You should not drive around with dirty and contaminated transmission fluid in your vehicle, as this can lead to various vehicle issues. Here are the three major consequences you'll experience when you keep dirty fluid in your transmission.

#1 Issues With Shifting Gears

Your transmission fluid allows you to fluidly switch between each gear on your vehicle. This is true even with automatic transmissions, where your vehicle changes gears on its own. When you switch between one gear to another, the process should be so streamlined that you hardly even notice it. You should not feel your vehicle really switch gears with an automatic transmission and with a manual transmission, the process should feel nice and smooth.

When your transmission fluid gets dirty, you may experience issues switching between gears and the process may not feel as smooth.

#2 Issues With Slipping Down Gears

Another gear-related issue that can arise when you have dirty transmission fluid are slipping gears. Slipper gears means that as you are driving, your vehicle "slips" into a different gear without your prompting it.

This is a very serious issue that can be really dangerous. For example, if your vehicle switches down into a lower gear, you may have issues with accelerating. This could cause your vehicle to stall while you are driving, which could have serious consequences depending on how fast the traffic around you is moving.

Your gears slip because your transmission fluid is not working effectively and is  not flowing smoothly enough to keep your gears in place.

#3 Issues With Surging

A third issue that can arise when you have dirty transmission fluid is surging. When your vehicle surges, the speed and the RPMs on your vehicle will suddenly increase without you even stepping on the gas pedal. This is a very dangerous situation, as it could cause you to rear-end the vehicle in front of you or even surge into a crosswalk. You should never be in a situation where you can't control the speed of your vehicle. This is extremely dangerous.

Driving around with dirty transmission fluid can not only damage your transmission, it can compromise your safety on the road and the safety of others around you. If your transmission fluid is dark or has particles in it, you need to have the fluid flushed out and replaced as soon as possible to ensure that you are able to drive safely on the road.

If you own a commercial vehicle fleet that consistently runs into this issue, contact a commercial fleet repair service for help.