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What Causes Burnt Transmission Fluid and What Should You Do About It?

Do You Need To Change The Transmission Fluid

Does your car smell like it’s burning almost every time that you drive it? If so, you should obviously take it off the road so that you can investigate what the problem seems to be with it. Oftentimes, you’ll find that this burning smell is the result of burnt transmission fluid. Burnt transmission fluid can cause your car to smell like it’s burning when you’re behind the wheel. You should take some time to learn about what causes burnt transmission fluid and then find out what you should do about it so that it doesn’t create further issues with your car. Discover more about burnt transmission fluid below.

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First, What Is Transmission Fluid and What Does It Do?

Before we begin talking about what causes burnt transmission fluid and what you should do about it, you need to know what transmission fluid is and what role it plays in your car. It’s one of the most important fluids found in your vehicle, which is why it’s imperative for you to be very familiar with it.


Transmission fluid is a type of fluid that actually takes on two essential jobs as it works its way through your transmission. First and foremost, transmission fluid helps to lubricate all of the different moving parts that are found in your transmission. It keeps them working the way they should and stops them from coming into direct contact with one another and wearing down. At the same time, transmission fluid is also responsible for providing the parts in your transmission with the hydraulic pressure that they need to continue working. The gears in your transmission wouldn’t be able to shift in the way that they do without enough transmission fluid.


With these things in mind, it’s easy to see why you don’t ever want to have burnt transmission fluid in your transmission. Burnt transmission fluid won’t be able to set your transmission’s parts up with the lubrication that they need. It also won’t be able to provide the hydraulic pressure that these parts need to carry out their responsibilities at all times.

What Color Is Transmission Fluid Supposed to Be?

Now that you know what transmission fluid is and how it works, the next thing that you should learn about is what color transmission fluid is supposed to be. It’ll help you monitor it and figure out if it has gone bad on you. When you first put transmission fluid into a vehicle, it’ll be a bright red color. This will indicate that transmission fluid is in great condition and ready to spring into action.


Over time, though, the color of transmission fluid will change. It’ll start to turn pink and maybe even orange as you use it more and more. It’ll still be fine to use transmission fluid when it’s one of these colors, but once it begins to change color, it’s a sign that you’re going to need to perform a transmission fluid flush sooner than later. If you don’t, it’s only going to be a matter of time before your pink or orange transmission fluid starts to get darker and eventually turns black. This will lead to you having to deal with burnt transmission fluid before long.

What Causes Burnt Transmission Fluid?

At this point, you should be well aware of the fact that burnt transmission fluid is not something that you want to have in your car when you’re driving around in it. But you might be wondering what causes burnt transmission fluid to show up in your car. It’s not something that’s going to appear out of nowhere.


In reality, burnt transmission fluid is something that develops over a long stretch of time in most cases. More often than not, those who have burnt transmission fluid in their cars have it because they haven’t performed a transmission fluid flush in a very long time. Or they have it because they’ve continued to drive in a car with a transmission fluid leak that has left their car with a lack of transmission fluid in it. Either way, you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of burnt transmission fluid and do something about it as soon as you can to prevent what is already a pretty bad problem from getting even worse.

What Are the Main Symptoms of Burnt Transmission Fluid?

Most car owners don’t spend much time looking at or even thinking about the transmission fluid in their vehicles. It’s why you might not realize that you have burnt transmission fluid in your car until it’s too late. But there are some symptoms that are going to show you that you likely have burnt transmission fluid in your car. You’re going to want to monitor your car for these symptoms and do something about them if you ever notice them.


Here are some of the symptoms of burnt transmission fluid that you should be aware of at all times:

  • The inside of your car constantly smells like something is burning (this is caused by the overheating that’s taking place in your transmission due to your burnt transmission fluid in a lot of cases)
  • Your car appears to be leaking transmission fluid when you leak it parked somewhere for a few hours
  • Your car’s transmission doesn’t seem to be shifting its gears smoothly like it usually does due to a lack of transmission fluid

As we talked about at the top, it’s typically very easy to tell when you have burnt transmission fluid in your car. You’re going to be able to smell it when you’re in your car. But there are also subtler signs that you should be mindful of when you’re in your car. They could show you that you have an issue with your transmission that needs to be dealt with accordingly.

What Should You Do If You Have Burnt Transmission Fluid in Your Car?

Do you suspect that you might have burnt transmission fluid in your car right now? Then the last thing that you’re going to want to do is keep on driving your car around. You could put your transmission and your car as a whole in danger if you have burnt transmission fluid and don’t do anything about it. You should reach out to an auto repair shop in your area right area to have a transmission fluid flush performed.


When you have the transmission fluid in your car flushed, all of the burnt transmission fluid will be taken out of your car and disposed of properly. From there, your mechanic will then place fresh transmission fluid into your car so that you can get it back out on the road. They’ll also inspect your transmission while they’re doing this to see if they can spot any signs of trouble. Additionally, they’ll let you know if you might have transmission fluid leaking from your car.


The good news is that, once you’ve had your transmission fluid flushed and replaced, you shouldn’t have to worry about burnt transmission fluid coming back again anytime soon. You should be in the clear as far as transmission fluid is concerned for the foreseeable future. The only time it might present a problem is if you do happen to have a transmission fluid leak that goes undetected. But otherwise, you won’t have to be concerned about burnt transmission fluid anymore.

Is Replacing Transmission Fluid on Your Own a Good Idea?

There are a whole lot of people out there who change the oil in their cars on their own to save a few dollars every few months. Changing the oil in a car is not the most complicated job in the world. But with that being said, you shouldn’t feel like you’re qualified to change the transmission fluid in a car just because you know how to change the oil in it. You should be especially wary of changing burnt transmission fluid if you don’t have any experience doing it.


Performing a transmission fluid flush is not something that the average person can or should do. Instead, you should trust a professional to carry this job out from start to finish. They’ll identify whether or not you have burnt transmission fluid in your car, remove it from your car if you do, and replace it with fresh transmission fluid so that your transmission runs like normal again. As we touched on a few moments ago, they’ll also evaluate the condition of your transmission and make any repairs that might need to be made.


You might think that you’re making the right move by replacing burnt transmission fluid on your own. But you could end up doing a decent amount of damage to your transmission and costing yourself a small fortune if you don’t know what you’re doing when working with burnt transmission fluid.

How Much Does It Cost to Perform a Transmission Fluid Flush?

One of the reasons why some people will consider trying to do a transmission fluid flush on their own rather than hiring a mechanic to help is because transmission fluid flushes are more expensive than oil changes. On average, you’re going to have to pay between $180 and $210 to have burnt transmission fluid removed from your car to make way for fresh transmission fluid. This includes about $90 worth of parts and about $100 or so worth of labor.


There could also be some extra costs associated with removing burnt transmission fluid from your car since there is a chance it may have done some damage. If it did any damage to your transmission, you might need to pay more money than you would normally have to otherwise for transmission repairs. You could also be subjected to extra fees if a mechanic finds a transmission fluid leak that needs to be fixed.


All of this might turn you off from the idea of having your transmission fluid flushed. But it’s going to prove to be necessary for those who have burnt transmission fluid in their cars. It’s the only way to get rid of burnt transmission fluid and replace it with fresh transmission fluid that will stand the test of time.

What Can You Do to Avoid Having to Deal With Burnt Transmission Fluid?

Would you like to steer clear of having to worry about burnt transmission fluid in the first place? Of course you would. No one wants to have to take their car off the road because of burnt transmission fluid. And fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to avoid burnt transmission fluid.


For starters, you can make sure that you get into the habit of having your transmission fluid flushed on a regular basis. You don’t have to do it as often as you change your oil. But you should consult the owner’s manual for your car and follow your auto manufacturer’s recommendations as far as how often you need to replace your transmission.


You can also avoid having to deal with burnt transmission fluid by looking out for any signs that might indicate that your transmission fluid is on its way out. If you notice transmission fluid leaking or if you feel like your transmission isn’t quite as smooth as usual, take your car in for service. You might be able to catch a problem with your transmission before you have burnt transmission fluid on your hands.

Can Burnt Transmission Fluid Ruin Your Car for Good?

The sad truth is that, if you drive around with burnt transmission fluid in your car for too long, it’s not going to bode well for your vehicle. Eventually, your transmission is going to experience some serious problems. You’ll have to pay a ton of money to fix it, and it might not be worth doing it if your car is on the older side.


If you ever find yourself in this situation, you should strongly consider selling your car to local junk car buyers rather than spending more money on repairing it. Cash Cars Buyer will pay top dollar for your car, even if it has burnt transmission fluid in it and other transmission problems. Contact us today to get an offer for your car and to learn more about the process of selling your car to us.

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