Automatic Transmission Pans & Drain Plugs
Automatic Transmission Pans
An automatic transmission pan is bolted to the transmission with a gasket, between the two units. The purpose of the pan is to keep the fluid in the transmission, the pan is also designed to be removed,in order to allow the transmission fluid to be changed. An automatic transmission pan is typically made from steel or aluminum,in order to reduce weight. All automatic transmission pans are specific to the transmission they are installed on,so that bolt holes and contours, line up correctly.
The transmission pan is available in many shapes, for different purposes. A standard replacement pan appears similar to the original, while a performance pan is deeper,in order to allow for more transmission fluid. Some automatic transmission pans have grooves on the outside or hollow tubes through them,in order to dissipate heat from the transmission, which is the main cause of transmission failure.
If an automatic transmission pan is leaking, it most often is caused by a bad gasket, or a missing or loose, drain plug. A transmission pan can crack upon impact with an object while driving. If the oil pan has a crack, replacement is necessary.
Transmission Drain Plugs
Most automatic transmissions have a drain plug on the oil pan but not all do. By removing the drain plug the transmission fluid can be drained from the system without having to remove the entire pan. This makes draining transmission fluid much easier. Some drain plugs contain a magnet to help collect small metal shavings from normal transmission wear. If the plug does not have a magnet then it is typically located inside the oil pan itself or the vehicle may not have a magnet at all. When installing the drain plug it is important to make sure the threads align properly, failure to do so can result in stripped threads and a transmission fluid leak.
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