Q: What happens if I unplug my transmission?

asked by on October 17, 2016

If I unplug my transmission will it cause any issues beside horrible gas mileage? My transmission lost all the fluid yesterday, but I put more in as soon as that happened and it's still holding. I wasn't sure if it was the gasket. But I was told that the transmission has an overflow tub and that if it gets to warm the fluid will flow out. But if I unplug my transmission will my truck (4L60E) still shift right and I won't take a risk of screwing it up?

My car has 157896 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Transmission Fluid Service $125.08 - $440.73 Get a Quote

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. The 4L60E has electronic shift solenoids that shift the transmission in first, second, and fourth. If you unplug the harness to the transmission, your transmission will only have reverse and third gear.

In the event the transmission looses power to the solenoids, the transmission goes into limp mode which is third gear, for it is a mechanical gear only. Plus, the torque converter clutch will not work for it has an electronic solenoid that operates the circuit to apply the converter clutch.

My recommendations is to leave the plug on the transmission. The instant the plug is disconnected, the engine light will come on for the computer not communicating with the transmission. If your transmission is holding the fluid and is working fine, then it is good.

Check the transmission fluid with the engine running and at cold temperatures along with operating temperatures for proper oil level. If you need assistance with your transmission fluid, then seek out a professional, like one from YourMechanic who can help you with your vehicle.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

Rough idle and engine stalls out.

This suggests a rich fuel condition as evidenced by the black fouled out spark plugs. This can happen for a couple of reasons such as faulty or leaking fuel injectors, or a faulty or dirty idle air control valve. ...

The power steering locks up

Hi there. It sounds like there could be a belt, pulley, or accessory problem. One of these items could be causing your steering concern and the smoke. Are there any visible leaks from the power steering pump? Any leaks from...

Hit deer; car damaged

It seems like there has been extensive damage that has taken much of the safety away from this vehicle. I would recommend consulting the services of a collision center. The twisted metal and broken parts will cause wear on the...

WONT START

There are two common items that can cause an intermittent no start with this car. You already replaced the crank sensor, which is one of them. The other can be the key, and/or the Electronic Ignition Switch (EIS). If...

Loud grinding and thumping

Hello. It is possible that your axle is worn out, but it is unusual for an axle to grind. What is more likely is that the right front caliper is locking up, or that a wheel bearing has gone bad....

My car is idling rough and flooding out when first starting. What could be causing this?

This may be related to a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at...

What ATF do I need in a 2011 Honda civic ex?

The automatic transmission fluid in you 2011 Honda Civic EX is full synthetic Honda ATF DW-1. The fluid is compatible with older Honda transmissions but the older fluid is not compatible with your car and newer. You should make sure...

Rattle sound when going over bumps 2011 Chevrolet Malibu

Hello - I would try to replicate the noise with a linebacker friend or two throwing their weight on one front fender at a time. Your parts replacements thus far are the logical ones, and the ready-mounts (assuming they had...

Why is my car making a whining noise in the low gears

Hello. Most of the time when this noise occurs when you first start moving and gets louder as you drive it is due to a failure in one of the thrust bearings in the transmission. If the transmission fluid has...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban
The The 2012 Chevrolet Suburban offers large amounts of space to carry around a growing family or to transport supplies to your favorite camping spot. It is available in heavy duty and half ton models. Key Features The 1500 Suburban...
Is it Safe to Drive With a Slipping Transmission?
The transmission converts the power from the engine into motion so the vehicle can move. Vehicles have either an automatic or manual transmission....
How to Buy a Good Quality Drivetrain
Drivetrains include the transmission, driveshaft, and axles. Buy an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) drivetrain with a drivetrain warranty.