How to Troubleshoot a Chevy Transmission Leak

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General Motors makes Chevrolet cars and trucks. If a Chevy has gear-shift issues, there is a good chance the transmission is faulty. To save money, you can troubleshoot the Chevy yourself for a transmission leak before taking it to a mechanic.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands, 4
  • Flashlight
  • Old rag

Checking the Transmission

  • Move the Chevy vehicle from its parked spot. If there is any red fluid on the ground, then the transmission is leaking.

  • If the engine is cool, remove the radiator cap. Check the fluid for a reddish-brown oily residue floating in the coolant. If there is, the transmission cooler is leaking and needs a replacement.

  • Slide a jack underneath the frame of the vehicle to raise it. Place a jack stand under each corner of the frame to evenly distribute the weight. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands and make sure that they are secure. With a flashlight, check the transmission underneath the vehicle for leaks. If it's been leaking over a period of time, there will be accumulated fluid and dirt over the transmission.

  • Wipe the transmission clean with an old rag to make it easier to pinpoint where the leak is. Thoroughly check the service pan, because the most common leaks are due to the pan gaskets. If so, replace the gasket and transmission filter.

  • Get a closer look at the front of the transmission, which is bolted to the engine. Inspect it with a flashlight. Fluid dripping from this part of the transmission means that the front seal is broken. Contact a shop to completely remove the transmission and repair the pump bushing.

  • Inspect all the electrical connectors on the transmission with a flashlight. If any connector seals are seeping fluid, then the leak is internal. Removing the transmission isn't necessary. Access the leak through the pan.

  • Slide over to the back of the transmission and inspect the tail shaft seal, which is where the driveshaft spline connects to the transmission. If there is leaking, the tail shaft bushing will need replacing with a new seal. Removing the transmission isn't necessary.

  • Slide the jack under the vehicle to raise it off the jack stands. Remove the jack stands from under the vehicle and set them aside. Lower the vehicle back to the ground. Slide the jack away and off to the side. Open the hood and locate the transmission cooler. Inspect the transmission fluid (if it is a milky color, there is a leak). It has most likely also leaked into the radiator. Contact a shop to remove the transmission and replace the cooler.

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