Autotransmission leak - need some advice

First of all, thanks to all who gave advice on stop leak products. Based on that, I’ve decided not to use them. But, I still have a small seeping leak and I want to keep the car until fall, but not put the money into repairs, just give it charity or sell for cash and let the buyer know about the problem up front and let them deal with it. That said, instead of having to check the a. fluid level all the time, I was thinking of adding a quarter cup of a. t. fluid every two weeks. I know that overfilling a transmission can ruin it, but I thought 1/4 cup every two weeks would make up for what’s leaking. As I’ve said it’s not a large amount that leaks as I don’t drive that much. Should I add it every three weeks, four, or not at all, your thoughts?

You should check the transmission dipstick while the car is running and hot. Add the correct fluid and amount according to the dipstick.
A transmission fluid leak is usually easy to diagnose and inexpensive to repair.
Why not just get it fixed?

The charge for fixing the seal was quoted at 900, and while that’s not a lot for some, it’s a lot for me. My thing is that after putting some money into the car, what next is going to go wrong, and living in NYC, I really don’t need the car anymore. Thank you for your answer. Much appreciated.

Makes sense, $900 is very high for this repair but you live in NYC. Just keep the fluid level up. Use the correct fluid for your car according to the owner’s manual. As far as how often you need to check and replace the fluid, that is up to you to determine. It seems you have. Don’t overfill it as that will cause problems. It will not cause harm to run it a little underfilled.
Maybe you can find a garage on Long Island that will not rip you off so much to repair this leak? It’s never good for a car to feed a leak, and it pollutes the water supply.

Instead of guessing how much fluid to put in, keep a couple of quarts in your car and pour in enough to bring the level to the full mark. You have to pull the dipstick to add fluid anyway so why not make the effort to look at the dipstick. Where exactly is the leak anyway??


Overfilling the trans a little won’t damage it. I’ve routinely overfilled all of my transmissions for decades by 1/2 quart or so. Just consider it fluid insurance. :slight_smile:

Based on the amount quoted I’d think the diagnosis is a leaking torque converter seal and this requires removal of the transmission to replace it. There is always the possibility that once disassembled a converter may be needed if the seal surface is badly grooved.

I’m not a fan of stop leak products but in this situation with light use and no desire to go in for a near 1000 dollar fix you might consider one. If the converter seal is leaking slightly it’s at least possible for a stop leak product to soften and swell up the seal a bit and this may, or may not, stop the leak entirely.

Do you know which seal in the trans is leaking? Is it the Axle seals? Or in center of the tranny? I would go to another shop for a new estimate…Often times its the axle seals and that is NOT an expensive nor difficult jon at all. YOu might be surprised to find out that a diff shop will charge you 200-300 to repair it…I’d say thats def worth it to be able to have transpo… Getting a new car will be FAR more expensive and will have to happen at some time…It’d be nice to save what you have

Check the dipstick every time you fill it up. The engine must be on and fully warmed up, trans in park, and on a fairly level surface when you do. Figure out how much your losing between fill-ups.

The dipstick has a hatched area on it or two dots for the safe fluid level range that this transmission has. For most transmissions, this area is one pint of fluid, or half a quart. If the fluid is in the upper portion of this range, add nothing. If the fluid drops to the lower level of this range, add half a quart to bring it to the upper portion of the range.

Is actually checking the level really that difficult? After all you are already removing the stick just to add fluid.