After finding drops of red fluid under your car, you may have checked the transmission fluid level only to find that it is low. While you may be able to refill the fluid yourself, there is a good chance that the levels will continue to drop. If so, there are a couple of reasons why your car's low transmission fluid level warrants immediate attention by a professional.
1. Decreased Pressure Increases the Risk of Gear Slippage
One of the main jobs of transmission fluid is that it maintains the proper amount of pressure within the system. When the pressure is optimal, your car is able to smoothly change gears without any delays.
However, when the fluid level starts to drop, so does the pressure within the transmission. Because of this decreased pressure, the clutch does not fully engage the gears in time to meet the demands of the engine. When this happens, the gears can slip, which causes them to grind together as well as delay shifting.
If gear slippage becomes worse as the pressure decreases, your engine could start to stall when you try to take off because the delay puts a large demand on the motor. Even if you continuously add fluid to the transmission, the toll of intermittent gear slippage can still cause permanent damage to the gears and even the engine after a while.
2. Low Levels Can Make the Transmission Overheat
Along with maintaining the pressure within the transmission, the fluid also helps to keep the interior cool. If the level gets too low, the transmission will start to overheat.
If the transmission overheats even periodically, the gaskets can start to wear down, and the connections of the gears can become loose. If the overheating is not corrected, the transmission could seize up, making it impossible for it to shift gears and leave you without a working vehicle.
This would also make it necessary to have your transmission rebuilt or replaced. Before it gets to that point, you need to have a mechanic find the leak.
If your car's transmission fluid levels are low, continuously refilling it will not make any underlying issues go away as low levels usually indicate a leak. Take your car to a transmission repair service like Northern Brake and Transmission as soon as possible so that they can find the leak as well as determine whether or not any mechanical damage was caused by the low fluid levels.