Symptoms of Low Transmission Fluid

Mechanic checking under the hood

Keeping an eye on your transmission fluid is vital to a well-maintained vehicle. Otherwise, you could end up paying for transmission shipping and replacement. If you notice any of the following signs when driving, it’s time to take a look under the hood.


Transmission fluid is responsible for transferring engine power to the transmission, which means that if you’re low on fluid, you’re not going to be able to shift gears effectively. This can manifest as “slipping,” when your vehicle enters a higher gear, only to fall back out. Your shifts may also be erratic or accompanied by a grinding noise.


The second purpose of transmission fluid is to absorb heat generated by your car’s moving parts. Low fluid means heat gets trapped in your car’s inner workings, which can result in damage such as the following:

  • Hardened seals
  • Varnish on metal parts
  • Slipping transmission bands and clutches
  • Transmission failure

Signs of overheating include smoke and a burnt smell. If you notice either of these signs, you need to pull over immediately. Continuing to drive can further the damage and have you considering rebuilt transmissions.

Delayed Gear Shifting

You may need to top off your fluid if you notice a distinct pause before gear transition when changing between Reverse and Drive. Hydraulic pressure is responsible for producing this shift and low fluid means low pressure.

You may also notice a “hard” shift when driving. This stems from the same issue, resulting in a lurching or rough gear engagement when changing speeds.


If you have a leak, you may notice marks on your driveway. Transmission fluid should be a bright red color and usually smells sweet. However, if your levels are low, the remaining fluid may be dark or smell burnt as a consequence of absorbing heat. If you notice either of these signs, you need to have the issue addressed right away.

No Shifting

One of the worst scenarios you may encounter is your car simply refuses to shift gears. This indicates that there’s no fluid left and may be resolved by filling your reservoir. However, you should still have your vehicle checked, as it may have suffered internal damage.

If you’ve fixed any leaks and refilled your transmission fluid, but your car still exhibits these issues, it’s likely time for a replacement. Trans Work Transmission can help you get your vehicle back into shape by shipping a rebuilt, new or wholesale transmission to replace your failed machinery. Find out more by calling us at 608-742-5136 or going online.

Man using a stick shift in his car.

The transmission of your car is an important component. It’s what delivers the power generated by the engine to the wheels to make everything work. When the transmission doesn’t work, your car won’t work. Sometimes, you can repair the specific issue that isn’t working. Other times, the transmission may need to be replaced.

No one wants to think about a car transmission replacement, but when the transmission isn’t functioning right, your options are buying a new car, replacing your transmission or rebuilding it. Economically, you may not be ready to replace your car. Here are three reasons that rebuilding a transmission is a good choice.

Less Cash Outlay

Rebuilding a transmission is not cheap, but it is significantly cheaper than a new one and won’t cost as much as a new car. Most rebuilt transmissions come with a warranty, which should give you peace of mind that you’ll get your money’s worth. The cost savings puts less of a financial strain on you, because you won’t have higher insurance payments or take on a huge debt that you’ll being paying off for years to come with a new car.

Environmental Benefits

A rebuilt transmission extends the life of your vehicle, keeping it out of the landfill. You don’t get rid of parts that are working correctly. The parts that you do replace are often updated, making your transmission work more efficiently than before. It uses less energy than manufacturing an entirely new unit.

Make Your Car Last Longer

Making your used car last a little longer gives you more time to save up money for the car you really do want to purchase. Fixing the transmission can mean that you get more for your trade-in than you would if the transmission were faulty. Rebuilt transmissions from a reputable mechanic can be just as reliable as new ones.

Wholesale Transmission Services

Workshop owners and auto mechanics who can’t rebuild a transmission in their own shop should consider our wholesale transmissions services. Buying in bulk saves money, because we guarantee the best price when you buy several transmissions at once. We’ve got over 30 years of experience in the industry. Our name is our reputation. We rebuild transmissions from scratch, using recycled and old components. We know our prices are affordable and know that our products are reliable.

Need more information about a rebuilt transmission? Contact our team online or call our office at 608-742-5136.

Gearbox in a heavy duty transmission

If you follow the recommended maintenance, the average automatic transmission might last up to 200,000 miles. Skip even one fluid service, and you could shorten the life of your gearbox. When the gears no longer grab, you need a replacement.

For the best value, you have your choice between a remanufactured or a rebuilt unit, but which one is better?

Here’s what you need to know:

Remanufactured Transmission Pros and Cons

A remanufactured gearbox is an older unit that has undergone a complete overhaul. Specialty repair shops equipped with machine and test equipment supply these units.

The technicians follow an established procedure:

  • Complete disassembly and inspection of the old unit
  • Worn metal components are machined or replaced as needed
  • During reassembly, techs install new gaskets, clutches, bands, snap rings, and bearings
  • The unit receives a technical update to correct for any known engineering defects
  • A transmission dynamometer tests the function of the restored unit before delivery

These replacements come with some of the best warranties that also cover additional labor expenses should something go wrong. These are great options if you don’t mind spending a little more for your repair.

There are potential delays. It’s unlikely the local repair shop has the exact model you need sitting on the shelf. Order and delivery times keep your car out of service longer adding to your headaches. If you have an exotic vehicle, you may even have to wait for a refurbishment shop to service your unusual order.

All About Rebuilt Transmissions

In the right circumstances, a rebuilt transmission is just as good as a refurbished unit. These can last as long, and a good repair shop stands behind the work. The process is similar except that your gearbox does not need to arrive from a third-party supplier.

Your rebuilder performs the work in-house:

  • Complete disassembly and inspection of the existing equipment
  • All original hard metal parts remain with minor adjustments to severely worn assemblies
  • The case and gears receive a thorough cleaning
  • The technician reassembles the unit replacing worn clutches, gaskets, and fasteners
  • After installing the reassembled unit, the vehicle gets a road test.

A qualified shop still warranties the work, but you must return to the rebuilder for any follow-up repairs. Rebuilders also typically do not upgrade the functionality. Instead, they focus on restoring the original equipment to working condition. For an older vehicle or a vehicle that you do not want to invest as much into, the rebuilt is often the preferable option.

Let’s Talk Transmissions

At Trans Works, we love transmissions. We specialize in shipping transmissions wherever your next project needs it. Contact us today and ask about our wholesale transmission pricing.

Dangerous Transmission Habits

Trans Works Transmissions Warns Against Dangerous Transmission Habits

Trans Works Transmissions takes pride in helping their customers learn how to better protect their transmissions against serious damage. This is why they work hard to educate car owners. The common ways they could destroy their transmissions through potentially dangerous transmission habits.

The professionals at Trans Works Transmissions believe there are 14 ways car owners are putting their transmissions at risk. Some of these practices include using the incorrect fluid type or not changing the fluid at regular intervals. Stopping and starting abruptly and using the shift lever rather than braking. Driving without warming up the engine and improper towing techniques. These and other habits can cause excessive wear and tear on the transmission. It could ultimately lead to its failure or the need for repairs.

Although Trans Works Transmissions specializes in the repair of transmissions, they want to help their customers minimize costs and reduce the risk of needing serious repairs. Making their customers aware of the driving habits that can unnecessarily stress the transmission is their way of giving back and ensuring everyone can protect their car investment as much as possible.

Anyone interested in learning about these and other dangerous transmission habits can find out more by visiting the Trans Works Transmissions website or by calling 1-608-742-5136.

About Trans Works Transmissions:

Trans Works Transmissions is a car repair shop specializing in the repair of transmissions. Founded in 1981, the company has grown from operating out of a small home garage to serving customers out of a 9,000 square foot garage. Their highly trained and certified technicians are qualified to work on most makes and models.