Is Transmission Fluid Flammable?

Transmission fluid is used to properly lubricate the metal parts and bearings of the gearbox. Hydraulic fluid is also used by the power steering system.

Because internal components rub against each other, friction is a major feature of the transmission system. This can lead to a lot more heat. It is possible that the transmission fluid’s excessive heat can catch fire.

Transmission Fluids Can Go on Fire

The short answer is: yes, transmission fluid is flammable. It is very similar to engine oil is flammable too. Transmission fluid must be heated to catch fire. This article will provide more information on the flammability transmission fluid.

What temperature does transmission oil start to burn at?

Like other lubricants and transmission fluids, it can ignite at very high temperatures. The minimum temperature at which transmission fluid can catch fire depends on the fluid type and additives. 

It is known that automatic transmissions heat up faster than manual transmissions. The flashpoint is the temperature at which a material ignites without an ignition source. 

What is the flash point for transmission fluids?

The transmission fluid’s flashpoint can range from 302°F to 383°F (150 – 195°C). It varies from one engine to another. The flashpoint of transmission fluid in CITGO SDS is 381.2°F, whereas, in Chevron SDS, it is 352 °F.

Because of its extremely high flashpoint, it is rare for transmission fluids to catch on fire. Transmission fluid that exceeds its auto-ignition level might catch fire. It can catch fire if it reaches temperatures above 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

What causes transmission fluid to catch on fire?

Transmission fluid can catch fire or burn if it comes in contact with extremely hot surfaces. This can happen if transmission fluid leaks onto a turbocharger, exhaust manifold or engine block.

Look out for signs such as transmission fluid leaks or getting burned. Transmission fluid can catch on fire if it comes in contact with ignition sources or if it overheats.

Overheated transmission fluid: Causes

  1. Low transmission fluid level 
  2. Transmission fluid leakage
  3. Fluid blockage in transmission

How can you tell if your car has a leak in its transmission fluid?

The temperature at which fluids ignite is called the ignition point. Transmission fluid, which is flammable will most likely ignite at high temperatures.

Transmission system can be damaged by heat and debris over time. Transmission fluid leakage can result from cracking of transmission fluid lines and damage to the torque pump or axle seal.

Burnt transmission fluid symptoms

  1. The vehicle’s centre or near the engine gearshifter emitted a burnt oil smell.
  2. You should immediately notify the transmission fluid leakage. Transmission fluid that has been burned will not be red but black.
  3. It is possible that your transmission fluid has leaked or been burned, causing you to have difficulty shifting gears.

FAQs about Is Transmission Fluid Flammable

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Transmission fluid is not likely to catch fire, but it is flammable. Because of its extremely high flashpoint, transmission fluid is flammable but unlikely to catch fire. If it leaks from its transmission system and touches a hot surface, it can burn. Contact a mechanic immediately if oil is visible burning.

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