Updated at: 17-03-2022 - By: micdot

The fluids needed by a vehicle to operate at its full capacity include motor oil and transmission fluids, both of which are important. However, is it possible to use motor oil in a transmission? Let’s find out what’s going on now. Is it possible to use motor oil as transmission fluid? No, this is not true. Your gear system and your steering are dependent on transmission fluid, whereas your engine relies on motor oil.

Both of these fluids, however, have a few things in common. Motor oil, on the other hand, should not be used as a substitute for transmission fluid. When it comes to motor oil and transmission fluid, many people don’t know the difference or similarities. As a result of this, some people have had engine issues and problems in their vehicles as a result of swapping these two fluids. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on motor oil and gearbox fluids. Let’s get this party started.

Can Motor Oil Ruin A Transmission?

The transmission and transmission system can be damaged by motor oil. The fundamental function of motor oil is to enhance sealing and prevent rust on the various engine components. As a bonus, it removes any gunk from the vehicle’s engine. Even the engine’s cooling system is improved as a result of its use. Last but not least, it lowers the friction in your motor. Transmission fluid, on the other hand, is designed to improve the performance of your automatic and manual transmissions.

It’s important to note that when it comes to comparing these fluids, motor oil is concentrated in the engine’s combustion area. The transmission is unique in that it lubricates the vehicle’s transmission system. This will allow your gears and clutches to engage quickly.

Is It Bad To Put Motor Oil In Your Transmission?

Using motor oil instead of transmission fluid might have serious consequences for your car. Although some people argue that adding motor oil to your transmission may not be harmful, others argue that it could actually be beneficial. So if you’re only going to add motor oil and not replace the entire device, it may not cause any major harm. The transmission oil must be removed at a transmission shop. Doing something on your own is possible, but you’ll need some experience in the field. It’s difficult to get the wrong oil out of your torque converter. If you’ve observed that your transmission has oil in it, don’t drive your car. This will prevent any more harm. Refill your oil instead of dumping it.

Your vehicle may be spared damage if you do this. After driving your car for some time, cleanse the trans fluid.

What Happens If I Put Motor Oil In My Transmission Fluid?

When using motor oil as transmission fluid, there are a few potential issues that you may encounter. The extent of the damage depends on how much motor oil you have put into your transmission and how long you have been driving your vehicle with the wrong fluid in it. If you’ve put a lot of motor oil in your transmission and driven your automobile for a long period with the improper fluid, these are the consequences.

1. You Might Hear Noises When Driving The Vehicle

Using the improper transmission fluid might result in a wide range of unpleasant sounds when driving. The noises you hear from your transmission system can be caused by a buildup of motor oil.

2. When In Gear, Car Might Not Function

Adding motor oil to your transmission system may cause a delay in the vehicle’s responsiveness while it is in gear. In addition, if you reverse or drive your automobile, the transmission may not work. Unlike transmission fluid, the characteristics of motor oil exclude its usage in vehicles.

3. You Might Experience Gears Slippin

There is also the possibility of gears slipping, which is a major safety concern. It’s possible that you’ll have to have this corrected right away. Although gear slack is annoying, you don’t want to have to deal with it in the first place.

4. You Might Smell Something Burning

If you notice a burning smell in your car, it’s possible that your transmission fluid has become overheated. When your gearbox smells like it’s on fire, it could be because you’ve mixed up the wrong type of motor oil. Lubrication properties in the transmission fluid may be the cause of this. When two pieces come together, this characteristic keeps them from getting snagged or damaged. As a result, if the gearbox is not adequately lubricated due to the use of the incorrect fluid, serious damage might result.

5. There Can Be Grinding Sensation In Your Gear

Adding the optimum fluid to the automatic transmission helps it run more efficiently. It’s now possible to cause serious damage to your vehicle’s transmission system by using the wrong fluid, such as motor oil. As a result, shifting gears can result in some shaking or grinding motions. Seals or o-rings may have been damaged, causing this issue.

What Can Be Used In Place Of Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid can be replaced with power steering fluid. Always consult your owner’s handbook when in doubt. Your vehicle will benefit greatly from this stop. The manufacturer’s suggestions are also included. Using a power steering fluid, for example, is acceptable. Transmission and power steering fluids mix nicely, which is why this happens. This is preferable than motor oil in this situation. The downside is that it can cause serious harm to your car. Hydraulic fluids are used in transmissions and power steering.

Does Transmission Fluid MIX With Engine Oil?

They do, after all, go well together. In many cases, transmission fluids are being lubricated with engine oil, which many believe is good for the engine. There is a common belief that engine oil can be used to clean the engine. You should replace the oil as soon as possible if you use a lot of motor oil.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between Transmission Fluid And Oil?

Transmission fluid and motor oil have numerous variances. The motor oil is developed for the engine’s system in terms of function. The engine system components will no longer generate friction as a result of this. It will also prevent corrosion and sludge buildup in the system. The transmission fluid, on the other hand, focuses on the vehicle’s internal components. As a result, the transmission fluid will keep the clutches and gears in the transmission system operating at their optimum level.

The oil’s life expectancy decreases with usage and miles. You will also have to change your motor oil every 3,000 or 6,000 miles. Transmission fluid, on the other hand, will not degrade with time or miles. That way, you won’t have to keep replacing your transmission. If the oil is still young, it will be gold or a brilliant yellow in hue. It will, however, eventually turn black. The transmission fluid, on the other hand, is crimson in color..

Why Does My Transmission Fluid Look Like Oil?

Transmission fluid is typically red or brown in appearance. It’s also a lot like oil in that it’s thick and slick. Check to see if your transmission fluid is in good condition. Transmission fluid that is mostly pink or red indicates good health. In contrast, if your transmission fluid gets dark or even black, it’s unclean.

A Small Amount Of Motor Oil In Transmission: Is It Okay?

If your transmission has a small amount of motor oil in it, your car may be fine and suffer no severe damage. However, you must flush it as soon as possible. If you don’t take any risks, you’ll be better off. For example, if you put in a small amount of motor oil and promptly remove it, it will not cause any harm to your vehicle.

Can Engine Oil Get Into The Transmission?

It’s extremely unlikely that this will happen. Ninety-nine percent of the time, engine oil can’t get into the transmission of a car.

Engine Oil Mixed With Transmission Fluid: What To Do?

Let’s make sure we’re on the same page. No harm will be done if you unintentionally used engine oil as transmission fluid and haven’t driven your vehicle. So it’s in your best interest to take action quickly. The gearbox oil pan should be removed first, but not before stopping the vehicle. Next, you’ll need to remove the old filter and install a new one. Finally, you can reinstall the pan and replace it with new transmission fluid once you’ve completed this step.

Afterwards, you can start and drive your automobile for a day before doing it all over again. Make sure there is no engine oil left in your transmission by doing this checkup.


In the end, this tutorial will teach you nearly everything you need to know about putting motor oil in your vehicle and using it to refill your transmission fluid. A few commonalities exist, but there are also significant variances between transmission and engine oil. They serve distinct purposes and have diverse roles. Transmission fluid should never be replaced with motor oil. There’s a good reason why you should only use the recommended fluid in your car.