Once you see the telltale red spots on the ground, your transmission has probably been leaking for weeks. The fluid level has dropped, and there’s no question about it: you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. You’re going to have to deal with the transmission leak sooner rather than later.

Where Does the Typical Transmission Fluid Leak Originate?

What to Do if You Have a Transmission Leak in Your CarLike any system that contains fluid, there are a bunch of points that need a tight seal. For the transmission, there are a handful of common places you might find your leak, such as these:

  • Transmission oil pan. On the bottom of an automatic transmission, a pan acts as a reservoir from which transmission fluid is drawn and to which it returns. The oil pan is bolted to the transmission case and sealed with silicone or a gasket. The oil pan gasket deteriorates over time, and fluid can begin to leak.
  • Transmission cooler hoses. In nearly all modern vehicles with an automatic transmission, the fluid is cooled by routing it through a radiator-like device behind the front grille. The transmission cooler is fed by rubber and steel lines from the transmission, and at several joins along the transmission cooler hoses, a leak may form.
  • Valve body. The part inside the transmission where shifts are controlled is the valve body. On some vehicles, particularly front-wheel-drive vehicles, the valve body is bolted to the side of the case, much like an oil pan on the bottom. And, like the oil pan, the gasket can develop a drip.
  • Axle shaft seal. An axle or driveshaft attaches to the transmission, directing power to the drive wheels. Where the shaft enters the transmission there is a seal used to keep the fluid on the correct side. Over thousands of miles and over several years, that seal can break down or tear, and fluid will leak past.

Regardless if your transmission leak originates from one of these common places or another location, it’s going to need repair.

What’s Involved in a Transmission Leak Repair?

What to Do if You Have a Car Transmission LeakCatching the leak early on and dealing with it swiftly can make all the difference in the repair cost. If your vehicle is operated with low transmission fluid for any length of time, catastrophic damage could be the result.

A transmission leak repair can be a relatively minor situation in many cases. A transmission oil pan, for example, can be resealed and new fluid installed for a couple hundred dollars on many vehicles. In fact, it’s a good idea to do this as a routine maintenance item, including changing the transmission fluid filter if your car has one.

The same goes for a transmission cooler hose leak or an axle shaft seal. The repair itself is fairly small, taking only a couple of hours and a few hundred dollars to get back to normal. A valve body is more involved, but not by much.

If you decide to ignore the issue, your transmission could begin to slip. Then you’re in trouble and you’re going to have to open your wallet much wider. When symptoms are shown, you’re likely going to need extensive transmission work - either a transmission rebuild or a replacement.

Regardless of the repair you encounter, you’ll want to get all the old, dirty fluid out of your transmission and put clean, new fluid in. It’s a process known as a transmission flush and it carries away metal filings and contaminants.

What Does a Transmission Flush Cost?

Transmission Leak RepairThe cost varies depending on the type of vehicle you drive and how much and what type of fluid is required. A typical automatic transmission can need up to seven and a half quarts of fluid, plus two or three for the torque converter and lines. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) may need a little less, but the fluid is more expensive. And, premium brands often require a specialty fluid for their transmissions.

You might be able to have your transmission flush performed as part of the repair process for a discounted rate. You can expect the transmission flush cost to be anywhere from $100 on the low end to $500 and up for luxury vehicles.

If your vehicle just isn’t worth the money and hassle of a transmission fluid leak repair, we have a solution. DamagedCars will give you a guaranteed offer for your car. We buy your vehicle as it is, transmission leak included. We’ll pick it up free of charge and pay you on the spot, and you don’t have to worry about that red fluid drip any longer.