Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Transmission Fluid Gone!


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 skydve76

skydve76

    Neutral

  • Active Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:12 PM

Due to pot holes killing all 4 tires, and lack of $$$, my 1998 Corolla sat for 1 year roughly unmoved.

Now I got new tires. Last night I was driving around just a little to get it washed etc. It was fine. This morning, it was much cooler than last night (27F), the automatic transmission would not engage in gear. It would sort of "catch" at high RPM and I got it back up the driveay.

I let the car warm up for 30 minutes, and the tranmission seemed better. I parked on a level surface and check the transmission fluid. The dipstick was dry. I added in 2 quarts total and it barely registers on the dip stick now. Drives great though.

There are no leaks on my driveway. Where did the fliud go? Can it evaporate or something? It waas probably always low but how does it get low if it doesn't leak out? Thats a lot to lose without noticing it.

PS, toyota sits for 1 year, if you got any idea what else I should checkout, let me know. The thing started right up and hummed nicely. Go Toyota!

#2 Bitter

Bitter

    Overdrive

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,919 posts

Posted 18 November 2009 - 08:16 PM

it had to have leaked out somewhere, it does not evaporate.

#3 skydve76

skydve76

    Neutral

  • Active Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:06 PM

Could it of gone into the radiator and into the antifreeze? In that cause, would't antifreeze go into the transmission?

#4 dshadle1

dshadle1

    2nd Gear

  • Active Members
  • PipPip
  • 176 posts

Posted 18 November 2009 - 10:20 PM

Could it of gone into the radiator and into the antifreeze? In that cause, would't antifreeze go into the transmission?


Just to be safe I would drain and refill the transmission as well as the cooling system. I understand that the problem doesn't make sense at first blush, but at least you could have more peace of mind by checking out all the fluid colors, etc. after draining everything. Easier to figure out the leak if you start fresh.

#5 skydve76

skydve76

    Neutral

  • Active Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 19 November 2009 - 12:30 AM

Problem is, the transmission fluid is pink, but so is my anti freeze.

Weird.

#6 fishexpo101

fishexpo101

    I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous words...

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,478 posts

Posted 19 November 2009 - 01:42 PM

You can get the coolant tested for contaminants, to see if the oil got mixed in with the coolant. Chances are, the fluid was lost during operation, especially if you do not have a puddle of fluid under the car. If you take the car to get oil changed by a quick lube place, there is a possibility that the tech drained the transaxle pan by accident and forgot to refill it. Or the ATF completely gelled up on you. Hard to say without dropping the pan, taking a peek at the cooler lines running to the radiator, seeing if the dipstick could be too loose (had a truck that would shot ATF out the dipstick tube, some would end up on the hood liner, but most ended up on the engine) and looking for anything obvious.

As Bitter mentioned, ATF will not evaporate to that level, ATF is basically conventional motor oil with special friction modifiers and dyes added to it. If you added something other than ATF, like transmission additives and solvents, that is a different story.

I'm with dshadle1 - if you haven't done any recent work to the car, I'd recommend a full tune up - fluid exchanges all around. Just to start with a "clean slate" and monitor the car for further "disappearing" oil phenomenon.

#7 skydve76

skydve76

    Neutral

  • Active Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 19 November 2009 - 01:45 PM

If it gelled up, is that a serious problem?

Also, when I checked the fliud again yesterday, when I pulled the dipstick out, it had steam coming off it (or smoke). Is it supposed to get that hot?

#8 fishexpo101

fishexpo101

    I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous words...

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,478 posts

Posted 19 November 2009 - 02:07 PM

If it did gel, that would be a fairly serious problem, as the transaxle is cooled by ATF fluid circulating through the system.

The steam you saw was probably moisture that got cooked off the ATF, as there will be a small amount of moisture present in this system (transaxle is vented to the atmosphere). Though if steam/smoke is billowing out of the dipstick, you could have a serious problem on your hands. As far as temps, ATF can get quite hot, though too hot is very bad.

Generally speaking, under very heavy loads (towing, traveling up a steep grade in low gear, low fluid level, etc.) ATF temps can hit 200 to 300 degrees(F). Anything at 300 degree or greater, permanent transmission damage may occur. Typical temps in pan can vary from 175 to 200 degrees(F). Temps below 130 to 150 degrees, is too cool, and you could see a buildup of moisture in the system (over cooling, too short of a commute, etc.)