RDX radiator and transmission repairs

Please help! I have an 2007 Acura RDX with 115k combination city and highway miles. While driving on the highway, debris from a previous accident came flying across the road and under my vehicle. Once I parked, the vehicle started and was capable of going in reverse but not drive. Once moved vehicle tow truck, lots of fluid ran out of the front end. I was told by one mechanic the radiator was busted and depending on the amount of driving I did after accident the trans may need work because it leaked a lot of fluid. The second mechanic stated the line that runs from radiator to trans was ripped off from whatever I ran over on the highway. He stated the whole thing need to be replaced because it’s one unit. Shockingly, only the radiator was replaced and 2 quarts of trans fluid added. The car was driven 10 miles and parked at home. 36hours later a loud banging noise was heard from hood area. Vehicle was turned off then attempt to turn back on failed. Towed back to shop and a week later I am told, the battery went dead because of reduced fuel in trans. I had brand new battery installed 3 months ago. I am tired. I have no idea why the extremely loud noise. I don’t know why “entire unit” was never replaced by insurance as originally explained by shop. Please help! Can someone explain the connection between radiator and transmission? My last explanation of the noise was “it sounds like the fan, they go bad sometimes” Sorry for the long message.

This makes absolutely no sense. There is no fuel in the transmission, and an empty transmission will cause a bad transmission, not a dead battery.

I’m a little confused as to what happened; perhaps you can clarify. You’re saying that the shop initially said they needed to replace the radiator, and the transmission line to the radiator, but then they only replaced the radiator and left the line alone?

If so, then sounds like your transmission fluid leaked out again. And if that’s the case, the shop is responsible because they diagnosed the problem and then forgot to fix it before sending you on your way.

Thank you for your quick response. Yes, the shop said the whole line had to be replaced because it’s one unit. They also said the debris hooked onto that line and ripped it caused the nut or screw to come off which in my opinion might be why the transmission fluid leaked. The shop fixed what my insurance approved. Now they are in the middle of this mess. My vehicle never ever made that loud noise before this. It sounds like something is loose or broken. My gas is something that rotates like a fan or belt. My original thought is if the vehicle won’t move in drive, that’s a shifting issue. If the line from the radiator to the trans was compromised, ripped, snapped or whatever, the issues surrounding the trans must be addressed. Are you saying when transmission leaks fluid the transmission is bad? Will any of this affect my alternator or engine? This fluid leaking is upsetting. I change full synthetic every time the light comes on. I replaced the transmission fluid about 8 months ago when the light signaled it was needed soon. It took many hours for the shop to complete as I looked on. What mechanical explanations can you offer for the damages or noises described? Thank you

Have you received an estimate to repair this dead battery problem? If the engine won’t start why are you concerned about a transmission failure?

Yeah, something’s still wrong here. A shop with half a brain is going to refuse to repair the car at all if insurance won’t pay for the repair that is needed. They know that only swapping radiators will mean your transmission fluid will still leak, and they know that you will be back in their faces shortly when it goes out, and they know that you might be taking them to court over it. They would not want to deal with that.

I’m saying when the transmission leaks too much fluid and then you drive it, the transmission becomes damaged.

Specifically referencing the broken and leaking transmission cooler line, no.

That’s your engine oil, not your transmission fluid.

Don’t know yet - there isn’t really enough data to form a hypothesis. But if the transmission cooler line is broken, and they did not fix it, and it’s still leaking transmission fluid, then if you do get it started and it runs without making banging noises, you will damage the transmission if you try to drive it.

I think you just need to get it to a dealer or to a shop that knows what they are talking about, or maybe something is missing in the translation. The radiator carries both antifreeze for engine cooling and transmission fluid to cool the fluid. So a line runs from the transmission to the radiator. If this line is ripped off you will lose transmission fluid and the car won’t move. I dunno, I’ve lost fluid like this several times and never had and transmission damage. It just stops working. The lines to the transmission from the radiator can be changed no problem.

Loud bang, sitting there? Battery exploded? I don’t know but it shouldn’t be that hard to find. Related to running over the debris? Hard to say but just get it to the dealer and have them take a look.

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@Betty_Thomas You should call your insurance agent and also find a relative or friend that can explain your problems better. You seem to have things effecting things that can’t possibly be related. This helper should be with you when the repair shop is telling you things.

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the battery was replaced. The transmission concern is due to the fact that I was told by my mechanic that replacing the radiator will not fix the transmission problem. I was then told by a different mechanic that the line from the radiator goes into the transmission. This design is no longer the case on newer models but my model the radiator line goes into the transmission. Your response regarding issues unrelated my be a misunderstanding about the original damages sustained. I like the suggestion to take someone with me. Thanks

Your advice is priceless. Thanks so much

Yeah, whoever told you that is beyond incompetent. Never let him touch your car again.


The radiator cools the transmission fluid. Sort of hard to believe that 220 deg coolant could do a very good job at cooling, but the transmission fluid gets even hotter than that, so it works I guess. There is a hose containing transmission fluid from the transmission to the radiator, and another from the radiator back to the transmission. You can usually see the hoses if you look carefully, near the bottom of the radiator. Trans fluid is pumped by the transmission to the radiator and back in a loop and in the process heat from the transmission is dissipated in the radiator. The coolant and radiator fluid don’t mix (when things are working correctly), only heat is exchanged. If that process stopped working the transmission could stop working and/or suffer internal damage. If the coolant and transmission fluid mixed and coolant got into the transmission fluid, that can seriously damage the transmission.