Can Low Engine Oil Cause Transmission Problems? Read!

At some point, you may experience a problem switching gears which is usually caused by the transmission. There are normally several things that cause a transmission to give problems, it could be that the fuel is low, overheating, poor lubrication, etc. But the main thing we want to discuss today is the connection between engine oil and transmission. Can low engine oil cause transmission problems?

It is a very common question asked by many of our readers. It is always good to know the difference between each transmission fluid and engine oil. When there is a problem with the transmission it is usually because of low transmission fluid not low engine oil. However, we are going to talk about everything so that you have a better understanding.

Can Low Engine Oil Cause Transmission Problems?

Let’s start by saying that the engine and transmission are two separate components and both entities are known to play different roles in a vehicle. The fact that both of them are similar in some senses, you will find that some people are often confused when their vehicle is running on low oil they actually think that it will affect their transmission as well.

The short answer is no, that’s definitely not the case. It’s very rare for low oil to cause any transmission problems within your vehicle. Even though both of them are similar in some aspects, they both play a different roles and are not dependent on each other for oil.

What Does Engine Oil Do For Car?

Can Low Engine Oil Cause Transmission Problems

It is best to keep in mind that engine oil should only be used for the engine as it helps to lubricate the moving parts of the engine so that they can operate smoothly. Not only that, but it also helps to cool down the components inside the engine such as the valves, piston, and bearings.

All these parts need to be properly cooled just to avoid any breakdown from happening due to high heat. At this point, you may be thinking to yourself that the transmission also needs the function as well.

Why Won’t Low Engine Oil Cause Transmission Problems?

As you can see, engine oil is designed to work with the engine and its components inside as it helps to keep them lubricated at all times. You may be saying to yourself that transmission also needs fluid to keep its parts lubricated as well, yes they do, but the transmission and engine oil are not connected in any way, they are both separate.

Once you’ve opened the hood of any car you will notice that the transmission itself has its own section that you can pour oil into. The transmission oil does a wonderful job at ensuring that there is no frequent wear or tear inside the gearbox whether it is a manual transmission or an automatic transmission system.

The transmission works pretty similarly to the engine since it also ensures a smooth run while you are on your way to your next destination. So, when there is a low oil level in your engine, it will only cause problems to the engine instead of the transmission.

Transmission oil ensures that its parts are properly lubricated and it is also responsible for smooth gear changes whether it is manual or automatic. As mentioned above, the engine is not connected to the transmission, so even though they are related in some ways, they both do separate tasks.

What Problems Will Be Caused Due to Low Engine Oil

  • If you have a low engine oil it may cause a breakdown or even engine failure
  • Having low engine oil may lead to overheating issues
  • You will start hearing some loud sounds coming from your car as a result of the moving parts not being lubricated due to low oil
  • Low engine oil can lead to your engine being seized and the car might start releasing heavy smoke because of excessive heat
  • Piston rings and valves might get broken or worn out due to low oil


As you can see, the low engine oil will not cause any problems to your transmission because engine oil and transmission system are different entities. However, when there is low engine oil the problem may arise within your engine causing several issues. It’s the same for low-transmission oil causing problems inside the transmission itself.