Time and again, we have told our readers that Transmission Fluid plays a critical role in maintaining the health of your engine and, most importantly, your vehicle’s transmission. If you ask how far I can drive on low transmission fluid, we suggest you read this article to know everything there is to know about it.
- 1 What is Transmission Fluid?
- 2 How Far Can I Drive on Low Transmission Fluid?
- 3 What Happens If You Drive With Low Transmission?
- 4 What are Low Transmission Fluid Symptoms?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Transmission Fluid?
Transmission Fluid is a liquid blend designed and used to keep the gears in a transmission box lubricated properly so that it can transfer heat energy efficiently out of the system and maintain the right temperatures for the transmission to operate.
Also, in an automatic transmission system, its significance increases as it works as a hydraulic system to it, without which the transmission system will come to a halt altogether. If you’re wondering if engine oil affects transmission fluid, we’ve answered that already on the website.
How Far Can I Drive on Low Transmission Fluid?
As experts, we strongly advise against it if you have any idea about driving your vehicle on low transmission fluid. Technically, you can drive with low levels of transmission fluids for about ten to thirty miles.
And when you are doing it on behalf of your vehicle, we suggest you drive the vehicle as slowly as possible and put the least load on the engine to avoid any critical damage.
Note- This should not be considered a recommendation. Driving your car even for a kilometer is dangerous and can lead to permanent damage.
What Happens If You Drive With Low Transmission?
Transmission Fluid has several important functions in the engine. And in the case where your vehicle is running low on transmission fluid. It will not let the transmission cool down properly and will eventually overheat the entire system.
Transmission Fluid is supposed to lubricate the transmission system, without which the clutch plates will wear out (might even break down in severe cases), and the gears will slip because of insufficient lubrication.
And for the same reason, shifting gears will be impossible to shift, or it will be very hard to shift.
Any vehicle expert will tell you that the transmission assembly is one of the most expensive parts of any engine. If you do not give proper attention when necessary, the transmission will be permanently damaged, and replacing it will be a very costly affair and will burn a hole in your pocket (or your insurance company’s).
What are Low Transmission Fluid Symptoms?
Figuring out the Transmission Fluid is running low in your vehicle isn’t hard to do if you know just the right things. Read the below section; chances are that it will never happen if you keep an eye out for them.
Low Transmission Fluid Indicator
The first one is as obvious as it can get. Modern-day cars are equipped with the best sensors and electronic gauges that will take the most care of you without asking you.
Look for the Low Transmission Fluid Indicator on your dashboard. If it blinks, you should top up your engine with fresh fluid as quickly as possible.
Gear Resistance Due to Friction
Whenever you shift from one gear to the other, if you feel that the shift is not as smooth as it used to be, chances are high that your engine is low on the transmission fluid, and the increased resistance makes it difficult for you to shift between gears.
Without sufficient transmission fluid in the engine, your transmission box will go through a lot of friction, eventually overheating your transmission box. This may also lead to the burning of the remainder of transmission fluid, taking you to deeper waters with more trouble.
Delayed Gear Shifts
With low transmission fluid levels, one of the first problems you will face is delayed gear shifts. When transmission fluid is low, it will not be able to create enough pressure in the transmission box to get the clutch working efficiently.
Which in turn will cause delays in gear shifts. It will cause your vehicle to have a very evident jerky run throughout.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you already know where the dipstick is located, you will have to take it out by twisting it slightly. Once the dipstick is out, put on a long-neck funnel on the head of the pan and now add the fluid to it.
It practically depends on the level of fluid in your transmission. To check that, you must take out the dipstick and see its fluid markings.
Add transmission fluid to the fluid pan accordingly. Ensure you do not pour a lot of fluid from the can. Add small amounts of fluid first, check the dipstick again and if required, repeat the process till the desired levels have been reached.
Marc is a Young mechanic working full-time in a big garage in Texas. He’s graduated and is well educated in the automobile industry and aims to open his own shop someday for his clients.