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Transmission Pan Gasket

About 25K miles ago, the Toyota dealer replaced a seal in my automatic transmission ($600). I notice now that there is a small leak around the pan gasket. It appears that they used one of these silicone make-a-gasket products instead of a real gasket. What do you think of this practice? I would like to have some ammo to argue that they should replace the gasket free of charge.

First, go back to your original receipt and see what you got charged for. Your case may be stronger if you got charged for a gasket that isn’t there.

Without knowing the model & year (and even then having to assume that it is a Toyota) it might be that no one can answer you.

I can say that for some makes & models the use of such products can be quite normal and even recommended. I once called a Dodge dealer to price a new trans pan gasket for a Dodge Caravan, and was told that there isn’t one (at least one that is OEM), and that standard practice was to use make-a-gasket stuff.

I will also add, as jayhawkroy said, that you need to check the original receipt. If, for example it was the front seal that was replaced this doesn’t require pulling the pan. So it may be that the pan seal is a lot older than the 25K ago and that seal job.

Something tells me that you won’t have much luck with this issue. Whatever warranty came with this service expired long ago, and the gasket leak could be caused by a number of causes that might not have been their fault.

It is always a good idea to drop the pan, have the fluid changed, and have the filter cleaned every 30,000 miles anyway. Go to a different shop and go ahead and get it done now, but before you sign the estimate, ask them to be sure they use the proper gasket.

It can’t hurt to ask for some leeway, but even if they admit their mistake, do you really want them doing any more work on your car? If there is an OEM gasket for this pan, and they didn’t use it, I wouldn’t let them touch my car again.

The invoice shows the repair was “rear main/front pump seal”. The only parts are 2 seals, type T oil, one for $23 and one for $7. I did have the transmission serviced at 89K vs. the seal at 110K. Does the seal work I had done not require removal of the pan? Thanks.

I don’t know a shop to trust. When I first had the seal leak, AAMCO wanted $1200 to repair. I thought well I will try the dealer, it was $600 that I mentioned. Maybe you are right, I should get it serviced and make sure they intend to use a gasket. How do I find a reputable shop in Asheville, NC area?

Try the Mechanics file on this site for recommendations.

I have tried different searches of the site and cannot find a Mechanics file, or list. All I found was someone complaining that only positive comments were accepted.
How do I find the file? Thanks.

It is at

Click “Find a Mechanic” and follow the on-screen instructions.

It is likely that the pan did not come off for the 110K seal work. The last time it came off (and thus the current gasket put in place) was probably at 89K - if the service was pan & filter.

In any case, as Whitey mentioned below, you’re due to have the pan/filter services anyway.

Thanks to all for your help.
I took it to a transmission shop listed in the Mechanics file for my area for service. They were terrific. Luckily, nothing serious was wrong. As several of you mentioned it was time for service anyway.
At some point either at service or pump seal replacement, the dealer installed a cork pan gasket of all things.

I prefer fiber gaskets myself over the cork. While there are some transmissions which require the use of an RTV type sealer in place of a gasket, this is not one of them.


So which is it, cork or “make a gasket”? Cork is 50s technology, bad for today. RTV is probably superior to that.

I will only add this since you seem to have gotten the problem ironed out.
Any shop that uses liberal quantities of RTV silicone is a bit suspect in my opinion.
There’s nothing I hate worse than to see globs of RTV sticking out. It’s not only unprofessional and downright ugly, it can also be damaging.

More than one engine has been totally trashed when globs of RTV used on an oil pump flange came loose and plugged up an oil galley.

Also agreed that cork gaskets are to be avoided. I’ve seen several transmission pan cork gaskets that oozed transmission fluid right through them just like a sponge.