Ensuring that your car is in prime condition is something that most car enthusiasts and owners worry about and sometimes struggle with. After all, it can be worrying that your favorite car is suddenly making weird sounds or not operating correctly. Many do not understand the importance of the components within their vehicle. One such critical component is the transmission, which is essential for both automatic and manual cars.
What does the transmission do?
The transmission is responsible for many functions, one of which is providing power from the engine to the wheels. It also regulates power in your vehicle, ensuring that you can drive at various gears. The transmission requires transmission fluid so that it can work properly. Transmission fluids vary in viscosity and darkness depending on whether it’s an automatic or manual transmission. Without transmission fluid, your car will not function correctly, and you might notice signs your transmission fluid is low.
However, if you are not familiar with how the transmission works, these low transmission fluid signs will not be that obvious. You will likely be wondering, what are signs of low transmission fluid? Not to worry, however, we have you sorted out.
This article will discuss the top 5 signs of low transmission fluid. Let’s dive in.
What are the signs of low transmission fluid?
1. Strange noises coming out of the car
One significant sign of low transmission fluid is strange noises coming out of your car. People often cannot pinpoint the fault in their car when they hear such sounds. This sound is likely coming from the transmission. Transmission fluid ensures that the gears shift smoothly, but there will be a clunking sound in manual transmissions and whining sounds from automatic ones if it is low.
In such a case, we recommend taking the car to an expert or technician who can pinpoint exactly why the sound is there. Chances are, the noises are signs that transmission fluid is low. They can then flush the low transmission fluid out and replace it. Once they have replaced the transmission fluid, you will feel that your car operates without any noise.
2. Trouble when shifting the gears
Another low transmission fluid sign is when you have trouble shifting the gears. This involves a slight delay of two or three seconds before the gear changes. This sign will be more apparent in manual transmissions as people often change gears when driving them. However, this does not mean that automatic vehicles are free from this problem. It is less apparent since the drivers themselves do not change the gear. There may still be weaker acceleration and problems when putting the gear in reverse or drive.
If you do not rectify the problem, this can result in the transmission getting ruined, and gears may become unresponsive. This is because the transmission ends up overheating and melting the gears within. This is a dangerous problem, and we recommend replacing your transmission fluid.
3. Overheating in the transmission system
The transmission fluid has many purposes, and one of these is to regulate the temperature in the transmission system. If this fluid is low, there will be excessive friction, leading to overheating in the system. This overheating can lead to a foul, burning smell coming from your vehicle at a certain point. This smell comes from overheated transmission fluid, which is one of the clear signs transmission fluid is low.
Typically, the transmission fluid’s temperature should not go above 200F, leading to the fluid overheating and negatively affecting the car’s performance. If you suspect the transmission fluid is overheating or detect a burning smell, we recommend immediately taking your vehicle to the nearest technician or transmission expert. They will then be able to tell you what the damage is while topping up the transmission fluid.
4. Transmission fluid leaking to the ground
One of the most apparent transmission fluid low signs is the fluid leaking from underneath the car’s engine compartment. You can easily check this by looking underneath your car or noticing puddles of leaked fluid wherever you park your car frequently. Typically, this fluid will be a bright red color. This is the transmission fluid that is leaking, and if it is outside the vehicle, it means there is low transmission fluid within it. If the problem is left untreated, you may likely see that the liquid becomes a darker color and starts to give out a burnt smell. This is a sign that you need to take your car immediately to a technician. In this way, they can assess the damage to the transmission and fix the cause of leakage.
5. Slipping of gears in the transmission system
Transmission slippage is one of the signs your car is low on transmission fluid. You can tell the gear has slipped when the vehicle does not stay in the gear or mode you select. This will result in the engine speeding up but no change in the car itself. When a gear shifts, it relies on the transmission fluid’s hydraulic pressure. Low pressure causes the gears to slip when the transmission fluid is low. If this problem is not rectified, you will see repeated difficulty in changing gears as they slip. Driving with repeatedly slipping gears is very dangerous, and we highly recommend that you take your car to the technician immediately. Even if nothing happens to you, slipping gears can result in costly repairs for the transmission system, which you will want to avoid.
To sum up
The transmission is one of your car’s most critical components, and maintaining it is vital to your car’s performance. The transmission is responsible for providing power to the wheels from the engine while regulating it. Transmission fluid is essential to the transmission to ensure that it operates at its best. If your transmission fluid is low, the car’s performance will not be optimal, making driving tedious and dangerous. Therefore, you should look for signs that your transmission fluid is low. We have discussed the main symptoms in this article and recommend replacing the fluid immediately when you detect them. Additionally, you should take your car to a transmission expert who can ensure that there isn’t any extensive damage.
Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful and wish you good luck with your transmission.