Jeep Leaking Transmission Fluid: 5 Possible Reasons

jeep leaking transmission fluid

Notice a red stain when rolling out of your driveway? That’s a sure sign of your Jeep leaking transmission fluid.

Well – that sucks!

What could have caused that to happen, right?

Trust me. I’ve owned and driven enough different Jeeps to have gone through this a few times!

Below I share what could be the potential issue and what you can do about fixing it.

What Causes A Jeep to Leak Transmission Fluid

1.) Transmission Pan Gasket Is Leaking

The Pan Gasket is a fairly common transmission oil leak location. 

It normally happens due to normal wear and tear on the gasket and is common on older Jeeps with plenty of miles on them.

Although it’s common, it still makes you ask yourself…

“Why is my Jeep leaking oil?”

Rinse off your transmission pan, then start the engine and watch to see if it drips. If you do see it seeping from the seal, then you’ve found your culprit!

How to Fix It

Remove the pan and replace the gasket used to seal it to the transmission (carefully to avoid spilling and losing all your transmission fluid!)

If you have lots of miles on your vehicle, this might be an ideal time to get the transmission serviced, since you already have the pan off anyways!

2.) Transmission Line Leaking

When you look under your Jeep, you can see several different steel lines running along the vehicle. Look along the lines that are connected to the transmission to see if they are leaking the fluid.

This leak is tougher to spot, since the transmission fluid will run along the line until it drips off.

  • Wipe off the lines (make sure your vehicle hasn’t been running for a long time to ensure the lines are cool)
  • Turn on the engine
  • Watch for drips running along the lines

This can be caused by a poor connection, the lines running too hot and harming the seal or from bumping into something that causes a puncture.

How to Fix It

Once you have (or your mechanic) discovered which transmission line is faulty, purchase a new one at the dealer and replace the line. 

I did this myself to stop my Jeep leaking oil, and I was happy learning how to swap it myself!

A new transmission line can run between $60-250.

3.) Worn out or Broken Seals

Your Jeep’s transmission is built with hundreds of little components! 

Over time the rubber gaskets and seals inside will erode and need to be replaced. 

When this starts to happen, you won’t know for sure which seal is causing the issue until the transmission can be opened up and inspected.

What will likely indicate a seal has eroded is the transmission fluid coming from the input or output shafts or even the connection to the driveshaft.

How to Fix It

Unless you are familiar with taking apart and fixing transmissions, I recommend taking your Jeep to a shop to have the transmission removed and fixed.

Getting this done will be costly because of how much time and labor is required to do the fix.

4.) Faulty Torque Converter

A torque converter is essentially a torque pump that assists in increasing/decreasing the amount of pressure being created inside your transmission.

It’s attached to the rear of the transmission and can crack over time. This can be caused by misuse or continuously driving very aggressively.

When this happens you may have a Jeep not accelerating properly

When the torque converter cracks or the needle bearings inside of it are damaged it will leak.

How to Fix It

Torque converters are a special component that I recommend getting a transmission shop to either fix or replace for you.

Oftentimes the torque converter can be removed without taking the whole transmission out of your Jeep which will reduce the overall cost.

If it’s cracked, it will need to be replaced. If the needle bearings are damaged, the shop can likely reuse your current converter at a cheaper price!

5.) Transmission Pan Replacement

We talked about the gasket earlier, but the pan itself can become damaged and cause a leak too.

With most vehicles, this might seem like a pretty unlikely thing to happen.

But… You’re driving a Jeep off-road on the weekends!

When you’re driving over rocks and in swampy waters, it’s more common than you think to cause damage to your transmission pan!

How to Fix It

Like your transmission pan gasket, remove the pan and replace it with a new pan AND gasket!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Transmission Fluid Leak?

The cost to fix a transmission fluid leak will vary depending on what the problem ends up being.

Replacing a transmission pan gasket vs getting a transmission resealed is a huge difference.

$150 up to $1500+ because of the labor involved.

How Serious is a Transmission Fluid Leak?

A transmission fluid leak is very serious, if you leave it for too long eventually you will cause damage to the transmission. 

It requires fluid to run, and when there is a lack of fluid it will run hot, searing the internals and potentially the lines as well!

Can You Drive a Jeep With A Transmission Fluid Leak?

A Jeep might be drivable with a transmission fluid leak. If you noticed it right away and it is a small amount, it is passable to drive it until it can be fixed!

If there is a large amount of fluid leaking, it needs to be towed to your nearest mechanic shop to be fixed!

In Summary

It sucks when you find your Jeep leaking transmission fluid, but now you are equipped with the knowledge to figure out where the leak is coming from and what you can do to fix the problem!

If you found this helpful, I also help with fixing a steering box leak in another article!