Jim Grant's Tech Tips
93 Chevy Cavalier, Fatal Fluids?
My son is away at college. He has a ‘93 Chevy Cavalier with a rebuilt motor and transmission put in this car a year ago. He recently has had red (transmission) fluid leaking out. He says the car is now running poorly. I am a single mother with no car knowledge and no money for repairs, what is your advice?
Your son should find out where and why the transmission is leaking. It could be as simple as a loose clamp, or a transmission oil cooler line that needs to be replaced. My concern is how good is your son at checking the fluid level? Often times people will add fluid to a transmission when it isn’t shifting right. I even had customers that added fluid without checking the level. They used the “feel” of the transmission shifting as a guide to when the transmission fluid was low. Then they would add enough to get it shifting right again. Automatic transmissions cannot handle this approach and they have little tolerance for operating at low fluid levels. This leads me to my next question. What is running poorly mean? Is your son confusing transmission slippage with an engine running problem? Did the running problem seem to tie into the transmission fluid leak? I would suggest getting the transmission fluid leak corrected and then move to the next problem if still present. Ignoring the problem is just going to lead to bigger ones if left alone.