Sebring 2004, 2.7l, transmission fluid leak

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:49 PM GMT

Question

Hi Roland, This morning 5 minutes after I parked my Sebring '04 LXi I saw a leak under the engine. It was active leak (not just some drips) and in another 5 minutes there was a paddle 2x3 feet. At the beginning I was hoping that it was coolant (easy fix...) because the tank showed to be empty. Didn't appear to be. I checked the engine oil and the transmission fluid. Engine oil is on the low side (anyways is time for change) but surprisingly the transmission fluid was over the limit. I couldn't see exactly the location, but it is in front right end, close to the engine oil filter. The color (pink) and consistency matches the transmission fluid. That fluid was not changed in the last 55.000 km and I am not sure when (if) it was done before. I bought the car with 115.000 km on board and now it has 170.000 km. No signs of any trouble with transmission while I was driving. Last summer I had trouble with the coolant thermostat, but that was replaced and since it was OK. Here is what I would like to know: Can I drive safely home (about 20 km) since the transmission fluid level shows that over the limit? What could possibly be the problem and how can it be fixed? Thank you. Mitko

Answer

Hi Mitko, The transmission system also has a fluid cooler module which is located as part of the engine coolant radiator (though totally separate from it as far as the fluids are concerned). So there are small diameter metal fittings and hoses and clamps that connect from the transmission to the front radiator assembly. There are several interconnections each with a clamp and so it may simply be one of those clamp is loose. Or one of the hoses may be cracked and thus leaking. I would be inclined to trace over those fluid-carrying lines, focusing on the area where the leak is apparent to see if you you can find a loose clamp to tighten or a hose to possibly wrap or apply a mending to that you could get at a plumbing supply store until you can get a replacement hose. I would avoid driving it with such a leak for concern that the transmission might be mechanically damaged if the leak should suddenly grow larger. You could try 'nursing it' home if it is not convenient to check out now, but stop frequently to check the level of all fluids. The hose connections to the radiator area are on the lower edge of the radiator, separated from each other by a distance but clearly not so large as those for the engine coolant. Please 'rate' my answer #see below#. Thanks, Roland

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