Three Common Problems Associated With Transmission Fluid

Transmission problems can always be traced to the fluid. This is why it is advisable to check the condition and level of the fluid first when you experience a transmission problem. Some of the common issues include:

Too Much Fluid

Just like low transmission fluid level is not good, too much transmission fluid is also a problem, albeit for a different reason. You should suspect that your transmission is filled with too much fluid if:

  • The fluid is foaming
  • The transmission is slipping
  • The fluid is leaking when the engine is heated

This problem usually occurs if you use the wrong fluid, pour in too much fluid, or if other liquids (most likely water) are leaking into the transmission. If you've used the wrong fluid, the remedy is to drain out the fluid (by pumping it out) and replace it with the recommended one. Alternatively, drain the fluid until it lies between "Full" and "Full Range," if there is too much fluid. For a water leak, consult a mechanic, like Culver City Transmission Service, to plug it.

Extremely Dirty Fluid

A dirty fluid will cause numerous problems such as:

  • Erratic shifting
  • Transmission overheating
  • Transmission slipping

If you don't fix the problem, then the transmission can heat up too high and even cause transmission failure, and you can guess how costly that would be for you.

To prevent the fluid from getting dirty or oxidized, have your transmission system regularly serviced. Also, use fresh fluid every time (not recycled fluid) you fill up the transmission and flush or replace the filters when they get dirty. This is a problem better prevented than repaired.

Fluid Leak

A leaking transmission fluid will lead to low levels of the fluid. Symptoms include:

  • No shifting
  • Transmission slipping
  • Delayed gear engagement
  • Transmission overheating and failure

In many cases, the problem is caused by a damaged oil pan, loose oil cooler line, damaged filler tube or damaged transmission seal. In short, any damage to any part of the transmission system that comes into contact with the fluid will cause a leak.

The solution is not, as you may think, merely filling up the fluid to the correct level. If you do this, then you are just masking the symptom. You should have a transmission mechanic diagnose the source of the leak and plug it. Only after that should you fill up the fluid.

Most transmission fluid problems can accelerate very fast if you don't correct them early enough. Be careful because these problems may be easy and cheap to fix when just starting, but they get complicated and costly when the transmission fails. This is why you should never ignore any transmission-related problem.