If you notice a pinkish liquid dripping from your car onto your driveway, there is a good chance that you have a transmission fluid leak. Transmission fluid serves as an oil and hydraulic fluid which lubricates moving parts, cools the transmission, and facilitates gear shifts.
Due to the many important purposes that transmission fluid serves, even minor leaks can have a detrimental impact on one of your car’s most important—and expensive—components. It is essential to take your car to a mechanic immediately to resolve the issue and determine the cause to prevent future leaks. Below, we have listed some of the most common causes of transmission fluid leaks to help you get to the bottom of the issue.
A transmission pan is responsible for keeping automatic transmission fluid inside of the transmission. Because the pan is located underneath the vehicle, it is susceptible to damage from rocks and debris that fly up at the undercarriage while driving. If the transmission pan becomes cracked, punctured, or otherwise damaged, it will be unable to perform its job and a transmission fluid leak will likely occur.
The torque converter is a type of fluid coupling located between the engine and transmission that helps connect the power source to the load. Generally, the space inside of the torque converter is full of transmission fluid, which helps it accomplish its role of transferring power from the engine to the transmission. If the body of the torque converter is damaged, the transmission fluid inside of it will begin to leak. In this case, it is best to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic as a cracked torque converter is not an easy fix.
One of the easiest causes to solve is a loose drain plug. If you recently changed or checked your transmission fluid and failed to tighten the plug completely, leaking can occur. To resolve the issue, simply tighten the plug—but not too tight. Overtightening the drain plug can cause it to become stripped, which may also result in leaking.
Another common cause of transmission fluid leaks is a faulty transmission line. A transmission consists of various lines that run between its components to provide a consistent flow of transmission fluid. Such lines are generally constructed from steel or aluminum and are quite durable. However, if there is a bad connection or the transmission line is damaged in some way, then a transmission fluid leak will occur.