Can driving with a bad transmission damage the engine?

I think my car may be experiencing some transmission, issues but they don’t really seem to be causing any major problems yet. Can I still drive it until I can get it into the shop? More importantly, can driving with a bad transmission damage the engine?

Maxine Boyko · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
I’m sorry to hear that your vehicle is feeling under the weather. It’s good that you’re asking this question, though, because driving with a bad transmission will cause damage to the engine if left unaddressed!
If your transmission is failing, you may already be experiencing shifting issues like slipping and loud mechanical sounds that are difficult to discern.
You should verify that the transmission is the issue with a mechanic, but here is a list of other common symptoms of a failing transmission you may notice:
  • Burning rubber smell
  • Fluids leaking
  • Check Engine Light on
  • Shaking and jerking
If you run out of transmission fluid or your transmission isn’t performing as it should, your engine will overheat and become damaged if you continue to drive. It’s best to get this problem fixed as soon as possible to avoid irreparable and costly
engine damage
If your car is having any issues, you’ll want to have enough money saved to cover any repair costs—
can help you do just that!
Jerry is a fully-licensed broker and
car insurance
comparison super app. Within minutes after signing up, you’ll have your choice of the best quotes from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Start saving with Jerry today!
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free