Water in Transmission Fluid – Causes & Fixes

It is essential that your engine’s transmission fluid be properly lubricated. Transmission fluid contamination can lead to many problems in the transmission system.

Water in the transmission fluid can cause corrosion of the friction lining and metal parts. Even a very small amount of water can cause transmission system damage.

Even one start of the vehicle with the transmission fluid still containing water can lead to corrosion, adhesive loss, or other transmission problems. 

This article will discuss the causes of water in transmission fluid. Let’s start by discussing what happens when water mixes with transmission fluid.

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What happens if water is able to get into transmission?

This question will determine the extent of damage caused to transmission fluid by water.

  • How much water was added to the fluid Take a look at the transmission fluid levels Clearly assess the extent of damage done.
  • How many miles were you able to drive with water mixed into the transmission fluid?

The fluid turns milky pink when water drops are introduced to it. The fluid may be gray because it has had a lot of water mixed with it.

You could have done more damage if you drove the car after it had been contaminated with water. 

Although older transmissions are less susceptible to water than 100ml, modern transmissions can be seriously damaged by even small amounts.

  • Corrosion can occur in transmission parts if there is water in the transmission fluid. 
  • Fluids mixed in water can also collect in transmission channels and create sludge.
  • Water can also contaminate the friction plates and cause problems when shifting gears.
  • Transmission fluid can also affect the adhesion of parts if it has been in contact with water for a prolonged period.

Transmission fluid water causes

Here are some reasons water can get into transmission fluid.

Coolant leak

Radiator aids heat transfer from transmission fluid to coolant. The radiator and the transmission are connected by the cooling line. The radiator is the place where the hot transmission fluid cools. 

If the passage is damaged by a ruptured internal radiator tank, coolant and transmission fluid may mix. To fix the transmission’s cooling system, you may need to spend between $100 and $500. 

Moisture on the Transmission Dipstick

To check the fluid level of the transmission, the dipstick is used. The dipstick can become wet or moist during engine cleaning, or from rain. The transmission dipstick is located in the engine’s rear. 

If there is moisture on the dipstick, water particles could get mixed with transmission fluid. In the event that it gets wet, wipe off any water particles from the dipstick using a dry, clean cloth.

Driving improperly

Water can enter an engine when driving in off-road conditions, flooding, or heavy rainfall. The engine may be surrounded by water that is too high in volume. This could cause some water to enter the transmission reservoir, and possibly mix with the fluid.

How to get water from transmission fluid

Let’s talk about the causes of water in transmission fluid. Now let’s discuss some methods to get the water out. This is a very similar process to removing water from the engine oil.

Because of the potential for permanent damage to the transmission, it is important that the transmission fluid be removed from water.

You will need the following tools: 

  • Jack stand
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Empty the bucket and drain tube
  • Gloves, safety glasses


  1. Make sure the engine is switched off and the emergency brakes engaged.  A jack stand can be used to lift the car.
  2. Identify the transmission pan. Remove the pan with a wrench.
  3. Allow the transmission fluid to drain by removing the drain plug.
  4. Install the drain plug. Fill the reservoir with new transmission oil (don’t replace it). transmission with engine oil). Changing transmission fluids In such cases, it is not a problem.
  5. Disconnect the cooler cable. Cooler lines transport transmission fluid. Connect one end of tube to the line and connect the other to the bucket.
  6. Start the engine. The transmission fluid can become pinkish. Allow the fluid in the bucket to drain until it is a reddish-colored color.
  7. Attach the cooler-out line. Install the transmission plate. Now, the transmission fluid’s color should turn reddish. This indicates that water has been removed from it.

FAQ’s regarding Water in Transmission Fluid

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The transmission system’s health is affected if there is water in it. Water in the transmission fluid could cause gearing problems and sludge.

Most often, the problem is caused by a damaged radiator, negligent driving, or a wet dipper. You should fix the problem immediately. Make sure to drain all fluid from the reservoir before adding new transmission fluid.

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