Automatic Transmission Leak 1999 Solara V6 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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Old 10-04-2011, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Automatic Transmission Leak 1999 Solara V6

Hi everyone,

This is my first post at Toyota Nation. I hope not only to receive help from the community, but to contribute as well. I have a 1999 Auto Transmission Solara V6.

A few weeks ago I changed out my transmission fluid. I overfilled it, drained some out, and it "spit" some out as well when it got to high. I do not think is related to my current issue, but I do believe it should be noted.

I have noticed a small (relatively) puddle of transmission fluid under my car in the morning. I put a paper towel under it, and it leaks 1-2 drops every five minutes or so. The leak looks as if it is coming from the transmission piece right next to the exhaust (flywheel bolts maybe)? I cleaned off the area to confirm and watched it start leaking. I tried to tighten up the bolt, and it moved every so slightly with a lot of pressure. Didn't work. I have attached three pictures and was wondering if someone could me pinpoint the problem and provide suggestions on how to fix it.



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This picture shows the leak and its relative position to the exhaust:



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I appreciate any and all help. Thank you!
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sadly, you blew out one of the seals when you overfilled the transmission. Its a rather labor intensive job to pull the transmission to change out those seals.

Double check that the pan/drain plug isnt leaking, but if its coming between the engine/transmission you blew that seal out when you overfilled it.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The hole to the right of your drip is the transmission vent hole. You may be getting residual fluid running down to your drip area. Be sure the trans fluid is correct and keep cleaning the drip for awhile. If it continues then carsrus is correct.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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csaxon and carsrus,

Thank you both for your assistance. It is much appreciated.

csaxon, the fluid was "spitting" out when it was overfilled for some time. Do you by chance happen to know the exact location of the vent hole so I can put my car back on the ramps and look in the vent hole to see if it is still spitting out fluid?
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Look to the right of the fluid drip in your first picture. That opening is the transmission pressure relief vent. Fluid should vent from there if it's over-filled or exceeds pressure. In the first pic I can still see some trans fluid in the vent hole.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi csaxon,

Thanks again for your help. I have the car up on ramps again, and when I shine a flashlight into the vent hole, I don't really see anything besides more metal lol. Is there a way I can pinpoint for sure where it's coming from?

I know that, if there is a possibility I don't have a leak, it is overflowing more fluid. I am checking the level, and, to be honest, I have NO IDEA what the level is at. It appears to go halfway up the dipstick on one side (not between hot and cold, halfway up the actual dipstick) and between hot and cold (maybe) on the side that doesn't have engravings. I have followed the instructions to check it with the engine running hot in park. Is there a way to know my approximate fluid level?
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This red circle is the vent hole their speaking of



Up in there you'd find the flywheel, and torque convertor. The torque convertor has a shaft/tube that slides into the front of the transmission, through a seal. I just replaced this seal on my 1998 Camry. It requires pulling the transmission out of the car... to replace a $9 part. Neat huh? (I'm being sarcastic ) However my seal was simply bad (never overfilled the transmission). I lived with it for 6-8 months. It started as a few drops every day and ended up leaking a quart every 400-500 miles. I tried various transmission stop-leak products, none of them helped except the Lucas one, but I believe the only reason it helped is because it's thick as honey... Also it made the car shift VERY hard when cold - again probably because of the thickness.
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Also, this is exactly how it should look when hot.



If you have more on one side than the other than something is wrong. Dunno what would cause that - unless you JUST added fluid, and/or just drove on very uneven/rough terrain, then fluid can be up in the sides of the dipstick tube - so that when you insert/extract the dipstick, your "scraping" it off the sides of the tube, giving and odd and false reading?
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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bolink654,

Thank you for your help. My dip stick does scrape against the tube a lot, and I can't figure out how to get it in and out without scraping it. I have already purchased a new OEM dipstick at the dealer, and it is just as bad as the old one. I have tried reading it with a flashlight, in the sunlight, and I really can't get a good reading on any of them. Because the fluid seems to be very high (halfway up the entire dipstick), maybe it is still overflowing?

Regarding the vent that you and csaxon refer to - is this the pressure relief vent or the vent for the torque converter seal? The entire time I had it on ramps yesterday, it leaked a drop (compared to the previous three hours where it let out a ton). Is there a way I can pinpoint the exact location of where the fluid is exiting the transmission, or check the pressure relief vent?
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You cant keep from scraping the sides - but this only affects the reading if you just added fluid (or perhaps if you just drove on very uneven ground).

If it's reading that high I'd say it's still over-filled. Are you getting any bubbles or foam on the dipstick?

Edit: Perhaps a picture of the dipstick and how it's reading would help.
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Last edited by bolink654; 10-08-2011 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolink654 View Post
You cant keep from scraping the sides - but this only affects the reading if you just added fluid (or perhaps if you just drove on very uneven ground).

If it's reading that high I'd say it's still over-filled. Are you getting any bubbles or foam on the dipstick?
Yes, there is usually, but not always, one bubble at almost the very top of the fluid line.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Also, is there a method to check the fluid and get an accurate reading?
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by careboy View Post
The hole to the right of your drip is the transmission vent hole.
Thank you for your help. Which vent is this - the overflow for high fluid or the vent for the torque converter seal?
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You should not be anywhere near halfway up the dipstick.

To check transmission fluid:
Make sure it is at operating condition (drive around at least 2-3 miles)
Park on level surface and leave car running in Park.
Pull dipstick and check level. Engine has to be running.

If you get halfway up the dipstick like this then you need to drain the transmission. I believe the 3.0vg takes 3.5 qts after a drain and fill, but check the manual. If anything add 3qts, start the car and go from Park to Low several times and then check fluid with engine running. Add fluid untill you are halfway in HOT zone.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR162 View Post
Also, is there a method to check the fluid and get an accurate reading?
I can suggest what I did. I actually tried to get a reading from the car, but it was in accurate, but I let the car sit over the weekend and this morning went to take a reading. I was able to see the fluid in the stick w/o any hesitation. It was below the HOT mark.

I would suggest you to park on flat land, and let it sit over night. If the fluid is over filled, it will show. You shouldn't have smearing.

I haven't tried the 'hot' method before, so I can't comment, but there's a reason why a cold level is there too!

I would rather undershoot than over shoot when it comes to fluid. Good luck.
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