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transmission pan gasket leak

Identifying Transmission Pan Gasket Leak Symptoms and Solutions

“It’s your transmission” are words no one wants to hear their mechanic say.  All transmission issues aren’t catastrophes if they’re caught early enough. So it's crucial to stay vigilant for any signs of a transmission pan gasket leak, one of the common automatic transmission problems.

Recognizing Different Types of Auto Fluid Leaks

All leaks are not created equal. Identifying what type of fluid is leaking from your car can be a helpful first step in diagnosing the problem. Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is typically a red-brownish color, thinner than motor oil, and might have a "burned" smell when leaked.

Another way to determine if your transmission pan gasket is leaking is to find out exactly where the fluid is coming from.  Leaks from transmission pans generally drip from the front and center of the vehicle, whereas other leaks like power steering fluid, brake fluid, or coolant may be less centralized.  Of course, you should check out any leak immediately, even if it turns out to be something else.

Other Cries for Help

If you don’t notice a puddle under your car, look for other clues.   A burning smell while driving is a fair indication that a gasket is leaking and the fluid is sizzling as it drips on a hot engine.  Your dashboard warning light may alert you to overheating or you may get a “check engine” message.   You might also notice some slipping between gears, or a grinding sound when the transmission is shifting, and these problems can mean you’re critically low on transmission fluid or, worse yet, that a catastrophic failure is looming. 

Act Now!

Like most other auto problems, the sooner you catch it, the better.  Your fluid may not drain all at once—you’ll see a gradual seepage—and that’s the time to check it out, not later.   You or your mechanic may discover a worn or cracked pan gasket, or that the pan needs to be tightened; these are relatively easy, and inexpensive, repair jobs.  More serious problems, such as a cracked fluid line, require more extensive attention.

At Sun Transmissions we are a transmission parts store, where you can find from pan gaskets to automatic transmission clutchsolenoid parts and more. 

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