Just like a lot of other fluid-containing components of a vehicle, the transmission has a seal inside that prevents the fluid from seeping through conjoined parts. The transmission fluid is a bit like the lifeblood of the entire unit; it protects and nourishes all the inner components. If the seal in the transmission goes bad and the levels get low, it can generate a whole list of issues, including complete transmission failure. Take a look at a few signs the transmission in your vehicle has a bad seal that should be replaced.
You notice spots of transmission fluid after your vehicle has been parked.
Transmission fluid looks a bit different from oil; it is more reddish in color and less iridescent. In fact, when you first put transmission oil in your vehicle, it is a solid red color. The fluid changes color as it is heated and cooled within the transmission and is exposed to other contaminants. When you spot an unrecognizable fluid on the ground after your vehicle has been parked for a while, get down and take a closer look at it. If it has a more reddish hue than oil, it is likely transmission fluid, and your seal may need to be replaced.
You lose transmission fluid levels without an explanation.
Most people don't check their transmission fluid on a regular basis, but if you suspect that you are losing fluid, it is best to check the levels periodically. If you notice that your fluid levels are low, contact a transmission repair professional to determine what should be done. They will check the seal to determine if it could be leaking, and if not, they will add the appropriate amount of fluid to top off the reservoir.
You experience delays when the transmission shifts gears.
One of the most trademark signs that the transmission is low on fluid levels is that the unit seems to lag during shifting. Lagging shifting is often due to the fact that the internal gears are not moving smoothly, which will happen if there is not enough fluid that surrounds the gears. You may see issues when you accelerate or when you shift the vehicle from park into drive or from drive into reverse. While these issues can also be a sign that the internal gears are wearing, it is more likely that the fluid levels are lower than they should be.
For more information, contact a transmission repair company like Northern Brake and Transmission.