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Can Transmission Fluid Cause Check Engine Light?

Like fluid materials, the transmission fluid used in the transmission helps to lubricate the gears. The main purpose of transmission fluid is to keep the gear going smoothly without any disturbances. Even maintaining proper friction is one of its objectives.

Following below tips regarding transmission fluids and if check engine light can be caused by transmission fluid is added to give one a proper idea.

Can transmission fluid cause check engine light?

Of course, transmission fluid can cause check engine light. Apparently, an improper amount of transmission fluid can damage the parts by either creating more friction among the parts or by increasing pressure. In any case, the damage of the parts can trigger the check engine light.

Transmission fluid mostly protects the gears from creating large amounts of friction. By adding transmission fluid, the transmission box or parts of the vehicle become smooth. It helps to make sufficient torque and moves the gears without causing damage. 

An Imbalanced amount of transmission fluid may lead to damage to the gears.

Most of the time, check engine light is only caused by low transmission fluid only. In that case, the other situations regarding transmission are ignored. Later the damage caused becomes a burden.

Too much transmission fluid:

Too much transmission fluid may fill up the transmission and cause the parts to be lubricated too much. Increased pressure may lead to the leakage of transmission fluid which is not a good condition.

Excessive friction among the gears may lower its shelf life. As a result, one may need to change the gears frequently. Moreover, any damage occurring in the parts is indicated by the check engine light. Damage of the parts triggers check engine light.

It can also cause overheating and result in breaking the seals.

Moreover, with time it can damage the parts. All these can collectively trigger check engine light. Better to fix it up soon. As the acceleration of the car may also be influenced by it.

Low transmission fluid:

Low transmission fluid may lead to greater friction among the parts. As a result, with time, the gears get damaged, and the speed of the vehicle becomes slower. This somehow triggers the check engine light and turns it on.

Bad or dirty transmission fluid:

If the transmission fluid goes bad, it can lead the solenoids to damage. Other than that, it also causes overheating, which in turn may damage the parts and result in leakage of fluid.

Sometimes it is even too late to change the transmission liquid because the damage is done.

Old transmission fluid:

Transmission fluid mostly remains good for many years. Still, it is suggested to change it. Many may prefer to keep it the way it was. Yet, changing may give better performance. 

Old transmission fluid can also turn on the check engine light if it goes bad.

What does low or bad transmission fluid cause?

Low or bad transmission fluid can cause check engine light. Low or bad transmission can lead to damages which can cost a fortune. If the problems are not detected soon, there is no use in changing transmission fluid.

The damages that can be caused by bad or low transmission fluid are listed below to enhance one’s idea.

Damage to the parts:

Low or bad transmission fluid can lead to damage of the parts. If the transmission fluid becomes lower in quantity, the friction between the parts becomes higher. The friction later results in damaging the parts. In that case, repairing parts is also required.


If the transmission fluid goes bad or becomes low in amount, it can also create overheat in the transmission box. As the friction between the parts is caused, it also releases heat. The overheating also leads to the damage of the parts.

Leakage in the seal:

Due to the overheating, the parts are not only damaged. The overheating leads to the destruction of the solenoids too. Overheating may also let the seals get damaged and later cause the leakage of the fluid.

In any way, low or bad transmission fluid can only lead to damage to the gears. Once the damage is done, apart from changing the gears, there is no option left. Moreover, this costs a bit to repair the parts. That’s why the sooner the problem is detected, the less it will cost.

What are the signs and solutions to the transmission fluid problems?

Transmission fluid helps lubricate the gears to keep them working smoothly. Lack of transmission fluid may lead to damage of the gears. Due to the lack of fluid, the friction between the parts increases, which destroys the parts frequently. Later the parts become unrecoverable. Sometimes it is too late to change the fluid as well as the parts.

Low transmission fluid:

If the transmission fluid is not enough or low in quantity, the most common symptom is the grinding noise made by the gears. The increased friction leads to an increased collision between the parts. 

As a result, the collision leads to a grinding sound which refers to the transmission fluid problem.

Transmission fluids mainly cause the gears to fail. If any problem occurs with transmission fluid, the gears may react to it. A burning smell may also spread as transmission fluid problems may cause overheating. 

Irregular shifts may also be a symptom. There might be a sudden rise in the speed and acceleration too.

One can add more transmission fluid in order to fix the problem.

Bad transmission fluid:

Bad fluids can also result in damaging the metal parts. If anyone encounters these problems, the only solution is to change the transmission fluid. 

One can easily remove the transmission fluid by removing the bolts from the transmission box. Let the fluid flow yet do not make a mess.

Opening the bolts from one side may lead the fluid to go down from that side only. Thus, one can avoid a mess.

Dirty transmission fluid:

The transmission fluid can turn black if it goes bad. Or even dirt from the metals can make the fluid dirty. If any type of metal is found with the fluid, there must be some destroyed metal parts inside the transmission box. 

Try changing the transmission fluid.

Well, this might lead to a greater problem. Better to repair the transmission box too.

Too much transmission fluid:

Too much transmission fluid can also cause the transmission fluid to leak. Leakage must be a sign of breakage of seals too. Fixing the seals would be a priority, too, before it gets too late.

If replacing the transmission fluid doesn’t work, take the car to the repair shop. They can immediately detect problems and solve them.

Can a transmission fluid change cause a check engine light?

Of course, transmission fluid change can cause check engine light. After some moments, it may be corrected too.

Once you change the transmission fluid, the check engine may still remain. It might be because the change isn’t detected yet. Check engine light goes on and turns off after some time. This will not cause any problems. You can keep driving without worry. 

Yet if it doesn’t go off later, there might be other problems too.

Can a transmission leak cause the check engine light to come on?

A transmission leak can also cause the check engine light to come on. As the fluid leaks, there might be a lack of transmission fluid inside the transmission.

It can cause friction and damage to the parts. As a result, the problem is detected by the check engine light. The fluid runs low due to the leakage and triggers the check engine light. Resulting in the check engine light turning on.

How often to check transmission fluid?

Once a month is enough to check the transmission fluid. At least checking one time a month is required.

Transmission fluid can run low or go bad too with time. That’s why it should be checked at least once a month. It will not take much time. Any problems regarding transmission fluid can be detected immediately by this.

When to change transmission fluid?

One can change transmission fluid after 40,000-1,00,000 miles. Yet changing the transmission fluid earlier is not a bad decision either.

Moreover, as long as there is a sufficient amount of transmission fluid in the transmission box, there won’t be any problem. Make sure to put enough amount of transmission fluid. Not less or more. Put an appropriate amount of fluid in.

Final thoughts:

Transmission fluid problems can also cause check engine lights. An imbalanced amount of transmission fluid may lead to the damage of the parts. Other than that, speed and overall performance may also be affected. In any case, replacing the transmission fluid is the best option unless it is too late.