Transmission Fluid EVERYWHERE!

Stock B18A1
Auto Transmission
114k miles
Oil/coolant every 3k miles
Fluids checked weekly

So while I was driving over the pass from Spokane to Ellensburg, I suddenly noticed that there was smoke pouring out of my pass. side wheel well. I slowed down and turned my car off and rolled into the next rest area. I noticed there were tiny red spots all over the side and rear of my car. I was like… “FUCK! Are you fucking kidding me?!”. It was all up over my boot, axle, inside of my wheel, flung all up over my fender and fender liner, and there was an even coat of it all over the transmission and surrounding areas dripping at a fairly scary rate.

Anyways, thank god I carry all my tools and a lopro jack with me. After I jacked it up and tested it in gear I didn’t see any leaks from any seals gaskets or bolts. I took out my battery mounting plate to see the transmission from the top, and noticed there was a ‘ventish’ looking extrusion at the top of the housing that was dripping fluid - this was the culprit.

Apparently the transmission had overheated from my romp over the hills and the fluid had boiled over so to speak and out through the top. I ended up losing about a quart and a quarter worth of fluid. I wasn’t really pushing the transmission that hard, I was averaging roughly 80mph and was between 3.5k-4.5k rpm depending on the incline. The only thing worth noting is that my radiator fan is temporarily out of commission, but at those speeds that should be a moot point, there is plenty of air flow under the hood. This is my first Honda (previously owned an AE86 and a Mitsubishi Galant), it seemed like the ‘vent’ should have had a line running from it, looked a little out of place but this is how I got the car. I can get pics if they are needed.

My question would be whether or not anyone has had this happen before, and if it would be a normal occurrence. I know auto trannies can generate a lot more heat than manuals, but this just seemed a little outrageous. Any knowledge that can be shared would be very much appreciated.

So, did it keep smoldering and erupting fluid when you slowed to a reasonable pace or did you endure more problems? Doesn’t sound like you fixed anything or did you? Trans shift ok or what?

Yeah there is no slip and it shifts very smoothly. No, I didn’t fix anything however it doesn’t seem as if anything is broken from what I can see. It stopped leaking some time after I had come to a stop in the rest area. The rest of the drive to Seattle, and on the way back from Seattle to Spokane I kept my rpms below 4k and speed around 70 unless I was going downhill, and it was fine. The temperature on the way there was an easy 85degF+ and on the way back was 75degF-, this is how I know it was an overheating issue, but it seems so strange to have overheated like that and to have spewed so much fluid through something that doesn’t look like it even belongs.

that vent is supposed to be capped off with a vented rubber cap. that happened to me on the tollroad though costa mesa. was in third all the way to oceanside since i lost alot of fluid on the way over there. just shot out from who knows where…guess auto tegs don’t like taking hills at speed. if you are gonna keep it auto and running hills often, you might want to consider an oil cooler.

Thanks for the input, I may stop by the stealership and snag a vented plug for it. Other than that, I’m eventually going to pop in a B16 5sp.

Change the fluid. If it’s burnt it won’t do any good for your trans.

IMO, all auto trans vehicles should have a an auxiliary trans cooler installed, even if there is a factory one. On top of that you should have a temp gauge too.

Had the same thing happen to me about a month ago when I was going around town, just after a trans fluid change. The old fluid had not been changed in I don’t know how long (since before I got the DA) and was almost black in color and thick. The next day when I got off the interstate I saw smoke pouring out from around the car and smelled something strange. Figured the new/old fluid had overheated and pulled into a gas station off the road and saw fluid EVERYWHERE around the passenger side of the car including a constant drip from the trans. Had to drive in 3rd gear all the way back home (30 miles) and it slipped between 2nd and 3rd. Took it to a shop and got them to change the fluid out and haven’t had any problems yet…

I want to swap out to a 5spd just to not have to worry about that trans again.

Does anyone have p/n for that cap? Mine is just the vent tube/hole now.

I remember there being an OEM parts site that had diagrams for the whole car, and all the parts listed to their respective diagrams with p/n’s but for the life of me I can’t find it again. I’m not too worried about it for now, I’ll probably just slash a cap and fit it over the vent temporarily.

Check the transmissiom cooler lines that goes back and forth to the radiator bottom tank. Over the years they brittle and leak.