Possible Indicators of Low Transmission Fluid

There are a few basic issues no vehicle owner wants to deal with when it comes to their transmission, and low transmission fluid is one of the top examples. One of the most important steps in limiting the effects of low transmission fluid: Identifying the issue quickly so it can be remedied before any significant damage takes place.

At Tip Top Transmissions, we’re happy to offer the best transmission services in all of Salt Lake City, including everything from basic issues like low transmission fluid to needs like transmission cases, transmission rebuilds and more. As a car owner, just knowing the possible signs of low transmission fluid can be very helpful in quickly identifying and remedying this problem. Here are some of the most common indicators that may signal this.

mechanic repairing an auto

Why Transmission Fluid Matters

Before we get into the indicators, it’s important to understand why transmission fluid is so important. This fluid serves as a lubricant for all the moving parts within your vehicle, helping make sure that the components move together smoothly and without additional friction. In short, low levels of transmission fluid can cause significant damage over time, and should be addressed promptly. 

Now let’s dive into some of the most common signs that your vehicle may be dealing with low transmission fluid. 

Transmission Slipping

One of the more common signs of low transmission fluid, a slipping transmission may be felt as the vehicle shifts in and out of gear or moves from one gear to another. This is caused by the lack of pressure and lubrication that proper levels of transmission fluid offer. 

During transmission slipping, the engine itself is speeding up – but the vehicle is failing to respond because its gears cannot engage correctly. This can cause a lot of wear and tear on the transmission. 

Shifting Delays

Another sign of low transmission fluid is if the vehicle experiences delays when shifting into gear, or if it fails to switch gears at all. In either case, these are both signs that the transmission needs more fluid in order to properly function.

It’s important to note that this issue is not exclusive only to manual transmissions – automatic transmissions may also have difficulty shifting if the fluid levels are too low. While this may be more noticeable in manual vehicles where you’re directly controlling the gear switches, it can also be a sign of low transmission fluid in an automatic vehicle too. 

Overheating Problems

There are a few forms of overheating that are associated with low transmission fluid levels. If the vehicle is running hot and there’s no clear cause, then it may be due to insufficient lubrication in the transmission system, which can occur if the fluid levels are too low. 

Another issue that may arise when there is inadequate transmission fluid is a burning smell. Again, this is caused by lack of lubrication as parts begin to grind against each other as they would without the protective barrier of fluid. 

Strange Noises

Another indication of low transmission fluid is if you start hearing strange noises coming from the vehicle’s transmission. This can range from grinding or squealing to humming or buzzing sounds. Much like with overheating, this is caused by a lack of lubrication and increased friction between metal parts.

Visible Signs of Leaks

Finally, if you notice any visible signs of transmission fluid on the ground, then it’s very likely that there is a leak somewhere in the system. This can be caused by either a problem with the seals or an issue with the transmission lines themselves. 

In either case, it’s important to look into this as soon as possible so that the fluid levels can be replenished and any further damage to the vehicle can be avoided. 

If you experience any of the above symptoms or suspect that there may be an issue with your transmission, then don’t hesitate to contact the transmission experts at Tip Top Transmissions. Our team will get to the bottom of the problem and get your car back in top shape in no time! Give us a call today to learn about our services around Salt Lake City, whether for transmissions or any other auto work you require.