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shellback91

Transmission Leak?

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Yesterday while running Saddle Mountain I noticed some fluid on the ground on the way into one of our stops when I was walking around the area. I decided to check my rig before sounding the alarm and having everyone check theirs. It turns out it was mine, it appeared to be transmission fluid.  On the way in to the area where made our first stop I popped out of 4 low once climbing out of a wash and had a heck of time getting back into 4 low so I went into 4 high and continued on.  That could have been me doing something wrong when changing to 4 low. I mention this because it is the weird thing I noticed or remember. Nothing was scraped or hit on the way in and I had no issues using 4 low the rest of the day.

 

At lunch I crawled underneath and wiped up any transmission fluid I found underneath. The transmission pan was covered and so was the cross member.  From that point forward I did not see any leaks at all. For good measure when I got home I ran it through the car wash and crawled back under after to make sure I did not miss anything. Still no leaks this morning.

 

I am relieved somewhat but am bothered as to what it could be. I may take it in and have it checked because I am thinking it could be the gasket which was(or should have been) replaced when the fluid was swapped last year. Has anyone run into something like this before?

 

 

 

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first thing, you should probably check the levels on the trans (if yours has a dipstick) and on the t-case.

 

2012 was the crossover year on engines - but yours is the 3.6L right? if so, i had read to be sure and use Mopar parts when replacing the trans filter (which comes with a new pan seal). i guess the aftermarket pan seals are prone to leaking. regardless of brand it's easy to mess up that seal when trying to get the pan back on since most people try to do it without removing the crossmember and/or the y-pipe.

 

did you notice any fluid  above the pan? can't remember if there is a trans breather tube on top which could have puked fluid if the hose on it came loose. but there is a breather hose on the t-case that runs above the trans for sure, and the t-case uses ATF+4 too.

 

if there's fluid above the pan, then it's possible that if either the trans or t-case was overfilled that they puked out the breather because of that steep wash drop-in you guys did - your rig probably doesn't often lean forward at that severe of an angle. 

 

final thought - be sure to only use 4-low only in low speeds or you can easily get the t-case fluid too hot and overflow.

 

good luck!

 

 

Edited by theksmith
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Thanks @theksmith , I appreciate the pointers and list of things to check. I do have the 3.6L engine. I noticed this before the steep downhill obstacle but not after, which I think is positive. There were a few steep-ish drops but not as extreme as the one in the pictures.  I checked the fluids, level looks good cold. I will check again next time I drive her around.   Above the transmission looks clean, at least above the sticker in the picture below.  The t-case is dry.  I was using 4 Low to climb down and out of a wash when it popped out. When I stopped moving while climbing out I gave it some gas to get moving again. Then I realized the t-case was in Neutral when the engine rev'd up and I did not move. I did not hit or scrape anything along the way either.

 

What I noticed yesterday is the line on the bottom coming in from the transmission cooler was wet(top is dry) and the line going into the fitting was a little "wiggly" for lack of a better word.  The fitting itself it  was and is tight. Today that line is tight, not "wiggly".  After crawling around underneath and checking what you suggested I am starting to think that this is the source of the issue  yesterday.  This happened once before after I had the fluid replaced then stopped all of a sudden.  I am going to keep an eye on it.  Thanks for the help with walking through this. It helps to bounce stuff of of folks in the know.

 

 

 

Edited by shellback91
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I'm chasing a similar leak that developed after a trans filter replacement. It's been hard to chase down, constant cleaning and poking around. Mine seems to be coming from up front and high up. keep posting what you find, one of us will figure it out.

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To help pinpoint oil leak sources, clean the area as best you can, let it dry throughly, then lightly dust the area with flour...(yes the same stuff you would use to make a cake or bake cookies), or alternatively use talcum powder...    Then drive it with multiple stops short intervals (10-15 minutes initially) to inspect.   The flour (or talc) will become damp/wet at or near the leak source... ;)

Edited by ob1jeeper
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Thanks @ob1jeeper.  I decided to take her in to the dealership week after next because the cooling lines are covered.  Because of that I do not want to clean it up too good and have them say they see nothing wrong. It is cleaner than before, just not spotless yet. I did take a drive yesterday and when I got home there was still no leaking.  I am going to see what happens at the dealership before I try the flour idea, which is a good one, if needed.

Edited by shellback91
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1 hour ago, Trail Toy said:

 

My rig still has a recall for the tranny cooler lines that hasn't been fixed.  I haven't noticed any leaks, just waiting for the cooler lines, they had to be special ordered.  When the parts get in I'll be taking my rig back to the dealer (Larry H. Miller) for the recall repair.  Maybe you have the same recall?  Couldn't hurt to ask.

 

Here's a link that will tell you if your vehicle has any current recalls still needing to be addressed: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

Thanks for the link and the heads up on the parts being special order, hopefully they won't take her away from me until they come in if that is the issue.  I did read about the recall on 2012's a day or ago so I checked on the Jeep owners website and it said it was fixed in 2013. I verified that was accurate using your link.  We shall see what happens. No leaks are a good sign for now and I am not planning on driving much the next week and half.

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Okay, found my leak. I went under the assumption that due to the location it was a trans leak. After further inspection and a lot of YouTube I found it's a common problem on the 3.6 liter for the oil filter adapter/oil cooler for it to crack, leak and create the exact leak location I'm having. Pulled the cowel and found the puddle directly under sald housing. OEM replacement is a $130 and 4 or 5 hour's of labor. Might as well do the plugs while I have the top end disassembled.

On 12/16/2020 at 3:01 PM, Trail Toy said:

Tranny cooler lines are in, dropping my rig off tomorrow morning for the repair. 😎

 

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8 hours ago, Stacey and Scott said:

Okay, found my leak. I went under the assumption that due to the location it was a trans leak. After further inspection and a lot of YouTube I found it's a common problem on the 3.6 liter for the oil filter adapter/oil cooler for it to crack, leak and create the exact leak location I'm having. Pulled the cowel and found the puddle directly under sald housing. OEM replacement is a $130 and 4 or 5 hour's of labor. Might as well do the plugs while I have the top end disassembled.

 

 

8 hours ago, Trail Toy said:

At least you know what and where it is.  I believe @theksmith just got done dealing with the same issue, might want to get in touch with him as he might have advise, good luck! 

 

yep, that problem is making its rounds lately - @klaykrusher just had his fixed, so he can tell you the cost for a shop to do it. i did it myself, and it really wasn't too bad of a job (considering everything that has to come off). 

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As much as i want to take it in, the cost doesn't justify the job. Let some air out of the tires and roll it into the garage, time to get dirty off the clock.

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