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2003 Jeep Liberty Transmission Fluid Leak

About 2000 miles ago, I had the transmission on my liberty serviced. I had the pan dropped, the fluid drained / refilled, and the filter replaced. The work was done by a jeep dealer. The jeep ran fine with no rough shifting or error codes - in fact, I drove it 500 miles this weekend without incident. This morning, I backed out of my garage and found a big puddle of red fluid on the ground.

I warmed the vehicle up, and checked the transmission fluid level. It appeared to be low, so I added some (about 1/3 a quart). I then looked underneath the jeep and observed red fluid leaking from the transmission pan area. I ran my finger around the bottom of the pan and ended up with more fluid on my hand.

The fluid is clean - no discoloration or burnt odor. What might my problem be? Could it be an improperly sealed trans. pan? Something else? Please advise.

If it helps, the jeep is an '03 and the transmission is original to the vehicle. Bought it with 83K and have done fluid / filter changes at 90K, 120K, and 153K. Currently at 155K.

Did the 500 miles include any off roading? If it is the pan gasket leaking, the Jeep dealer should make it good unles you hit something with the oil pan.

No one can diagnose what is leaking without seeing the Jeep.

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No off-roading. Just highway miles. It’s at my trusted independent mechanic’s shop right now…

First thing I would do is retorque the pan bolts.


Most likely associated w/the prior service. Bring you Jeep and your bill back to that shop and ask them to double check. If you want to do it yourself clean everything off and check after driving a day, might show where the leak is occurring. Whatever you do, don’t torque anything beyond what’s spec’d for the vehicle to try to stop the leak. That will just make the problem worse.

On my truck, when it developed a leak like that it was where the filler tube attached to the transmission pan. It had come a little loose is all. If yours is configured like that, good place to start.

Thank you for your opinions and helpful comments. My independent mechanic was able to look at it today. He told me that the transmission pan was simply rusted out and leaking. New pan, new gasket, some fresh ATF4, and I’m back on the road. 270 bucks for parts and labor. Not too bad, in my humble opinion.