How To Know If Your Subaru Is Leaking Transmission Fluid

Leaking transmission fluid is one of the most common problems with gearboxes. While Subaru vehicles are hardy and can go for a long time without any problems, it is possible eventually that a driver is faced with a leak in the transmission fluid. Part of the challenge is knowing when this problem occurs is that you may have to infer from other clues that you have this problem. However, if you are very keen, it is possible to detect it.

Here is how to know if your transmission fluid is leaking.

Causes of Transmission Fluid Leaks

By a large margin, the biggest cause of leaking transmission fluid is gaskets. The gearbox is lined with many rubber gaskets whose primary job is to prevent such leaks. The problem occurs when, over time, the rubber hardens and begins to crack. This, in turn, leads to leaks along these fault lines, and over time, the cracks widen and more fluid is lost. Pipes that move the transmission fluid around are also prone to cracks as they are also made of rubber.

Regardless of the cause, here are some telltale signs that your transmission fluid is leaking.

You See It

Depending on where the leak takes place, it might be possible to see leaking transmission fluid on the ground, especially where you often park the car. This is why it is important to keep your garage floor clean as it makes it easy to detect such leaks.

Burning Smell

This is also a common way of telling if your transmission fluid is leaking. When driving, you will detect a strong pungent smell coming from the engine area. This happens when transmission fluid comes into contact with hot metal parts of the engine.


As the transmission fluid leaks progress, the low levels of transmission fluid make it hard for the gears to engage. When this happens, you may experience shudders and vibrations. These are likely to occur when the vehicle is changing gears but can happen at any time.

Check Engine Sign

Subaru vehicles are designed to alert you when something is wrong with the car. In this case, you may see a check engine light or another type of warning light on the dashboard that will tell you something is wrong with the transmission system.

Loss of Power

Another common sign of leaking transmission is grinding noises during gear changes and loss of power. This is because the gears are not engaging as efficiently as they should and this results in poor acceleration.

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