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Transmission fluid leaking 2001 Saturn L200

Asked by: 6 views Transmission question

I bought a 2001 Saturn L200 (4-cyl) 2.2L MFI DOHC 4cyl automatic transmission off my neighbors good friend on May 26th. He is also a mechanic. He told me the car was sitting in his friends garage for a little while but didn’t realize the guy must have been driving the car for a little while and beat it up. I believe the mechanic honestly didn’t know my transmission was leaking. But within 2-3 weeks of me driving the car I started feeling a difference in how hard it would shift and racing and the rpm would be at the 2,000 or 3,000 and I was only going 5-10 mph. It would vibrate pretty bad starting at 20-30 mph. There was a delayed shift when i would shift from park to drive or reverse . I stopped driving the car and he checked it and told me the transmission pan had a tiny hole in it and that he would put Lucas oil in it to seal it. Well that didn’t work. The transmission started feeling a little smoother but once the fluid leaked out more it went back to the symptoms. He told me he would change the transmission pan and gasket and would replace the filter and add more fluid and it should be better. When I drove the car it felt much better but was still racing a little bit and started to whine a little bit. Well I put a cardboard box with a clear plastic bag over it under my car to see if anything leaked out and what color. Sure enough when I went outside the next morning it was still leaking pink fluid. I looked under the car and saw that the pan was still the same one as before with dents all over in it. He told me it wasnt a leak in the pan like he thought. It was the gasket and that when he put the gasket on it wasnt laying flush with the bottom of transmission and that the transmission cluch is overheating and not binding together causing the vibrations and it needs to be rebuilt and I have to wait 2 weeks for a friend to come back from vacation to rebuild it for me. He is not charging me for this so I don’t believe this is about making money off of me. I believe he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I feel that if he put a brand new transmission pan, gasket and filter and added new fluid it would be able to recover and stop leaking or having any symptoms of a transmission slipping. I don’t see why it would improve almost completely with fluid in it and vibrations stopping almost completely. Then when the fluid leaks out it starts to decline again. Is this just a transmission pan fix or will my transmission still blow even if the pan is replaced because of possible transmission overheating? I want to know if I should take it elsewhere to have them replace the pan or have him rebuild the transmission because trying to fix it is a lost cause.  Sorry I am long winded. I just want to be sure that for anyone who offers advice knows the full story. Thank you in advancd for any feedback.


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    If your transmission fluid is low, you will get low pressure inside the transmission to the solenoids and you can get a lot of strange symptoms and it could absolutely make it slip. If the car is getting good every time you are filling it with transmission fluid, I would fix the leak and try again (If it’s not too late after all low transmission fluid times). Oil pans to transmission are not expensive. Make sure to fill it with the correct fluid for that type of transmission and replace it when replacing the pan. Also, check the air bleeding from the transmission if fitted, these things can make it build pressure and leak also.

    Ask A Mechanic Admin - Jul 15, 2018 |Reply

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