How can I tell if it's a water leak or a transmission fluid leak?
I've just been for a long run & there's a slight drip, but the water/fluid is absolutely cold. Car has only done 26000 mls.
All pipes & hoses seem tight & have checked.
Water level dosen't seem to be going down & I am unable to check the tranmission level.
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Re: slight leak from bottom of radiator
Transmission fluid will be red in color. Radiator antifreeze will be a different color either lime or orange. Antifreeze has a slimy consistency while trans fluid is simply oily. Put a piece of cardboard under the engine to see if you can pinpoint exactly where it is coming from. Could it be condensation from the a/c? If so, that will be clear water.
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Auto transmissions cool fluid by running it through radiator, the core cracks and mixes the 2 fluids, have the radiator checked out. a way to test this is to remove the transmission lines and joining it with a small thin pipe, then running the engine. if water comes out of the transmission ports you need a new radiator
You are leaking transmission fluid from either the fluid cooling lines that run from transmission to a separate reservoir in the radiator, or leaking from the reservoir itself. Hopefully, it's only the lines and may just need tightening to stop the leak. There are two lines to the radiator's reservoir. One brings fluid from transmission to the reservoir, and a return line back into the transmission. Probably located on driver's side of the radiator, one will be near top of radiator, and one near the bottom. Small copper or steel lines that may also turn into rubber lines. Clean the area well with rags to locate the leak. Will probably need to have the car running to make it leak, while looking for it. You could also take a wrench and try tightening the fittings at the radiator, and tighten any rubber hose clamps that you see. If it's not the lines or hoses that are leaking, then the radiator may need to be pulled off for repairs or replacement. But 9 times out of ten, it is a leak from one of the lines. When fixed, don't forget to check your transmission fluid level. Or keep adding till it is fixed.
Your transmission fluid runs to your cooling system to cool the transmission oil. So, in answer to your question, one of the two transmission lines (one in, bottom and one out, top) could be leaking from the cooling system.
Bring your vehicle in for a cooling system pressure check. Another thing to keep in mind when inspecting leaks is that where you see the leak may not necessarily be where the leak is from. While the leak will drip down, the wind from when you're driving will splatter the leak all over the under-carriage of your vehicle making it look like leaks are happening where they in fact, are not.
you have a possible leak inside the bottom tank which the fluid runs through to be cooled before it returns to the transmission.
It is like a little tank inside the bottom tank and if that leaks the fluid will mix with the water.
You will have to have the bottom tank removed to repair the problem or buy another radiator
if it is oil .you should notice the oil level drop ,even a small amount ,this would indicate a blown head gasket. but if it is transmission fluid it will be the oil cooler in the bottom of the radiator that cools the transmission fluid .has sprung a leak which is easily fixed at a radiator service centre,the headgasket is a bit bigger job but no real drama .radiator people will be able to tell you if it is oil or tranny fluid
Make sure you don not run low on transmission fluid in your transmission. Low transmission fluid will cost you a new transmission. You have the transmission line that connects to the upper passenger side or the radiator and the lower passenger side of the radiator. Determine which line has gone bad and you can buy a rubber transmission line hose at most Auto Parts store like Parts Source. Cut off out the section with a pipe cutter that has corroded through and replace with the transmission hose. Make sure you tell them it's a transmission line hose your looking for and don't use any other hose and double clamp with a compression clamps at ether end. If it's the connection at the radiator that has gone bad, replace that end and do that same as you would to sectioning off the the corroded line and try not to have more then 3 inches of repaired section. What ever you do, do not add any stop leak, this will create problems with the shift solenoids and check valves in your valve body in the transmission causing a transmission replacement soon after adding. Good luck and keep me posted.
Good chance it's the transmission fluid. The passenger side of the radiator is the transmission cooler side and the coolant is leaking from the transmission lines. There should be two lines, one on top which is the inlet and the bottom one which is the return line. Check to make sure there is no corrosion along the lines or that the line has not come loose at the radiator. Locate the leak and repair or replace the lines. Good luck and take care not to run low on transmission fluid, low fluid in the system will cause the transmission to burn out.