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The Symptoms Of Low Transmission Fluid

The Symptoms Of Low Transmission Fluid

Think your transmission fluid is low? If so, you should definitely check it out. If you let your transmission fluid get too low it can cause a lot of problems and even damage your entire transmission. This fluid is essential for the entire system to work properly. The transmission fluid is used for many different purposes. If you think your transmission fluid level is low, make sure to get it checked out as soon as possible. Let’s say you end up driving too far with low levels of fluid. You could completely damage your transmission and overheat the entire system. This will be a very expensive fix. 

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What Does Transmission Fluid Do?


So, now you know it is bad to let the transmission fluid get too low, but what exactly does transmission fluid do? The main function is to lubricate the transmission system. This is essential because the lubrication helps to transfer engine power to the ground. Also, the fluid will absorb heat that is created inside the entire system. This will help ensure that the entire system does not overheat. 


Why is it dangerous to drive on low transmission fluid? When you drive on low transmission fluid, this could lead to transmission failures and other costly repairs. You should always be aware of any weird noises your car is making so you can stay on top of any transmission issues. You need to take action immediately when you realize your transmission fluid is too low. 


What Are The Symptoms Of Low Transmission Fluid?


There are many different symptoms of low transmission fluid. Some of the most common symptoms are listed below. 


Shifting Problems: It is important to have the correct amount of transmission fluid because there needs to be a certain amount of fluid pressure to change the gears. So, if you have low transmission fluid then there won't be enough pressure. The correct amount of pressure depends on how much transmission fluid is available. This is all necessary so the gears can shift properly. Sometimes the transmission may not change gears at all so you will only have one gear to drive it. All of the gears will get stuck in one gear. 


Gear Slippage: This is the most common symptom of low transmission fluid. The transmission requires pressure so it can connect the force between the engine and your wheels. This process is critical to make the car run. If the pressure gets too low within the system, the transmission will slip. If this happens, you make notice that the engine's RPM’s will be higher than normal. The moment you notice this you need to check your transmission fluid. If it is too low then you need to add more immediately. 


Late Engagement: Late engagement could occur between the gears if your transmission fluid is low. What does this mean? When you change gears in your car, the right amount of pressure needs to build up before the car starts moving. If you have low levels of transmission fluid, it can take longer to build up pressure inside the system. The good news is you will be able to notice this by a 2-3 second delay of your car starting. 


Overheated Transmission: If your transmission overheats, bad things will happen. It could damage the entire system. The purpose of transmission fluid is to help cool down the transmission system. Without the proper amount of fluid, friction will occur. If this friction occurs, these parts will get too hot. Low levels of transmission fluid will cause overheating because there won’t be enough to go through all of the working parts in the transmission. This will lead to a completely damaged transmission. 


Erratic Shifting: Have you noticed that your car is delayed when you shift gears? This could be a sign that your transmission fluid is too low. If you have low fluid levels you could have unstable hydraulic pressure. The transmission needs the correct amount of pressure to put into the gears so the car will run smoothly. If there is not enough pressure, the shifting will be too slow. This is all a result of low levels of transmission fluid. 


Engine Light On: The transmission system uses a lot of electric sensors. If this system detects there is a problem, they will send a trouble code to the transmission control unit. Sometimes these signals will also get sent to the engine control unit. If this happens, your engine light will turn on. If your engine light turns on, this could mean that your transmission fluid levels are too low. Yes, there could be a problem with your engine, but you should always check your transmission fluid to make sure there is enough of it. 


What Signs Should I Look Out For? 


Transmission fluid requires regular changes and an occasional top-off. The transmission is one important system for your vehicle to operate. For it to operate correctly, the fluid levels need to remain at an appropriate level.


Noises: You won’t hear any noises if your transmission is working properly. Your car should be running smoothly. If your transmission fluid is too low, your car will start to make a loud clunking or grinding noise when you shift gears. These noises could mean your levels are too low but it might be hard to diagnose the problem yourself. Once you notice those sounds, you will want to go to a mechanic to get it looked at as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the problem and inform you of the best solution. 


Transmission Leaks: The fluid in your transmission system is the only source of lubrication for the entire system. It will act as a cleaning agent and a cooling agent for the entire transmission as well. Unfortunately, leaks do occur and they can be common causes of transmission problems. If you notice fluid underneath your vehicle, you have a transmission leak. You will want to get that leak fixed and add more transmission fluid. You don’t know much fluid leaked out so your levels will be all messed up. Once you get the leak fixed then you will want to make sure you remember to refill the transmission fluid. The longer your car leaks, the worse your problems will get. You will want to see a mechanic quickly so you can fix the leak and prevent your fluid levels from dropping too low. 


Burning Smell: Does it smell like something is burning when you drive your car? This is not something to ignore. A burning smell could mean that your transmission is overheating because there is not enough transmission fluid. If the transmission gets too hot, there will be more friction occurring between the transmission parts. This will eventually overheat the entire system and potentially damage it past the point of repair. If this happens, your car will not work. Always make sure to see a mechanic the moment it smells like something is burning. 


Slipping Gears: If you notice your gears start to slip, this could be a sign that your fluid levels are too low. You might start to notice a grinding sensation between your gears. This might be a small issue at first, but it will turn into a bigger problem the longer you wait to get it fixed. If you notice your car gears sticking, you should have your transmission system checked out. If you do this before things get too bad, you could potentially avoid some very costly repairs in the future. 


How Can I Check My Transmission Fluid Level?


Don’t know how to check your transmission fluid levels? The most common way is to pull out the transmission dipstick from under the hood. Some cars may not have a dipstick so you might have to check with an OBD2 scanner. You can use this system in the same way that you would use a dipstick. If you can’t figure out how to work the scanner, you can call your dealership and they will help you. You can also take your car in to a mechanic and they will be able to check your transmission fluid levels for you. A mechanic will be able to check your levels and fill up your transmission if it needs more. 


How Often Should I Fill My Transmission Fluid?


You should not have to refill your transmission system since it is a sealed system. If you have low levels of transmission fluid, this means you might have another issue somewhere. You might have a leak somewhere within your transmission system. The most common type of leak is from the gasket, which is between your fluid pan and the transmission. If you suspect that you have a leak in your transmission, go get a diagnosis from a mechanic. They will probably suggest that you fix it and replace the fluid at the same time.  


What Are Some Signs That My Transmission Is Failing?


You know your vehicle better than anyone else since you probably drive it daily. If it starts acting differently you will be able to notice. It is important that you listen to your car and take it in to get fixed if you notice it is running differently. Are you hearing strange noises or is it driving differently on your normal route? Your transmission could be failing. It is important to understand why the system could be failing. 


If you hear a buzzing, clunking, or humming noise you should know that it is coming from inside the transmission. This usually indicates that you have a bad bearing or your gears are damaged. This issue could be a result of low transmission fluid due to a leak. It can be difficult to determine where this leak is coming from. You should get a mechanic to investigate this leak so you can get it fixed quickly. 


Is your engine revving high? If this is happening, you could have low transmission fluid. This could be from lack of maintenance, water intrusion, or internal wear and tear on the transmission parts. If your engine is revving high this is typically a sign that your clutches are worn or the parts in your transmission are failing. If you don’t have enough transmission fluid, these parts will rub together and create more friction. This will damage the individual parts and could cause the entire system to overheat. If this happens, the entire system could break down. 




Did you let your transmission fluids get too low and now your entire transmission system is damaged? This can be a very expensive system to repair or replace. You might be wondering if it is worth your money to replace the system. If you decide that you don’t want to, understand that you have other options. 


So the mechanic called you back and gave you a price estimate. Your car is getting older and you are starting to think that the car is not worth the cost of the repair. Now you have decided that you don’t want to repair it because it does not fit your budget. Don’t worry because you can sell your car to us and will pay you cash for it. We will take your car no matter what condition it is in. We have a need for more cars because we specialize in refurbishing cars and car parts.  


If you are interested in selling your car to us, head over to our website and get a quote or call us at any time. We will come get your car at your place and tow it back to ours. You don’t have to worry about bringing your car to us or paying any towing fees. Once we have your car we will pay cash for it.

We understand how expensive it is to repair or replace a transmission. If you don’t want to hassle with fixing it, sell it to us. You can put the cash we give you towards buying a new car. Contact us today to get a quote!

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