Your gearbox needs transmission fluid to keep it lubricated. This fluid protects the gearbox's parts and, in some cases, has a cooling effect.
Sometimes, a problem like a broken seal or damaged area allows this fluid to leak out. There isn't enough fluid in the places you need it; it may end up in places it shouldn't be.
What are the signs that you have a leak?
1. Grinding Noises
If your gearbox makes grinding noises when you use it, then this can be a sign of a transmission fluid problem. Typically, the right type of fluid at the right level keeps things running smoothly. It oils the gears and other moving parts.
If you have a transmission fluid leak, then you eventually won't have enough fluid in the gearbox. The gears and the parts they move against don't have enough lubrication. They'll scrape against each other as they move. The drier they are, the more of a grinding sound you'll hear.
2. Slipping Gears
If your gears don't engage like they usually do, then they may slip. You try to change gears but your vehicle won't make the change. It either goes back to the gear you used last or it may even switch to neutral.
Sometimes, this is due to a problem in your transmission fluid levels. If there isn't enough fluid to create enough hydraulic pressure to change gears, then the system can't engage as it should.
If this happens, your gearbox doesn't have the power to make the change. If you have a leak, you may get to this stage when the fluid drops below a certain level.
3. Fluid Under the Car
While some transmission fluid leaks are hard to pin down, one is pretty obvious. At some stage, you might see fluid coming out from under your vehicle.
This fluid is easy to identify. Unlike other vehicle fluids, transmission fluid is a reddish-orange colour.
You'll see it on the ground after you park up. There may only be a couple of spots or, if you have a bigger leak, you'll see a larger pool.
If you think you have a transmission fluid leak, then it's important to have it checked over quickly. Problems with gears can be risky when you drive. A leak can also cause significant damage if it's left alone. So, take your car into a gearbox repair service as soon as you can.