2 Ways your Car's Transmission Fluid can Indicate an Engine Problem


The transmission is a vital part of your car's engine. Typically, you can tell if there is a problem with your transmission because you will notice slippage between gear changes or feel the car shake whenever the gear shifts occur.

However, these signs are not always present and may only appear when the transmission is close to failing. Luckily, just checking for changes in your car's transmission fluid's appearance can give you a heads up about the overall health of this vital system. A couple of changes to watch out for are:

1.  Fluid the Color and Consistency of a Strawberry Milkshake 

One thing that can alert you to a problem with your transmission is a change in the color and consistency of the fluid. Normally, transmission fluid is thin and appears almost translucent with a reddish tint.

However, if you look at the fluid and it has the color and consistency of a strawberry milkshake, this is an indication that it has been contaminated by coolant. If coolant is leaking into the transmission, it will mix with the fluid and give it a frothy, light pink appearance.

If this is happening, the gears inside of the transmission are not being properly lubricated. Also, if there is a coolant leak into this system, there is a good chance coolant is also leaking into the motor. You will need to have your car looked at right away to prevent a catastrophic failure of either system.

2.  Dark Fluid with Tiny, Shiny Specks

Another thing that your car's transmission fluid can tell you is the condition of the gears inside of the transmission. Normally, when the gears are well lubricated, they move together without causing excessive wear and tear on the gears' teeth.

However, if lubrication is insufficient or the gears are out of sync, they will start to grind together. When this happens, you may find tiny, shiny specks in the fluid from the metal flaking off. If nothing is done to fix the problem, your transmission will soon start to slip during gear changes.

Along with the problems discussed above, if your transmission fluid is ever low, this always indicates a leak or other problem with the system. If the fluid has a strange appearance or has low levels, the transmission is in danger of failing and needs to be looked at right away. Take your car to an auto service shop that offers transmission repair services to have them discover and fix the issue before your transmission breaks down completely.


28 June 2021

Knowing the Early Signs of Car Trouble

After my car died and I was stranded on the freeway a few years back, I knew that I had to do what I could to avoid similar issues in the future. I began working hard to identify different issues with my car, so that I could prevent problems. I began working with a mechanic to get help, and he taught me a lot about going through my car and being able to evaluate different things that were problems. It was really interesting to explore the possibilities of different car failures, and before I knew it, I could tell when my car was struggling. Read more about the early signs of car trouble on my blog.