Can low engine oil cause transmission problems?

Recently I’ve noticed that switching gears in my car is sometimes difficult, so there must be something up with transmission—I checked my oil the other day and realized it was low, so I was wondering if there was a correlation. Can low engine oil cause transmission problems?

Andrew Biro · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
This is actually a really good question—low engine oil, as a general rule, won’t cause transmission problems but it can damage your engine, so you should check it regularly.
Low transmission fluid, on the other hand, can lead to transmission problems, but so can using the wrong transmission fluid, shifting when your vehicle isn’t stopped, and stomping on the brake or gas pedal. If you regularly do any of these things, it can result in gear slippage, an inability to switch gears, or even a grinding/shaking sensation, amongst other things.
Low engine oil will only ever cause problems with the engine itself, such as overheating, excessive noise, and worsening fuel efficiency.
Knowing the difference between low engine oil and low transmission fuel symptoms is important, but it’s better to check both regularly to avoid risking damage in the first place.
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