A few days ago I tried doing an " tune up" on my car. It had just a transmission fluid replacement(with synthetic fluid) and had a couple of solenoids replaced. I had an oil change less than a month ago (with synthetic fluids as well).I decided to push the car a little bit to see if it will be ok. I made a wide open throttle on D (My car has the manual shift ability, but I used D for this occassion) on 2nd gear and pushed it to around 5000rpm then shifted automatically to 3rd and did the same thing. I had a mate with me and we were pushing it to just above 100 kph (speed limit) then we would slow down again to around 60 then repeat the process around 6-10 times. After which we had a couple of stoplights where I drove normally again. When we parked the car, I noticed that there slight burnt smell. From experience I do know that it is the transmission fluid. We drove it again after an hour though normally this time but we drove to a mountainous area (with me and 4 passengers).Again after an hour When we climbed down and drove home. I noticed that the smell seemed to be gone except for a few traces. I did not notice any problems with the transmission too, though I haven't checked the trans fluid yet.

I would just like to know if the transmission could handle doing 4-5000 rpms (6000 ++ rpm seems to be the limit on my car) It's the standard transmission on my car with just synthetic fluids on. Because if it should then there shouldn't be any problems with my trans running under load(with just 2 people on board). Because if it can't, I'll try to be more careful with the transmission. I am just curious as to why there seems to be a smell to it.

2 Answers 2


More than likely the smell you encountered is just some residual fluid which was spilled during the fluid change. Considering you migrated from (assuming) standard transmission fluid to synthetic, extra steps would have been involved in getting it swapped over. With that in mind, it could very easily have gotten on an exhaust pipe somewhere and was burnt off during your spirited driving event.

Your transmission should be able to handle what you are throwing at it. There are situations which will be bad for your transmission, but what you described does not seem like one of them. Two things to look for in your transmission which are tell tale signs:

  • Burnt transmission fluid: If there's a transmission dipstick available, pull it out and take a whiff. If the fluid smells like it's burnt, it needs to be changed. If not changed soon enough, there will be other issues to ensue.
  • Slipping transmission: If the transmission is shifting fine without slippage, there should be no worries.

If you are truly worried about the smell, take the car back to where it was serviced and have them make sure there's no leaks. If they needed to drop the pan in the process (considering the swap from normal to synthetic, this could very well be the case), they are responsible for the sealing of the pan. Meaning, they'd have to fix the issue.

  • I checked the car today, and tried smelling the fluid in the transmission dipstick, no burnt smell, and the fluid is really pinkish red. Maybe I'm just over reacting to things. Thanks for the tips I check it out for a few more days then see if there is a problem or the smell recurs, maybe if smells again then I would bring it to the shop.
    – marchemike
    Mar 2, 2016 at 8:36
  • That sounds like a great plan. Hopefully it's just nothing but a little residual. Mar 2, 2016 at 14:59

use the ATF-MV (M5) fluid. This is the only fluid that your transmission can take (It is written on the dipstick). Aside from that, If you want to preserver your transmission for the long run, avoid common mistakes such as flooring the car in Neutral and then shifting to D etc. Avoid also hard shifts. Also, change the transaxel fluid filter with every oil change, you should also do multiple changes to flush the fluid completely from the torque converter etc ...

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