It is quite common for people to notice a leak under their car when there is damage or wear and tear on the transmission. This major component to your vehicle’s engine needs to be properly maintained. A part of that is watching for signs of leaks. In most cases, you’ll learn about these either by seeing the leak under your car or being told by your mechanic that you have one. There are a few key things to know about these leaks including what you should do to keep them at bay.
#1: Look under your car
If you believe your vehicle may have some type of transmission problem, such as leaks, the first place you’ll likely spot a leak is under the car. After it has been sitting for an hour or more, leaks can be seen. These tend to be colored fluid, sometimes green and other times red (depending on if you have an automatic or manual transmission.) In either case, you’ll know that it’s not oil because it will be a lighter color. It will be thick, too. If you notice this, take your vehicle into a transmission repair shop for inspection and treatment.
#2: Look under your car with a flashlight
It can be hard to see leaks this way. In some cases, mechanics will need to remove components of the transmission drip pan to spot them, in fact. However, if you look under your car at the base of the transmission, you may see them. Use a clean towel to wipe the bottom and sides of the system. If you notice a significant amount of green or red fluid on the towel, this indicates a leak is present. use a can of engine degreaser to remove as much as possible, then drive the car. See if any new fluid has developed. This means a leak is present.
#3: Have your vehicle properly inspected
Ultimately, the only real way you will know if there is a leak, where it is, and how to fix it is to have a professional take a look. The good news is that this can be done as a part of the normal inspection of your car. For example, you can bring your car in for an oil change and ask for an inspection of the transmission for leaks. You can also ask a transmission specialist, who is better suited to understanding the underlying problem, for this inspection. The goal is to learn if it is present and, if so, what is broken and needs repair.
In most cases, transmission fluid leaks occur because of wear and tear. Many times, you will not notice them unless they are significant – or your mechanic points them out to you while you bring your car in. When you see fluid leaks, though, this may indicate the problem is severe. You don’t want to operate your vehicle when there is a leak present.