Transmission Slipping After Fluid Change, What To Do?

If the valve body becomes clogged with defective transmission fluid, the driver may lose the ability to shift gears. That’s why so many people fear that changing old transmission fluid can cause the transmission to slip.

Automatic transmissions are designed to make driving much more convenient. Automatic transmissions, on the other hand, may be quite aggravating when they aren’t working properly. A transmission slipping after fluid change is inconvenient, to say the least, but if left handled, it can lead to more problems. Fortunately, it’s also a simple repair. If your automobile jerks or makes a clunking noise when shifting gears, there are a few simple things you can do to get it back in working order.

Causes Of Transmission Slipping After Fluid Change

Low or burned transmission fluid is the most prevalent cause of slipping transmissions. Worn gearbox bands, a defective torque converter, or faulty shift solenoids can also cause it. A poor TCM can induce it in rare situations.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of what can cause a transmission to slip:

1. Transmission Fluid Is Low

Low transmission fluid is the most common reason for slipping transmissions, and it’s also the most simple to correct.
The pressure required to properly engage the gears is lessened as the fluid level declines. This puts a strain on the transmission, causing it to start slipping and overheating the transmission fluid.

Checking the transmission fluid level is generally as simple as checking at the dipstick in the engine bay or consulting your service manual for instructions.

Remember that the transmission system is a sealed system, and if it isn’t leaking, the transmission fluid should not disappear. As a result, you must repair any leaks to avoid a repeat of the situation.

2. Fluid That Has Been Burned

The smell of burnt toast or a black colour might be used to identify it. When your transmission overheats, you’ll need to replace the transmission fluid as soon as possible or get it looked at by a transmission professional to rule out any further damage.

3. Worn Or Broken Transmission Bands

Many automatic transmission types have transmission bands that connect the gears of the automatic gearbox. You may need to modify these bands as they wear out over time.
However, with previous transmissions, when altering the transmission bands was sometimes part of the planned servicing, this was far more prevalent.

These bands should not need to be replaced during the life of the car nowadays, although it is possible. Unfortunately, you’ll have to rebuild the entire transmission for this, so you’d rather just replace the bands.

These transmission bands are not present in all transmission types, but they are present in many, so they are absolutely worth investigating when looking for reasons why your transmission is slipping.

4. Issues With Torque Converters

Torque converters turn the engine’s power into torque that the transmission can use, and they can wear down over time. If the torque converter fails to do its job, your transmission will operate strangely, and transmission slippage is a common symptom.

5. A Slipping Clutch

You may believe that clutches are exclusively found in manual autos, however, this is not the case. In fact, clutches are used in the most sophisticated automatic gearboxes. The fact is that many current gearboxes are manual, but the shifting is handled by a robot.

These gearboxes are commonly seen in European cars like Volkswagen and BMW. It’s also known as a DSG or direct-shift gearbox.

However, these transmissions frequently contain two clutch plates, one wet and one dry. The most prevalent feature of them is that they will wear out over time and will need to be replaced.

6. Solenoids With A Faulty Shift

The shift solenoid is a set of electrical valves that handle hydraulic pressure to allow the transmission to shift at precisely the proper time.
If these solenoids do not open or close properly, it will be difficult to engage gears effectively, and your transmission may begin to slip.

Faulty wiring to the shift solenoids can also cause them to malfunction, and in rare cases, a faulty transmission control module can also be to blame.

How To Repair A Slipping Transmission

If the problem is merely low fluid, burned or useless fluid, or transmission leaks, you can fix it yourself. This will usually necessitate checking the fluid, changing the fluid, or repairing the transmission leak.

Problems such as replacing or adjusting clutches, replacing or adjusting bands, and changing gears, on the other hand, will need dismantling of the transmission. These processes are difficult to explain and will necessitate prior knowledge. If you’re not familiar with transmissions, it’s better to leave them to the professionals at AAMCO.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some frequently asked questions about transmission slipping after the fluid change:

1. What Does It Feel Like To Have A Slipping Transmission?

If you know what to look for, a slipping transmission is easy to spot. Sudden loss of power, jerkiness, cautious upshifting, and high revving are all signs of a slipping transmission.

2. Is It Possible To Drive A Car With A Slipped Transmission?

Yes, the automobile will operate with a slipping transmission until it completely fails, but we recommend going home to your garage or to a shop where you can diagnose the problem. The longer you drive with a slipping transmission, the more likely its internal components may be damaged.

3. Is It Possible To Fix Slipping With A Transmission Flush?

Yes, it’s possible that your fluid is the problem, whether it’s contaminated, too high, or too low. A flush, on the other hand, is usually done with a professional machine at a shop, so it’s not something you can perform in your garage.

4.  How Much Does Repairing A Slipping Transmission Cost?

If a fluid replacement or refresh fixes your problems, your charge will be reduced to the cost of the fluid. However, if your transmission is slipping due to worn parts, a transmission rebuild or replacement will set you back thousands of dollars.


If left unchecked, a transmission slipping after fluid change can be aggravating and lead to transmission failure. It could be caused by something as simple as old transmission fluid, so make sure you maintain your transmission on a regular basis. If the problem isn’t simple to fix, you’ll need to take your automobile to an auto repair shop and have it inspected by a professional. Because transmission problems are difficult to identify and repair, most people are unable to do so. Depending on the situation, you could spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

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