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91 Corolla DX Automatic - Transmission Problems

1459 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  90 GP
Just gave my '91 Corolla, (my baby "Betsy") to my nephew in college in Tallahassee, FL in October. '09. Drove her to FL all the way from Philadelphia, PA. She was doing great until yesterday when my nephew called from FL to tell me she is heavily leaking trans fluid, won't go in reverse and will barely drive even with pedal all the way to the floor. :confused:

Can anyone recommend a tranny expert in Tallahassee near zip 32037? Any idea of cost to replace trans? Could it possibly be something else causing the issue and not the tranny?

I want to try to save her if we can...she only has approx 118,000 miles on her.
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Is the car running hot as indicated by temp gauge? It should read in the middle of gauge if operating correctly. If it is running hotter than that the cooler for tranny is inside bottom area of radiator. If engine overheats it could cause tranny to start puking fluid. There are also rubber lines that attach to the cooler and if they break fluid loss will result. When was fluid/ filter last changed? Also the differential is a separate unit ( for 3 speed auto) and the fluid needs to be drained and refilled. Can your nephew narrow down exactly where the leak is coming from and if it is refilled does it immediately start to leak again? Narrowing down location would help for a diagnosis. For a reputable repair shop here is link to national Better Business Bureau database. Use the link and local yellow pages from Tallahasse to check out each company and rating before making your choice of who to fix it. Good luck.
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Thank you very much for the BBB link.

Are you asking when the trans fluid was last replaced or are you asking about some kind of coolant fluid?? I had the trans fluid replaced about 3 years ago. Nephew told me Betsy was overheating about 3 months ago and he had a fan belt replaced. I do know that he checked the trans fluid yesterday when he started having the problems and it was very low, so he attempted to add some more but he said it all came flowing out pretty quickly.
That overheating is what caused the problem in the first place and should have been addressed immediately. If it had been the tranny issues would have never surfaced.The cooling system should be entirely checked out including radiator, thermostat,antifreeze condition, water pump and pressure check the system to make sure it isn't being over pressurized by leakage of compression into system by head gasket failure. The tranny gets cooled by running its fluid through a tube in bottom of radiator. That's how it gets rid of it's heat. It couldn't do that because the car was running too hot and was overheating the fluid. I just hope tranny hasn't been trashed by the overheating. You have a two part problem. Find source of overheating repair it and change fluid in tranny/differential and hope that fixes tranny. If internal damage has been done to tranny/ differential they may need replaced. Get a thorough estimate and gauarantee of work for cooling system and tranny repair to determine whether it's worth the cost. As I mentioned he needs to pinpoint where exactly it leaks out.
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