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1999 4Runner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of days ago i noticed what appeared to be transmission fluid leaking out from under the front drivers side corner of my 1999 4 runner, which i thought may have been power steering fluid coming from a borken line or something. After checking the level and finding it O.K. i noticed that the coolant overflow may have been overflowing. There is fluid all under the overflow tank, down the frame, in the wheel well and blowing down the driverside doors. Now it looks as though it is tranny fluid is somehow getting into the cooling system and the tranny fluid level is down. is this possible? it doesn't appear as though the coolant is getting into the transmission fluid though. Oh ya it was taking a second to take off when i was pushing the gas after stopping.

:headbang::headbang:
 

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08 Camry
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the radiator has a transmission oil cooler on the very bottom. you will see 2 lines exit the transmission and enter the bottom of the radiator, one is a exit line and the other a return line, one of those is leaking, troubleshoot that area for the cause. and, you will need to refill the tranny since you lost some fluid, heck it might even be a good time for a drain and fill...
 

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1999 4Runner
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Axxis8203,

What do you think would have caused the fluid to get into the actual radiator and rad overflow? Is it possible to have a leaking connection/crack between the two rads?

:confused:
 

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rock crawler
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Yes, an internal radiator failure is the only way coolant and ATF could mix.

And that's not good for the engine or the transmission !
 

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hoc_rocket~

Let me tell you what precisely happened, as this unfortunate event happened to me with my 2001 4Runner.

Your tranny cooler line (inconveniently located inside radiator) ruptured.

When this line ruptures is sends ATF inside of your radiator, water pump, block and everywhere else you think of.

In addition to this, you more than already realized you now have radiator fluid in your tranny, hence the "foot on gas" and not engaging tranny until a couple of secs, as your tranny fluid is now on the side of your car and in your engine bay.

What should you do? Dont drive another foot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What will need to be fixed?

They will need to flush both systems (tranny and cooling system).

YOU, will need to flush your cooling system multiple times after the auto-mechanic flushing, to ensure ALL ATF gets out of the system. You will be able to check this by looking at the coolant in your resevoir or the top of your radiator for oily residue, thats ATF your seeing. YOu need to flush this all out.

What you really need to be worried about is that tranny. Once radiator fluid enters the tranny, the tranny is considered poisoned/contaminated, but is controversial how long one has left. I drove mine 15,000 more miles after it happened before I traded it in and experienced no difficulties.

Oh yah, the only thing I didnt mention is that notorious strawberry milk shake that you probably already have seen, thats the tell tale sign of this problem happening.

Good Luck to you.

Let me know if you have questions.
 

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This happened to me back in December of last year (2008). I replaced the radiator and had the transmission power flushed. That transmission lasted about 6 months after the incident. I am not a transmission expert nor am I all that mechanical but I paid about 1600 dollars to have this done. I feel like I paid too much but I was in a tight spot and it seemed to be the best thing to do at the time. I don't feel that way anymore though. I f I had it to do over again, I would drain the cooling and transmission fluid, replace the radiator, fill the transmission with new fluid and then flush the cooling system twice and then fill the radiator with new coolent. After the cooling system is working properly I would drive it and replace the transmission a few times over the period of a month. basically, I would not expect to save the transmission but you might get 6 months to a year more of driving out of it. I replaced my transmission in June of 2009 with a used one from a junk yard. It cost 600 for the transmission and another 600 to put it in. I hope this information is helpfull and good luck.
 

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Had the exact same problem...

Hi. I had the exact same problem with my Toyota 4Runner. :headbang:

Honestly - I don't understand sending the ATF fluid inside the radiator. That just guarantees that both systems fail together. I had this repaired at a Toyota dealership, but they said nothing about how long the Trans. might last after this happens.

Thanks so much for this post - without this info I would have waited to get it checked out.

The repair place said they thought it was a blown head gasket but that was not the problem. Also, my water pump failed along with the ATF milkshake eruption. Finally, they suggested a new timing belt (at the end of it's life expectancy).

I Feel like I was taken to the cleaners but hope this gets things under control again.




hoc_rocket~

Let me tell you what precisely happened, as this unfortunate event happened to me with my 2001 4Runner.

Your tranny cooler line (inconveniently located inside radiator) ruptured.

When this line ruptures is sends ATF inside of your radiator, water pump, block and everywhere else you think of.

In addition to this, you more than already realized you now have radiator fluid in your tranny, hence the "foot on gas" and not engaging tranny until a couple of secs, as your tranny fluid is now on the side of your car and in your engine bay.

What should you do? Dont drive another foot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What will need to be fixed?

They will need to flush both systems (tranny and cooling system).

YOU, will need to flush your cooling system multiple times after the auto-mechanic flushing, to ensure ALL ATF gets out of the system. You will be able to check this by looking at the coolant in your resevoir or the top of your radiator for oily residue, thats ATF your seeing. YOu need to flush this all out.

What you really need to be worried about is that tranny. Once radiator fluid enters the tranny, the tranny is considered poisoned/contaminated, but is controversial how long one has left. I drove mine 15,000 more miles after it happened before I traded it in and experienced no difficulties.

Oh yah, the only thing I didnt mention is that notorious strawberry milk shake that you probably already have seen, thats the tell tale sign of this problem happening.

Good Luck to you.

Let me know if you have questions.
 

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1999 4Runner Limited
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12 Posts
I just went through this last week with my 99 ltd. The other symptom that made me aware was the lack of heat in the cabin and the temp gauge redlining.

All told, I got a new rad and an overhauled trans for $5500. My shop also had to replace a trans mount, and a u-joint up front. :( I had called local trans shops to see if I was getting raped by my garage for the trans work and was told its a big job and around $34500. Apparently Nissan Pathfinders have the same issue as well.

With an overhauled trans, I hope it will be trouble free as a whole lot of parts were replaced

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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The only way to avoid repeats of this is to have a separate trans cooler,about $70 for the cooler and a few quarts of trans fluid.The install is relatively simple and strait forward.
 
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