Transmission Fluid

What is Transmission Fluid?

A type of lubricant called transmission fluid is used in cars to lubricate the moving components in automatic or self-shifting transmissions. It facilitates gear shifting in your vehicle by greasing the moving components of the transmission. 

In order to be clearly distinguishable from other fluids in the car, it is usually colored red or green.

Transmission fluid is made to stay in your automobile for the duration of its lifespan without having to be changed, irrespective of the fact that many technicians will tell you (sometimes untruthfully) that you should do it every 50,000 miles, irrespective of anything.

Symptoms of Low Transmission Fluid

1) Dashboard Warning Light

One of the first signs that appear when your transmission fluid level falls below a predetermined level is the check engine light. Modern gearbox systems use a lot of electronic sensors to alert you to car issues.

Your car’s PCM will broadcast a fault code (such as P0016, P0012, P0017, etc.) to the dashboard as soon as it detects any problem. There may not be enough fluid in your vehicle if your check engine light is on.

2) Transmission Overheating

Because there is insufficient lubrication, the powertrain becomes less safe as the quantity of transmission fluid decreases. When the gearbox becomes too hot, you can smell burning or see smoke emanating from the car.

Unexpected shifting and a shortage of power might also cause this problem. In any situation, you need to stop driving right away to avoid serious injury. Otherwise, the entire transmission will need to be replaced.

3) Hard Shifting

If the hydraulic fluid completely runs out, the car might not be able to shift at all. The transmission system needs to be properly lubricated to operate well.

In this case, try shifting the gears after adding fresh fluid to the transmission. However, using the car without the right amount of oil could have caused irreversible gearbox damage.

4) Fluid on Garage Floor 

The transmission oil on the garage floor is an obvious indication that there is not enough fluid. If you notice a tiny puddle or spots of red or brown fluid underneath your car, where the engine and transmission are, you most likely have a gearbox leak.

5) Strange Noises While in Gear

An effective transmission system operates whilst driving in total silence. However, if you start to hear repetitive hammering or rattling noises when your car is in gear rather than park or neutral, you might have a torque converter issue brought on by a shortage of fluid.

6) Slipping Transmission

The gearbox must operate smoothly, softly, and without much noise. One of the main signs of low transmission fluid, though, is if the gears slip while you’re shifting.

Your gearbox system’s gears may also make grinding noises and experience RPM spikes as a consequence of inadequate fluid.

Causes of Transmission Fluid Leak 

1) Transmission Pan

Your transmission pan will inevitably become worn out over time. This is due to the gearbox pan’s vulnerability to damage from jagged rocks and other road debris while you are driving.

A leak may develop if the pan sustains a small hole or if the drain plugs are not tightly fastened. A large rock or other debris could harm the pan, which would cause the transmission to lose fluid quickly. This will be obvious to you when it occurs. 

2) Broken Seals

Through a variety of gearbox seals, an automatic transmission maintains hydraulic pressure. These seals will probably fail and wear out, especially if exposed to heat frequently or if there is too much transmission fluid inside the system.

There are numerous parts of the powertrain to inspect whether this results in a transmission leak. The leaking seal is often located in either the input shaft or the output shaft. The tail housing seal, valve body, shifter housing seal, driveshaft, plug seals, sensors, gearbox pan, and speedometer input seal should all also be checked. 

3) Torque Convertor 

A torque converter forces transmission oil through the various parts of the power system. This device, which resembles a torque pump, may eventually shatter and leak fluid. Damage to the ball bearings might also result in transmission fluid leaking from the torque converter.

4) Transmission Fluid Pipe

A transmission’s oil lines are made of either aluminum or steel. These lines are often quite resilient, but if they sustain damage from road debris or are repeatedly exposed to heat, they may crack or even entirely fail.

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