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Old 08-26-2019, 08:22 AM   #1
Teejoka813
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Dizzy Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

Hey fellow Saturn lovers. I have a 2002 Saturn lw300 v6. Recently I replaced the radiator due to excessive cracking. Went through two others (should not have gone to lkq) and ended up with the same problem. I finally got the cracks to stop after replacing the mounts and securing my rad fan. Now two months later I have a bigger issue. While driving I noticed a sound of almost like a ratchet being spin to fast coming from near passengers quarters. Rather loud at lower speeds. I automatically assumed the transmission what not up to par. Shortly after I noticed a leak from under the new radiator. This morning I saw a red drop hanging from the radiator support mounted from the frame where the mounts sita the radiator.. I see no signs of leaking from the transmission cooler line that connects to the bottom of radiator. Is it possible the mount stick on the radiator has cracked. HAS ANYONE HAD A SIMILAR LEAK and HOW COULD I FIX THIS LEAK.
I HAVE ATTACHED A PHOTO OF THE AREA WHERE THE LEAK IS COMING FROM. PLEASE SATURN FAMILY CAN YOU HELP
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File Type: jpg Screenshot_2019-08-26-08-20-26.jpg (72.5 KB, 19 views)

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Old 08-26-2019, 11:25 AM   #2
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

That looks like a coolant leak to me, is that a used radiator? A common failure is for the o-ring seal between the plastic tank and the aluminum core to leak.

...
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

It's possible that it is a coolant leak. It seemed a little yellow after it sits. The last radiator was in prestige condition from LKQ. It was my last shot because I was short on funds. The leak in this spot after I cleaned it came back the same way. All my fittings are dry. But right where the flap is over the seal it seems to drip from there. Going to take a white paper towel so I can get the color. Either way tho I'm looking at replacing the radiator correct?

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Old 08-27-2019, 01:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

I agree with 02 LW300's opinion that it's a coolant leak, not ATF, based on the location of the leak trail. FWIW, coolant has a slightly oily feel to it. ATF, however, is of a heavier viscosity by comparison. Additionally, ATF will not "dry" as well as what is seen in the picture provided in post #1. Has there been a noticeable loss of coolant from the remote tank (not necessarily large, just enough to recognize some loss)?

The radiator may be repairable. Call a radiator shop near you and inquire as to whether they perform seal replacements on aluminum radiators with plastic side tanks.

...
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Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 08-27-2019 at 01:24 AM..

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Old 08-27-2019, 07:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

Yes it has been a drop in coolant lately. I figured it was because of all the rain we were having down here in Florida and having to run the defrost. The drip is slightly oily which from what you described from the drying up makes alot of sense if it was collant. Imanaged to find a new radiator on car parts for approx $70 so I may go with that. I know of a few radiator shops to check to see which is more affordable. I keep forgetting even though I bought like ten bottles that the coolant is also red. I assumed it was tranny fluid because I have noticed a slight hesitation when driving and going thru the gears. I am more afraid the trans is about to fail. I would put a few drops of fluid in and it would clear up. But I also put oil in as well so I can't be 100% sure if it's either or. I also have been putting off an intake manifold front and rear seal replacement. Ive done seals before but saturns are alot more work than what I'm used to. I have not changed the tranny fluid or have knowledge of if it has ever been changed. I might have to look into that as well. I appreciate all of your feed back it's helping me through this whole ordeal.

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Old 08-27-2019, 05:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

How many miles are on the odometer? To the best of your knowledge what is the maintenance history?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
Yes it has been a drop in coolant lately. I figured it was because of all the rain we were having down here in Florida and having to run the defrost.
"Running the defrost" has no negative effect on the cooling system nor will it influence a leak. BTW, if you're running the defroster then the A/C is also ON and is set to operate that way by the factory. Any time you're running the heater with the vent selector a single click to the right of center then the A/C compressor is engaged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
The drip is slightly oily which from what you described from the drying up makes alot of sense if it was collant. Imanaged to find a new radiator on car parts for approx $70 so I may go with that. I know of a few radiator shops to check to see which is more affordable....
You're correct to consider the possibility that a repair could be as much as a replacement radiator. In my case there is a similar leak presently on my car. The radiator is four years old so I'd prefer to have it repaired (removing it myself and taking it to the shop).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
I assumed it was tranny fluid because I have noticed a slight hesitation when driving and going thru the gears. I am more afraid the trans is about to fail. I would put a few drops of fluid in and it would clear up.
Well then, this offers a clue as to why the shifting seems off...but it's still just a clue. How long has it been since the fluid level was checked? It should be checked with each oil change and with the engine running at operating temperature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
But I also put oil in as well so I can't be 100% sure if it's either or.
I don't quite follow how the above sentence related to the transmission. It seems to read as though you put engine oil in the transmission. If you merely meant that you'd put engine oil in the crankcase then all is well, but it will have no bearing on how the transmission is working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
I also have been putting off an intake manifold front and rear seal replacement. Ive done seals before but saturns are alot more work than what I'm used to. I have not changed the tranny fluid or have knowledge of if it has ever been changed. I might have to look into that as well. I appreciate all of your feed back it's helping me through this whole ordeal.
A note: generally, as long is there are no seals or gaskets leaking adding ATF is a very infrequent event with the 4T40-E or 4T45-E (<on the V6s) transmissions. The frequency of transmission services/drains are less clear because the factory maintenance schedule stated that with certain exceptions the transmission did not require servicing. Personally, I find such a statement a risky proposition to follow. I perform a transmission service no later than at a 50K mile interval (fluid and transmission filter) on my LS1. No matter what, all of the fluids used on a car will degrade. It's one reason why you now find many more businesses recommending fluid changes for power steering, brake hydraulics, and transmissions (not to forget the cooling system) far more than ever in the past.

...
318,000 miles - Holy canolli!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 08-27-2019 at 06:07 PM..

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Old 08-27-2019, 06:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

Yes it has been a drop in coolant lately. I figured it was because of all the rain we were having down here in Florida and having to run the defrost. The drip is slightly oily which from what you described from the drying up makes alot of sense if it was collant. Imanaged to find a new radiator on car parts for approx $70 so I may go with that. I know of a few radiator shops to check to see which is more affordable. I keep forgetting even though I bought like ten bottles that the coolant is also red. I assumed it was tranny fluid because I have noticed a slight hesitation when driving and going thru the gears. I am more afraid the trans is about to fail. I would put a few drops of fluid in and it would clear up. But I also put oil in as well so I can't be 100% sure if it's either or. I also have been putting off an intake manifold front and rear seal replacement. Ive done seals before but saturns are alot more work than what I'm used to. I have not changed the tranny fluid or have knowledge of if it has ever been changed. I might have to look into that as well. I appreciate all of your feed back it's helping me through this whole ordeal.

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Old 08-27-2019, 06:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

My apologies for the double post
PIERROT I just crossed the 188000 mile marker. I am not aware of the maintenance performed on this vehicle.

When I'm driving I notice a slight surge or hesitation when accelerating. The rpms go up and drop slightly. When I added botH oil and trans fluid each to the proper fill location it ran better. So I don't know for sure if it's the tranny or the engine. Sometimes I hear what sounds to be shaking an empty spray can when accelerating. That noise is what influenced the fluid top up.

I have not checked the level of ATF I have to get some more jack stands to balance the vehicle.

I have had this vehicle for 1.5 years. Haven't had alot of fluid changes and I put alot of oil approx 2 to 3 quarts a month due to leaking intake seals. The oil leaks around my park plug Wells just a little nervous about replacing seals.

Good to have multiple views and most point to a failing radiator.

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Old 08-27-2019, 06:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

Other members with the V6 have dealt with oil leaks going into the spark plug wells. A search would be worth while in order to learn what problems they were encountering prior to fixing the oil leak/leaks. You will find more results using the Google Custom Search than using the Advanced Forum Search. The latter doesn't work well unless the search terms are something the system can recognize. The Google Search doesn't have to be as precise.

I just called a radiator shop I like to use. He said that their cost to make such a repair was $95.00 (even if I bring him the radiator) and since new radiators may cost around $110.00, they simply recommend replacing the radiator rather than repairing it...oi vey...

...
318,000 miles - Holy canolli!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 08-27-2019 at 06:51 PM..

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Old 09-10-2019, 07:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teejoka813 View Post
Hey fellow Saturn lovers. I have a 2002 Saturn lw300 v6. Recently I replaced the radiator due to excessive cracking. Went through two others (should not have gone to lkq) and ended up with the same problem. I finally got the cracks to stop after replacing the mounts and securing my rad fan. Now two months later I have a bigger issue. While driving I noticed a sound of almost like a ratchet being spin to fast coming from near passengers quarters. Rather loud at lower speeds. I automatically assumed the transmission what not up to par. Shortly after I noticed a leak from under the new radiator. This morning I saw a red drop hanging from the radiator support mounted from the frame where the mounts sita the radiator.. I see no signs of leaking from the transmission cooler line that connects to the bottom of radiator. Is it possible the mount stick on the radiator has cracked. HAS ANYONE HAD A SIMILAR LEAK and HOW COULD I FIX THIS LEAK.
I HAVE ATTACHED A PHOTO OF THE AREA WHERE THE LEAK IS COMING FROM. PLEASE SATURN FAMILY CAN YOU HELP
I actually just went through this on my daughter's L200. The transmission oil cooler lines do plug right into the radiator on that side, underneath the coolant hose. Doesn't help that the coolant and the trans fluid are close in color. You'll have to get your hands dirty to figure out which is which. Smell it. Then smell a bottle of DEX III trans fluid and see if they're the same (kind of a celery smell to my nose).

Her lower hose had a slow leak at the flare nut. I replaced the radiator myself (honestly wasn't that hard and saved a lot of money) with one from Rockauto. I also replaced the oil cooler lines (40 bucks I think, they come as a pair) from the dealer. That was really easy.

If it is the oil cooler lines, the problem then becomes guesstimating how much trans fluid has leaked out because you may not know how long it has been going on.

Last edited by neurotopia; 09-10-2019 at 07:52 PM..

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Old 09-14-2019, 01:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: Leaking TRANSMISSION FLUID.

Thanks neurotopia. In my rush and hub bub I didn't think to smell the bottles. I will check in a few the rain has washed the residue off. I have a drop in coolant. Have to refill every two weeks so it's not that bad. I did have a problem with this lone before when I replaced the radiator where I didn't pull the trans cooler line far enough and leaked alot. I have since put about a quarter puart and she has ran fine. But will definitely check the smell to see what's what. Now I have the dreaded valve cover gaskets to replace. And work on getting new key fobs as I lost my foot board(fell out of it's casing) at LKQ SMH. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️I simply love this forum. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️Thanks you all 02 LW300 PIERROT NEUROTOPIA ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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