How Transmission Leaks are Detected
Transmission fluid leaks can often be a pain to track down. If you have a leaky transmission, KG Truck & Auto in Glen Burnie, MD has some information for you on what you can expect. We’ve repaired countless leaky transmissions, and now we’re here to share some of our knowledge with you.
Transmission leaks are almost never easy to spot. Due to the high pressure throughout your transmission fluid system, when transmissions leak, they often leak a lot. A pinhole-sized leak can cause a spray of fluid, meaning the leaking spot will be almost undetectable, but there will be a mess of transmission fluid covering the surrounding area. Along the same lines, a slightly torn or rotted gasket will allow transmission fluid to escape from the tiniest of gaps, and the problem will not likely be visible to the naked eye.
Seals also go bad, meaning the leak could be from inside the space where your engine and transmission meet, where you can’t see it, and the fluid will leak out far from the actual source of the problem. We use a variety of techniques to determine where a leak is coming from.
First, the process is much easier with a vehicle lift. Since leaks for the most part will occur in places where it is necessary to easily inspect the underside of the car, lifting it is the first thing we do. Next, we clean as much of the leaked fluid off as we can, to more easily determine where the leak originates. If it isn’t readily apparent where the leak is coming from, a special UV additive can be poured into the transmission fluid. With this chemical, a leak can be spotted using a blacklight and glasses specific for this purpose. Once we zero in on the problem, we fix it, then test it again. If your vehicle mostly leaks while it’s sitting, your problem is most likely a bad transmission pan gasket or something of that nature. If it leaks more when the car is running and in drive or reverse, the problem is more than likely a hose or gasket in the pressurized system.
Knowing how the transmission works when it leaks and having a good idea of common transmission issues goes a long way in determining the source of your leak. Generally, we recommend leaving transmission work up to the experts. It’s easy to get in over your head when working on a transmission and to turn a small problem into a huge one very quickly. Transmission fluid systems have a very low tolerance for error, meaning if everything isn’t done exactly right there is likely to be a complication. Even something as simple as refilling lost fluid can be done incorrectly.
If your transmission is leaking, and you need a professional opinion on what to do next, come talk to one of our technicians today. If you are experiencing an issue, you’ve probably already discovered that buying transmission fluid and topping off your fluid all the time is a tedious and costly activity; we will put an end to that. Call or drop by today.