Does your vehicle appear to be leaking a bright red, clear fluid? If so, you are likely worried about what the substance is, especially if you are not familiar with cars. This type of fluid leak is typically a transmission leak, and it could cause significant mechanical failure if it is not addressed. The following information will give you a better understanding of transmission fluid leaks, what needs to be done to remedy them, and the potential consequences of ignoring the issue.
Test your transmission fluid
Park your vehicle on level ground. You may need to consult your owners manual to determine where the dipstick for your transmission fluid is located. Remove the dipstick and check the color of your transmission fluid and the level of fluid based on the markings on the dipstick. Sometimes the "healthy red color" of transmission fluid is altered to a dark color. This is a sign that the fluid needs to be changed, and it could also be indicative that your transmission is in need of mechanical repairs. You should also pay attention to how the fluid smells. Ideally, it will have a slightly sweet smell, but if it needs to be changed, it may smell burnt.
Replace the dipstick and take your vehicle for a short distance drive.
The idea behind taking your vehicle for a drive is that the short distance will warm the vehicle up and get the mechanical components under the hood moving. Park your vehicle on level ground again. You will need to check the transmission fluid. If the level of the transmission fluid has gone down further. You likely have a transmission fluid leak. You can temporarily top the fluid off, but you need to make getting the hole repaired a priority because the fluid will continue to leak and the problem may worsen over time. If you must drive your vehicle in the meantime, ensure you check the transmission fluid levels regularly because low levels can cause mechanical failure.
If your transmission fails, know your options
Buying a new transmission is an expensive purchase. This is why it is sensible to get leaks repaired before they can cause extensive damage. One alternative to buying a new transmission is getting a transmission rebuilt. This service involves inspecting the failed transmission and replacing the broken components. In most cases, a rebuilt transmission is as good as a new one but will likely be cheaper.
A transmission repair shop, such as S & A Transmission, is a good resource to use to determine the severity of transmission leaks. They can also assess and recommend the most appropriate repair option.