In the modern-day world, vehicles have made transportation easier than ever. Whether for private errands or business purposes, almost every household and organization owns cars. Like every other piece of machinery, your vehicles require proper care and maintenance. If not cared for properly, your vehicles quickly become worn out. This situation can put a lot of stress on your wallet. Moreover, getting the shabby vehicle fixed requires a considerable chunk of your time.
As such, you should take good care of your vehicle. Transmission is one such vital system that needs regular maintenance, and consistency in the level of transmission fluid is essential for the longer life span of your car.
Before we move on to the specifics of the article, let’s talk about what transmission is. Transmission is the term used for a phenomenon responsible for transferring the power from your engine down to the wheels. The transmission also regulates the power so that the wheels can operate at different speeds called “gears.”
Typically two kinds of transmissions are found in vehicles: manual and automatic. The manual cars require a clutch pedal and gear shifter to change the gears. On the other hand, an automatic vehicle automatically shifts the gear when you increase or decrease the speed of your car. Automatic transmission is a newer concept and is found in new vehicles.
What Does a Transmission Fluid Do?
Whether you use a manual vehicle or an automatic one, you need transmission fluid for the smooth running of your car. The transmission fluid lubricates your car’s moving parts and bearing, making it easier for your vehicle to shift the gears and not stress the transmission.
Transmission fluid also helps regulate other essential operations of your vehicle, such as transmission cooling, clutch friction operation, valve body operation, brake band friction, and torque converter operation.
Types of Transmission Fluid
Like the transmission operation, transmission fluid is available for manual and automatic vehicles. The manual transmission fluid is generally used in older manual cars, and it is relatively heavier and darker in color. In comparison, the automatic transmission fluid is used in almost all kinds of vehicles, irrespective of the vehicle’s transmission type. It is a thin, clear fluid that comes with colored hues. Typically, the automatic transmission fluids come with a reddish hue, but it depends on the manufacturer.
Regulation of Transmission Fluid
Unlike motor oil, transmission fluid does not require regular changes. It is, however, an integral component of your vehicle and needs to be flushed and replaced when needed. For the optimal functioning of your car, you should replace transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
In addition, certain factors like the model of the car, the roads, your driving style, and the weather of the area also affect the functioning time required for changing transmission fluid.
If you have a busy routine and seldom find time to check up on your vehicle, you might miss some regular maintenance. There are, however, some signs that can tell when your vehicle’s transmission fluid needs changing. You can catch these signs and replenish the transmission fluid in time if you pay attention.
Signs of Low Transmission Fluid
Following are some of the signs that are indicative of the low transmission fluid:
1. Leakage of Transmission Fluid
The transmission fluid acts as a lubricant and plays the cleaning agent’s role for transmission oil seals. Fluid leakage due to problems in the transmission is a very common occurrence. Therefore, if you notice a reddish oil leak underneath your vehicle, it indicates some trouble with the transmission. Thus, you should get your car checked by a professional and replace the transmission fluid.
2. Foul Burning Smell
The burning smell coming from a vehicle can be indicative of numerous issues. One of those issues might be the overheating of transmission fluid. This is one of the obvious signs that your transmission fluid levels are extremely low.
If your vehicle is making clunking noises while driving, it could mean that the transmission fluid levels are low. Manual vehicles make a loud clunking noise when you change gears, while automatic cars sound like humming.
4. Poor Acceleration
If your vehicle is slow while picking up acceleration, it could be a sign of low levels of transmission fluids.
5. Slower Engagement of Gears
Slower engagement of gear also occurs due to low levels of transmission fluids. This is because a low level also decreases the pressure level, which affects the engagement of gears while shifting.
Can You Mix Transmission Fluid With Oil?
Generally, the professionals strongly advise against mixing transmission fluid with gear oil because mixing oils and greases of different consistencies can lead to the vehicle’s malfunctioning.
Mixing small quantities of transmission fluid with oil won’t impact your vehicle. However, you should make sure that you are mixing the engine oil and transmission fluid of the same mineral group. Mixing large quantities will have adverse effects on the performance of your vehicle.
Therefore, it is better not to mix oils and transmission fluid to avoid disasters.
Will You Ruin Your Car’s Engine if You Accidentally Put In Some Transmission Fluid Instead of Regular Engine Oil?
If you accidentally add a small amount of transmission fluid into the regular engine oil, it will not hurt your engine. Transmission fluid serves as a cleaner for your vehicle’s engine as it has numerous detergents in it. Driving a few miles with transmission fluid mixed in the engine oil will help clean the gunk buildup and fluid deposits in your engine.
How Do I Remove Transmission Fluid From My Engine?
Removing old transmission fluid from your engine is not a complicated task if you master the simple procedure. The entire process takes a few minutes. The first step is to suck out the old transmission fluid through a filler tube. Then refill the engine with new fluid using a vacuum transmission fluid pump.
This step only removes one-third to half of the fluid from the engine. The transmission fluid remains in the transmission cooler and torque converter. Therefore, you need to do the procedure twice or thrice with intervals of a week in between. Some fluid remains in the engine, which you can flush out by throwing in plenty of water and diluting the fluid.
No matter how busy our lives get, taking care of our vehicles is necessary for their optimal functioning. Whether you are familiar with the functioning of automobiles or not, it is always best to consult a professional. Proper maintenance of your vehicles and expert opinion can add years to your car’s life. Therefore, you should always keep in mind that your cars require as much attention as your work and other aspects of life.