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Re: transmission pan gasket.
If it's readily accessible, you can but it's also a good idea to replace the filter while you're there. A new filter, fluid, and gasket should keep the transmission trouble free for at least 30K miles.
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knowing the make and model would help, but the most likely problem is the front seal in the transmission is leaking. you have to remove the transmission to replace the seal. it sits about even where the trans bolts to the engine and when they leak they leak down and blow back and looks as if the pan is leaking.. if its a rear wheel drive vehicle.. most will have a metal cover in front of the pan, you can remove the cover and with a flash light look up and see if the leak is coming from the seal.
Very easy BUT messy to replace.. A filter and gasket kit is less than $20. Just remove all of the bolts on the transmission pan with a drain pan underneath... Replace the filter inside. Clean the pan and transmission surfaces and install with the new gasket. Do not use gasket sealer unless instructed to... Then re-fill with recommended fluid. Check fluid level with engine running.
TRANSMISSION FLUID LEAKS,CAN BE FOUND AROUND PAN GASKET.CHECK PAN GASKET,IF IT LOOKS WET AND YOU SEE FLUID DRIPPING AROUND THE EDGE OF OIL PAN, REPLACE PAN GASKET, WHILE YOU REPLACING PAN GASKET REPLACE TRANSMISSION FILTER WHILE OIL PAN OFF.IF TRANSMISSION OIL PAN NOT LEAKING, CHECK TRANSMISSION OIL COOLER LINES GOING INTO RADIATOR YOU WILL LOOSE A LOT OF FLUID THERE ALSO TORQUE SHAFT SEAL WILL CAUSE HEAVY FLUID LEAK WHILE ENGINE RUNNING CHECK OIL COOLER LINES AND LOOK AT THE TORQUE AREA WHILE ENGINE RUNNING YOU WILL SEE FLUID POURING WHILE ENGINE RUNNING THE OIL PUMP PRESSURE WILL PUSH FLUID OUT AT THE LEAKING AREAS.
TO DO A TRANSMISSION FLUID CHANGE YOU NEED HAVE TRANSMISSION FLUID ON HAND YOU NEED TRANSMISSION FILTER AND GASKET.YOU NEED 3/8 WRENCH THE RATCHET TYPE WITH METRIC SOCKETS. YOU NEED JACK TO RAISE VECHICLE SUPPORT VECHICLE ON JACK STANDS.YOU NEED A DRAIN PAN. ONCE YOU GET VECHICLE OFF GROUND.PLACE DRAIN PAN UNDER TRANSMISSION OIL PAN REMOVE OIL PAN DRAIN BOLT.LET FLUID DRAIN OUT IN DRAIN PAN THEN SCREW DRAIN PLUG BACK IN PLACE DONT OVER TIGHTEN.REMOVE OIL PAN AND GASKET. BESURE TO HAVE PAPER TOWEL ON HAND.MAKE SURE TRANSMISSION OIL PAN GASKET SURFACE CLEAN BEFORE INSTALLING NEW PAN GASKET. ONCE TRANSMISSION OIL PAN REMOVED. REMOVE THE OLD TRANSMISSION FILTER INSTALL THE NEW FILTER.THEN WITH NEW GASKET ON OIL PAN IN PLACE.OIL PAN NEED TO BE CLEAN SO THE GASKET ADHESIVE WILL HOLD PAN GASKET IN PLACE WHILE INSTALLING PAN AND GASKET TO TRANSMISSION.INSTALL OIL PAN BOLTS INSTALL THEM CRISS CROSS TORQUE PAN BOLTS TO 7 TO 10 FT LBS. LOOK IN OWNERS MANUAL FOR TRANSMISSION FLUID CAPACITY.BUY 10 QUARTS .TO BE ON SAFE SIDE SO YOU WILL HAVE ENOUGH FLUID ON HAND. IF YOU DONT HAVE NO TRANSMISSION FLUID CAPACITY. ADD 7.5 QUARTS FLUID.WAIT FOR 2 MINUTES.CHECK TRANSMISSION FLUID LEVEL ON DIP STICK. SHOULD BE ON THE FULL MARK.CRANK VECHICLE UP.LET IDLE FEW MINUTES CHECK TRANSMISSION DIP FLUID LEVEL IF DROPPED ADD LITTLE MORE.WHILE ENGINE IDLING GETTING WARM UP. KEEP EYE ON FLUID LEVEL.WHEN FLUID LEVEL STOP DROPPING. APPLY BRAKES HOLD FOOT ON BRAKES SHIFT THROUGH ALL GEARS TWO TIMES. THEN CHECK FLUID LEVEL SHOULD BE ON FULL MARK.CHECK FOR LEAKS WHILE ENGINE RUNNING.
This could be caused by multiple components failing. what i have seen most often on the windstar is the transmission pan gasket leaking, which is maybe a twenty dollar gasket between the pan and transmission, very simple to do, just requires removing between 10 and 20 bolts and replacing the gasket, then refilling the trans. i have also seen lines leaking going to the transmission cooler, which are more expensive and much more involved than the pan.
Yours is leaking from the round side servo cover. A quick fix for someone that knows the correct way to put them in. It is held in by a snap ring and a big spring is underneath it pushing it out. So it must be pressed down to remove and replace the snap ring. A common problem for these vehicles. They will drip on the edge of the pan and make it look like it is leaking.
pan bolt torque is in inch pounds (not a lot, around 10-15) generally
it's not necessary for exact because pans are a bit warped many times
and exact dosen't work anyhow. Tighten snugly without leaning into the
wrench, then check running and tighten anywhere that is seeping.
if it's dry after a week of running it's fine.It's important not to
crush the gasket. If you have one with a two piece dipstick tube
sometimes if the vent is a bit blocked the fluid can get out at the
connection between the two halves. I don't know if anything is
available to join them together better but I use a piece of hose over
them to keep water out off-road. Make sure the vent is clear. If it's
leaking, the only way to find the leak is to look carefully at
everything, clean off areas where there is too much gunk to see well.
pretty much the only place at the front that there is a seal is in the
pump and around the pump. it would leak down inside the bellhousing and
drip out onto the front of the pan rail after being blown back while
driving. Both seals are not accessible unless the unit is removed.