I am really hopin someone on here can help me out. I just purchased a 1999 cougar, and everything is near mint, however the lady informed me that last year tranny fluid leaked from the "thing that holds the fluid in" in her words. She's not a car buff. I assumed maybe the pan or plug?? She had it fixed TWICE by the ford dealer. The first time she said they cleaned it as it was coroded, and she also said they "rounded the edges" whatever that means, I'm not sure. It leaked again on her, so she took it back and the second time they JB welded it, and she said it didn't leak on her since. She didn't drive it much and stored it in a garage for the winter. However, when I was driving it home upon buying it, I had a stop and noticed trans fluid in the passenger wheel well. Upon further inspection I saw trans fluid all over the underneath of the front of the car, and smoking off of the exaust. I checked the fluid, and it wasn't out by any means, so I got it home. I am by no means a mechanic, so could you guys please give some input on this problem. Do you think it's the part she had problems with? Or something else???
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Here is one way you can narrow it down. Wipe the transmission pan clean and as much of the fluid around the area while the car is cool. Then start it up and let it idle for about 10 minutes. DO NOT DRIVE IT. The origin of your leak can be misleading while driving it because the fluid will drip from wherever the problem area is and get all over the place underneath there as you are driving.
On the 99-02 Cougars, there was a vent hose that was known for leaking transmission fluid. There is a replacement hose available IF that is the culprit.
When you say "rounded edges", more so what I am thinking here is the drain plug and what the previous owner may be saying here is that the drain plug was rounded off because they used the wrong size socket or over-torqued the plug and rounded it off when they tried to remove it. This plug is on the bottom side of your transmission and you could probably lay eyes on it and see if it is still hex-shaped or if the edges are destroyed. That right there would immediately tell you the problem.
My only other thought would be the dipstick tube seal for the tranny if it even has one. That doesn't "HOLD" fluid in though per say, but if the o-ring where the tube meets the transmission case goes bad, it can leak like a sieve. I don't think I can vote for this though according to how the owner described things.
I am going to throw a vote out there that it is your drain plug.
Wipe her clean, start 'er up, and inspect.