The fastest way to destroy your transmission, aside from improper towing of a vehicle, is running it with low or no fluid. Transmissions with low fluid will overheat and burn up within a very short driving distance. A leak that can be remedied with something as simple as a gasket can potentially lead to a destroyed transmission unit. So what should you do it you notice a leak coming from your vehicle in your driveway?
The first thing you should do is try to identify what is leaking. The easiest way is to look at the oil puddle left behind. Most transmissions will use automatic transmission fluid (ATF), which is red in color. Some transmissions, such as CVT types, use a clear or gold colored fluid. If your leak is red, we have found the culprit. If it is not, you will need to try to find the source of the leak.
If your vehicle has a dipstick, check the level. If it is only a little low, you can top it off and cautiously drive to your local shop to have an expert take a look at it. If it is very low, or has a massive leak, you should get it towed, as driving it in this condition can damage or destroy the transmission on your drive up to one of our transmission shops.
Low fluid can cause a variety of symptoms, that should prompt you to check the fluid level and inspect for leaks before you see fluid on the ground. Falling out of gear, slamming into gear, harsh shifts, check engine lights and transmission overheating indicators are issues you shouldn’t ignore that could be caused by low transmission fluid. If you experience these symptoms, check your fluid level immediately and inspect for leaks before your transmission becomes damaged!