ATF spew, and what to do?

Can't go anywhere without a working drivetrain
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Keystone
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ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Keystone »

After some rough driving in our van on a recent 104-deg day, miles from civilization, we arrived at the top of a steep hill to an odd smell and a trail of something behind us.

Uh oh. The automatic transmission fluid was leaking out, and things looked pretty grim...

However, on the advice of a kindly Moab mechanic, we attempted to just fill it back up after it had cooled down (I mean really cool) to see if the failure was fatal. Luckily, that overflow was not a rupture of the main seal, but rather some sort of overflow/relief seal in the transmission system. So, it now continues to hold fluid and hasn't leaked since--that was 2500 miles ago now.

As a precaution, we had the fluid flushed, upgrading to synthetic in the process. Just thought this tidbit might save someone out there a big repair bill. Also, a couple of quarts of ATF in the tool kit might be a good idea...
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skater
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Post by skater »

Yeah, the seals in those can pop out then pop back into place. That happened to mine, but the transmission in mine was toast for other reasons (torque converter bad, slipping in 3rd).

I had a transmission temp gauge installed in mine when I replaced the transmission. Worth every penny, because now I know what's happening down there. Of course, I have yet to see it get much above 180 degrees, so there hasn't been anything to worry about!
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Tucsonan
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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Tucsonan »

Add my '94 to the "transmission spewers" list, ...after just cooling and refilling, it has been fine for 1,000 miles. I will be installing a temperature gauge in the near future. Rick
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Keystone
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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Keystone »

Sorry to hear that! After a second ATF spill in another pristine, remote location, I had my mechanic install an aftermarket transmission cooler. $200. That seems to have cured the problem.
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Tucsonan
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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Tucsonan »

Yeah, I was halfway between Pecos and Van Horn Texas. 40 mile tow back to Pecos. Lucky I found out about the refill trick before I had it towed another 40 miles to the nearest transmission shop in Midland.

I am thinking about a aftermarket cooler as well. Rick
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"... but it's a dry heat!"
Gort
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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Gort »

Had the same thing happen to my F350...twice. I put a temp gauge and larger transmission cooler on it 10k miles back, no problems. I flushed the tranny too. Seems common with that transmision. I also carry a gallon of ATF just in case! I plan on adding a cooler to my B190.
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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Travelisaverb »

Just happened to me after a long day of stop and go driving in the desert on the way to burning man. Vehicle was heavy and the elevation was climbing. I thought I was finished! Lost about 6 quarts! Now I know how to treat here better!


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lido14co
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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by lido14co »

But you still made it to Burning Man?


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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Travelisaverb »

Yes.... i realllllllllly lucked out. It happened right as we approached the gate after the sun went down. I only drove about 50 meters before I pulled off the road, and we were towed into a side lot. My other bit of luck, came from another B190 owner who was working as a ranger, and gave me some advice and assistance.

We drove out on our own steam, thanks to someone who brought trans fluid to the playa for me.

I'm thinking of getting a transmission cooler so I can visit death valley.. but How do would it cost to just get a temperature gauge installed?
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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by EdwardM »

I know this is an old thread, but I think it's important for people to know. We just had our transmission spew everywhere while coming over a pass on Colorado. We pushed the van too hard. We made it to a mechanics, after the van cooled for an hour we put in some new ATF and no problem. Our mechanic said that this transmission has an overflow in case it over heats. We just had the transmission filter changed, and the filter was actually plugged up, we think it might have been the stop leak the mechanic put in, so we would definitely not recommend stop leak for this problem.

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Keystone
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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Keystone »

Hi Ed,
I was the original poster in this thread. I'm glad to hear you are back on the road again, and I hope that fresh ATF buys you some time. But eventually, you may have to do as I did and replace the transmission. Fingers crossed that you get lots of good miles before that day.
-Keystone


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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by hotone41 »

Image
We too had torque converter go on a hot day in South Dakota last week after much driving. Lesson learned-let her cool down. They replaced the seal too. We will be looking into he gauge and the cooler! Still a great trip though and friendly folks in SD!


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Re: ATF spew, and what to do?

Post by Travelisaverb »

I've learned not to push my rig in hot weather. I save my attitude drives for night time. Going to drive from Bakersfield to Reno in the dead of night.


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