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What to do? Transmission leak...:(

13184 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  SafariDave
Ok, I had my trans flushed at the dealer about 6 months ago and I just discovered the trans drain plug is leaking!
I just took it back to the dealer and they said they do not touch the drain plug for a flush, therefor it's not their problem. They tightened the drain plug about a quarter of a turn and it is still leaking. They qouted me $1100 to replace the pan and filter.
I have 95,000 miles on it. It not due for a trans filter change until 150k miles or 10 years. It's a 2006 LR3 V8 NAS.

I'm frustrated... There is no easy way to check fluid level.
I can't believe the drain plug would just start to leak on its own.
Also, I checked above the drain plug and there are no signs of leaking. It's definitely coming from the drain plug.
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What does flush mean?

By dealer I assume you mean Land Rover dealer.

By flush, I assume that means the plastic pan was not removed and or replaced, just that in theory new oil was circulated into the tranny and in theory old oil was sucked out.

If it will make you feel better, it was due for a new pan/filter combo and new oil at about 80,000 miles or even before. As such, the fix will most likely be a new pan filter combo and another thousand dollars, not my idea of fun, but the good news is you are not telling us the tranny quit and what now. That can be expensive; this is just the high cost of education.

The ten year story you refer to, or more correctly life, is the alternative dealer line.

That is code for "buy new tranny", not install a new pan/filter combo. The extended service interval is so Land Rover Leasing does not have to pay for a tranny oil change within the lease period as it is about a thousand dollar job.

My new plastic pan combo oil change came in at near $1,100.00 about two months ago and that was about two hundred more than last time at my local ZF fixer. The dealer would be even more money.

I realize that you will not like what I am saying above and you will be able to quote many sources that disagree with my comments. One will likely be the Land Rover dealer, but it will not be a ZF repair shop.

A ZF shop will say new oil/filter combo every 50,000 miles if towing and hot conditions, otherwise every 80,000 miles max. Also try and find a local ZF shop - look for dead Mercedes / Audis etc strewn about the back lot - that will be the place. Most Land Rover dealers only know how to replace the tranny and do not know how to change out the pan - that is why the flush routine. Changing out the pan is not a fun task - it takes two guys who know what they are doing the better part of a morning.

The link below has a number of files related to our tranny. Some of them are quite informative.

DISCO3.CO.UK Photo Gallery - ZF 6HP26 Automatic Transmission in LR3
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Thanks for the reply.
This is a pavement queen, no towing either.
I wanted to get a better look at the problem by removing the heat shield bracket. What a pita!
I ended up degreasing the area, wipe it clean to get a better idea of where leak is coming from. Tightening the plastic drain plug scares the hell out of me!

The LR dealer seems like they just don't want to mess with it. I would have expected the service tech to probe the issue a little more. It was a waiste of my time to take it there.

Over the years of owning rovers, I've taken them to 3 different LR dealers for service, only to be dissapointed to their lack of caring...broken clips, broken air intake duct superglued together, missing pieces, coolant and oil everywhere only for me to clean up, grease stains all over my soft top...

I'm not saying all LR dealerships are like this, I'm sure there are plenty that offer great service...
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usually first leak is at the round sleeve

Normally the first leak you have is per the attached below, at a sleeve where the electrical wires go thru the casing into the Mechatronic unit.

The pan has to be removed to change out the sleeve.

DISCO3.CO.UK Photo Gallery - ZF 6HP26 Automatic Transmission in LR3/Fluid, Filter/Pan Combo removal and install

Do not be too hard on your LR dealer; they are all afraid of the tranny as are the techs at the Mercedes and Audie dealer as well. I am fortunate; my dealer is pretty good, but that does not mean they do not run from any discussion about the tranny. I am also fortunate to have a good local independent tranny shop, (not part of a chain, but truly a shop where the boss gets his hands oily.)

That is also where the Mercedes et all dealers send their vehicles if they cannot convince the owner or Mercedes to spring for a new tranny.

Even the Ford shops are having their problems with their license Ford built ZF's; scan a Raptor forum some evening and see what the primary discussion/bitch is about.

I guess these new tyranny's are different from the PowerGlides of past days.
The uprated PowerGlides could remain in first up to 76mph; try that on the new 8 speed ZF, but then there were only two gears.

Powerglide: A GM’s Greatest Hit Or Deadly Sin?

You might purchase a can of copper anti seize lubricant paste; every time you take something apart, coat the bolt threads so next time, (and there will be a next time), tearing things apart will not be such of a trial.
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Yes, I Antiseize every bolt during repairs.

Why oh why did LR make it so difficult to replace the trany pan?
Modern rovers are not intended to be worked on by the owner...
no margin in service

I do not think any new vehicle except highway tractors are designed to be worked on these days - not even American pickups.

As best I can tell, there does not seem to be a marketing argument to spend any design time or assembly money in making service doable.

The fact that drain plugs seem to have been removed from everything is the first hint.

Your problem is a leaking drain plug maybe; Ford solved that on the Raptor by not putting a drain plug in their metal pan and that is more common than not.

Try and find the radiator drain on your 3 or most any other vehicle now - you have to pull a hose.
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Honestly, I feel like throwing in the towel on LR3 and buyng a VW TDi with great fuel economy.
V-dubs aren't any cheaper to repair. Some one on a forum referred to them as "Toerags" or something to that affect.

Seems like all dealers have been afraid to open a tranny since my 2005 Chrysler 300C!
special use ride

Honestly, I feel like throwing in the towel on LR3 and buyng a VW TDi with great fuel economy.
If you want low operating costs, you want a small vehicle Made in USA.

Initially Made in USA will require virtually no maintenance, use regular gas, and be a really practical grocery getter. Later on, parts and pieces will be available in every junkyard. Operating costs will be nil relative to any of that foreign stuff.

A Land Rover on the other hand, well I was checking out rental costs in Reykjavik a few days back as assuming no volcano blowing its cork, I will be over there in a couple of weeks time.

Per day, a VW Golf costs about $200; a Jeep Wrangler, about $350; a Toyota Land Cruiser, (a 4Runner I think we call it), $400 and a LR Defender 110 Station Wagon, $900. Either the market can get that or maintaining them requires that much.

Discovery's are the ride of choice for minor Royalty in the UK and the alternative to a Tahoe for the guys in front who carry the hardware. I think this suggests why a Discovery costs so much to own - it is a special use ride, maybe even extreme.
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I took my RRS to Aamco - did pan/filter, gasket, new ZF6 fluid, sleeve , t/c fluid and both diffs for <$600 .... Job was a bit more involved then they expected (have to lift engine slightly to do sleeve) but they did it and only charged me 30 mins extra labor for that ...
(Sleeve itself was $40 Ford part - upgraded design - and I think you can find them on line for less than that). The 26HP trans are used in a lot of fords as well - so a transmission shop should be quite familiar with this ...
...The 26HP trans are used in a lot of fords as well ...
Yup, and if you use the Ford branded fluid for it you'll save a ton of money, too. Last time I bought some it was like $15 a quart compared to Land Rover's $50, or something like that.

Normally the first leak you have is per the attached below, at a sleeve where the electrical wires go thru the casing into the Mechatronic unit.
Hello, all. I have a new to me 2007 LR3 HSE. During pre-purchase inspection the mechanic mentioned a very minor transmission leak "at a point where some wires were coming out" (my language, not theirs)... it sounds like what bbyer has described above.

A different mechanic told me this probably needs something like a grommet to stop that leak. I was thinking of taking the vehicle not to a dealer but to a local, recommended transmission shop. Thoughts? Thanks.
Hi Alpaca,
Great deal!!!
which Aamco did you go to for the Transmission? In what state and city?
Also how many miles does your RRS have and what year?
I had the same leak at the rear right ware the wires go in. They wern't going to let me get a Ford extended warranty (LR3 HSE 06, 94,000 used) because of the leak. I cleaned it up with a can of electrical cleaner then clear electrical sealer. Got the warranty, still no leak 15 months later.
Hi Alpaca,
Great deal!!!
which Aamco did you go to for the Transmission? In what state and city?
Also how many miles does your RRS have and what year?
I'm near San Jose California .. 2006 Rrs has 70k miles on it - minor leak from megatronic sleeve found at ppi - so I figured I'd do all the fluids and be good for next 70k ! Aamco cost on the zf fluid was less than $20/qt ( don't remember exactly) but if you do this - make sure they use the zf fluid and new pan bolts ... They got pan/filter/gasket as kit from dealer and sleeve from ford shop.
Thanks for the info on bolts.
I just contacted Aamco in Hollywood and yes the total cost is about $400. todo this job including filter, pan etc. They said they have worked on dozens of these transmission also some Lincons have this six speed tranny.
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