Rear Transmission Seal

If there is one word that most people do not want to hear on a trip to the mechanic, that word is "transmission." We rely on our cars from everything from getting to work to getting the groceries and when that car is down for the count, as it often is when there is transmission trouble involved, we can be heavily inconvenienced. Worse, if the car is out for good or so old that the transmission isn't even worth replacing, we who rely on our cars so much can suddenly find ourselves in the market for a new vehicle unexpectedly one afternoon.

There is a reason that even the most seasoned amateur mechanics, you know the type – the guy who is bent over his hood on Saturday afternoons, tinker with his auto's performance and constantly finding black grime beneath his fingernails – is cowed in his boots when it comes to the mechanic saying the dreaded "transmission" word. That's because there are very few transmission repairs than can be completed from home. No, most transmission work must be done at a shop or dealership, and that is why transmission problems can be such a hassle and inconvenience. This is because transmissions have complex internal parts and their handling requires a great deal of specialized knowledge.

But luckily for that amateur mechanic, there is one transmission repair that can be done form home, and that is the repair of the rear transmission seal. What is the real transmission seal, you ask? The rear transmission seal is found in the area where the car's driveshaft couples to the transmission. This seal is only present on rear wheel drive cars and trucks. You might notice that your rear transmission seal is bad when you see a puddle of transmission fluid underneath your car when it has been parked for awhile.

It is important to note a few facts about transmission fluid. Transmission fluid, such as that fluid that will leak from your car if the rear transmission seal is leaking, is a viscous, slippery substance that acts as a lubricant for all those complex internal parts found inside your vehicle's transmission. If you have an automatic vehicle, the transmission fluid serves a dual purpose. Not only does it lubricate the internal parts of your transmission, it also serves as a coolant and it transmits power from the engine to the transmission. Now, before you go trying to change your transmission fluid, wait. Changing transmission fluid, unlike changing oil, is a difficult process and unless you are a highly skilled mechanic, also a process better left to the professionals.

The rear transmission seal, on the other hand, can often be changed at home if the mechanic has a little car know how and follows all the steps. Many tutorials about changing rear transmission seals can be found in auto books or online. Also, this repair is quick and easy. It just takes a few simple hand tools and can often be done within an hour or, if you are an experienced mechanic, in even less time. What a relief to hear that that transmission leak does not mean you need a new transmission, right?

If you plan to fix your own rear transmission seal, first be sure to consult your car's service manual. This should have come with your car, but sometimes, especially when buying used, the manual has been lost. In that case, take the time to visit an auto parts store and invest in a book about your particular make and model of car. And, of course, if you are not feeling up to the challenge of chancing your car's real transmission seal on your own, err on the side of caution and take your car into a reputable mechanic.

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