Transmission service screw-up


I brought my 1997 Dodge Ram pickup truck to a dealership that I work at to have the transmission fluid and filter chance because I was having some shifting problems. $115 later my truck was shifting beautifully around town but 2 days later when I brought it on a trip on the highway at 70 MPH my “overdrive OFF” light came on and the transmission would not shift into overdrive. I immediately pulled to the side of the interstate and looked in my users manual to see what could be the problem. It says in my manual that if the transmission overheats over 270 degrees Fahrenheit, this will happen. As soon as I got done reading this I smelled transmission fluid. I got out of the truck and looked under it to find a fairly large puddle of ATF on the ground. Looked up at my trans pan and noticed it was wet. Called the dealership and had them tow it back the next day just for them to tell me that my Front Pump Seal was blown and the pan was not leaking so it wasn’t their fault. Went to the dealership, confirmed that there was no fluid leaking from the pan myself and noticed fluid coming from the general area of the pump seal. Wiped off the area with a rag and checked the ATF level so I can figure out how much to add. Found out that there was actually too much fluid in the pan to begin with. Drove off the lot, got to my house about 5 miles away, looked under it again and it was still dry. Haven’t had any problems since but still worry constantly about it and don’t trust it. Is this something that I should worry about or do you think the ATF just found an exit hole and found its way out? Has anyone ever heard if it coming out of the pump seal but having the seal re-seat itself? Im confused. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


You did not blow the pump seal… What happened was the transmission was overfilled, the internals of the transmission churned up the fluid causing air in the hydraulic system which overheated the trans. On the front of those pumps there is a vent hole which relieved the pressure inside the trans and expelled the excess fluid. Where does it go??? Right between the converter and trans on to the ground making it look like the pump seal went. Now that the level is lowered, the trans is not venting any excess fluid which is why you are not seeing any more leaking. If it actually were the pump seal, it would leak until the trans is empty burning up the trans. Keep an eye on the level. Check the level with the vehicle hot, on a level surface and make sure the gear selector is in NEUTRAL. Use ONLY ATF+4 in this trans.



I think they filled the transmission cold and checked it that way. Way too full.


Well I still seem to be making out well. Still no leaking so I know that the pump seal is definitely not the problem. I spoke with the service manager and explained the situation and he agreed to cover the towing charges because what had happened was their fault. Thanks for the replies!


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