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Transmission Fluid Leaks

by | Nov 20, 2023 | Best Western Transmission

For many vehicle owners, transmission problems can quickly raise their stress level, especially when those problems arise from a fluid leak.  Transmission fluid leaks can lead to serious damage and costly repairs to your vehicle.  In this month’s blog post, we review the signs to look for when your vehicle may be leaking transmission fluid, along with the five common causes of transmission fluid leaks.

What is Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid plays a crucial role in your vehicle’s operation. It lubricates the moving parts of your transmission, cools it down, and helps transfer power from the engine to the wheels. Without transmission fluid, your vehicle would quickly lose its ability to move due to a lack of power, and the intense friction and heat placed on transmission components.

Transmission fluid is used in both manual and automatic vehicles and is a specialized lubricant that is typically a distinctive red color, protecting the components of your vehicle’s hard-working transmission.

Signs of a Transmission Fluid Leak

To properly maintain the health of your vehicle’s transmission, your vehicle requires a specific amount of transmission fluid.   When the fluid is diminished it may indicate a leak somewhere in your vehicle’s transmission.

So, how do you spot a possible transmission fluid leak?

The most common signs of a transmission fluid leak may include:

  • a puddle of red fluid under your car,
  • slipping or difficulty with shifting gears,
  • grinding or unusual sounds when shifting,
  • delayed vehicle movement,
  • or a burnt smell from the fluid.

Common Causes of Transmission Fluid Leaks

  1. Faulty Pan Gasket: The pan gasket seals the space between the transmission pan and the rest of the system. Over time, it can become damaged or worn out, leading to leaks. To fix this, the gasket needs to be replaced.
  2. Damaged Fluid Lines: The fluid lines, usually made of metal or rubber, can get damaged due to heat, wear and tear, or impact from road debris. Damaged lines need to be replaced to stop the leak.
  3. Worn Out Seals: Seals in the transmission system prevent fluid from leaking out. Over time, these seals can wear out or break, causing a leak. Replacing the seals can fix this issue.
  4. Malfunctioning Torque Converter: The torque converter pressurizes the transmission fluid. If it malfunctions, it can cause too much pressure leading to leaks. Repairing or replacing the torque converter can resolve this problem.
  5. Loose Transmission Pan: The transmission pan can become loose due to impact or improper installation, causing a leak. Tightening or replacing the pan can fix the leak.

Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent transmission fluid leaks. If you notice any signs of a leak, it is important to address it immediately to prevent further damage to your vehicle. Remember, a small leak today could turn into a big problem tomorrow.

If you have concerns about your transmission or a possible fluid leak, contact the experts at Best Western Transmissions to schedule an inspection.  Our service professionals can provide you with details about any necessary repairs or replacements to keep your transmission working in premium condition.