1994 Toyota Corolla transmission issue

This car was running fine until my daughter brought it to a reputable tire shop to have new tires put on and an alignment done. The day after this was done, she started having issues with the car not wanting to move when it is in drive. It would eventually take off, but very reluctantly, and once she got going down the road it would be fine. After a couple days like this, it just wouldn’t go at all in drive unless someone was pushing it. It goes fine in reverse.

The transmission fluid level had been recently checked, and was fine. Now when this problem cropped up and it was checked, the fluid was gone! We don’t notice anything on the ground where it has been parked. Any thoughts or suggestions?

The owner’s manual has a procedure for checking the transmission fluid. Make sure that you are following it.

If it has been checked correctly and now shows no fluid then you can’t drive it. You could fill it (use only the EXACT correct fluid specified in the owner’s manual) and see if the leak is slow enough to make it to a shop. But a tow truck is a better idea.

Basically, you sprung a big leak. It’s probably plastered all over the underside of the car rather than being on the ground. It has to be checked and fixed.

It is very very unlikely that this is related to tires/alignment. A pretty big and abnormal screw up would have been needed. But if you get it to a good, local transmission shop they should be able to tell you what was leaking and verify if it was from some kind of damage as opposed to normal age. You also have to cross your fingers that it didn’t get completely cooked by trying to drive it like this. That is a distinct possibility as the slipping creates a lot of heat fast and burns stuff up.

When the engine is cold remove the radiator cap and look at the coolant. If it’s full of oil there’s a leak in the transmission fluid cooler in the radiator.


If I ate carrots and went blind the next day does that mean carrots are bad for the eyes? Tires and alignment could have nothing to do with this unless they jacked it up by the transmission pan or lines . Look under the car and see if the lines or pan are damaged.

Do you take the car to those quick & cheap oil change places? Sometimes the techs there are inexperienced and make a mistake and drain the transmission oil rather than the engine oil. I did this once as a teenager on my dad’s truck, boy was my dad mad!!! lol … If you had the oil changed just before all this happened, that could explain why the transmission oil was all gone. If so, check the oil level on the dipstick, it might be way over filled.