First off, I know almost nothing about cars. I can fill them up with gas and drive them. That's about it. This car is a '99 Subaru Outback, automatic.
When I last took my car in for an oil change, the mechanic said that I was leaking transmission fluid and that he'd clamped it and refilled it. After the oil change, I noticed a burning oil smell after the car had been running for a while. I assumed that some of the leaking transmission fluid got on the engine and was burning off. Annoying, but probably not a problem, or so I thought.
I also didn't notice any puddles under where I parked my car, further causing me to believe that I wasn't leaking anything.
That was a few weeks ago. I don't drive very much, though, so not many miles ago.
Today I drove about 15 miles to pick someone up and go to an event. Everything seemed fine, except the burning smell, but even the burning smell wasn't as bad as it usually was. I also got the car washed.
The car sat in the parking lot for around 9 hours. When I went to take my friend home, I noted that the car seemed to be a bit sluggish. In particular, after a stop, it would go very slowly and the engine would rev very high before it would go from first to second. After dropping my friend off, it just got worse and worse. Before long, it was taking a while to change between every gear.
When I finally get home, there's a sharp turn, a relatively steep hill up, and a relatively steep hill down. Because of the turn, I needed to slow down, and I only made it half way up the hill before my car wouldn't move any more. I pushed the engine pretty hard, getting it up to 5 or 6k on the tachometer, and nothing. Eventually I had the bright idea to put it in first gear manually, and I was able to get it moving again up the hill and eventually to my parking space.
So... That's where I am now. So one big problem here is I don't know that I'll even be able to get the car to a mechanic, because just to leave my place I need to go up and down a hill. Based on the fact that the mechanic who changed my oil told me I was leaking transmission fluid, I'm assuming that he didn't actually fix the problem as he claimed he had.
Is it likely that I can refill the transmission fluid, to at least get the car into a state where I can get it to a mechanic without a tow truck?
But I'm doing a whole lot of assuming here, hence why I'm asking for advice. If it does turn out that refilling the transmission fluid is the best course of action, is there anything special I need to know about doing that? Like I said, I know pretty much nothing about cars.