Longview Auto Repair

Why Is My Car Leaking Transmission Fluid?


The transmission is a critical component of your vehicle, in charge of transferring power from the engine to the wheels. To keep the transmission running smoothly, it needs proper lubrication, which is provided by transmission fluid. If you catch transmission fluid leaking from your vehicle, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent damage to the transmission and avoid costly repairs. 

Causes of a Transmission Fluid Leak

There are several reasons why your transmission might be leaking fluid:

  • Damaged seals or gaskets: Over time, the seals and gaskets that keep transmission fluid inside the transmission can wear out, crack, or break. This can cause fluid to leak out of the transmission.
  • Loose or damaged transmission pan: The transmission pan is a metal or plastic container that houses the transmission fluid. If the pan is loose, damaged, or has a faulty gasket, fluid can leak out.
  • Faulty torque converter: The torque converter is necessary for transferring power from the engine to the transmission. If it's damaged, fluid can leak out of the transmission.
  • Damaged transmission cooler lines: The transmission cooler lines carry transmission fluid to and from the radiator. If they're damaged or corrupted, fluid can leak out.

Signs of a Transmission Fluid Leak

Here are some common signs that your vehicle has a transmission fluid leak:

  • Low fluid level: If you notice that your transmission fluid level is low, it could be a sign of a leak.
  • Burning smell: Transmission fluid has a distinct sweet scent. If you witness a burning smell, it could be a sign that transmission fluid is leaking onto the hot engine parts and burning.
  • Slipping gears: A lack of transmission fluid can cause your vehicle to slip out of gear or hesitate when shifting gears.
  • Transmission warning light: Some newer vehicles have a dashboard warning light that will illuminate when there is a problem with the transmission, including a fluid leak.

Repair Options for a Transmission Fluid Leak

If you suspect that your vehicle has a transmission fluid leak, it's essential to bring it to a qualified auto repair shop as soon as possible. Here are some repair options that may be recommended:

  • Replace damaged seals or gaskets
  • Tighten or replace the transmission pan
  • Replace the torque converter
  • Replace damaged cooler lines

In some cases, a transmission fluid leak may require a complete transmission overhaul or replacement. However, if you catch the problem early and address it promptly, you can avoid more extensive and expensive repairs. For all your transmission maintenance and repair needs, consider Longview Auto & Tire for the job.

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