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!9996 Nissan Altima Automatic Transmission Problem Question

The City of Chicago has a terrible problem with potholes. While traveling down a city street and avoiding thousands of them, I finally hit the “Mother of All Potholes” but because it was rush hour had to keep moving with the flow of traffic. I pulled into a parking lot of a local grocery store to shop and when I restarted the car and tried to reverse, the car rolled a couple of feet, then the gears no longer engaged so I was unable to get in gear in reverse or drive. Looking under where the car was parked, there was a pretty big puddle. When I dipped my finger in it, the fluid color was that telltale transmission fluid color red. The fluid was pretty clean. This happened to me today, the car is safe in a parking lot and won’t be towed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, since I don’t know what I am dealing with. My funds are limited since I have been laid off for 6 months. What is the “best and worst case” scenario? I have nightmare images of dancing dollars streaming out of my wallet. Thanks!

Something failed that contains the transmission fluid. Ths could be something as simple as a transmission cooling line to the radiator.

First, the car needs to be towed somewhere where it can be determined what exactly failed from hitting that pothole. Then it can be determined how much it’s going to cost to repair.


I’d bet that a trans cooler line split open when you hit that pothole. 13 years of exposure to the elements (and road salt) could have weakened it enough that banging into a big enough pothole busted it open.

That’s the cheapest answer, anyways. I hope the transmission case itself wasn’t damaged. That wouldn’t be so cheap.

Thank you very much for your replies, I am very stressed out about my car, I am hoping for the best.