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Discussion Starter #21
Majority of Caravans I've seen here in Canada come with a block heater (and the power outlets for them are everywhere, too), and now that the weather is getting colder, I see them all the time with power cord hanging next to the driver's headlight. So as far as -40 C goes, not starting is not the main issue, but that doesn't happen a lot, at least here in Calgary :D

Make sure the shift gear linkage, on top of the transmission, is well lubricated. Fluid Film to the rescue.

:)
Could you give some tips as of how to lubricate the linkage (does it need to come apart) and what to use? I've never heard of Fluid Film, is that something specific or some alternatives could be used (can't really find anything here in Canada). I want to do all the "cheap fixes" too before the weather gets colder again, although my issues went 95 % with the fluid change and new filter. Sometimes it doesn't engage regardless of temperature, which very well could be solved by lubricating the shift gear linkage, as in this case, simply wiggling with the shifter helps.
 

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Majority of Caravans I've seen here in Canada come with a block heater (and the power outlets for them are everywhere, too), and now that the weather is getting colder, I see them all the time with power cord hanging next to the driver's headlight. So as far as -40 C goes, not starting is not the main issue, but that doesn't happen a lot, at least here in Calgary :D



Could you give some tips as of how to lubricate the linkage (does it need to come apart) and what to use? I've never heard of Fluid Film, is that something specific or some alternatives could be used (can't really find anything here in Canada). I want to do all the "cheap fixes" too before the weather gets colder again, although my issues went 95 % with the fluid change and new filter. Sometimes it doesn't engage regardless of temperature, which very well could be solved by lubricating the shift gear linkage, as in this case, simply wiggling with the shifter helps.
The linkage is on top of the transmission and is very visible and accessible from the engine bay.

Fluid Film is available from automotive stores and many hardware stores. Since you live in Canada, go for Rust Check, in spray cans, it's less expensive than Fluid Film.

Automotive Fluid Film: https://www.fluid-film.com/automotive-applications/

Automotive Rust Check: https://www.rustcheck.com/why-rust-check-your-truck/

- Green Spray Can (heavy product): https://www.rustcheck.com/product/coat-protect/

- Red Spray Can (lighter product): https://www.rustcheck.com/product/rust-inhibitor/
 
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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Update after a few months (in October, when I first posted, it had 311k km, today I am at 322k km):

I have learned that this issue appears somewhat randomly below 0 C. During the deep freeze last month (-30 to -40C for about 10 days), there were days when it was shifting okay (now, given that this was really cold) right after starting, and days where it needed to warm up before it started shifting properly (ie. lots of drops into neutral, when this cold it was sometimes happening even in-between shifts).

Otherwise, when I stop too abruptly at a red light and it goes into neutral, when cold (0 to -10C), sometimes it takes a few seconds to shift into gear after letting go of the brake and hitting the gas, so I have learnt to "re-engage" the gear by stepping on the brake while giving it a little gas, at which point it takes 2-3 second to go back into gear, and when the light goes green, I can go immediately. :D

That being said, it seems the issue is not getting worse and it's almost non-existent when the temps are above 0 C (here and there it takes a noticeable split second to re-engage when stoping and going at stop-sign infested parking lot, but nothing serious).

I still suspect that the main issue is the shifter solenoid because when everything is fully at the operational temperature (I'd say that's after about 30-40 km of driving in the winter), the issue disappears altogether.

Make sure the shift gear linkage, on top of the transmission, is well lubricated. Fluid Film to the rescue. :)
Oh and also, since it was mentioned in this topic, I've found out that Fluid Film in Canada is sold at Princess Auto.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Does anyone have any idea how would transmission fluid leak ended up dripping near the passenger fog light?

It’s an ATF for sure and it’s not from the power steering (which would make slightly more sense to me)

58518
 

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transmission cooler perhaps? should be front left but i know it changes throughout the years on 4th gens
Yes, this is common to see with a trans-cooler equipped vehicle.

Safely life the front of the vehicle and support it, go under and follow tubes, hoses or hard lines to the area where the leak is located. Examine the ordeal and report back.
 

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* I remember something about some years of our vans where the transmission cooler breaks free from it mounts and can chafe a hole.

When you lift the hood, that piece of metal cover can be removed with a few easy fasteners. Then you can look down from above between the radiator and the air conditioning condenser. You may inspect the transmission cooler there, from that angle.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Ooh okay, thanks! For some reason I lived under the impression the transcooler is on the driver’s side of the cooling radiator, but this makes sense. I’ll investigate.
 

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For a 2005GC the A/C condenser and transmission cooler are part of the same unit and mounts in front of the radiator.
58520


Two sets of connections, top for transmission cooler, lower, other side for A/C.
 
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if you're interested, now is the opportunity to install a better aftermarket one in it's place to save you replacing the entire assembly

i certainly wouldn't pull my AC system apart for just that
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Yes, this has been ongoing. Started as a single drop after parking, now small puddles. Adding about 250 ml of ATF+4 bi-weekly (into trans). Probably is and was one of the causes of this thread’s main issue (shifting), which is why I’ve posted it here.

For a long time I thought some fluid is leeching through the PS pump and causes these drops, but after I’ve put in a little bit of Lucas’s PS Stop leak (don’t judge) the fluild level stayed the same for weeks and thiusands of kms (before it was losing insignificant amount somewhere), whereas this is only getting worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
The pipes from transmission go into the cooler on the driver's side and it is dripping from passenger side, so that basically rules out loose fittings or broken pipe, since the fluid is 100% ATF from the tranny, so I am ordering new A/C condenser (right?). I'll get another AT filter as well and do another fluid change and we'll see after that.

PS: I would have checked it out weeks ago if I knew I can look at it without pulling the bumper. 😂

58724
 

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18 days ago;
When you lift the hood, that piece of plastic cover can be removed with a few easy fasteners. Then you can look down from above between the radiator and the air conditioning condenser. You may inspect the transmission cooler there, from that angle.
How did you gain access to get this view?
All that clogged airflow being replaced is going to make everything cool better.

I don't know that another transmission fluid filter change is warranted just because of this. Change the cooler, it should be fine.

While you have it disassembled, use some sort of cleaning solution and garden hose to make sure the radiator is not left oily where it'll accumulate road grime dust and loose its efficiency.

AND, as Baron said, if it is also part of your ac condenser and you are not up to recovering and recharging the A/C system (remember if you leave it open to atmosphere you should change the receiver drier) then consider cleaning the fins up as suggested above (soapy water) and then install an aftermarket transmission cooling radiator...
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Oh, my bad, I looked at it that way, I missed that at your original post. I just looked at it back thenand thought it cannot be taken out separately and only yesterday finally got to a garage where I had space and time to look at it properly and suddenly I had it off in 30 seconds.

The filter change is most likely not necesary but I did want to do another fluid change anyway, so I might just as well.

I’ll just replace the whole condenser. I’ve pulled refrigerant and recharged AC with rented kit only once, are there any extra steps when I actually open the system (when swapping the condenser) after removing refrigerant?
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
I replaced the A/C condenser and it stopped the main leak which made me refill ATF+4 every other day and made huge puddles, but... There are still tiny drops that I am unsure of where they are coming from. The new condenser is bone dry from the front (I removed the top cover again to look), as well as there is no leak from the two tubes that run the ATF in and out of the condenser/cooler.

Now tiny bits of ATF drip right in the middle, where the front part of the frame is connected to the subframe (I guess the part that the radiator is right on top of).

Any ideas?

My first thought was that it might be leftover oil stuck in the radiator (I couldn't power wash it when replacing the condenser, but I sprayed out what I could at least with brake cleaner). I power washed what I could with the bumper cover on, but it seems it's still coming fresh from somewhere.

I really don't want to pull the bumper cover again if I don't 100% need to, since I am afraid I have limited amount of removals left (some mounting points are rusted out, plastic wheel wells worn out etc.)


I’ll just replace the whole condenser. I’ve pulled refrigerant and recharged AC with rented kit only once, are there any extra steps when I actually open the system (when swapping the condenser) after removing refrigerant?
In case anyone wondered, though I doubt anyone looking for it will be looking for it in this topic:
1. Recover refrigerant (I had local garage do it)
2. Carefully remove the AC lines from condenser in case there is still anything left (the more PPE the better I guess in this case)
3. Replace condenser, refill with PAG oil (not sure of the amount, I am yet do do this), replace seals, replace receive drier
4. Pull vacuum with vacuum pump and proper manifold gauge, wait for leaks, if none, refill with refrigerant to the specific amount (printed on the sticker under the hood)
 

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Discussion Starter #38
It's dripping from here, it's dry on the photo since I was parked at an angle, so it rolled to the side before dripping, but when parked flat, it drips in the middle.

Another note about this it only happens when the the car is properly warmed up. When I drove to the worksite each morning (10 min), there are usually no drips, but when I get home after running some errands, there are. It also doesn't seem to be spraying from engine-tranny mount since that area is dry as well. So it might be leftover from the radiator but it seems hard to believe there would be so much... (Changed it Tuesday evening, now it's Friday afternoon, done about 4 drives a day).

58873
 

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I am hoping for you that it is residual oil. You sure did have quite a leak for sometime. Wow was that condenser / cooler clogged with muck...

I recently bought a gallon of 'Purple Power' degreaser (concentrate) from Walmart automotive section, for I think about less than $5 USD. They had a spray bottle size for $2.78 (less than a quart) so I got a gallon.
A 5:1 mix with water in a spray bottle and just garden hose pressure works wonders in the engine bay.

I'd do that several times over a few days before I'd started disassembly again.

That amount of oil can penetrate into frame seams and joints. Could possibly continue to seep for days if not weeks, months.

Cheers,
BTW, the rest of the trans / oil pan appear relatively dry and leak free in the recent picture...
 

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There is an internal, transmission ' thermostat ' that inhibits oil flow through the cooler until the transmission get up to operating temperature...
 
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