Driving a short distance with low gear oil (manual gearbox)

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Greece
Would driving with a low gearbox oil, 450 ml low of 1.9 liters total, in other words 76% filled, for just 0.25 miles, would cause any measurable wear to any parts of the transaxle?

(That was done by the mechanic who took the car for a spin without the transaxle properly filled, of course without my knowledge.)
 
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166
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Australia
Wouldn’t 3/4 full still be in between low and full? (assuming it has a dipstick)

I would top it up, and not think twice about it. Unless he was driving it like a NASCAR, sleep well, it’ll be fine over such a short distance
 

inquirer

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198
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Greece
Wouldn’t 3/4 full still be in between low and full? (assuming it has a dipstick)

I would top it up, and not think twice about it. Unless he was driving it like a NASCAR, sleep well, it’ll be fine over such a short distance

It's a manual gearbox. I guess you're talking about automatic transmission.
 
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5,268
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Ohio
Would driving with a low gearbox oil, 450 ml low of 1.9 liters total, in other words 76% filled, for just 0.25 miles, would cause any measurable wear to any parts of the transaxle?

(That was done by the mechanic who took the car for a spin without the transaxle properly filled, of course without my knowledge.)
I would think you would be ok. I would be more concerned about where did the lost lubricant go? You got a leak somewhere and should be dealt with. You really should never have to top off the fluid in a gearbox or transaxle.
 

inquirer

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I would think you would be ok. I would be more concerned about where did the lost lubricant go? You got a leak somewhere and should be dealt with. You really should never have to top off the fluid in a gearbox or transaxle.
It didn't go anywhere, that's the weird thing. I had bought 2 liters of gear oil to fill the gearbox after a repair for replacing a bearing that was about to fail.

The car's manual states that the transalxe needs 1.9 liters of gear oil. In previous gear oil changes 1.9 were sufficient. This time the gearbox weirdly did not fill to the top. I think that the drain plug is at the bottom of the transaxle case, so no oil stays in the gearbox even in regular gear oil changes.

The mechanic had spilled some gear oil before filling the transaxle, but certainly nothing as much as 450 ml, so I don't have an explanation.
 

inquirer

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I would not worry about it. That short a distance will not have damaged anything in my opinion.
Smoky

That's what I hope too. Although, I meant excessive wear in a short distance, one that would normally occur over thousands of miles. I wouldn't expect any sudden damage.

It's all splash lubed, nothing under pressure. No worries.
Yes, I guess a lubricant film develops by the rotation of the axes. Still, I guess that lower level of gear oil would mean also poorer lubrication, but I'm not sure of how much of a difference that would make. Probably, under harsh driving with higher RPM and higher temperatures, the level of wear would be different. I hope that in a short circle of driving the difference is in fact negligible.
 
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No damage. and manual transmissions do have dipsticks.. well subaru anyway.. so does their front diff.
well at least they did for years.. I dont own a new one.
 

inquirer

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No damage. and manual transmissions do have dipsticks.. well subaru anyway.. so does their front diff.
well at least they did for years.. I dont own a new one.
I didn't know that there were manual gearboxes with dipsticks. I guess that's highly uncommon.
 
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1,802
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South Carolina
I drove a manual Mitsubishi truck over 200 miles with only 1 quart of oil in it. I didn't realize it until I got home with it and went to change it. No signs of leaks. I don't think it was ever filled up well. No excessive metal came out and it went another 100k miles past that.
 

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I drove a manual Mitsubishi truck over 200 miles with only 1 quart of oil in it. I didn't realize it until I got home with it and went to change it. No signs of leaks. I don't think it was ever filled up well. No excessive metal came out and it went another 100k miles past that.
That sounds extremely encouraging!
 
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1,665
Location
California
I would not worry about driving gently 1/4 mile on 3/4 fill. And I've never seen any gearbox with a dipstick other than automatic. Usually with manual trans (and diffs, and transaxles, and transfer cases), you have to remove the fill plug and stick a finger in the hole to determine the oil level. So my finger is now the dipstick LOL.
 
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