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Can Low Engine Oil Cause Transmission Problems?

Transmission problem indicates gear switching problems that are common with every vehicle. Now the reason behind transmission problem most probably everybody knows. It depends on low fuel, overheating, poor lubrication, etc. But our topic today is to find the connection between engine oil and transmission problems. In this article, we will try to find out the answer. Can low engine oil cause transmission problems? We will give your answer and clear all your doubts.

It is an important question. You have to know the difference between low engine oil and low transmission fluid to find the answer. Transmission problems occur for low transmission fluid, not for low engine oil. A detailed discussion will help you to know the potential problems.

Can Low Engine Oil Cause Transmission Problems

Transmission Fluid vs. Engine Oil

Transmission fluid is the opposite of motor oil. It requires regular changes and occasional top-off. Our vehicle transmission is one of several integrated systems to drive, and you must keep its level consistent with the life of the car. The key difference between them is that transmission fluid is hydraulic fluid, whereas engine oil is a lubricant. 

Both oils seem almost similar but have non-similar properties and do different jobs. Transmission fluid is a closed system, but engine oil has a short lifespan rather than transmission fluid. Transmission fluid has two variants, MTF and ATF. Engine Oil has three variants – conventional, synthetic, and semi-synthetic motor oil.

The functions of transmission fluid are – 

  • Torque converter operation
  • Valve body operation
  • Clutch friction operation
  • Brake band friction
  • Transmission cooling

Each above operation is connected to the transmission system, but engine oil does not have any connection with them. But low engine oil can damage the engine. So, low engine oil could be concerning.

Can Low Engine Oil Affect Transmission?

Engine oil is used to keep the engine cool to run smoothly. It does not have any relation with the transmission system. We use separate transmission fluid, not the engine oil, in the transmission system. Low engine oil levels can heat up your engine, so most transmissions use their cooling systems to help. 

Some folks wonder if low engine oil affects clutch and gearbox. If engine oil is leaked and gear is not working for some reason, they get tensed and think if that has affected the transmission. The quantity of engine oil cannot affect the transmission system. It is next to impossible.

low transmission fluid

How do we solve transmission problems?

If you put motor oil in the transmission system, it can cause a fault in your car transmission. However, if it is noticed early enough, you can fix it before occurring serious damage. The transmission works faultlessly if you check it regularly. As a result, you can identify any problem with the transmission fluid soon. Until motor oil is in its proper place, it won’t harm the transmission. But it should not be mixed up with transmission fluid because both are different types of fluid. 

Do the below recovery processes if you find any issue with the transmission system.

  • Remove the whole transmission panel from your vehicle.
  • Drain all fluids completely.
  • Change the filter also before re-installing the pan.
  • Refill with the best transmission fluid.

Taking those necessary steps may save your transmission system.

 What are the symptoms of low transmission fluid?

You have already got that engine oils don’t have any connection with the transmission system. Mainly, low transmission fluid causes transmission failure. At that time, some symptoms are noticeable. If you see those symptoms, you have to take the necessary steps. The main 8 symptoms of low transmission fluid are –

  • Transmission fluid leakage.
  • Gear won’t engage or slow gear.
  • Transmission slipping.
  • Gear shifting becomes hard.
  • Transmission overheating.
  • Unnecessary noises.
  • Delayed gear shifting.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Does motor oil affect transmission?

Ans. Motor oil does not affect transmission. Transmission can be affected y only by transmission fluid.

Does oil change help in the transmission system?

Ans. Yes, oil change helps in the transmission system. Although the transmission oil life is long, the new oil keeps the transmission part safe.

Does engine oil affect the gearbox?

Ans. Engine oil does not affect the gearbox because the gearbox needs lubricate, not synthetic fluid. The transmission will overheat for the lack of enough fluid and thus can cause friction in the gearbox.

How much need to fix a slipping transmission?

Ans. The range of transmission fixing costs varies from $300 to $1500. It depends on the condition of the transmission.


Can low engine oil cause transmission problems? The answer is tricky. It won’t affect the transmission system directly. Low engine oil damages the engine, and then you may notice transmission issues. It is actually the low transmission fluid cause transmission problem directly. You have to discover the problem immediately to prevent the engine from severe damage.

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