My friend is unemployed and also has about $500 to his name. He found the automobile (a 2002 Dodge Neon with 137,000 miles) leaking antifreeze and transmission liquid on the street. Tried driving it around the block; it got in gear at first, however then locked up when he tried to put it in reverse once parking it. He opened up the radiator to uncover a mix of antifreeze and tranny fluid.

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The automobile was towed to a friend’s shop, but he doesn’t carry out major work choose trannies. At this point, he have the right to either repair the radiator and also refill fluids for $500, then maybe discover out the transmission is swarm also, or what I think he need to perform is have it towed somewhere else wbelow they deserve to tell if the transmission is swarm before replacing the radiator. Is this possible? Suggested courses of action? He requirements the car to get to a project he was just readily available and has actually been in search of for months. Thanks in advance!

P.S. Obviously it will certainly take all his money (consisting of credit on his crmodify cards) to perform the radiator work-related, so he can’t afford it if that transforms out to be just the beginning; he would should find one more strategy. That’s why the angst.

You have a leak between the rad and also tranny cooler, you’ll should replace the rad at the exceptionally leastern.

You’ll also must drainpipe and also flush the tranny and also rearea the tranny filter. You could be lucky and also gain amethod with just that.

Worst situation, water has blown the tranny valve block seals ~ that’s probably a brand-new tranny.

Actually, what happens when engine coolant gets right into the transmission the coolant will ruin sealing rings and will cause the clutch and also band friction material to come apart. It sounds as though the radiator will certainly should be reinserted AND the transmission disassembled entirely, vatted to clean all the coolant out of it and rebuilt. He’s looking at around $2,000-$2,500 if he’s lucky.


If it was me, and I was damaged, I would certainly replace the radiator as cheaply as feasible (probably used), replace the coolant, relocation the tranny fluid and filter, and hope for the finest.

Jad2007 July 5, 2016, 6:54pm #6

How does this occur and also what have the right to you do to prevent it?

Craig58 July 5, 2016, 6:54pm #7

“How does this happen and what have the right to you do to prevent it?”

It happens if the transmission cooler (inside the radiator) leaks, letting the better push coolant into the transmission liquid.

Examine the transmission dipstick carefully. Is tright here ANY SIGN of moisture or coolant in the transmission fluid?? If the answer is yes, then the automobile is totaled. Due to the fact that the tranny “locked up”, I doubt a liquid change will certainly assist.

I would certainly not spfinish one dime on it at this allude. Pull the transmission dipstick and examine the fluid. If it’s blackened or resembles sour milk then you can number the trans is tramelted so the radiator is a non-problem at this suggest.

Considering the coolant leak, there’s a opportunity the locking up can be the engine either overheating or it has experienced a blown head gasket. Coolant deserve to enter the burning chamber(s) previous a blvery own gasket and reason what is called “hydrolock”.

To prevent difficulties later, I would certainly advise disconnecting the radiator trans liquid cooler completely and also installing an aftermarket liquid cooler.These deserve to be had cheap, they’re easy to install, and also worth their weight in gold. Not only execute this eliminate more transmission liquid warm they also acquire completely rid of that leaking radiator cooler difficulty.You deserve to acquire a liquid cooler for anywhere from 50-75 bucks and that’s dirt cheap insurance is the means I look at it.

But tbelow IS no transmission liquid. It all leaked out. Can’t the tranny have locked up just because all the fluid leaked out while he was going roughly the block?

Yes it is feasible the transmission is not working due to absence of liquid, I would certainly not assume the transmission is destroyed. If he wants to try to settle it he must get rid of the leak and replace both the coolant and also transmission fluid. No one have the right to diagnose this over the internet, he either needs to attempt to repair it, have someone diagnose it in person, or offer up on the automobile.

The problem is that he has nearly no money and needs a vehicle to begin functioning at a task just available to him. The shop it’s at ideal now can’t diagnose the transmission. I think he have to tow it to a place that deserve to, but I require specific information to tell him wbelow to tow it - will a dealership have the ability to tell if the tranny is swarm without taking it apart?

Can they temporarily bypass the transmission cooler with the leak, refill the transmission and check out if it works at all? That might give him some indication of the dimension (cost) of the difficulty.

I would certainly indicate removing the transmission dipstick and also studying it. If the dipstick is blackened, the trans is toast.If the dipstick has a burned smell, the trans is toast.

If the engine was operated with no fluid in the trans as you say, the trans is toast.

Considering the radiator problem, more than likely a trans wipeout, and also a potential engine difficulty, the vehicle might be background. No way is it worth sinking 500 right into simply for starters.He’s better off doing some footwork and finding another auto. It may be an older one, bland also and also boring, and also downright ugly, yet the object is obtaining from Point A to Point B.

Your frifinish is partly to blame for this. One does NOT proceed to run any kind of auto that is experiencing a negative coolant, trans liquid, or engine oil leak. If one chooses to continue on while praying then negative things will probably take place in spite of asking for magnificent intervention.

When you say “continue to run,” he refilled the transmission fluid and also then drove about the block. That’s not the most irresponsible activity, I would say. Just a brief test, which proved the transmission fluid was leaking out very conveniently. Please note that I’m asking for assist (and many civilization are being most useful, thank you!!!), not for blame.

Just spoke to him aacquire - the dipstick looks clean, shiny, good as brand-new. Is this a good authorize, then?

Wbelow is the fluid leaking out, is it leaking into the coolant device or is it leaking somearea else?

Was is changing effectively once it had actually fluid?

It’s leaking out the bottom of the radiator, which was filled via a mix of coolant and tranny liquid.

It was moving correctly once it had actually fluid.

Thanks for asking.


He told me now that he reduced a deal wright here the radiator is being reput, and also if the transmission doesn’t job-related after that, he doesn’t have to pay for the repair… good deal!

It sounds favor he needs to replace the radiator/transmission cooler to get rid of the leak and also adjust both the transmission liquid and also coolant to make certain they are no longer mixed. With luck, he didn’t carry out any type of actual damages to the transmission. Don’t drive it any kind of even more through the opportunity of coolant in the transmission. Call local junk yards to discover a great provided radiator.

“He told me now that he cut a deal wbelow the radiator is being reinserted, and if the transmission doesn’t job-related after that, he doesn’t have to pay for the repair… excellent deal!”

Good deal, hope it functions out.

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Is the transmission cooler a separate component from the radiator? It looks choose it from a quick google search.