Can low transmission fluid cause the gear to slip?

The answer to this question is yes. Low transmission fluid can cause the gears in the car to slip. Because the car cannot generate enough hydraulic pressure to move the vehicle, it may eventually lead to gear slippage and failure to accelerate.

With this in mind, here are a few things that everyone should know about the importance of maintaining proper transmission fluid levels.

Can you drive a car with low transmission fluid and gear slipping?

Depending on the source of the information, car owners may receive varying responses. This is because some mechanics may say that you can still drive your vehicle.

However, you should only drive the car between 10 to 15 miles. This will give you a chance to refill the transmission fluid to the car manufacturer’s recommended level.

On the other hand, another mechanic may recommend parking the car immediately to avoid causing additional unnecessary problems. For instance, if you drive the vehicle while the transmission fluid is too low, you may be at risk of:

  • Gears becoming too hard to shift
  • Transmission overheating
  • Acceleration gets slower, weak, or delayed
  • Drivers may begin to hear grinding noises
  • Transmission problems may cause damage to the engine
  • The transmission may fail while driving, the vehicle will not go forward or backward
  • Car not safe to drive on the road increases the possibility of an accident with other drivers

Does topping up the transmission fluid fix gear slippage?

If no leaks are detected, you can add more fluid to fix the problem. But, if there is a leak detected or any transmission damage is caused, additional repairs may be required. Therefore, the repairs may be a lot more extensive and costly.

Are there other causes why the gear is slipping?

Yes, there are other causes of the gears in your vehicle slipping. Some of the most commonly known are listed below.

How to fix this issue? + costs

The cost of fixing a slipping transmission can vary based on numerous factors. Therefore, whenever the transmission is slipping, a professional mechanic may need to inspect the transmission, engine, and any other components that could have been damaged.

So, here are two common causes of a slipping transmission, the fix and the cost of repairs.

Low transmission Only- No other damages detected

As mentioned above, if the transmission slipping is caused by low transmission fluid only, you can add more fluid to fix the problem.

Therefore, the cost of these repairs, at minimum, can range between $8 to $20 per quart of transmission fluid. Because most vehicles can take between 5 and 15 quarts, the total costs are estimated to be between $40 to $300.

Worn or burnt Transmission Fluid

In some cases, adding more transmission fluid will not fix the problem. This is normally because the problem may be due to old or burnt transmission fluid. When this is the case, it will only speed up the wear and tear on the gears.

So, to avoid mixing the tainted fluid with the new transmission fluid, it is best to request a transmission flush. T

The costs of a transmission flush service can range from $80 to $250. And the price for the transmission fluid can vary based on the number of quarts required for the vehicle.

For instance, if the car takes 15 quarts ( at $10 per quart), the total estimate for transmission fluid is $150.


If the transmission fluid is too low in your vehicle, it can cause the gears to slip. Fortunately, however, if these issues are caught early, none to minimal damage may be caused.

And the cost for this fix is minimal, especially since the only thing that has to be done is topping up the transmission fluid.

On the other hand, if you drive the vehicle when the transmission is too low for an extended period, there is a much higher risk of causing additional serious and costly damage to the transmission and the engine.

To avoid these problems altogether, most mechanics usually recommend not driving the vehicle until these transmission problems have been repaired.

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