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Old 07-06-2012, 05:20   #1 (permalink)
TKO
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oil or tranny cooler?

I have been noticing for the last few months that after a long drive, and i get out of my van i smell either oil or trans fluid. I am not leaking or dripping any fluids either. I also noticed that when it gets colder, I sometimes sit at a stop light and i see smoke coming out. It is not from my valve covers onto my headers either. I replaced those seals. My van runs great, for the horrible transmissions its not that bad, It usually slips in first and second but good other than that. I replaced the fluid last year, and keep up on oil. It smells to me that its by the radiator, or by the front of my van.

My question is that i am wondering what is going on? and i do not think its antifreeze either, resivoir is usually on the same mark all the time, and i perform flushes when needed.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:40   #2 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

No sign of any leaks or coolant staining on radiator core ?
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Old 07-07-2012, 13:11   #3 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

No sir, Visually both sides of the radiator look clean, no drippage anywhere, just the old oil from the valve covers, but i smell it in high temp and after driving alot, maybe wrong mixture? i Just bought an antifreeze tester and idk how to read it. Its dead summer and i dont know what the guage should read either.
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Old 07-07-2012, 21:52   #4 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

Try to get it scanned to see if a tranny diagnostic comes up, but if you're slipping in 1rst and 2nd, you're on the way to either rebuilding or replacing your tranny if you don't get it resolved fairly quickly. If your van is less than 20 years old, the dipstick is not far from the from of the van, can't verify anything older since I haven't dealt with any of the older vans. Your dipstick may be the source of your smoke. Ford did have a few years where if you didn't do a transmission fluid and filter change after about 75,000 miles, it was going to give you trouble. I got left 114 miles from home with only 1rst gear because our contracted service vender felt that it was unnecessary. I'd complain, but I was paid overtime for sitting with an almost DOA van until the tow truck got it and somebody picked me up.
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Old 07-11-2012, 13:33   #5 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

I have been keeping up on my fluid and filter every 50k. And it has been this way for about 3 years. Only once has it given me trouble not shifting to 4th gear? idt i have 5 gears. but it was stuck at 60mph and reving up to about 3k to 4k on the tach. The smell is definitly in the front part of the engine, and the smoke is coming out of the area where all of the coolers are located, radiator, condensor, etc.

But after i got to where i was off to, i disconnected the battery the whole day i was where i was, reconnected it when i left, and no problems since. I am thinking a sensor for the slipping. I will run up soon and get it scanned, just keep forgetting to. Any other suggestions so far?
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Old 07-11-2012, 14:33   #6 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

No codes, i went up to autozone, nothing.
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:03   #7 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

Disconnecting the battery removes some codes. If it starts running like it did, check for codes then.
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Old 07-12-2012, 16:02   #8 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

did that, same thing, no codes. The guy at autozone said i was dumb for changing the trans fluid and filter. And he explained why, and im sure you know what he said, so he was saying i should have drained a quart of old, added a new one, and went a week or two then keep repeating til i was with new fluid. The torque converter has the most fluid correct? and i was wondering if i should change the tranny fluid and filter again sooner than the reccomended mileage?
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Old 07-12-2012, 17:59   #9 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKO View Post
did that, same thing, no codes. The guy at autozone said i was dumb for changing the trans fluid and filter. And he explained why, and im sure you know what he said, so he was saying i should have drained a quart of old, added a new one, and went a week or two then keep repeating til i was with new fluid. The torque converter has the most fluid correct? and i was wondering if i should change the tranny fluid and filter again sooner than the reccomended mileage?
I've never seen anyone change the tranny filter without draining all the fluid, but I do have a question, is this a full sized van or a FWD?
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Old 07-16-2012, 19:24   #10 (permalink)
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Re: oil or tranny cooler?

If you have a transmission cooler radiator in the front, make sure you check the lines carefully. A good trick, is to buy some UV dye and add a few drops to the engine coolant. If you have a trouble light already, buy a $1 UV bulb and after driving the van for a couple days pop the hood and see if anything glows.

A clogged PCV valve can allow oil to seep out and burn off on the valve cover. I'd get everything inspected, lower cooling hoses especially for cracks. Another thing to check is the coolant pump. When it starts to go, it will slowly seep out coolant through what's called a weep hole. Chances are good that the coolant is burning off on the engine, or from heat on other components.

I had a bad cooling hose clamp on my Taurus last year. I checked the fluids out and 2200kms later I was down a quart of coolant. Took me a while to pinpoint it as I did the cardboard under the engine truck overnight and it didn't show anything leaking. My guess is that on long drives when the engine is warm for a while it will develop a slow leak. Again, turned out it was a rusted cooling hose clamp that I caught early enough before it broke. I squeezed it with my fingers and it snapped in two when I removed it to replace it.

A faulty TPS or throttle position sensor can cause some driveability problems and what may feel like erratic shifting on occasion. The sensor is about $40 and is easily replaced with torx tools (most applications).

In order to change a transmission fluid filter the pan needs to be dropped, and thus, the fluid needs to be refilled. Engine oil is a different story. If you run full synthetic oil you can get away with just changing the filter every so many miles.

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Automatic transmission service has two ways to change the fluid.

A normal "transmission service" is just that. It involves draining what fluid is in the pan, only. This is roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the total transmission fluid capacity. This leaves old transmission fluid to mix with the new fluid. In most owners manuals it will state that the first service is to be done at say 60K, and each service at 30K thereafter to keep a constant supply of clean fresh fluid in the transmission. I feel sorry for Lexus owners, as most of their vehicles state in the owners manual "lifetime transmission fluid", and specify no change interval! ...so be cautious.

The alternative is a transmission fluid flush. This effectively removes all the old fluid and fills the transmission pan and torque converter with fresh fluid. The downside, is that on vehicles with higher mileage (100K+), this can cause more problems than what its worth. By that, I mean if you flush the transmission under pressure, you'll remove any gunk/dirt that has accumulated in various parts of the transmission. In some cases, this dirt can lodge itself in critical areas and not be evacuated when the new fluid is installed. In turn, it can burn out clutches, gears, and even shift poorly if the valve body gets a passage or two clogged. A good shop will not recommend a flush unless the vehicle is very new and you have the money to waste on it, and keep up with it at no more than every 30-35K from new.

Automatic transmissions also have solenoids that control shifting, among other things. If a solenoid fails, a shop must drop the transmission pan and change the fluid in order to gain access.
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