Transmission Fluid and Importance


What is transmission fluid and why is it important?

Do you hear a strange, grinding noise from the transmission of your car? Or you are facing trouble while shifting gears and having a hard time driving? Maybe these problems have something to do with your car’s transmission fluid. But what is this fluid really?

As you may be aware, the transmission system transfers power from your car’s engine to the wheels. And transmission fluid cools and lubricates the internal parts of your vehicle’s transmission.

If your car has an automatic transmission system, it will have an oil pan with transmission fluid and fluid filter. This fluid supplies the necessary force for shifting of gears. If your car has a manual transmission system, the fluid comes in a case and won’t be directly responsible for changing gears.

If an automatic transmission doesn’t have adequate fluid or the fluid is contaminated or it has gathered dirt and sludge, the transmission may start to slip and gradually fail. If a manual transmission lacks sufficient fluid or experiences fluid contamination, then the transmission may become noisy. If the problem remains ignored, the internal components may start to wear out more quickly and the transmission may fail in extreme cases.

What are the signs that your car’s transmission fluid needs changing?

  • Your car is having a hard time running
  • While going up or down a steep incline, your vehicle stalls
  • Check engine light is on
  • Transmission makes a strange or grinding noise
  • Shifting gears has become problematic
  • You are experiencing slippage while shifting gears
  • Vehicle surges without reason
  • Some delay in movement after you place car in gear

In any case, it is recommended that you religiously follow the instructions or advice mentioned in your manufacturer’s manual about changing transmission fluid. Besides that, as a conservative rule, it is a good idea to get it changed after every 64,000 km (roughly). Also, if you observe any fluid under your car, contact a professional mechanic for inspection immediately.

Keep in mind

An automatic transmission fluid service may involve replacement of filter, pan gasket and transmission fluid. But some vehicles may come without a serviceable transmission filter or some transmissions maybe “sealed for life” and not require any maintenance or service. Check your manufacturer’s manual to see what kind of system your car has.

On the other hand, a manual transmission doesn’t contain a filter. So when the transmission fluid picks up metal particles, it is unable to filter them. So a fluid change becomes mandatory.


Refilling transmission fluid at regular intervals can increase the service life of your car’s transmission. Automatic transmission failures are very commonly caused by overheating often due to transmission fluid that needed a change. So, watch out for grinding noise from your transmission, difficulty in changing gears, or if the check engine light is on. At CarDekho we would be happy to help your car’s transmission system inspected and replaced, if required. Just log on to and get started.