2002 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 124000 miles
Since July of 2009, my Explorer has been leaking transmission fluid from the vent hole while/after driving. I usually drive 40 to 74 miles each day, mountainous driving. It seems like the tranny needs to get hot before it leaks. It does not appear to leak once the tranny has cooled down completely nor does it leak while just sitting parked for several days at a time.
My local Ford garage finally localized the leak to the vent hole after initially thinking it was the transfer case gasket and transmission pan gasket leaking. They so far have been unable to determine why the fluid is coming from the vent hole since they have not yet opened up the tranny. They think that maybe the tranny fluid is possibly overheating and causing the fluid to expand to the point of leaking. They are currently attempting to connect some kind of gauge to the tranny to check pressures while/after driving but they are having difficulty getting the gauge connected due to the tight working space.
I am aware from your site that an internal leak could cause fluid to drain back into the tranny overnight, causing it to overfill and leak from the vent hole while parked overnight, however, my issue occurs while/right after after driving.
My tranny does slip a little every once in a while and sometimes will shudder a little after cresting the top of a hill when in overdrive. It also has occasional harsh engagement when in trying to put it in reverse. The garage has not seen any clutch material or metal chunks in the fluid the last few times they looked at it. Also, once after driving, the tranny would not go into any gear until it cooled down.
Could the solenoid pack cause all of these issues or could there be something more major at work? Could there still be some kind of internal leak that might cause these symptoms during driving as opposed to being parked overnight? Is a replacement tranny in my future?
I have been dealing with this for about 5 months and really need to get this resolved, hopefully before the snow flies. Thanks for your help!
Friday, November 20th, 2009 AT 2:20 PM