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transmission fluid in radiator

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by garris47, January 17, 2012.

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  1. garris47

    garris47 New Member

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    I tried looking for some information on other posts but nothing for sure.

    I replaced my thermostat about a month ago coolant seemed fin. This weekend my heater started blowing out cold. Coolant was low so I filled it up but the heater was still not hot. So I switched the hoses to the heater core and then it was hot. The cap was leaking so I replaced that. The coolant now looks horribly dirty brown and tranny fluid is very low. I only noticed that after it started not wanting to drive when in reverse at first, but then drive was bad also. I had to give it allot of gas just to barely move.

    My conclusion is that tranny fluid is getting into my radiator and clogged the heater core. I had planned on getting a new radiator and flushing the cooling system.

    Do I need to also flush that tranny fluid and replace the filter, could water have gotten into the transmission? Any other thoughts or comments on this would be much appreciated.

    Michael
     
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  3. ragajungle

    ragajungle Well-Known Member

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    if you switched the flow of the coolant into the heater core you basically unearthed all the crap and sludge typically built up in a heater core into the coolant system. the brownish clumps and coolant color are typical of 2 situations

    1) worn rad or heater core

    2)exhaust gasses from a slow head gasket or intake manifold gasket leak causing the coolant to become oxidized
     
  4. ragajungle

    ragajungle Well-Known Member

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    forgot to add: if there was trans fluid in the coolant system your transmission fluid would definitely have coolant in it (as the coolant system runs at a much greater pressure)
     
  5. garris47

    garris47 New Member

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    I just wanted to see if the heater core was clogged or not. If there was sludge in the heater core the entire system had sludge and needed flushed any I thought.

    I have not had any puddles of fluid under the truck at all. The transmission fluid level was fine every other time I checked it. Where could it have gone? Also why would it not show over full if there was added water in it?
     
  6. celsoglima

    celsoglima New Member

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    I would get that transmission fluid checked to make sure you didn't get coolant in it. If that fluid is contaminated your transmission can get damaged.

    A friend of mine had a similar issue with a toyota tundra. In his truck the cooling line for the transmission fluid ran along the radiator cooling lines. I don't recall the explanation he gave me. The transmission line cracked and transmission fluid got into the radiator. The radiator had to be replaced and all the contaminated fluids flushed not just replaced.
     
  7. budwich

    budwich Well-Known Member

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    what color is your tranny fluid? When water based fluids get in there, you WILL see a color change. That's the clue. IF coolant gets in there, you need to get the tranny fluid completely flushed otherwise its will "eat" the tranny... :-(
     
  8. Torqueranger

    Torqueranger Active Member

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    +1 keep tabs on tranny
    My sister had a vw jetta and coolant got into the tranny and wound up killing the tranny and from there your up shits creek..

    Oh If you have coolant in the tranny and then please take it to a shop to have them flush the whole system because unless you have the system to do this than you are wasting time and money... When changing the fluid in a trans you can never get all of the fluid out unless you take the tranny apart or flush it..
     
  9. garris47

    garris47 New Member

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    The tranny fluid looks normal. Although there is not much left in there. Going to install a new radiator and flush all the fluids.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  10. joesilvia92

    joesilvia92 New Member

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    the radiators on the xs have the tranny cooler built in to the sides. i had the same problem. the radiator cracked and the trans fluid started seeping in.
    id say check the radiator and after that get your trans fluid checked as said in thread cause the coolant can cause issues.
     

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