Most cars require transmission fluid to keep the gears turning smoothly. But what are the bubbles all about? They’re not caused by anything you or your mechanic did, but rather by air getting into the oil somehow.
So how does this happen? It might be because of old hoses on your vehicle, a leaky seal on the transmission fluid dipstick tube, or damage to your radiator.
Transmission fluid is the lubricant used in automobile power trains to ensure the smooth operation of the transmission.
It is usually a mixture of three to six liquids blended and then vaporized by an atomizer. Bubbles can help cool engine parts connected to them and offer other benefits. Still, bubbles also cause reduced fuel efficiency or premature failure of critical parts such as gaskets.
By the way, don’t worry about air bubbles causing any problems with your car’s transmission system.
Almost all transmissions are equipped with a transmission filter device, which catches contaminants like dirt and air and helps keep your vehicle’s gears moving smoothly.
Table of Contents
- What Causes Bubbles In Transmission Fluid?
- Transmission Fluid Checks
- How To Change Transmission Fluid?
- Causes Of ATF Foaming
- Negative Consequences Of ATF Foaming
What Causes Bubbles In Transmission Fluid?
The most common cause of bubbles in transmission fluid is the lack of additives due to old age. The additive protects against corrosion and wear, so as these conditions progress, the levels drop below an effective level for protection.
As a result, the bubbles may cause erratic shifting when this occurs, or perhaps the vehicle will not shift between gears.
Bubbles in the transmission fluid can be a symptom of a few different issues. Transmission fluid goes through the transmission and powers the vehicle.
It is constantly filtering, and if there is dirt or other particles in it, they will collect and form bubbles which then pop to release that dirty fluid back into the system to be filtered again.
Changing transmission fluid or having it serviced can correct this problem if this is the case. The additive level in the new fluid should be checked before it is installed to ensure proper protection.
Another cause of air bubbles in transmission fluid is areas where air can get into fluid, such as seals and gaskets that do not seal properly.
There could also be a puncture leading to a leak, allowing air in. The best way to resolve this problem is to check the transmission fluid.
If it is not the correct type, or if worn components are causing these air bubbles, then a new transmission fluid and filter should be installed to correct that problem. When changing the fluid, it will be necessary to know the spec.
To prevent further transmission fluid bubbles from forming, you need to maintain your transmission fluid at an appropriate level and make sure to change it regularly according to manufacturer recommendations.
Transmission Fluid Checks
Transmission fluid checks are done by looking for transmission fluid seepage from the rubber hoses in your vehicle, onto the ground, or into a container. These leaks can be detected visually or through tests.
Transmission fluid can leak into clothing and other belongings and be ingested when finding it on the ground. Wear gloves when handling this liquid to prevent contact with skin.
It’s always a good idea to check your vehicle’s transmission fluid level at least once a month. It’s a simple procedure, and it can help you prevent an expensive repair bill later on.
You can check your vehicle’s transmission fluid level in less than five minutes. It would be best to have a dipstick; a full dipstick reads 100 percent. If your dipstick reads less than 100%, you’ll need to add more transmission fluid.
How To Change Transmission Fluid?
Most car people know that a transmission fluid change is one of the most critical maintenance items to perform on their vehicle. The payoff can be huge. However, to make the change, you will need to know where the transmission fluid dipstick is and have some working knowledge of how your vehicle works.
Automotive transmissions are complex equipment, so many things to consider before changing the fluid.
The number one place to start your maintenance is by looking under the hood and finding out what type of vehicle you have, Diesel or gas? Diesel cars require oil instead of transmission fluid to be put into them.
So the next thing you want to know is what kind of transmission fluid your vehicle uses: Full Synthetic or Half Synthetic? Full Synthetic means that the lubricant is solid at room temperature.
They are also full synthetic oils. The good thing about them is that they have good heat resistance and keep moving metal to metal parts clean.
So, if the transmission has a metal seal or metal shift lever, use full synthetic transmission oil. Half synthetic means that the lubricant oils are liquid oil with added additives.
In addition, they are made in different grades to suit different parts of the vehicle. It would be best to keep in mind when changing transmission fluid: Transmission fluid is not oil. You cannot substitute it with anything else, so do not try.
Causes Of ATF Foaming
When the ATF in a car’s gearbox starts to foam, it is usually caused by leaking valve seals. This can be dangerous and cause other problems, so it’s essential to get a professional to solve the problem ASAP.
Other causes of foaming ATF could include:
- overheating and improper shifting after temperatures have been too high for too long
- air contamination entering through the bottom hole on the intake manifold or from other leaks
- Worn seals on gaskets let air get inside the engine’s inner workings, leading to warm temperatures and premature wear.
- Dirty oil or worn bearings let dirt into or onto your car. This can lead to overheating and premature wear.
- Using old ATF in your car’s transmission may cause foaming, too, or using the wrong type of ATF can also cause problems. If you have a new car but use the wrong lubricant, heating and foaming are more likely to occur.
If these things don’t solve your issues, it could be that your transmission needs to be replaced. A car expert can give you an estimate as to how much it will cost and let you know if your transmission can be repaired or needs replacement.
Negative Consequences Of ATF Foaming
Many people rely on transmission fluid to keep their car in good condition. However, they may not be aware that ATF can cause a lot of damage to a vehicle if it is misused.
It can cause all sorts of problems, from the transmission fluid foaming inside the gearbox to gumming up the gearbox due to a lack of additives.
The fluid buildup can also cause problems in other areas, such as engines and transmissions suffering from excessive heat.
This will lead to serious car functionality issues over time because it will be challenging for it to do its job when it is full of ATF, and there is not a lot of room for air in the system.
There will be parts that begin damaged and others on the verge of failure. There have been several cases where people have lost their transmission entirely due to this problem. This can have very negative consequences on vehicles.