Transmission Fluid Leaks
Transmission fluid lubricates your vehicle’s transmission, enabling your car to shift/change gears smoothly and correctly. Additionally, this fluid acts as a coolant in the transmission. Therefore, make sure your car’s transmission fluid never gets low because you can seriously damage your transmission. Replacing a transmission is quite costly so it is crucial to get any leak fixed as soon as possible.
Identifying Transmission Fluid Leaks
If you have a transmission fluid leak, you’ll find it near the front or middle of your car. Look for reddish drips (automatic transmission) or brownish (manual transmission) near the transmission filler tube, near the transmission fluid drain hole and at the selector shaft. You may also notice a leak between the transmission and engine.
The Most Common Causes of Transmission Fluid Leaks
Transmission leaks can be the result of minor or serious issues. In both cases, however, you need to act fast and get the leaks checked immediately before you do irreparable damage to your transmission.
Seals, in general, crack or wear out over time. In the case of your transmission, especially if it is automatic, the multiple seals sustain hydraulic pressure and are often exposed to high temperatures. Naturally, these rubber and metal seals are eventually damaged, causing fluid to leak. Your transmission has a number of seals that must be inspected and sometimes replaced to avoid leakage. For example, your mechanic needs to inspect the pan gasket, plug seals, sensors, shifter housing seal, input shaft seal, output shaft seal, tail housing seal, and speedometer input seal.
Transmission Fluid Pan Gasket
The oil pan gasket is one of the seals which could fail and cause your transmission fluid to leak. High temperature and sometimes poor manufacturing cause the gaskets to wear out.
Transmission Fluid Pan and Drain Plug
The transmission pan can often sustain damage such as small punctures, or drain plugs and bolts can loosen, causing leaks. If your transmission pan is extensively damaged by road debris, it will lose fluid quickly and you’ll become aware, in a relatively short time, that something is wrong with your transmission. However, if the puncture to the pan is minor or if your drain plug or bolts are loose, you may not notice the leak right away.
Transmission Fluid Line Damage
The line or pipe through which transmission fluid travels is made of durable aluminum or steel with rubber. However, road debris and frequent exposure to heat can eventually cause this line to crack or even break, therefore, resulting in a leak.
Transmission Torque Pump
The hydraulic torque pump is what sends the transmission fluid into your vehicle’s transmission system. Since it creates pressure to move the fluid, it can crack and leak transmission fluid. Also, if its needle bearings are faulty, this could also cause a leak.