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Your transmission is a crucial component of your engine. And your transmission fluid is necessary to keep transmission gears flowing smoothly. Without sufficient transmission fluid, your car can fail to perform as it should. Meanwhile, with the proper amount of fluid, your vehicle will have the power and shifting capability necessary to tackle the road. Let’s have a look at the importance of transmission fluid, what it provides for your engine, and what it means when your vehicle doesn’t have sufficient transmission fluid.


Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission components of an engine, functioning as a coolant, providing more power to the engine, and protecting the transmission from damage.


Lubrication is the main purpose of transmission fluid. Transmission fluid is a highly viscous, slippery liquid, making it the ideal lubricant for vehicle transmissions. Without lubrication, gears within your transmission are more probable to wear. With slow deterioration, your transmission can lose its power, and it’ll be most likely to drop out of gear.


Engines get hot. Very hot. That’s why vehicle engines require a radiator and coolant. It’s also why engines require oil (Oil reduces friction, which, subsequently, reduces heat.). Similarly, engine transmissions depend on transmission fluid to keep heat throughout the engine safe. Without enough transmission fluid, your engine can heat to the point where its components actually melt– at that stage, your engine has endured irrevocable damage.


Transmission fluid also translates into more power and better performance from your car. Transmission fluid makes shifting smooth and effortless in both manual and automatic vehicles. Plus, with the proper level of fluid, your transmission will operate with more power. As your engine drives your transmission, a portion of its power could be lost if the transmission fluid level is low.


If you note that you’re losing power from your engine, or that your vehicle just isn’t shifting properly, your transmission may be responsible. If you have an automatic vehicle, you can check your transmission fluid level with relative ease. There should be a transmission fluid dipstick accessible in the engine compartment of your vehicle. Some manual vehicles also have an easy-access transmission fluid dipstick, but most don’t.

To check your transmission fluid level, while your engine is cool, take out the transmission fluid dipstick and use a rag or paper towel to clean the stick (make sure to check that it’s not the oil dipstick). Then replace the dipstick fully, take it out once more, and check the transmission fluid level. It should be between the minimum and maximum lines on the dipstick. If your level is low, it’s time to give your car a fluid service.