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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay the other morning going to work it got down to like -1 the night before and the car ran great got to work everything okay just cold.

Came back to my car to find a new spot on the ground. Had a new spot the next morning.

So today I finally got to get under there and took some pictures.

At first I thought it was oil but I am pretty sure it is transmission fluid as it is reddish in color and does not have the coolant smell but has an oily feel.

I looked up top and I cannot see anything leaking so I think the leak is right there where the drip is in the picture.
I have an appointment Wednesday to get my trunk to open while the car is running and in park with doors open so I will have them look at this problem too. I hope it is under the power train warranty. I don't think it is the transmission cooling lines as I can see them on top of the transmission and they look dry and clean as far as I can tell. Power train warranty expires in April. I am only at 46,000 miles. Is that seem a gasket? Cause that is where it looks like it is leaking and really the only place that looks wet.


View attachment 177105
 

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Almost looks like it could be coolant dex cool if I'm not mistaken is orange in color? Take a peak at the overflow/rad being careful due to pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mmm I guess it could be running down that way I think the water outlet is directly above that but it didn't smell like coolant and I didn't see anything by the water outlet or on top of the engine and I will check the coolant level when I get to work tomorrow and see if it is at the same level. I did check it when it first leaked and it was exactly the same. should of taken a picture of the trashcan lid that it dripped onto because that was more red looking.
 

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I agree it looks like coolant as well. With my car in the shop for coolant related issue, as well as the amount of other people's post relating to premature coolant system issues, I would start there. A lot of people have had coolant hoses, caps and water pump issues (myself included). Keep an eye on things and get it looked at professionally very soon.
 

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Dexcool cool is my opinion. To join you though with finding a leak, today I noticed my trans cooler line is seeping at the hose crimp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
thanks I will try to get more pictures later but everything is dry up top and the coolant level has not changed. the spot is just right there on the transmission it does not look like it was running down from anywhere or running from the front of the car. what I caught in the trash can lid was more reddish than what this picture shows. I am not sure why it turned out yellow in the picture. I will load a picture of what I catch in the trash can lid when I can. but the transmission is dry and clean everywhere else except right there where the drop is located. the transmission cooling lines are dry and clean where they go into the transmission. I don't know I will post pictures when I get time. water outlet is dry and clean.

What I caught in the trash can I put on my finger and it definitely did not smell like antifreeze and felt like transmission fluid. Had an oily feel.
 

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Try cleaning up spot and check again.

Is that spot right were the trans housing bolts to the engine? If so maybe front seal on trans.
 

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If its transmission oil it could be the torque converter seal. Mine leaked and it was close to that spot. I have my shield so it drip on it and then on the ground. If you look through the passenger side wheel you can see where the axel meets the transmission and might be able to see if its wet there with a flash light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
thanks for you suggestions - last nights and days at work I have gotten nothing on the trash can lid I put underneath. so I am think that it is a transmission leak and it leaked enough where it lost enough fluid it doesn't leak any more i.e. the fluid is below the level of the leak on some seal in the transmission or I went through a puddle of something or I got some spray from something. I had that happen on our mazda when it was new I thought it was leaking something but the wife drove through a puddle with oil in it or something. I don't remember driving through anything but that doesn't mean I haven't. The car is driving great I am getting 30 mpg in the city since I got that recall programming and it has some get up and go now. I will have the dealer check the transmission fluid level when I take it in for the trunk fix and I guess pursue it further if I am low on fluid. I have taken a mirror on an antennae and a flash light on the top end and spent a few hours looking around and everything is bone dry. I looked at the problems areas water outlet, water pump, and every hose that could be leaking and it is bone dry. So here is hoping for the best and I just drove through something. I stepped on it this morning getting on the highway after I got gas on the way to work and it still has nice get and go and it is running smooth and all fluid levels, brake, coolant, and oil have not budged and are all at the same level. Wish the transmission had a dip stick. :angry:
 

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Mix a few drops with water in a test tube. If you can see the oil water separate then it's tranny. If it all mixes together it's coolant Dexcool.

To my knowledge Dextron VI contains enough hydrocarbons that it should separate when mixed with water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mix a few drops with water in a test tube. If you can see the oil water separate then it's tranny. If it all mixes together it's coolant Dexcool.

To my knowledge Dextron VI contains enough hydrocarbons that it should separate when mixed with water.
That's a great idea I did not think of that so I will do that if I get any more on my trash can lid.

I am trying to think if there is anything on this car that would possibly leak when it is -1 outside and then stop when it warms up.

I would think if it was a transmission gasket,head gasket, or a engine block or head crack, it would still leak even when warm and the car would not run so good and I would notice a good fluid drop somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well the verdict is in as far as I am concerned. I am 95% sure it is leaking transmission fluid at whatever that gasket is that the drop is sitting on in the picture.

I finally got some fluid in a trash can lid without the wind blowing it away and I would say it is transmission fluid and seems to be leaking more now that the weather is warmer.

dirt in the pic is from a rock I had to put in the lid so it wouldn't blow away.
the thread isn't allowing me to upload any more pictures.
so here is the link

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B23oAlGwuGykQ3ktYk5LLUVSUTQ/view?usp=sharing

It definitely isn't dexcool I just about put it up my nose and it does not smell like dexcool and my coolant level hasn't budged.

Anybody have that gasket fixed I guess it is the bell housing gasket. Should I have anything done to the transmission besides new filter and all new fluid while they are fixing it? I had the fluid changed around 30,000 miles and it does look clean since it only has about 15,000 miles on it.

Glad I am getting all these bugs worked out under warranty. :)
 

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I'll be interested in following what the shop finds. People that have drained the transmission have mentioned that the first fill fluid is really dark due to corrosion inhibitors used on the metal during manufacturing.

Without being present to see it, but looking at your trashcan pics, I would think fluid being that transparent would be dexcool. But if the fluid level isn't dropping and it's coolant then I think you'd have air pockets in the cooling system and other issues.

I think that's a big enough of a leak to get a shop to try to find it especially if it's under warranty.

Hopefully it's not the water outlet near the top of the engine by the throttle body leaking and running down the front face of the engine.

You'd be one of the first with transmission leaks in that area..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I'll be interested in following what the shop finds. People that have drained the transmission have mentioned that the first fill fluid is really dark due to corrosion inhibitors used on the metal during manufacturing.

Without being present to see it, but looking at your trashcan pics, I would think fluid being that transparent would be dexcool. But if the fluid level isn't dropping and it's coolant then I think you'd have air pockets in the cooling system and other issues.

I think that's a big enough of a leak to get a shop to try to find it especially if it's under warranty.

Hopefully it's not the water outlet near the top of the engine by the throttle body leaking and running down the front face of the engine.

You'd be one of the first with transmission leaks in that area..
Well I had the transmission fluid changed at around 30,000 miles so the dark stuff would be out of there.
Nothing is leaking on top the water outlet is totally dry. Took pics and felt all around because I had to have the sensor oring replaced in it and there is no coolant anywhere.
What is in the trash can is oily and does not smell like anti-freeze. The fluid currently in the transmission had between 10,000 and 15,000 miles on it so it should be really clean.
I searched the forums and there have been leaks of the transmission in that area and from that gasket if that is indeed what is leaking.

Tell the truth though I don't know what it could be it looks red like transmission fluid and feels oily but it has no smell. Maybe I will get lucky and something just splashed up on my engine. I did the test that carbon recommended and mixed it with water and it didn't separate like new transmission fluid did so I guess it still could be coolant who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Got back from the dealer today and the leak was anti-freeze and the leak was from the t-stat housing.

But I started a new thread and was wondering where the anti-freeze should be when the engine is cold. All the manual says:
"Fill the coolant surge tank with the proper DEX-COOL coolant
mixture to the indicated level mark"
okay I will be glad to can you please point out the fricken indicated level mark. What is this magical indicated level mark?

I just ask because when I got my water pump replaced the coolant was at the top ridge of coolant tank. but now it is right above the arrow at the first bar. same dealer did the work but they put it at two different levels two different times.
 
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