If you notice a reddish colored fluid underneath your vehicle, you’re probably experiencing transmission fluid leaks. The color could also be greenish and smell pungent.
But how can you be sure that your transmission fluid is leaking? Well, it’s very simple. You just have to check your transmission fluid level. Just like with engine oil, the container for transmission fluid comes with a dipstick. Modern and newer cars even allow drivers to have their transmission fluid checked electronically.
To efficiently check, you should check its level before even warming up your engine and after driving for at least a few miles.
If you notice a significant change in the levels, then you’re definitely experiencing leaks. Read on to learn what causes such leaks so that you may know what to properly do in such a situation.
Is it okay to continue driving if you have a transmission leak?
The answer will depend on the level of your transmission fluid. If upon checking and you see that the level of your transmission fluid is good, then a small leak will not damage your transmission.
However, if the level of your transmission fluid is already low, it is not advised for you to continue driving as your transmission may be damaged. If the fluid level is already low, your transmission may stop shifting. Overheating can also take place. In such instances, you will need to shell out big amounts of money for repair fees.
In both scenarios, the best thing to do is to repair the leak as soon as possible.
But what causes leaks? Is it random trouble that drivers just need to get used to? What follows are four of the top incidents that cause transmission leaks.
Top 4 Causes of Transmission Leaks
1. Your car got involved in an accident.
You need to know that your driveshaft, CV axles, and output shafts are connected to the transmission. If a car gets involved in an accident that involved a head-on collision or impact on the side, some of its parts will be damaged. Such damage will in turn cause your transmission fluid to leak. This is because of the seals around such parts.
This is why it’s important for anyone buying a second-hand car to ask if such a vehicle was involved in an accident. You could also have it checked and ensure that all seals are duly replaced.
2. Poor car maintenance.
People who fail to bring their car to regular maintenance service often experience transmission leaks. This is because of the debris and particle build-up that could easily be avoided if proper regular system maintenance is in place. It’s best for owners to fully immerse themselves in the particular needs of their car by studying the owner’s manual that comes with it. The manual will enlist every significant maintenance activities that should be done. It will also clearly state when one’s transmission fluid should be changed.
3. Regular wear and tear.
The transmission is made up of various metal parts that receive massive pressure and high temperature. Regular wear and tear are inevitable with daily use. To avoid costly labor during repair, you can make use of leak seals that can allow you to efficiently check if leaks are taking place.
4. You have damaged transmission lines.
Transmission lines tend to crack due to debris and hot temperature while driving. Such cracks in transmission lines lead to leaking. Cracked transmission lines drain transmission fluids the fastest. If you’ve noticed that your transmission is leaking and it involves the transmission line, you need to come up with an urgent and immediate solution. Driving for long is not advised.
What is transmission fluid for?
Knowing what transmission fluid is used for will help you better understand the critical role that it plays in ensuring your car’s good driving performance.
1. For lubrication
Cars are kept lubricated by transmission fluid as it flows to the gears. As it flows, it removes unwanted friction. Such action also keeps transmission cool. This is important because immense heat is created every time an engine runs. Transmission fluids ensure that such heat is dissipated by bringing in cooler fluids.
2. For hydraulic power
Hydraulic systems are used in transferring power. To work efficiently, transmission fluid is necessary. It allows for smooth engagement, disengagement, downshifting, and gear changing. To operate fully, transmission fluids are pressurized. Such pressure allows for smooth gear operation. This means that as you drive, your transmission fluid circulates non-stop.
Always remember that driving with leaking transmission fluid is very dangerous if your fluid level is low. As it keeps vital parts lubricated, having little to none will cause your engine to experience so much friction and heat. Driving continuously without even knowing that your transmission fluid is leaking will advance the deterioration of your movable parts. So it’s best to always make it a point to check and verify if you’re transmission fluid is indeed leaking.
If you notice red or greenish fluid underneath your car, you should check your transmission level fluid at once. Never ignore the signs we’ve enlisted because driving with leaking transmission fluid is extremely damaging to your engines.
Transmission fluids are stored in pans that can get damaged by debris or rocky roads. Pan damage, along with the other reasons that we’ve enlisted, can cause transmission leaks. Best to remember all to become a truly responsible driver who is always in control.