Symptoms of Burnt Automatic Transmission Fluid

As soon as a car owner or driver senses an odor of some burning transmission fluid, this definitely becomes a call for servicing your car parts. Even though it mostly occurs with specific cars than in other makes and models, as long as you have driven your car for longer periods without proper servicing, transmission repair will eventually come up. This is because the smell mechanically indicates that your car has developed symptoms of Burnt Automatic Transmission Fluid.

Common Causes

Overheating is the main reason behind the smell. Transmission fluid performs two main functions: keeping the several moving parts of the transmission well lubricated and causing a cooling effect to help in preventing the entire unit from burning up.

Even if the burning smell of the transmission means the car needs servicing, you should ensure the professional mechanic helps you identify if it needs replacement or repair depending on the period you have driven the car and the extent of the damage. Luckily, almost all cars have the ability to indicate when their transmission have started to fail. Immediately you notice such symptoms, you should highly consider taking the vehicle for diagnosing with a professional automotive specialist. Such wise decisions can save you from having to rebuild the entire system.

Common symptoms

Without ignoring the likelihood of burnt automatic fluid, the following key symptoms stand out as some of the warning signs that the vehicle needs transmission repair.

Gear Shifting Problems

The integral parts of the transmission of your car are the gears. Most types of anomalies while shifting gears point towards the sign that the transmission needs attention. When you try shifting the car into gears and you notice some hesitation as well as the constant shifting of gears while driving, the car needs transmission repair. Sometimes the gear might fall out when you are driving and jerks constantly when you try to shift gears. Any of the above symptoms should indicate that the car needs the services of a transmission professional.

Burning Odor

As soon as you sense the odor of burnt transmission fluid coming from the interiors of your vehicle, even without looking at it, that means the transmission fluid needs replacement. Similarly, when the gears overheat because of too much friction, you will smell some burning odor. With such signs as an intense and burning smell, the transmission fluid is not normal. You need the transmission examined if the fluid does not have its unique sweet smell and normal bright red color. A sign of dark and smoky fluid is abnormal.

Leakage of Transmission Fluid

Any leaks resembling transmission fluids stand out as one of the simple ways of identifying problems with transmission. Having problems, such as shifting gears, indicate that your gears have dried up due some leakage. Different from the motor oil of your car, the transmission has no capacity of burning up or consuming any fluids in the course of its use. Hence, running out of fluid means that there is a leakage and the entire system overheats due to increased friction.

Read also:

 Automatic Transmission Vacuum Modulator Functions

7 Symptoms of a Bad Ignition Coil and Replacement Cost

Solving transmission problems, such as transmission leaks and changing low, burnt or ineffective is not complex. However, you need the services of a professional automatic transmission professional to service your car. He can successfully check and change the fluid as well as fix any leaks on the transmission without causing any future problems.



  1. i bought a 1995 dodge grand caravan and have a transmission issue the guy said it is a seal thats out and im gonna guess he used the same seal it had and didn’t change the seal when he changed the sealinoid B. But that’s it. it runs and drives just fine but don’t know if it’s safe to drive without changing the seal please help me thanks.

  2. My ford f150 stx 4×4 tranny jus wouldn move i change the fluid drove it but still didn have the power so i put 3 more quarts of tranny fluid in an it moved so now it just stopped i took the tranny out does anyone have any options that could help me?

    • Not sure what you mean by overaccelerating. Do you mean too much power is given to the wheels which causes them to lose traction and spin?
      If so, it’s possible but not likely. You’re causing additional stress to the torque converter which can cause failure over time though.
      If it’s wheel hop (tires lose and gain traction in rapid succession), then yes, it can cause a transmission failure from the repeated stress.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.