Four Fluid-Related Issues That Can Cause Your Auto Transmission To Fail
Unlike manual transmissions, which rely on a system of interlocking gears to allow increases and decreases in speed, automatics use torque converters and hydraulic fluids to transfer engine power to the wheels of a vehicle.
Because an auto transmission is fluid-driven, any fluid-related issue will lead to be addressed to keep your transmission working reliably and efficiently. Below are some common fluid-related problems that can cause your auto transmission to break down.
Transmission Fluid Leaks
The automatic transmission fluid is the vital working fluid that makes your transmission tick. Without it, the various moving components of your transmission won't be properly lubricated and your transmission will lack a medium to create the hydraulic pressure required to transfer engine power to the wheels.
A loss of ATF is never a good sign since it indicates that there are leaks in your transmission system. If you see a bright red puddle under your vehicle after it is parked, you will need to get your transmission re-sealed to fix any external transmission fluid leaks that exist.
Low Transmission Fluid Level
Unlike engine oil, the ATF in your vehicle isn't lost to evaporation. If the transmission warning light on your dash turns on while you're on the road, it means something's wrong with the transmission, such as a high fluid temperature resulting from low fluid level or pressure.
A drop in fluid level is almost always caused by the presence of leaks in your transmission system. Be sure to get your transmission checked for leaks and re-sealed before adding more hydraulic fluid to the transmission.
Ineffective Transmission Fluid
For your ATF to be effective at its job of keeping your transmission system working smoothly, it must be in good working condition. Over time, this hydraulic fluid loses its lubricating and cooling qualities, and it will need to be replaced with fresh fluid.
Your transmission will start performing poorly when its ATF degrades. If you fail to change the fluid in time, the transmission system will break down altogether.
Clogged Transmission Fluid Filter
Keeping your auto transmission fluid clean is essential because dirty fluid contains harsh particles that can damage the transmission. Just like engine oil, your ATF has a filter. Its work is to help keep your ATF clean and healthy by trapping dirt particles that may compromise its effectiveness.
ATF filters don't last forever. They get dirty over time, and they'll need to be replaced regularly. Failure to change your transmission fluid filter regularly will cause your transmission to overheat. This may cause your transmission to grind to a halt, resulting in a costly repair bill.
Like manual transmissions, automatics require proper care and maintenance to keep working reliably and efficiently. Getting the above fluid-related issues fixed quickly can help you avoid costly transmission problems down the line.
Contact a transmission repair service to learn more.