Can transmission fluid enter a radiator and what can be done about it?


Asked by Nov 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM about the 2001 Toyota 4Runner

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Radiator fluid appears muddy.

4 Answers


Possible. The transmission cooler is usually attached to the side of the radiator. If you look on one side of the back of the radiator, you should see two small lines, one near the top and one near the bottom. Those are the transmission fluid lines. If you do have a leak you'll have to take out the radiator and have it fixed or replaced


A bad head gasket will also make your coolant look bad and is a lot bigger pain....

Tom Harmon

Have you checked the fluid in the transmission for what may look like emulsion (Frothy substance). Or even the oil may have a different color I would check it both cold then hot. If you are leaking at the head ... you may see a lot more moisture from the tail pipe, lost performance and if left un-repaired ... a clogged catalytic converter

Tom Demyan

I suspect the radiator/trans cooler failed. Ytlas is right. You need a new radiator, flush the coolant system, then flush the transmission and replace the filter and hope the transmission last awhile longer. Once the clutches get wet with water/coolant, it's a matter of time before they fail/de- laminate. Sorry.

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