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My Car Leaks Red Fluid, is it Safe to Drive?

by Eddie Carrara

If your car leaks red fluid, it's probably transmission fluid, and driving your vehicle with a transmission fluid leak can leave you stranded if too much fluid leaks out. If you feel the transmission slipping, bucking, or jerking in and out of gear or the rpm's go up and the car does not speed up when you accelerate, the transmission fluid is already low, and I recommend you don't drive it in this condition.

If the transmission fluid leak is small, like the size of a dime, and the transmission fluid level is only a little low, drive it to the nearest garage and have it checked, but use common sense. If you have a massive leak, don't drive it, you could end up walking.

What Should You Do if You Have a
Transmission Fluid Leak?

The first thing you should do is check the transmission fluid level by pulling out the dipstick (check the owner's manual for the proper procedure because not every vehicle has the same process). If the fluid level is below the recommended levels, it's best to have the vehicle towed. Driving the vehicle with low transmission fluid could cause damage to the internal parts of the transmission.

What Causes Transmission Fluid Leaks?

The most common cause of a transmission fluid leak is a seal; it could be an axle seal, output shaft seal, input shaft seal, etc. Other causes of a transmission fluid leak are: transmission fluid lines, hoses, and coolers, it's rare you will ever have a cracked case or a gasket leaking, but it can happen.

How Much Does A Transmission Fluid
Leak Cost to Repair?

Because transmission fluid leaks are generally hard to get to, they are also expensive to repair.  Replacing leaking seals will require disassembling other parts of the vehicle, like suspension parts, to remove axles and driveshafts; this is where the cost comes in. It could cost two hundred to four hundred dollars to replace a simple $20 seal.

What Can You Do to Prevent a
Transmission Fluid Leak?

There's not much you can do to prevent a transmission fluid leak except have your car checked over regularly by a trusted mechanic. Transmission seals are made of rubber and are a wearable item. In other words, they don't last forever because the materials wear out like tires and brake pads. So if your car leaks red fluid, check your transmissions fluid level first, and then take the appropriate action. 

If your car leaks red fluid, and you have questions, use the comment box below, and I will answer your question ASAP. Oh, and one more thing, could you "like" this article on Facebook for me? The button is on this page, it's real easy to do, and you never know who could use this information. Thanks. I really appreciate it.

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