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1999 Nissan Maxima SE leaking transmission fluid

Okay, I was driving down the freeway and suddenly my temperature gauge zoomed to Hot and steam rose out of the car. I stopped the car and let it cool down, then drove the 5 miles very slowly to the mechanic-stopping twice to let it cool completely. I got it to the mechanic and a huge crack appeared across the top of the radiator when the car was on. New radiator time-gotcha. She has 235K miles on her and before this ran like she was brand new.

Now not a couple days later, I started noticing that transmission fluid was leaking about 1/2 cup of fluid a day dripping down from the axle.

Now funds are tight right now, so can I use a stop leak for transmissions/transaxle?
Would it fix the issue temporarily until I can afford to actually get it fixed?
Would using such a product make the repair more expensive than just letting her sit until the money builds up for the repair?

Do not put any kind of stop leak in it. For one thing, it probably won’t work. For another thing you might turn a $200 problem into a $3000 problem.

When you say its leaking from the axle, are you talking about the axle seal? Or do you just mean you can see it dripping down off of the axle?

The transmission cooler lines run through the radiator. It may just be that the reinstall didn’t go exactly exactly right. Just have the mechanic take another look. There’s no way around having it repaired properly. Most transmission leaks are not a big deal to fix. The only real bad one would be the front pump seal.

I am not at all mechanically inclined outside of basic maintenance, so I could not tell you where exactly the leak is coming from. I put a board under the car and the point where the dripping is occurring is roughly dead center dripping off the axel area.

I live in another state now, so taking it back would not be helpful. But I will take it in if we are talking about something that could be under $500, if not she will have to sit.

Another thing–when cold there is no leaking. Only when she has been driven.

Most of the things that will leak should be under $500 if you find a good, locally owned, independent mechanic. A few common things that won’t break the bank are axle seals, transmission pan, and cooler lines.

The ugly thing would be a front seal because that means the transmission has to come out. But depending on labor rates where you are that could still be a $500 job.

The ugliest would be something like a cracked case - rare.

At the moment its crucial that a) you don’t let it run low on fluid, and b) when you have to add you only add the exact type of fluid specified in your owner’s manual. If you are ever driving along and the transmission starts slipping - the engine revs up but the power not going to the wheels - you must stop immediately (and safely) to avoid completely destroying the transmission.

Plenty of good shops would take a quick look at this without charging much if at all.