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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1996 pontiac bonneville se
ok so me and my friend were taking my 96 bonnie to walmart. she drove fine the whole way there. then when i was turning into a parking spot. she didnt turn normally. kinda like you were turning on ice. were the car slides then catches then slides. i didnt think much of it. after i got out i noticed a red liquid started from were my car started turning to park and if followed to under neath my car. i looked under neath and tranny fluid was pouring out from the back left of the engine (if you are looking at the car head on). what i am trying to figure out is if i pulled out a hose when i turned. any ideas. my car is at a shop (cause iam not transmission smart).

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:07 pm 
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Sounds like possible differential failure to me.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:10 pm 
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blah that doesnt sound cheap. but i dont think it was that cause i was able to drive it the short distance i needed to in order to get it to the shop. or i could be wrong. oh and the all the tranny fluid leaked out.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Yup, more then likely diff failure.

What happens is over time, usually caused by burning out around corners, (not saying you, could be a previous owner) the differential pin will shear the crappy roll pin that holds it in place and the pin will then slide out and begin to rub away at the diff housing at the end of the transmission until it becomes weak enough that there is just enough bind and it cracks the diff housing allowing all the trans fluid to leak out.

You will still be able to drive until the differential completely grenades from the pin falling out, or you run out of transmission fluid.


The fluid cooling lines go into and out of the transmission towards the front drivers side and the cooler is in the radiator on the passenger side. The lines run along the bottom of the core support from one side to the other. If the fluid looks like it is coming from the passenger side behind the engine, I am quite certain you have a differential failure.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:21 pm 
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well thats not good news. is it and expensive fix or a cheap one. i bought the car for cheap and put some money into it to keep it running untill something major happens. so i got to decide if it is worth fixing. i paid 200 for it and put about 400 into repairs.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Is it an easy fix? Yes and no....

Yes because you will only need a differential, the housing, new fluid, and a filter.

No because all of your fluid is now contaminated with aluminum shavings that could cause some serious other issues such as stuck valves, premature clutch wear, plugged lines, pump wear, etc...

Honestly, if I were you, I would throw a diff and housing in it, flush the crap out of the fluid and put a new filter in it. Drive it for a couple hundred miles and change the filter again then run it until it dies. It could run 500 miles and die or it could run 100,000 more miles trouble free, it is your call as to if you want to take the gamble.

Of course, this is all provided that this is your actual problem, I am only saying diff failure as that is a common problem and from your description of what happened where the fluid is coming from, it fits. We will know soon for 100% sure.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:09 pm 
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Sounds to me like the OP needs to get under the car and inspect for the location of the leak before any further guesses or discussions of possibilities.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:24 pm 
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His car is at the shop right now so we should know soon, however based in the description given of the issue and the location where the transmission fluid was coming out I still think it is likely the differential. Not saying for 100% sure it is, but he asked for ideas and that is mine.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1997 bonneville se
I just change my tranny pan gasket thinking that was what was leaking cause that where it looks like its was coming from when i got up under the car to look at it. So could that be whats wrong with mine cause itS still leaking fluid from the left of the tranny and when i park it on hill slanted to the left it leaks more.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:31 am 
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You should most likely start your own topic, but......if it were my car, I'd be looking at axle output seals or side pan gasket. Make sure the side and bottom pan gasket bolts are tight, but not over-tight. Make sure the trans is not overfilled. Clean all the tranny fluid mess off with brake cleaner, wipe down with rags, and see where the fluid leak originates.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:05 pm 
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Razmatazz.....

When you did your parking lot tooling around, did you do a lot of one wheel wonders and peg legs with the car?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:12 am 
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well so the official diagnosis came in today. turns out something broke loose and made a hole in the transmission housing and gave it a pritty healthy crack on it to and the differential gernaded.. wish i would of got a pic. Luckily the mechanic found some one looking for a engine and misc parts for his bonneville. so i contacted the potential buyer. After a 20 walk around and telling him the condition of the engine and all the parts ive replaced through out its life we settled on 800$ (which was 200 more than what it cost me to buy and fix up). Even though it wasnt repairable (worth it that is) i still managed to get a good price. Later that day i managed to find a 2005 Chev Malibu Maxx for 2k. it has 174xxx miles and the body looks like it came right out of the assembly line. ill have pics soon. even though i have this car i will be looking for a 96-99 model to replace the one i had.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:07 am 
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Merged the two topics together. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:35 am 
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Yup, I figured that's what it was :)

Looking forward to pics of the new ride!

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Check out my detailing page on facebook! --> Next Level Detailing
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2003 Bonneville SSEi - The Black Mirror SOLD!
2002 Bonneville SE - The Mutt Complete 2004 SLE interior, drivetrain, and body harness swap, ECC swap, HUD swap, black GXP wheels, GXP headlights and tinted tails - SOLD
2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
1982 Cutlass Supreme - The fun one

MattStrike wrote:
It was the worst week of my life! *pause, drinks beer... smiles* But I'm better now!


Last edited by crash93ssei on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:42 am 
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i didnt know you could merge them lol i was like WTF WERE DID MY UPDATE GO lol.

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