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I have a 1995 Jeep Cherokee leaking transmission fluid, what's the best course of action?


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I have a 1995 Jeep Cherokee with an automatic transmission that leaks transmission fluid. It has 230k miles on it, and seems to be running fine. I notice a few drops of fluid every time I park somewhere. After inspecting it I can tell that it's red, and I know the transmission fluid is red and no other fluids are red so I am pretty sure it's the transmission fluid. I have been adding about a third of a quart of transmission fluid anyway because I can tell it's low by the Jeep suddenly jerking when going into gear. My concern is how much it might cost to repair this vs. the value of the vehicle. As I understand it, there's a seal on the transmission that probably needs to be fixed? Is it something I could do myself? This is the original transmission and it's probably withstood some damage over time due to poor maintenance on my part as well.

2 Answers

You need to determine exactly where it's leaking from. Could be just the drain plug or pan gasket, or it could be something more serious.

After looking at my notes it looks like I kept up with the transmission fluid better than I thought. Last fluid change was at 196k miles (and I have had mechanics fix a transmission fluid leak twice in the vehicle's history). Now I need to find the exact location of the leak. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Those Aisin AW4 transmissions (assuming it has the 4.0 engine) can last a long time if you take care of them at all. Transmission cooler lines would be another common place for leaks, so be sure to check those.


If the leak is from the input shaft seal, the trans has to be removed.  If it's the output shaft seal, the drive shaft can be disconnected and a new seal installed fairly easily, but like @chucktobias said, you must pinpoint the source of the leak first.  A pan gasket or drain plug gasket are very simple to replace.

If the trans has to be removed for that seal it's an excellent time to also replace the rear core plugs on the 4.0 since those are not accessible with engine and transmission in place. (There's one on back of the cylinder head up against the firewall and another on the back of the block covered by the bellhousing.)

@chucktobias - Great point!  While in there, he might as well remove the flexplate and replace the rear main seal as well while there is access.