehicle, it's likely a sign of a transmission fluid leak.

Color Change: Notice your transmission fluid shifting from a light, clear hue (typically red, but may vary) to a darker brown or muddy green color. It's a clear signal that it's time to replace the fluid.

Roaring Sounds: Unusual roaring noises during acceleration or while navigating corners could point to transmission issues. Additionally, low fluid levels can cause whining or buzzing sounds.

Chattering: Experiencing a chattering sensation during takeoff is a common symptom of low transmission fluid, almost akin to driving over a rumble strip.

Warning Light: Modern vehicles often have technology that alerts you to transmission problems. If you see a dashboard light indicating high transmission temperature, it means your fluid is hotter than it should be. Remember, the check engine light can also illuminate for transmission issues, not just engine-related problems.

Shifting Difficulties: Delayed engagement when shifting gear, slipping, sliding, bumps, or unusual noise while shifting are significant signs of transmission fluid problems.

Transmission Slippage or Engine Revving: If you notice the transmission slipping or the engine revving when maneuvering corners, it suggests low fluid levels and insufficient fluid coverage in the pan.

Unusual Smell: A faint burning smell, especially with an unusual tart odor, may indicate an issue with your transmission fluid.

What happens if the transmission fluid is low?

When a car runs out of transmission fluid entirely, it will likely experience significant issues, such as difficulty shifting gears, minimal movement, or even a complete inability to shift. This is particularly true for vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions.

Regrettably, allowing a vehicle to reach a state of no transmission fluid can result in extensive and expensive repairs. That's why it's crucial to be vigilant for the aforementioned signs! If you're ever unsure, it's advisable to inspect your transmission or seek assistance from a professional who can inspect it for you.


Transmission fluid is a vital component in maintaining the proper functioning and longevity of a vehicle's transmission system. By understanding the importance of transmission fluid and taking proactive steps to maintain its quality and quantity, you can enjoy a reliable and trouble-free driving experience, prolonging the life of your vehicle's transmission and ensuring its continued performance on the road.

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