What is a leaking transmission fluid inspection?
Transmission fluid lubricates all the internal parts of the transmission. In cars with an automatic transmission, the fluid also serves as a coolant and a power transmitter.
Transmission fluid can begin leaking due to damage from road debris or loose/worn seals. So, during a transmission fluid inspection, your mechanic will check for any obvious damage and the integrity of your seals.
How to get your leaking transmission fluid inspected
Because fluids follow paths of least resistance, the spot the transmission fluid is dripping from may not be anywhere near the source of the leak. This is why it’s important to take your vehicle to a trained professional for a transmission fluid inspection.
You can expect your mechanic to check:
- All transmission seals—especially around the dipstick, speedometer o-ring, input/output shafts of the transmission, and the front pump
- Fill/drain plugs—these are sometimes not tightened properly after emptying and filling the transmission
- Fluid pan—punctures from road debris or cracks due to being loose
- Pan gasket—damage to this part is common and an easy fix
- Fluid lines—cracks from stiffness due to extreme heat or road debris
- Torque converter—possible cracks or faulty needle bearings
- Transmission oil cooler—easy to identify since it may mix with antifreeze in the radiator and create a thick pink slush
When do I need to get my leaking transmission fluid inspected?
If you think there might be a leak, you should take your car in for a transmission fluid inspection immediately.
Loss of fluid will expose your transmission to heat and friction it was not designed to handle. If the problem is not fixed promptly, it can lead to very expensive repairs down the line.
Some early signs of a leaky transmission are:
- Reddish fluid pooling beneath your car
- Antifreeze/coolant appearing slushy and pink
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