Transmission Fluid: How to Check & Change? Why? Leak, Low Signs & Color

Let us talk about transmission fluid! An automobile is filled with many different types of fluids. The fluids in your car are essential to keep in good condition, and this includes the engine oil and radiator fluid, as well as a refrigerant for air conditioning and transmission fluid.

The transmission fluid is one of the essential fluids that must be kept in good condition. There is no doubt that most people are aware of the importance of changing their engine oil on a regular basis, yet many do not know exactly what role transmission fluid plays in the engine and when it needs to be changed.

What is the Basic Function of Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid is the liquid used to lubricate and cool the internal parts of a transmission, whether it is a manual transmission or an automatic transmission. Automatic transmissions do not only utilize the fluid for hydraulic pressure and actuation, but they also use it for hydraulic pressure. Essentially, it is the stuff that keeps your transmission shifting smoothly and on time in the real world.

  • In order to provide hydraulic pressure and friction to the internal parts of the transmission, automatic transmissions do more than simply lubricate the moving parts, they also provide hydraulic pressure and friction.
  • A manual or automatic transmission’s transmission fluid contributes to the cooling of both the transmission and the engine.
  • Changing gears in a vehicle can be a strenuous task, and transmission fluid is what enables a vehicle to move easily without wearing down its components as it shifts gears.
  • There has been manual transmission of oil and fluids on the market for at least as long as automobiles have existed. However, automatic transmission fluid first appeared in the 1940s and has been important to cars ever since.
  • When it comes to choosing the right fluids for your vehicle, you need to remember that there are a variety of different types and qualities of transmission fluid, so it’s best to refer to your owner’s manual or a trusted automotive technician for help.

Varieties of Transmission Fluids

Transmission fluid can be divided into two types, automatic transmission fluid and manual transmission fluid, depending on the type of vehicle. The use of synthetic transmission fluids and speciality fluids is also prevalent in a wide range of transmission types, including CVTs and dual-clutch transmissions.

The most important thing you need to do for the proper operation of your car is to be aware of the type of transmission you have and the type of fluid it requires. The types of the Transmission Fluids are as follows:

01. Automatic Transmission Fluid

It is designed for vehicles that have automatic transmissions, so it is suitable for vehicles that use this type of transmission fluid. Additionally, it is also used in some of the more modern manual transmissions that are available today. Transmission fluid for automatic transmissions serves the needs of automatic transmissions and can be used for various functions, such as:

  • Torque converter operation
  • Transmission cooling
  • Gear lubrication.
  • Valve Body Operation
  • Brake band friction
  • Clutch friction operation 

02. Manual Transmission Fluid

On some older vehicles with manual transmissions, manual transmission fluid is also referred to as manual transmission oil or lubricant and can be found in the transmission fluid.

Whenever a vehicle with an automatic transmission is equipped with such a heavier fluid, between 75W and 140W, it cannot be used. If you have a manual transmission in your vehicle, it does not mean that this type of fluid will be used with manual transmissions, even if your vehicle is a manual transmission. The majority of later model vehicles with manual transmissions use an automatic fluid in their manual transmissions when compared to earlier model vehicles.

Traditional Transmission Fluid vs. Synthetic Transmission Fluid

Synthetic transmission fluid is created by using various chemical reactions to create a mixture of hydrocarbons that are able to be adjusted to meet the specifications of different vehicles, as opposed to traditional transmission fluid, which is created by using crude oil and its conversion to hydrocarbons. It is less likely, at high temperatures, for this type of transmission oil to break down, oxidize, or thin out than other types.

Now the question arises that, Is it better to use traditional transmission fluid or synthetic transmission fluid? This question cannot be answered in black and white. If you are in doubt, contact a transmission specialist or check the information provided by the vehicle manufacturer. If you are interested to learn about various types of future carsOpens in a new tab. for their spec, transmission etc., you can check the internet.

What are the main benefits of using a Transmission Additive?

Resolving Small Leaks

The leak of fluid might seem like a minor issue, but it can actually cause quite a bit of trouble in the future. There are many reasons why a small transmission leak can cause the transmission to run too hot or can cause it to perform less efficiently as a result. Low transmission fluid may cause rough shifts or slips.

Parts are less likely to wear out

The fact that when you have a healthy transmission fluid that is flowing freely throughout it, it will keep the whole transmission system working properly will come as no surprise. Whenever the fluid gets old, thickens, or starts to form impurities, the transmission will have to work harder and will not be as efficient as it once was when it was new.

It is important to treat the transmission fluid properly to keep it healthy and to reduce wear on the parts. By maintaining your transmission, you will save money on potential repairs.

Noise and shudders get reduced

The noise your transmission makes when it is working harder because of poor quality fluid will not only indicate that you need to make more repairs but will also indicate that your transmission is working harder.

Noises such as roaring under your hood, clanking, whirring, or other noises may indicate transmission strain. Vibrations or shudders may even occur in your transmission. If your fluid is treated well, you will experience fewer noises and vibrations.

Your Transmission will last longer

In addition to all these advantages, the right additive for your transmission can also increase the life of your transmission. By using the right treatment, you will be able to lower the temperature at which your transmission is running, which will prevent it from overheating. In addition to reducing wear and tear on the transmission, it will also ensure that your transmission runs at its peak efficiency.

Is it possible to check transmission fluid with an oil dipstick?

Transmission dipsticks are similar to oil dipsticks in that they measure the amount of transmission fluid in your car, while oil dipsticks measure how much engine oil is in your car’s engine; transmission dipsticks measure the amount of transmission fluid in your car. It is important to remember that many transmission problems can be attributed to low fluid levels.

When your transmission fluid is overfilled, what are the consequences?

There are very specific recommendations made by the vehicle manufacturers with regards to how much automotive fluid should be put into the various parts of their vehicles. In order to ensure that the different parts in our cars function correctly, automotive engineers have determined the levels of different fluids, including engine oils, brake fluids, engine coolants, and transmission fluids.

In addition to lubricating the metal surfaces, the fluid prevents friction between them as well. The wear of these parts will also be prevented as a result of this. This will also prevent a premature breakdown of these parts. It is important to note that what many people do not realize is that the correct amount of fluid in the transmission is also correlated to the correct level of pressure in the transmission.

Some symptoms that will arise due to overfilling transmission oil are :

  • The Dipstick being overfilled
  • Difficulties in the shifting process
  • Leakage in transmission fluid
  • Transmission Humming, Grinding and Whining

What is the importance of transmission fluid?

Even though transmission fluid is merely a fluid and not an expensive component of your car, why is it so important to have a clean transmission fluid? Here are some things you need to know if you have been wondering about that question time and time again.

  • The cooling of transmissions

The transmission tends to generate heat when it is operated for a long period of time, as it operates for a long time. However, in addition to absorbing the heat, the fluid also expels it through the radiator, which is where the heat is emitted. In addition to reducing slippage, this fluid also helps to reduce the probability that this will occur in the future.

  • Provides a means of power transfer.

Power is transferred from the engine to the pavement through the transmission fluid, and this is what explains the transmission’s ability to do it. To make a similar point, torque converters rely on automatic transmission fluid (ATF) to create a hydraulic circuit that enables them to transmit the rotational force between the engine and transmission by forming a hydraulic circuit.

  • Ensuring Smoother Operations

In general, the transmission fluid plays a critical role in ensuring the smooth operation of the internal components of the car. It is evident from the fact that when the battery runs out, these components can corrode and wear out to such an extent that they will no longer be able to function.

What Does a Colour of a Transmission Fluid Look Like?

Some manufacturers now offer blue/green, purple, or even amber-colored automatic transmission fluids, which are thinner than manual transmission fluids.. In this way, the fluid can be easily distinguished from engine oil and the other fluids flowing through your car at the same time.

In addition to this, it makes it easier to spot leaks if they occur. On the other hand, manual transmission fluid is generally darker in colour and thicker in consistency when compared to automatic transmission fluid. As well as having a stronger smell, it will also be more difficult to detect.

How Often Transmission Fluid Change? Recommended Frequency

Many people are aware of the importance of changing engine oil and transmission fluid, but they are not aware that it is equally important to change the engine oil and transmission fluid at the same time.

In the course of time, both automatic shift fluids and manual shift fluids will deteriorate and become contaminated with particles and dirt over a long period of time. Despite the fact that it is not necessary to change your transmission fluid as often as your engine oil, for example, it is essential to keep a close eye on it and check it on a regular basis.

Important factors to remember

In the event that your transmission fluid level is low or if the transmission fluid begins to break, you will notice a decrease in the performance of your transmission while shifting or shifting into gear. Having a lack of lubricant on the inside of the gearbox can also increase the risk of damaging internal gears and parts if they grind together due to a lack of lubricant.

A transmission fluid change is recommended by some manufacturers every 30,000-60,000 miles, but it will depend on your driving style and the type of transmission you have in your car. However, you should be aware of the fact that this can vary depending on the make and model of the car you own. It is always a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the vehicle that you own.

The strain placed on your transmission and transmission fluid can be increased by towing heavy loads, driving around town, and under harsh weather conditions. The level and condition of your transmission fluid should be checked periodically if you normally ride in these conditions so that you can avoid problems in the future.

When a car’s transmission fluid runs out, what happens?

You will most likely not be able to shift your car in gear, you will barely be able to move it, or you will not be able to shift it at all if the transmission fluid runs out completely. It is especially true if you have a car with an automatic transmission since it is the easiest to use.

When a vehicle is allowed to run out of transmission fluid, it is likely that extensive and costly repairs will be necessary in order to fix the vehicle. This is why it is so important to pay attention to the signs listed above, which is why you should pay attention to them. Do not hesitate to check your transmission if you are in doubt, or have it checked by a professional if you do not know how to do it yourself.

What do you mean by a Transmission Flush?

In order to maintain the performance of your transmission, it is often necessary to perform what is known as a transmission flush

There are many things that can be accomplished by a transmission flush, including the fact that the transmission, the torque converter, and the oil cooler and radiator lines of the vehicle are flushed and there is virtually no old fluid left in them. If you are trying to get rid of any dirt and grime that might get caught in your broadcast, this is one of the best ways to do it.

The old, contaminated fluid in the transmission is removed by using a special machine which then replaces it with a new, clean fluid that is replaced by removing all of the old, contaminated fluid in the transmission.

It is even possible to introduce a cleaning solution as part of the cleaning process to help improve the outcome. When you replace your old transmission fluid with fresh transmission fluid and replace the filter, you can extend the life of your transmission and prevent problems from occurring in the future.

Keep in mind that when it comes to caring for your gearbox, always follow the instructions provided by your manufacturer. You should change your vehicle’s fluids or flush the transmission depending on the way you use your vehicle and how often you use it.

When new transmission fluid is mixed with old, what happens?

In the event that you need to change the transmission fluid, you should not mix the old with the new fluid. It will not offer you the ideal viscosity as a result of the fact that it won’t offer you enough viscosity. In the meantime, it is important to keep in mind that the mixing will reduce the efficiency of the transmission system. As a consequence, it will have an adverse effect on the performance of the engine as a whole.

Is it necessary to flush the transmission fluid?

Transmission oil serves the same purpose as motor oil in lubricating transmission parts so that they do not overheat due to excessive friction. Your transmission fluid is made up of the breakdown products of your transmission parts as they wear down.

When this occurs, the fluid becomes contaminated, so yes, it should be flushed if the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends that it be done

Low Sign: Symptoms of a Low Transmission Fluid Level

It is important to be aware of the symptoms of low transmission fluid so that you will not drive when it is low, thereby ensuring that you do not continue to drive when it is low. There have been several users who have asked if there is a low transmission fluid light that would have notified them quickly when it is time for a transmission fluid replacement.

Even though there is not an outright yes or no to that question, being on the lookout for these signs and symptoms can save you a lot of time, energy, and money compared to having to repair car parts later on. In addition to these, there are others as well.

These are as follows:

  • The warning light is on.
  • Overheating of the transmission.
  • Shifting gears is difficult.
  • Problems with the transmission slipping.
  • Unusual sounds are generated.
  • Leakage of transmission fluid

Transmission Overheating

You should be aware that overheating is a clear indication that there is something wrong with your transmission. The ineffective transmission of fluid could end up causing the car to fail as a result of the ineffective transmission of fluid, and this will not be a surprise to anyone. In order to reduce friction between components, the fluid plays a crucial role in lubricating them to prevent friction.

As an alternative, it is advised that you should keep your fluid temperature below 200 degrees for as long as possible since it can negatively impact the performance of your vehicle. There is also the possibility that the transmission could be damaged at the following temperatures. These are :

  • 220 degrees: Surfaces of metal begin to form varnish.
  • 240 degrees: Hardening of seals begins.
  • 260 degrees: There is a gradual slippage of the clutches and the transmission bands.
  • 295 degrees: There is an urgent need to call a tow truck as soon as possible.

Having trouble shifting gears

The sudden hard shifting of gears can also result in car problems as a result of the sudden shift. Although the most common sign of a low manual transmission fluid level is often seen in the case of manual transmissions, which has led to the term “low manual transmission fluid symptoms,” there is no denying that the same can also happen with automatic transmissions. In automatic transmissions, there is difficulty in shifting from one gear to another, which is evident when the car accelerates less smoothly than it used to when it was operated as a manual transmission.

The result of this is that the Drive or Reverse gears do not engage smoothly or there is a delay of two to three seconds before they are engaged. A low transmission fluid pressure can also lead to these gears not responding, which could also be a result of the gears being unresponsive.

There may be a delay in the response of the gears for a while if the vehicle is using a manual transmission. This is because manual transmissions do not require oil pressure in order to run and rely on the direct drive for gear shifting.

Nevertheless, there will be a point at which the transmission will overheat to such an extent that the gears will begin to melt as a result of the heat. It is advisable to make sure that there is sufficient oil in the gearbox in order to prevent this from happening. The inside of the machine must also be clean and free from any dirt that may get transferred into the internal workings.

Leakage of transmission fluid

Leakages in this fluid may also be an indication that the fluid level is low, or the ATF level is low. Performing regular checks underneath the vehicle as well as in the engine compartment of your car is one of the best ways to find out whether fluid is leaking from the vehicle. Whenever you see a bright red colour leaking, you will know that there is something wrong with it.

In the event that the food has a dark colour and it smells burnt, then it is even more dangerous, and you need to get help as soon as you can. In the event that the leakage is left unattended for a long period of time, it will lead to a greater discharge of content, which will affect the way the internal components are lubricated.

As the car shifts between gears, a lack of fluid could result in some noise as the car shifts between gears and could take the situation to a point where a new set of gears would need to be replaced at some point.

Unusual Sound Generation

The vehicle is designed to operate silently, but this may not be the case if there is a shortage of fluid in the engine. There will be a lack of lubrication between the bands and clutches as they rub against each other.

It is possible to produce a noise, which may be similar to a rhythmic pounding if there is a loose torque converter in a transmission. This noise can also be caused by a loose transmission torque converter.

Additionally, you can also hear a grinding clatter when the transmission is in a neutral position, which is a sign that there is not enough transmission fluid in the system. Any of these sounds should be taken as a sign that a transmission check-up is necessary in order to prevent any further problems in the future

Problems with transmission slippage

If there is a lack of synchronization between the vehicle and the engine, transmission slippage could occur. A gear slip occurs when it slips and as a consequence, it does not remain in the mode that was selected by the user. The engine is speeding up, but the car itself is not responding to this because it is not responding to the engine speeding up.

Due to this, it should not be ignored since ignoring it could lead to problems when engaging the gears. There are a variety of reasons why driving with low transmission fluid is not a good idea. There is also the possibility that a residue could build up in the fluid, which may impede the free flow of the fluid.

The Warning Light

Taking note of your car’s “check engine light” is the quickest way to detect if there’s a problem with it, especially if it’s notifying you that there’s a minor issue with it. While the car may appear to be in great shape, it does not mean that there are not going to be any problems somewhere, which is why the light notification should be given a lot of attention, even if the car seems to be in great shape

However, if it’s the only sign that’s apparent, then you do not necessarily need to worry about it since some check engine light problems may be linked to anti-pollution systems, which is why it is not worth your time to worry about it.

This means that even though the car is still in drive, it does not necessarily need to be halted. In the event that the car emits an unpleasant smell or makes a noise while the light is blinking, Stopping the car and having it towed to the nearest auto shop would be a better idea.


It is likely that a transmission fluid leak has occurred under your car if you notice any puddles forming under it.


In addition to rattling when the vehicle starts, low transmission fluid is another sign. The sensation of driving across a rump can be unpleasant.


It can be another sign that there is a problem with the transmission fluid if you experience a slight burning smell, especially if the smell has an unusual tartness to it.


You should pay attention to these signs as they can be a reliable indicator of the level of this fluid in your vehicle, thus helping to preserve its life for a long time. A lack of knowledge about what could potentially damage your much-admired ride, on the other hand, could actually do more harm than good to your beloved ride.

Thus, it is imperative that each of these symptoms is prioritized, and if any or all of them occur, then you should seek the assistance of a professional mechanic in order to resolve the issue. Depending on your situation, they are going to be able to help you out and get your car back in working order as soon as possible.

In any case, do not ignore these signs or try to procrastinate in the hopes that you will be able to deal with the vehicle by the end of the week or at the end of the month. There is no doubt that the sooner you restore your transmission fluid, the better it would be.


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