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I was driving home one day, 2008 Honda Pilot SE, pulled in the driveway, got out of the car and there was a massive fluid leak. After looking at it, we determined that it is definitely transmission fluid. I tried to start it the other day and it wouldn't go into drive. There was nothing happening before hand, it drove home completely normal. The only thing we had been noticing is that when we hit 2,000 RPM we would hear a mild rattle. Does anyone have any ideas on what it might be? Is my transmission shot?!?! I'm really freaking out! Thank you for any ideas!
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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First thing to check (once the engine is cold!) is if removing your radiator cap reveals the dreaded Strawberry Milkshake of Death. If you do have a SMOD, read these threads: Search results for query: Strawberry Milkshake

143710



Don't drive it anymore. Check all your fluids.

How far do you estimate you drove once that occurred? If you stopped driving right away, that might have saved the transmission from being ruined.
 

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I was driving home one day, 2008 Honda Pilot SE, pulled in the driveway, got out of the car and there was a massive fluid leak. After looking at it, we determined that it is definitely transmission fluid
There’s a chance the transmission had a ruptured metal line or hose during the drive home and you somehow reached your destination before it ran dry. The Pilot should be towed to a shop for repair and NOT driven. If curious, an inspection of the lower radiator area may show the source of the leak. Post what you find for additional assistance otherwise tow the Pilot in for service.
 

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Hopefully it's just a rubber hose line that has dry rotted and leaked out and not the worse case where your radiator has broken internally. One of the hose barbs coming out of the radiator may have corroded and leaked. If your coolant (antifreeze) looks normal, and you or someone is inclined to DIY, inspect these small hoses that run along and into the bottom of the radiator. If the hose is cracked, remove the bad hose and take to an auto parts store to match size. It may need a couple of new clamps for the new hose. If the hose barb is bad, I would replace the radiator. Since your transmission fluid pumped out, Walmart sells Valvoline MaxLife ATF for $18 a gallon. Hopefully one jug will be enough. No way of really knowing how much pumped out. Do not overfill. If underfilled, it will not work properly.
As others have stated, hopefully the ATF did not mix with your coolant. If it did, the prognosis for this vehicle could end in needing to replace your 13 year old vehicle. This mixing can destroy the transmission.
 

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Is the radiator heat transfer for the automatic transmission fluid to warm it or cool it? If to warm, what is the downside to letting the transmission fluid get up to temperature normally? If just to cool, wouldn't it make sense to just get a transmission cooler and bypass the radiator rather than replace it? Assuming the barbs are in good enough shape to block off the coolant from leaking out.

VCM, TB, SMOD ... so many existential threats, so little time.
 

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Is the radiator heat transfer for the automatic transmission fluid to warm it or cool it? If to warm, what is the downside to letting the transmission fluid get up to temperature normally? If just to cool, wouldn't it make sense to just get a transmission cooler and bypass the radiator rather than replace it? Assuming the barbs are in good enough shape to block off the coolant from leaking out.
Under normal conditions the coolant will not leak out from the trans cooler barbs from the radiator. The ATF temps are regulated by the trans cooler that works within the vehicle cooling system. There is some debate as to the merits of completely separating the two systems. One factor is the environment the vehicle will be operating in.
 

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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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I was driving home one day, 2008 Honda Pilot SE, pulled in the driveway, got out of the car and there was a massive fluid leak. After looking at it, we determined that it is definitely transmission fluid. I tried to start it the other day and it wouldn't go into drive. There was nothing happening before hand, it drove home completely normal. The only thing we had been noticing is that when we hit 2,000 RPM we would hear a mild rattle. Does anyone have any ideas on what it might be? Is my transmission shot?!?! I'm really freaking out! Thank you for any ideas!
Are you mechanically inclined, is there someone in your home who is?
As stated, check the radiator cap after it cools down. If it's blue, or yellow inside- that's good.
If it's strawberry/purple, not as good.
Check the transmission dipstick- is it blue, black, yellow, or red- Red is the best actually.

If someone/you can look under it and determine where it leaked from- you don't HAVE TO GET IT TOWED necessarily- to a shop that has the potential to tell you it needs a new tranny- whether it does or NOT!
If it has not gone into the radiator- less common on the 08. (I currently drive an 08 SE also!), fix the leak, add fluid to the tranny, and try it out.

Let us know what you decide.

Not everything automatically needs to be towed to a shop- unless no one there/a friend, etc. can evaluate it for you.

Good luck.
 
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