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Q: Factory radiator defect caused transmission fluid to contaminate transmission

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A factory defect in the radiator has caused a transmission fluid leak to contaminate and destroy my transmission. I had driven my SUV to work and back and it parked fine. The next night when I was backing the SUV out of our driveway, it seemed to be struggling a lot to go forward. The ‘Check ATS’ light came on. Since the only direction that it would go was forward, I backed it into the drive and parked it. The manual said the ATS light meant to take to the dealership, so I had AAA tow it there. They reported to me that the radiator was leaking and the transmission needed to be replaced. Instead of having them do it, I went to a reputable transmission shop and they told me that this is a common problem with the QX56 models. They also informed me that the radiator also cools the transmission fluid and can ruin the transmission because of a defective part in the radiator. Now, I’m still waiting for the transmission shop to install a valve body ordered from Infinity. They will also have to rebuild the transmission, replace the radiator, plus all hoses and clamps. Do you know of any thing that I can do to keep from having more problems with this SUV?

Hello! I would suggest to using a radiator that has an abundance of good reviews from other customers. If the radiator is in fact causing the issues you’ve described there should definitely be other people who have already voiced their opinion on the radiator operation through reviews. A good review is a great indicator that a part will perform properly.

I would also suggest that you check under the vehicle before and after leaving the car for an extended period of time. Your description gives me the impression that there may be a transmission fluid leak present. If this is the case you will certainly be able to see fluid on the ground. Regularly check the vehicle for transmission leakage once you get it back. 

If you decide that you want a fresh pair of eyes on this problem, feel free to enlist a qualified mechanic who can diagnose the issue with your radiator and address the transmission fluid leak if necessary.

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