Q: Fluid leaking - 2009 Chevrolet Malibu

asked by on September 12, 2016

I got my transmission fluid changed on Saturday. Everything was fine but during the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday my car started leaking reddish/brownish fluid from my car. Is this normal? Today is Monday and it hasn't been leaking that much.

My car has 102468 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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There should not be ANY leaks or seepage. One obvious thing to check is the drain plug/gasket (if equipped). It is also possible that fluid is leaking past the transmission oil pan gasket if the pan was removed and a new gasket was not employed.

Generally, if a gasket is involved, you can NOT re-use it because a gasket once compressed will not be able to re-establish an adequate liquid tight seal. Even transmission oil pan gaskets that claim to be re-usable I will throw away because it is always cheap insurance to just put a new one in and do the job right.

If the oil pan gasket is indeed leaking and they did not use a NEW gasket, do NOT allow them to further tighten the pan bolts to "fix" (i.e., cover up) the problem. Over tightening the pan bolts WILL distort the oil pan mounting flange or break, weaken, and stretch the relatively small (typically around 6 MM) bolts or both. If the pan gasket is leaking, remove the pan, put a new gasket in and torque the pan bolts in the right sequence to the FSM specification. Then re-fill with new transmission oil, preferably with the synthetic type.

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