Your transmission can leak transmission fluid for a number of reasons. There may be a hole in the pan, caused by punctures from road debris, scraping the bottom of your car on a speed bump, or wear and tear. The seals around the gaskets may be worn due to age, or the plugs may not be fully tightened.
Transmission leaks need to be repaired quickly. More extensive and costly problems can occur if the car is driven with low transmission fluid. Knowing what the signs are of a transmission fluid leak can help you to identify a leak early on. Here are a few of those signs.
Transmission Fluid Puddles Under Your Car
One of the tell-tale signs of a transmission fluid leak is a puddle of transmission fluid beneath the car. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to distinguish transmission fluid from other types of car fluids, which can cause them to miss this sign.
The first thing to do if you notice a puddle under your car is to dip your finger in the fluid. Look at the color of the fluid. If needed, wipe the fluid on a white surface, such as a paper towel or rag to truly see the color. Transmission fluid is red, rust-colored, or brown in color. If the fluid is green, you may be dealing with coolant. If the fluid is dark brown or black, it is likely oil.
Transmission fluid isn't the only red fluid in your car. Some types of antifreeze fluid can be red, as can windshield wiper fluid. As such, you will also want to pay attention to the way it feels. Transmission fluid is slick and oily to the touch. If you smell it, it will smell like petroleum or may have a slight burnt smell to it. These two factors differentiate transmission fluid from other red fluids.
Your Transmission Is Slow to Start or Shifts Roughly
Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to start and operate properly. If the fluid is running low, the transmission may be slow to start or may shift roughly.
When your transmission is operating properly, you may not notice that your car is even shifting from one gear to the next. But when the fluid is low, you may find that it lags or shakes as it shifts.
Unfortunately, this problem is not linked solely to a transmission fluid leak. There are many reasons a transmission may be slow to start or shift roughly. As such, if you notice this sign, your transmission needs to be inspected quickly.
The Transmission Fluid Keeps Running Low
The last sign that you may have a transmission fluid leak is that your transmission fluid keeps running low.
If you have an older car, your car has a dipstick that you can use to check the transmission fluid level. The transmission dipstick works in the same fashion as an oil dipstick.
If you have a newer car, the transmission may be sealed off, and you may be unable to check the fluid level yourself. However, an electronic indicator might tell you when fluid is running low in your transmission. If the fluid is running low, you can top it off.
Fluid in a transmission should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. If your transmission is running properly, you will rarely have to top off the fluids between routine transmission flushes. If you find that your fluid is running low and you top it off, and then it runs low again, you likely have a leak.
Is your car displaying any of these symptoms? If so, you likely have a transmission fluid leak. Bring your car to American & Foreign Transmission Service in Reno, Nevada as quickly as possible to have your transmission inspected and repairs made. Contact us now to schedule your appointment.