How Long Does It Take Transmission Fluid To Circulate?

The transmission fluid is responsible for lubricating the components of a car for a more accessible and smoother transmission. If your vehicle happens to come without automatic transmission, this fluid doubles as the coolant.

Transmission oil pumps help circulate the transmission fluid by pressurizing the fluid throughout the car’s system and components when the engine is running.

Once the transmission fluid completes its cycle by returning to the collector tank, it passes through a filter, and the transmission cycle starts again. Are you curious about how long it takes for the transmission fluid to circulate in an automobile?

This article will shed more light on automobile transmission and how long it takes for the transmission fluid to circulate through the system.

Does Transmission Fluid Circulate While in Park?

No. You should note that your car will never circulate the fluid if your car is on neutral, and this is because no clutches or bands are engaged in either the park or neutral positions. The transmission fluid only makes it to the bearings and cannot pass to the other parts involved in the transmission cycle.

How Long Does It Take for a Transmission Fluid to Work?

You may be wondering how fast it takes for your car’s transmission fluid to leave the pan and go through the entire process. It takes about five to ten seconds for the cycle to complete. However, if you drained everything thoroughly, it could take up to twenty to twenty-five seconds. Within this time, the fluid will fill the cracks, crevasses, and tubes in your car.How Long Does It Take for a Transmission Fluid to Work

How Do You Get Transmission Fluid to Circulate?

After you start your engine, the transmission fluid goes through all the tricky parts of the transmission under high pressure. The fluid travels to the pressure regulator, torque converter, and valve body. The transmission oil pump pushes the transmission fluid to circulate throughout the system and the entire engine when it is operational.

The transmission fluid then goes through a heat exchange system to help moderate the engine temperature.

Also Know: How to Fix Brake Fluid Leak

How Long Does It Take Transmission Fluid to Warm Up?

It depends mainly on the location (tropics or polar regions, etc.). Transmission fluid takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to warm up.

If you are experiencing issues transiting when the transmission fluid is cold, you need to check it out. It could be an issue with your vehicle. You should also note that you don’t need to place your car in neutral to warm up your transmission.

Do You Need to Change Transmission Fluid After 100,000 Miles?

Of course! The service intervals for new vehicles can be a little over 100k miles. But as time progresses, old engines need to be serviced frequently to ensure healthy functioning. Hence, you should ensure to change your transmission fluid after you might have run 100,000 miles. A key point to note is that you need to change your trans fluid following your manufacturer’s instructions.

How Do You Know My Vehicle Is Running Low on Transmission Fluid?

Some signs alert you of low transmission fluid. One peculiar sign you should look out for is noises, and a perfectly working transmission is devoid of noises. Once you hear any noise while driving, it indicates a failure in smooth transmission. Another ubiquitous sign we often overlook is the burning smell. If you perceive any funny smells from your vehicle, it could be due to your transmission fluid. All you need to do is visit the nearest service center to get it checked. Transmission leaks and slipping gears are other signs you need to look out for to prevent transmission failures in your vehicle.

How Far Should You Drive Without Transmission Fluid?

Although it is not advisable, you can run up to 50,000 miles to 100,000 miles. If you are lucky, you can make it to 150,000 miles. However, this adventure could lead to a transmission failure.

What Are the Different Types of Transmission Fluids?

Besides dividing between manual and automatic transmission fluids, there are other types of trans fluids. The Dexron/Mercon fluid is available in different grades, and they are the most common automatic trans fluids today. We also have the HFM, synthetic, type-F, Hypoid Gear, and motor oils.

Get To Know: How to Change Manual Transmission Fluid


Transmission fluids are essential for the smooth function of automobile vehicles. Depending on the type of vehicle you own and the duration you’ve owned your car, you may never need to bother about the kinds of transmission oils. Transmission oils generally take up to 5 to ten seconds to transmit, and transmission cannot occur when the car is in neutral or park gear. If you notice any funny signs with your car, check the nearest service center for further assistance.