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How To Fix Coolant In Transmission

How to Fix Coolant in Transmission: Essential Troubleshooting Steps

How to Fix Coolant in Transmission: Essential Troubleshooting Steps

If you are experiencing coolant in your transmission, it is a serious issue that needs immediate attention. This problem can cause damage to your transmission and result in costly repairs. Here are some essential troubleshooting steps to fix coolant in the transmission.

Step 1: Identify the Source of Coolant
The first step is to identify where the coolant is coming from. Check for any leaks in the cooling system, radiator, or hoses. If there are no visible leaks, it is possible that the coolant is entering the transmission through a faulty transmission cooler.

Step 2: Inspect the Transmission Cooler
Inspect the transmission cooler for any signs of damage or leaks. The transmission cooler is responsible for cooling the transmission fluid, and if it is damaged, coolant can mix with the transmission fluid. If you find any issues with the cooler, it may need to be replaced.

Step 3: Flush the Transmission
To remove the coolant from the transmission, you will need to perform a transmission flush. This process involves draining the transmission fluid, cleaning the transmission system, and refilling it with fresh transmission fluid. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type of transmission fluid to use.

Step 4: Repair or Replace Faulty Components
If the cause of the coolant in the transmission is identified as a faulty component such as a radiator or hose, it will need to be repaired or replaced. A professional mechanic can help determine the best course of action.

Step 5: Test and Monitor
After completing the necessary repairs or replacements, test the transmission to ensure that the coolant issue has been resolved. Monitor the transmission fluid levels and check for any signs of coolant contamination. If the problem persists, further investigation may be required.

Fixing coolant in the transmission is a complex process that requires careful troubleshooting and repair. It is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional mechanic to properly diagnose and fix the issue. Prompt action is crucial to prevent further damage to the transmission and ensure the longevity of your vehicle.


What occurs when coolant enters the transmission?

When coolant enters the transmission, it can cause severe damage to the transmission system. The coolant can contaminate the transmission fluid, leading to improper lubrication and increased friction. This can result in the transmission overheating, slipping gears, and eventually failing completely.

Immediate action is required to prevent further damage:
1. Stop driving the vehicle immediately and have it towed to a professional mechanic.
2. Have the transmission fluid and coolant drained and flushed to remove any contamination.
3. Inspect the transmission for signs of damage, such as burnt smell or metal shavings.
4. Replace any damaged components, including the transmission if necessary.
5. Ensure that the cooling system is properly repaired to prevent future coolant leaks.

Prevention is key:
To avoid coolant entering the transmission in the first place, regularly inspect and maintain the cooling system. Check for any signs of leakage, such as coolant puddles under the vehicle or low coolant levels. Regularly changing the coolant and transmission fluid according to the manufacturer’s recommendations can also help prevent such issues.

Remember, it is essential to consult with a professional mechanic for accurate diagnosis and repair of any transmission-related problems.

How can I determine if there is coolant in my transmission fluid?

To determine if there is coolant in your transmission fluid, you can follow these steps:

1. Park your vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
2. Open the hood and locate the transmission dipstick. It is usually towards the back of the engine.
3. Remove the dipstick from the transmission and wipe it clean with a rag.
4. Reinsert the dipstick completely and then pull it out again.
5. Observe the color and consistency of the fluid on the dipstick. Transmission fluid should be reddish or pinkish in color and have a smooth texture.

If you notice any of the following signs, it could indicate the presence of coolant in the transmission fluid:

  • The fluid appears milky or frothy
  • There is a sweet smell coming from the fluid
  • The fluid level is higher than normal on the dipstick

If you observe any of these signs, it is possible that coolant has mixed with the transmission fluid. This can be an indication of a leaking radiator or a faulty transmission cooler. It is important to address this issue promptly as running a vehicle with contaminated transmission fluid can cause significant damage.

If you suspect coolant has mixed with your transmission fluid, it is recommended to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Could a low level of coolant result in transmission issues?

Yes, a low level of coolant can potentially result in transmission issues. This is because the transmission fluid and engine coolant are often interconnected in automatic transmissions through a cooler inside the radiator. If the coolant level is low, it might not be able to properly cool down the transmission fluid, leading to overheating. Transmission overheating can cause premature wear and tear on the transmission components, leading to transmission failures or malfunctions. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the proper coolant level to ensure the optimal functioning of both the cooling system and the transmission.

Can a coolant leakage cause damage to the transmission?

Yes, coolant leakage can cause damage to the transmission. The transmission and engine cooling systems are often connected, and in some vehicles, the transmission fluid is cooled by passing through a separate cooler built into the radiator. If there is a coolant leak in the cooling system, it can contaminate the transmission fluid or cause it to overheat. This can lead to transmission failure or damage, as coolant is not designed to lubricate or cool the transmission. It is important to fix any coolant leaks promptly to prevent potential transmission issues.

Questions you’ve probably asked yourself

How to fix coolant in transmission?

To fix coolant in transmission, firstly, drain and flush the transmission fluid completely. Next, locate and repair any leaking coolant lines or radiator issues. Afterwards, replace the transmission filter and gasket if necessary. Finally, refill the transmission with the recommended fluid and check for proper operation.

What are the signs of coolant mixing with transmission fluid?

The signs of coolant mixing with transmission fluid include milky or frothy appearance in the transmission fluid, overheating of the engine or transmission, slipping gears, and poor transmission performance.

Can I drive my car with coolant in the transmission?

No, you should not drive your car with coolant in the transmission. Coolant and transmission fluid serve different purposes and have different properties. Driving with coolant in the transmission can damage the transmission components and lead to expensive repairs. It is important to address the issue and fix it properly before driving the vehicle again.

In conclusion, fixing coolant in the transmission is a crucial task for maintaining the optimal performance of your vehicle. By following the steps mentioned above and seeking professional assistance if needed, you can effectively address this issue. Remember, early detection and prompt action are key to preventing further damage to your transmission. So, keep an eye on your coolant levels and take swift action if you notice any signs of coolant mixing with your transmission fluid. With proper care and maintenance, you can ensure a smooth and efficient driving experience.

James Fixman
Written By

James, a seasoned DIY enthusiast and problem solver, is the driving force behind HowToFix.ONE. With a knack for fixing everything from household appliances to automobiles, James shares his wealth of knowledge to help readers navigate the world of DIY fixes. His practical advice and step-by-step guides demystify the process of repair and maintenance, empowering everyone to become their own handyman.

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