Transmission fluid is a lubricant that every vehicle requires to allow all of the moving parts in the transmission to move properly. Keeping your car at the appropriate level of transmission fluid will maintain the proper shifting of gears ( first gear, second gear, third gear) while driving down the road. If the proper amount of fluid is not maintained, the result may be different depending on if you have a manual or an automatic transmission. The fluids for an automatic transmission differ from a manual. Not only in the type of fluid needed, but it also varies with the age and mileage of the vehicle.
If you have an automatic transmission, and it is completely out of transmission fluid, you may be able to start the vehicle, but it most likely will not go anywhere due to the gears not being lubricated enough to move. In automatic transmissions, the fluid not only serves as a lubricant for the gears to shift properly. It also helps by being a coolant, a means of power to flow from the engine to the transmission, and usually contains chemicals that protect the gears and gaskets from corrosion and wear. Automatic transmission fluid should be changed periodically to remove any dirty fluid, caused by general wear and tear of the gears moving, and be replaced with fresh fluid.
If you have a manual transmission, the transmission fluid only serves the purpose of a coolant and a lubricant for the gears. Because you, the driver, manually change the gears, the fluid in the transmission does not need to be able to transmit electricity from the engine to the transmission to let it know when to switch to a higher gear. If you do not keep the levels of transmission fluid at the correct level for your vehicle, your vehicle will most likely run, but only until the gears warm up because then it will start to overheat. Allowing to overheat can result in several components of the vehicle becoming severely worn and damaged.
Let the professionals at Riverside Transmission Co. take care of all of your transmission fluid and transmission fluid change needs. For transmission fluid changes in Waltham, MA, Lexington, MA, Newton, MA and Watertown, MA call us at (781) 894-9395.
CarTalk: Transmission Fluid
Transmission Fluid Education