What to Consider When Getting a Transmission Gasket
Gaskets are tough seals that are compressed between different components in your vehicle to ensure a leak-free environment. Your transmission gasket, in particular, is assigned to seal the space between your transmission housing and the transmission pan. The fluid that this gasket contains is essential in providing the lubrication, cooling, and hydraulic power that your vehicle needs in order to run properly. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right transmission gasket.
Types of gasket material
There are many types and variations of gasket material. Some of the popular types of transmission gaskets include:
- Cork - These gaskets create tight seals that won't require any re-torquing. They can also endure extremely high temperatures and pressure. However, gaskets purely made of cork have a tendency to become brittle over time. Gaskets made from a mix of cork material and rubber are much more reliable.
- Rubber - These are among the most commonly used because of their flexibility, high resistance to heat, and the ease in which they are installed. However, they melt under extremely high temperatures and become brittle when exposed to extreme cold (lower than -94 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Composite - These are resistant to a wide variety of fluids, including gasoline, alcohol, oil, and coolant. They can also be trimmed for easy installation on modified parts.
- Graphite - These are high-quality gaskets that can withstand extreme temperatures, have great compressibility, and don't become brittle (even at temperatures below -300 degrees Fahrenheit). Graphite coating also enables the gasket to move in place without damage.
- Other than the type of gasket material, you should also consider the mating surfaces of the transmission housing and the pan. The surfaces could be flat, raised, have recessed ribs between pan holes, etc. Some gaskets may not work with certain surface types.
- Automatic transmission systems use fluids that are very different from the ones used by manual transmissions. As such, there are gaskets specifically designed for automatics.
How to Replace Your Transmission Gasket
Gaskets are tough, heat-resistant seals that are placed between the mating surfaces of joined components. They are designed to stop anything from leaking into or out of the joined objects. The transmission gasket, in particular, seals the gap between the pan and your transmission housing. It seals in transmission fluid which gives your vehicle the hydraulic power, lubrication, and cooling it needs to function. When it wears out and starts leaking, you can replace it yourself with the right tools and basic skills.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Here's what you'll need:
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Drain pan
- Socket wrench set
- Crescent wrench
- Putty knife
- Long-stemmed funnel
- Transmission fluid
- Gasket sealant
- Replacement transmission gasket
- Vehicle owner manual
- Make sure your vehicle is on a level surface - it might roll or lean when jacked up.
- Never rely on just the floor jack to hold up your vehicle. Be sure your jack stands are properly placed.
- We recommend working after your vehicle's engine has cooled down.
- Place your vehicle in "Park" or "Neutral" before you begin.
Step 1: Use the floor jack to raise your vehicle. Set up the jack stands and lower your vehicle securely onto them.
Step 2: You'll find your transmission dipstick behind your engine block, next to the firewall. Use the appropriate tools to remove the dipstick and set it aside.
Step 3: Place a drain pan underneath the transmission pan.
Step 4: Use your crescent wrench to loosen the drain plug at the bottom of the transmission pan so that the fluid empties into the drain pan.
Step 5: Use your socket wrench to remove the bolts holding the transmission pan in place. Remove the transmission pan and set it aside.
Step 6: Peel off the old transmission gasket and discard it. Use the putty knife to remove all traces of gasket material from the transmission pan and the housing.
Step 7: Apply a layer of gasket sealant on the mating surface of the transmission pan then carefully place your replacement transmission gasket on the pan.
Step 8: Reconnect the transmission pan to the housing using the same bolts. Tighten the bolts with your socket wrench.
Step 9: Place the long-stemmed funnel into the transmission tube and pour fresh transmission fluid into it.
Step 10: Re-install the transmission dipstick. Remove the jack stands and lower your vehicle to the ground.
Refer to your owner manual for any specifications that may require you to deviate from these general instructions.