What Happens If You Drive With Leaking Transmission Fluid?

transmission fluid leak

Regular and high-quality maintenance is one of the most important things for every car owner to know when it comes to ensuring its success in operation. Do you get concerned about the amount of fluid the transmission uses and whether it leaks or not? The lifetime of your vehicle is destroyed by driving a vehicle with a broken down transmission, and it also gives you a restless feeling during each drive and threatens your safety. This article will explore some driving hazards associated with this and tell you how you can identify a transmission leak in your car.

What is Transmission Fluid, and Why is it Crucial?

A specialised lubricant called gearbox fluid is frequently used in automobiles with automatic transmissions. It performs a number of crucial tasks for the gearbox system, including lubricating the different moving parts, facilitating clutch and gearbox operation, and controlling the gearbox temperature (cooling). The fluid usually has a pinkish-red colour and possesses certain properties like high viscosity and temperature stability that guarantee optimal performance under various driving conditions.

The Risks of Driving with Transmission Fluid Leak

Driving with a transmission fluid leak can result in a range of problems, including:

1. Transmission Overheating:
As transmission fluid leaks out, the system can overheat, causing damage to the transmission’s internal components. Prolonged overheating can lead to transmission failure, requiring costly repairs or even replacement.

2. Increased Wear and Tear:
Without sufficient lubrication, the transmission’s moving parts will wear down faster, leading to premature wear on gears, bearings, and seals. This can result in a shorter transmission lifespan and increased maintenance costs.

3. Slipping or Sluggish Transmission:
A low transmission fluid level can cause the transmission to slip or hesitate, leading to poor acceleration, hesitation, or difficulty shifting gears. This can be a safety concern, especially when driving in heavy traffic or merging onto highways.

4. Complete Transmission Failure:
If the leak is left unchecked, the transmission can fail entirely, leaving you stranded and facing expensive repairs or replacement.

5. Engine Damage:
In severe cases, a transmission stop leak can contaminate the engine oil, leading to engine damage or failure.

Signs of a Transmission Fluid Leaking

Detecting a transmission fluid leak early on can save you from costly repairs and potential safety hazards. Here are some common signs to look out for:

  1. Slipping or hesitation when shifting gears
  2. Grinding or clunking noises when shifting
  3. Leaking fluid under the car
  4. Overheating transmission
  5. Complete transmission failure

If left unaddressed, a leaked transmission fluid can cause severe damage to the transmission, clutch, and other components, leading to costly repairs. In extreme cases, it can even lead to a loss of control while driving, which can be dangerous for you and other road users.

Transmission Leak Repair Cost

The cost to fix transmission leak can vary depending on the severity of the leak, the type of vehicle, and the repair shop. On average, transmission fluid leak repair costs range from $150 to replace a seal to around $1000 for a new torque converter. In some cases, the entire transmission may need to be replaced, resulting in even higher costs.

Transmission Seal Leak Repair cost

If you suspect a transmission fluid leak in your vehicle, it is essential to address the issue promptly. In Perth, several auto repair shops specialize in transmission leak oil repair. The cost of transmission fluid leak will depend on the severity of the leak, the type of vehicle, and the repair shop. It is recommended to get quotes from multiple repair shops to compare prices and services.

If the leak is severe and requires gearbox line replacement, a damaged pan, or the resolution of internal gearbox issues, the cost may rise accordingly. Major gearbox leak repairs or rebuilds can cost anywhere from $1000 to $3500. Due to the specialized nature of their gearbox system, high-performance or luxury vehicles may incur higher repair costs.

How Long Can You Drive with a Transmission Fluid Leak?

The amount of fluid lost, and the urgency of the leak will determine the response. It is generally not good to drive with a gearbox fluid leak because even a tiny leak can rapidly cause a sizable fluid loss. Operating a vehicle with inadequate gearbox fluid levels may permanently harm the gearbox structure.

If you notice a stop leak in the fluid, you need to get the gearbox fixed as soon as possible with a trained mechanic. They can identify the leak’s origin, fix any broken parts, and restock the gearbox with the appropriate kind and volume of fluid.


Driving with a transmission fluid leak is never a good idea. It can lead to decreased performance, transmission damage, fuel consumption, and safety concerns. If you suspect a transmission fluid leak, it’s essential to have your vehicle inspected and repaired with a professional mechanic to avoid costly repairs and ensure the longevity of your vehicle’s transmission system.

At Auto Repair Perth, we specialize in transmission repair and maintenance. Our team of experienced mechanics can diagnose and repair transmission fluid leaks quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and ensure your vehicle runs.
Smoothly and safely.