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2004 Ford Explorer Leaking Transmission Fluid


Active Member
October 6, 2012
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Ford Explorer
Hey there Explorer community, i'm in a conundrum and any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I drive a 2004 Ford Explorer 4wd 4.0L Vin K 64,000 Miles, and I know explorers sometimes get a bad wrap but for the most part I love this car.
This car has always leaked a few drops of oil (maybe a drop a day), so when I saw few drops of fluid on the garage floor I was not alarmed. I went to change my oil a few days back and wiped up the fluid on the floor and this time it was red. About a month ago I had jiffy lube flush and fill my transmission fluid. It appears to be leaking from the transfer case gasket, I was wondering if this is simply a coincidence or if jiffy lube could have done anything to cause this. I've already taken it to them twice since and they say this is nothing they could have caused, but this is a closed system and the recent people I talked to didn't even seem to know where or how to replace it so to me their opinions weren't worth much.
Also assuming JiffyLube isn't going to fix it, where do I go from here? With this being a closed system I don't think I can simply live with the leak (A few drops a day it appears) because there is no way to check the level and fill when needed. I also really don't want to pay a thousand dollars to have the transmission dropped to replace it seeing as how the car is probably only worth maybe 5k but I really want to keep it. Does anyone have any advice for me? Is dropping the cash the only way? I usually am mechanically proficient enough to do most repairs myself but I don't think I could do this. Thanks in Advance for any advice.


Well-Known Member
May 22, 2013
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City, State
Detroit, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Ranger XLT 4X4
If it is leaking between the trans and the transfer case, it is one of the shaft seals on either the trans or TC. The trans does not need to come out. You do need to drop the transfer case down and stick a new seal in there. It's not too hard to do, and shouldn't cost that much at a shop either. The seal is about $10.

If Iffy Lube just did a "spill and fill", it is unlikely they had anything to do with this. But you never know what you will get there. It's a good place to avoid.

BTW, this was done before the catalyst rattle started, right? One wonders...