Difference Between Brake Fluid and Transmission Fluid

by Amanda Davis

There are a variety of components that go into keeping a car maintained and running smoothly. Regular maintenance appointments are necessary to check car function and various fluid levels. Transmission fluid and break fluid are two of the fluids commonly monitored.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is a lubricant used in the transmission of a vehicle. Different types of transmission fluid are necessary for automatic and manual transmissions. The fluid allows the parts of the transmission to move freely. In automatic transmissions, the fluid also acts as a coolant and helps transmit power.

Brake Fluid

AutoZone defines brake fluid as a "specially formulated liquid used to transmit brake pedal pressure from the master cylinder to the wheel cylinders." It is important to maintain brake fluid that is free of contamination and moisture. Brake fluid that is high in moisture can inhibit brake function.


Although brake and transmission fluids are both vital to proper function of a vehicle, this is essentially the only similarity they share. The fluids differ in composition, in the location of the vehicle in which they function, and in the frequency with which they should be changed.

About the Author

Amanda Davis began writing in 2010 with work published on various websites. Davis is a dietetic technician, registered, personal trainer and fitness instructor. She has experience working with a variety of ages, fitness levels and medical conditions. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science in exercise science and nutrition from Appalachian State University and is working toward her master's degree in public health. Davis will be a registry eligible dietitian in May 2015.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • yellow car, a honda japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com