How to Fix a Transmission Fluid Leak
Transmission fluid lubricates the moving parts of the transmission system in a vehicle and keeps away problems such as corrosion and overheating. Cars with manual transmissions use gear oil or engine oil as lubricant. However, those with automatic transmissions use automatic transmission fluid. Thus, read on to learn how to fix a transmission fluid leak on your own, before deciding to take it to a professional and paying a hefty fee in order to fix your problem.
Determine if You Have a Leak
The most obvious sign of an automatic transmission fluid leak is a puddle of liquid on the ground under your vehicle. Run the engine until it is warm, then park your car on a level surface. If you have a leak, the transmission fluid will drop onto the ground beneath where the transmission can be found in the car. The fluid should be a brown or red color, and it will be slightly greasy in texture.
Find the Origins of the Leak
Open the hood and look at the engine. Transmission fluid should be smeared near the source of the leak. In addition, wiping an old rag on the engine can help to identify whether the leak is transmission fluid, instead of another type of liquid needed for the car to operate properly.
Use Stop Leak
Locate your transmission fluid dipstick under the hood of the car. It is usually red at the tip. Pour transmission fluid down the tube with the dipstick in order to fill the transmission with fluid. Then, pour in enough to replace any lost fluid. Use the dipstick to determine the correct level. This will fix some smaller leaks completely. However, in most cases, it is a temporary fix until you have a chance to make repairs that are more involved or take it into the repair shop.
Tighten All of the Bolts
Tighten all of the bolts with a socket wrench. You will want to make sure not to skip this step because loose bolts can be what are causing the transmission fluid to leak. If the threads on any bolts are stripped, you should replace them in order to ensure that you avoid any future leaks.
Check the Gasket
Check to make sure that the gasket on the transmission pan is in good condition. This gasket can fail because of age and excessive wear. Moreover, it could be the source of the leak. Do not worry about replacing the gasket, as it is a simple task. All you have to do is a visit any local repair shop or automotive shop in order to obtain a new gasket for your vehicle.
Replace the Fluid Lines
The next step is to check the transmission fluid lines. You should replace them if it is necessary. In particular, rust and corrosion can eat away at the lines, and this can allow transmission fluid to leak out of your vehicle.
Replace the O Ring
Inspect the O-ring for the transmission fluid filter. It is located near the transmission pan. If it looks cracked or separated from the filter, you will most likely need to replace the filter and the O-ring for the transmission fluid filter.
Check for Leaks Again
Once you have found the probable source of the leak and repaired it on your own, you should still check for other leaks because there could be more than one cause for the leak. You should first run the engine until it is warm, then park the car over cardboard or old newspaper. This way, you can easily identify any leaks that are present after you have fixed the initial problem that caused the leak of transmission fluid.
Consult With a Professional
If you followed these instructions and your car is still leaking, you should visit a repair shop as soon as possible. The leak could be caused by an internal seal that would require disassembling the transmission in order to fix it. You should also make sure to fix any leaks as soon as possible so that the problem does not become worse. Thus, if the leak cannot be resolved at home, then it is time to call in an expert and take the vehicle into a repair shop.
Automatic transmission fluid leaks are common problems for owners of automatic vehicles, especially those that have high mileage. Remember to check in all of the places that a leak could occur. You will also want to check the pieces that hold the transmission together to ensure that the leak is not caused by a damaged part or one that is worn down due to aging. Make sure the engine and transmission are cool to avoid burning yourself. Most leaks can be easily fixed at home, and all you have to do is follow these simple instructions from this article in order to get your car running as you know it should.