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Transmission leaking at dipstick

10-02-2011, 07:45 PM
1998 Escort wagon auto trans. Around 120,000 miles. My daughters Escort is leaking transmission fluid through the top of the dipstick tube. The dipstick is seating just fine in the tube but I see there are small passages where fluid could leak. Everything in the area of the tube is wet with fluid. I read in some other posts to check the vent, which I will. Is there anything else I should check? I also checked the fluid level and it is high. It's up to the part of the dipstick where it is twisted. She purchased it 9 months ago and no one has done any transmission service on it. So if the fluid is high then the previous owner did it.

10-02-2011, 08:22 PM
Before I would go in to major things and worrying, you will need to drain the fluid down to the proper level and to do so you will need to either drain it completely and fill it with the proper amount of fluid or get it to operating temperature and drain it little by little until it is at the proper level.
I am very surprised that the transmission has not acted up or started leaking earlier. To the issue of leaking, as the transmission fluid gets hot it tends to expand and get sloshed around with all the moving parts, it will find the easiest place to escape.

10-02-2011, 08:36 PM
I have one of those fluid pumps you mount to a drill with small clear tubing. I can suck fluid out through the dipstick tube. I will do that first. The transmission has been working fine.

10-05-2011, 08:56 PM
Just checking up, did you get the problem fixed?

11-06-2011, 07:25 PM

I pumped nearly a quart and a half out of it and it still read a little high on the dipstick. Took it for about a half mile ride and it seamed ok so I stopped home to get my cell phone to go for a longer ride. At the first stop sign I came to a rolling stop and drove off. It seemed to shift/downshift weird like it didn't know what gear to put it in. At the next stop sign I came to a complete stop, waited for a moment and took off. It never downshifted into 1st in fact it was still in 3rd. I slowed down to almost a crawl at the next intersection, did a U-turn, stepped on the gas and it still stayed in 3rd gear. The last thing I wanted to do was destroy the transmission so I went back home and refilled it back to the level it was at. Took it for a ride again and everything worked fine. At least at this (supposedly high) level it performs fine. The car is my daughters daily driver with about 45 miles per day on the freeway.

So my question, is there any other reason a dipstick would read a high fluid level even though the level was normal? Is the transmission not pumping enough fluid around leaving too much in the pan? She's been driving it for 10 months now putting on over 10,000 miles with no transmission problems. She never noticed it leaking until she moved into a house with a garage. It could have been leaking before but she lived in an apartment complex parking on blacktop making it difficult to notice.

Thanks for any help.

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