What Happens If You Put Motor Oil in Automatic Transmission

If you put motor oil in an automatic transmission, the results can be disastrous. Motor oil is designed for engines and does not have the same properties as transmission fluid, which is specifically made to lubricate and cool the moving parts of a transmission. Adding motor oil could cause major issues with your car’s shifting capabilities since it will degrade faster than transmission fluid when exposed to high temperatures within the transmission.

It can also clog up filters and damage rubber seals, leading to leaks that reduce efficiency or lead to complete failure of the system. If this happens, you may need an expensive rebuild or replacement of the entire unit.

If you mistakenly put motor oil into an automatic transmission, the consequences can be catastrophic. Motor oil is designed to lubricate the internal parts of an engine and has higher levels of viscosity than automatic transmission fluid. This thicker consistency can cause clogging in vital components such as filters and screens, leading to contaminated fluid and a buildup of debris inside the transmission.

In addition, this could lead to complete failure or even worse – costly repairs that may be beyond your budget.

ATF as an Engine Oil substitute? Let's see what happens!

Small Amount of Motor Oil in Transmission

Having a small amount of motor oil in your transmission is not necessarily bad for your vehicle. In some cases, this can actually be beneficial as it helps to lubricate the gears and prevent wear and tear on them over time. However, too much motor oil in your transmission can cause problems such as poor shifting performance or even damage to the internal components.

It’s important to ensure that you are keeping an eye on the level of motor oil in your transmission and top off any low levels when necessary.

Can Motor Oil Ruin a Transmission

Using motor oil that is not specified for use in your vehicle’s transmission can have a negative impact on the performance of your car. Motor oil is specifically designed to lubricate and protect moving engine parts, while transmission fluid was designed to keep gears in an automatic or manual transmission cool and working properly. Using the wrong type of oil could cause damage to seals and gaskets, leading to costly repairs or even complete failure of the transmission system.

It’s important to always check with your owner’s manual when selecting motor oils so that you are using the right kind for your car!

Can Engine Oil Get into Automatic Transmission

Yes, engine oil can get into an automatic transmission. This is usually a result of improper installation or maintenance of the seals and gaskets that are designed to keep the two fluids separated. If not properly maintained, these seals and gaskets may allow engine oil to seep into the automatic transmission fluid, which can cause damage to internal components as well as performance issues.

It’s important to regularly inspect your car’s seals and gaskets in order to ensure they are functioning correctly and preventing any cross-contamination between engine oil and automatic transmission fluid.

Can You Mix Engine Oil With Transmission Fluid

Mixing engine oil with transmission fluid is not recommended. Engine oil and transmission fluid are completely different fluids, designed to lubricate and cool the very different parts of an internal combustion engine. The two types of fluids have distinct viscosities that make them unsuitable for use in one another’s systems.

Additionally, mixing the two can cause damage to your car’s internal components if used over time.

What Happens If You Put Motor Oil in Automatic Transmission

Credit: shieldoils.com

Will Motor Oil Hurt an Automatic Transmission?

Using the wrong type of oil in an automatic transmission can have serious consequences. Motor oils are designed to lubricate the internal components of engines, but they cannot be used as a substitute for transmission fluid. Not only is this because motor oils do not contain the same additives and chemicals that are found in transmission fluids, but also because motor oil does not provide adequate lubrication for gears within an automatic transmission.

Furthermore, even if you were able to get away with using motor oil in your car’s automatic transmission temporarily, it could cause significant damage over time due to sludge build-up or clogged filters. If left unchecked, these issues could eventually lead to extensive repairs or even a total rebuild of your vehicle’s transmissions system. As such, it is highly recommended that you use only manufacturer approved fluids when servicing and maintaining your car’s automatic transmission system.

Will a Transmission Work With Motor Oil?

The short answer to the question of whether a transmission can work with motor oil is yes, it can. However, depending on the type of vehicle and/or transmission, using motor oil in your transmission may not be recommended or even safe. Motor oils are generally formulated for use in engines rather than transmissions.

Engines have different requirements from transmissions when it comes to viscosity (thickness) and other factors such as detergents that help keep the engine clean while in operation. Transmission fluids are designed to lubricate and cool parts within a transmission that need protection from heat and wear-and-tear damage due to high friction between metal components inside the unit. Motor oil does not provide these protective properties like specialized ATF or synthetic fluids do.

When considering which fluid is best for your particular situation you should always consult with an experienced automotive technician who has worked on similar vehicles before making any decisions about what type of fluid you will use in your vehicle’s powertrain components.


The blog post has shown that using motor oil in an automatic transmission is a serious problem, as it can cause significant damage to your car. Additionally, motor oil may not be compatible with the components of an automatic transmission and could lead to further issues down the line. If you are looking for a safe way to maintain your car’s performance, always use the recommended type of oil for your particular make and model of vehicle.


  • Alex Gearhart

    Alex Gearhart, an automotive expert specializing in transmissions, has over a decade of hands-on industry experience. With extensive knowledge in manual and automatic systems, Alex is passionate about educating car enthusiasts on vehicle maintenance. As the chief author at TransmissionCar.com, Alex simplifies complex concepts for readers, helping them make informed decisions about their vehicles. Outside of work, Alex enjoys road trips, restoring classic cars, and exploring new automotive technologies.

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