7 Transmission Fluid Leak Causes and Fixes

A little puddle of red fluid below your vehicle suggests a transmission fluid leak, which is not a good sign. A leaking transmission can pose problems for your car, truck, or SUV. Most of the time, it’s a minor issue. The essential thing is to discover it early and repair it before it causes severe transmission damage.

Transmission fluid, commonly known as transmission oil, lubricates and protects transmission parts the same way as motor oil does for other engine components. Low fluid levels might harm the transmission’s performance and damage critical parts if there is a leak.

It may cost you a lot of time, money, and misery if your car’s transmission fluid leaks. The first step to solving this problem is to find out the cause of the transmission fluid leak. 

What are the most typical causes of leaks like this? What can be done about transmission leaks? Continue reading for more information.

Common Causes of Transmission Fluid Leaks

1. Cracked Pan Gasket

A damaged pan gasket is one of the most common sources of transmission leaks. If the gasket becomes frayed, you’ll need to replace it because the fluid within will continue to seep out. This is a simple problem to solve. All you have to do now is get a new gasket (which is relatively inexpensive). 

Also, ensure the pan’s nuts are correctly tightened. If they aren’t, there could be a leak. After a transmission fluid replacement, the pan might not be fully secured, resulting in a transmission leak.

What you should do now is tighten the bolts, which is a simple task. However, if this problem is not handled immediately, it could result in significant damage.

2. The Transmission Pump

The transmission pump pushes transmission fluid through the lines. Because the pump is such a workhorse, transmission fluid leaks are typical.

When the pump forces the transmission fluid throughout the system, the pump’s body usually breaks somewhere, and fluid seeps out or is pushed out. In this instance, a new pump is almost always recommended.

3. Seals Are Broken

Hydraulic pressure is maintained in an automatic gearbox using a variety of transmission seals. However, these seals will break and wear out over time, especially if they are frequently exposed to heat.

If this causes a transmission leak, there are several parts in the transmission to inspect. The leaking seal is most typically found in either the input or output shaft.

Otherwise, the gearbox pan, driveshaft, plug seals, sensors, shifter housing seal, valve body, tail housing seal, and speedometer input seal should all be inspected.

4. Transmission Pan Damage

In most cases, the transmission fluid pan will last the entire life of the vehicle. However, because the pan is fastened to the transmission and most likely contains at least one drain plug, a leak can quickly happen if one of these components becomes loose or damaged.

If you have an accident or run over a large rock that your transmission pan can’t clear, the pan itself could be damaged. It could result in a dent or break in the pan that you are unaware of. If you find out that your transmission pan is leaking, replacing it is usually the best solution.

5. Torque Converter Leakage

Another cause of gearbox leaks is a problem with the torque converter in the car. The torque converter has a hydraulic pump that generates transmission pressure. This pressure then distributes fluid throughout the system.

The transmission will leak if there is a crack in the converter body or a problem with the needle bearings. It’s challenging to identify a transmission leak to the torque converter, and once it’s found, it’s pretty expensive to fix because you must replace the torque converter altogether.

6. Broken Fluid Line

Because the fluid line for the transmission is made of aluminum or steel, it is built to last. However, if it is damaged due to extreme heat exposure, the line will eventually split, allowing transmission fluid to spill. Even the strongest aluminum or steel will not be able to prevent this.

7. Installation

Finally, installing a transmission is a serious undertaking, and if done incorrectly, fluid may spill. The transmission pan is the most typical source of a transmission leak caused by improper installation.

A leak could be the result if the pan is not mounted correctly, or the wrong bolts are used to hold it. Transmission oil will leak from the pan due to something as simple as these bolts. Hopefully, all that is required is to tighten the bolts.

Maintaining Your Vehicle’s Transmission

When it comes to car repairs, transmission problems are frequently among the most costly and inconvenient, so it’s essential to know how to take the best care of your transmission. Regularly checking your transmission fluid levels and quality is one of the simplest things you can do. 

Before you scrutinize the dipstick, make sure you know how to check the transmission fluid properly. Some vehicles require the engine to be turned on, while others require it to be turned off. The fluid should be a bright pink colour and smell good in most circumstances. The fluids from some manufacturers are a different colour.

Check that you have the proper kind of transmission fluid if you need to add more. Remember to schedule transmission flushes regularly, which we recommend every 30,000 miles.

We also recommend that you have your coolant system regularly serviced to ensure that your engine cooling system works correctly and appropriately cooling the gearbox fluid.

Another recommended maintenance habit to develop is to get your transmission inspected at least once a year by a professional and licensed transmission repair specialist. You’ll be able to see if any difficulties need to be addressed soon, and you’ll be able to start organizing your budget accordingly.

It’s not a good idea to neglect a faulty transmission. Examine under your car if you notice a leak or if your vehicle’s performance appears to be off in any way, and figure out what the problem is and resolve it as soon as possible so we can get your car back to its best.

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