If you’re doing a transmission pan replacement or service, you may be wondering whether you should use gasket sealer on the transmission pan.
While some people swear by using a gasket sealer to ensure a leak-free seal, others believe that a gasket alone is sufficient.
So, should you use a gasket sealer on your transmission pan?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using gasket sealers and help you make an informed decision.
Should I Use Gasket Sealer On Transmission Pan?
Yes, you should use gasket sealer on the transmission pan. The transmission pan is an important component of your vehicle’s transmission system, and it is responsible for holding the transmission fluid.
If the pan is not sealed properly, it can result in fluid leaks, which can damage your transmission and lead to expensive repairs.
Using a gasket sealer will ensure that the transmission pan is properly sealed and prevent any leaks.
Before applying the gasket sealer, it is important to clean the transmission pan and the mating surface thoroughly.
This will ensure that the sealer bonds properly with the pan and the transmission.
When applying the sealer, make sure that you apply a thin and even layer around the entire pan. Too much sealer can cause it to squeeze out and create a mess.
Let the sealer dry completely before refilling the transmission with fluid.
The Pros and Cons of Using Gasket Sealer on a Transmission Pan
Here are the pros and cons of using gasket sealer on a transmission pan:
- Added Protection: Using a gasket sealer can provide an extra layer of protection against leaks, which is important for keeping your transmission functioning properly.
- Reshaped Surface: If the mating surface of the transmission pan has been reshaped, using a gasket sealer can help ensure a proper seal.
- Easy to Use: Gasket sealers are typically easy to apply and can save you time and hassle in the long run.
- Unnecessary: In most cases, using a gasket sealer is unnecessary. The pan gasket should be sufficient to seal the pan from leaking transmission fluid.
- Over-Tightening: Over-tightening the pan bolts can actually damage the gasket or strip the bolt threads.
- Manufacturer’s Recommendation: Many modern transmissions have reusable silicone-formed gaskets that do not require any sealer. Using gasket sealer when it’s not recommended by the manufacturer could cause more harm than good.
Different Types of Gasket Sealers for Transmission Pans
RTV Silicone Sealant
RTV (Room-Temperature Vulcanizing) silicone sealant is a common type of gasket sealer used for transmission pans.
It is easy to apply and provides a durable, flexible seal that can withstand high temperatures and fluid pressures.
RTV silicone sealant is available in various colors and formulations, including oil-resistant and high-temperature varieties.
Gasket adhesive is another type of sealer that can be used for transmission pans.
It is a high-strength adhesive that can bond gaskets to the transmission pan and provide a tight, leak-proof seal.
Gasket adhesive is typically used with a gasket to provide added sealing strength and durability.
Anaerobic Gasket Maker
Anaerobic gasket maker is a type of sealer that cures in the absence of air.
It is a high-strength adhesive that can provide a durable and flexible seal for transmission pans, even under high temperatures and pressures.
An anaerobic gasket maker is typically applied to the transmission pan or gasket and allowed to cure for several hours before installation.
Liquid Gasket Sealant
Liquid gasket sealant is a versatile type of sealer that can be used for a variety of automotive applications, including transmission pans.
It is typically applied to the transmission pan or gasket and allowed to cure before installation.
Liquid gasket sealant provides a strong, flexible seal that can withstand high temperatures and fluid pressures.
Cork gaskets are a traditional type of gasket used for transmission pans. They are typically coated with a thin layer of gasket sealer to provide a tight, leak-proof seal.
Cork gaskets are durable and flexible but may not be as resistant to high temperatures and pressures as some other types of gasket sealers.
Rubber gaskets are another type of gasket used for transmission pans. They are typically coated with a thin layer of gasket sealer to provide added sealing strength and durability.
Rubber gaskets are flexible and resistant to high temperatures and pressures, making them a good choice for transmission pans in high-performance vehicles.
Fiber gaskets are a type of gasket made from compressed fibers, typically asbestos-free. They are coated with a thin layer of gasket sealer to provide a tight, leak-proof seal.
Fiber gaskets are durable and can withstand high temperatures and pressures, making them a good choice for transmission pans in high-performance vehicles.
However, they are less flexible than some other types of gasket sealers and may require more careful installation to prevent leaks.
Gasket Sealers vs. RTV Sealants: Which is Better for Transmission Pans?
Gasket sealers are pre-formed gaskets that are designed to fit specific transmission pan shapes and sizes.
They are typically made of cork, rubber, or silicone and are designed to provide a reliable seal between the transmission pan and the transmission housing.
Some advantages of gasket sealers include the following:
Ease of installation:
Gasket sealers are easy to install since they come pre-formed and do not require any additional curing time.
Gasket sealers are widely available and can be found at most auto parts stores.
Gasket sealers are generally less expensive than RTV sealants.
However, gasket sealers may not be as durable or long-lasting as RTV sealants and may not provide as tight of a seal.
Additionally, if your transmission pan has an irregular shape or size, finding a pre-formed gasket that fits correctly may be difficult.
RTV sealants, on the other hand, are a type of silicone sealant that is applied to the transmission pan in a liquid form and then cures into a rubber-like consistency.
Some advantages of RTV sealants include the following:
RTV sealants are flexible and can conform to irregular shapes, making them a good choice for transmission pans with non-standard shapes or sizes.
RTV sealants are generally more durable and long-lasting than gasket sealers and can provide a tight seal that resists leaks and drips.
Resistance to temperature and chemicals:
RTV sealants are resistant to high temperatures and chemicals, making them a good choice for transmission pans subjected to harsh conditions.
However, RTV sealants can be more challenging to apply than gasket sealers, and they require a curing time before they can be used. They may also be more expensive than gasket sealers.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Gasket Sealer on a Transmission Pan
Here are some key things to keep in mind:
Not Cleaning the Surface Properly
Before applying the gasket sealer, it is important to thoroughly clean the transmission pan’s surface, and the transmission itself’s mating surface.
Use a degreaser and a clean cloth to remove any oil, grease, or other contaminants that may prevent the sealer from bonding properly.
Failure to clean the surfaces can result in leaks.
Applying Too Much Sealer
While it may be tempting to apply a lot of gasket sealer, this can actually be counterproductive.
Too much sealer can squeeze out and clog the transmission, leading to reduced performance or even damage.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount of sealer to apply.
Using the Wrong Type of Sealer
Not all gasket sealers are created equal, and it is important to choose the right type of sealer for your transmission pan.
Look for a sealer that is compatible with your transmission fluid and can withstand high temperatures and pressures.
Using the wrong type of sealer can lead to leaks and other issues.
Overtightening the Bolts
When tightening the bolts that hold the transmission pan in place, be careful not to overtighten them.
This can cause the gasket to compress too much and result in leaks. Follow the manufacturer’s torque specifications for the bolts and use a torque wrench to ensure proper tightening.
Not Waiting for the Sealer to Dry
After applying the gasket sealer, waiting for it to dry before adding transmission fluid or starting the vehicle is important.
Failure to do so can result in leaks and other issues. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended drying time and wait for the sealer to cure before adding fluid or driving the vehicle fully.
Frequently Asked Question
Q. Is It Necessary To Use A Gasket Sealer On A Transmission Pan?
A: While it’s not always necessary to use a gasket sealer on a transmission pan, it can help ensure a leak-free seal.
If the transmission pan has a tendency to leak, adding a gasket sealer can help prevent future leaks.
Q. What Kind Of Gasket Sealer Should I Use On A Transmission Pan?
A: You can use a silicone or RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanizing) gasket sealer on a transmission pan.
Just make sure to choose a high-quality, oil-resistant sealer that is compatible with your transmission fluid.
Q. How Do I Apply Gasket Sealer On A Transmission Pan?
A: Before applying the gasket sealer, ensure that both the transmission pan and the transmission surface are clean and dry.
Apply a thin and even layer of gasket sealer on the transmission pan surface.
Carefully place the pan onto the transmission and tighten the bolts according to manufacturer specifications.
Q. Can I Reuse The Old Gasket On My Transmission Pan?
A: It’s not recommended to reuse an old gasket on a transmission pan as it may not provide a reliable seal.
It’s best to use a new gasket or gasket sealer to ensure a leak-free seal.
Q. What Are The Risks Of Not Using Gasket Sealer On A Transmission Pan?
A: If you don’t use a gasket sealer on a transmission pan, it may result in leaks which can damage the transmission or cause it to malfunction.
It can also lead to the loss of transmission fluid which can cause the transmission to overheat and fail.
Q. Can Gasket Sealer Cause Clogs In The Transmission?
A: Using gasket sealer on a transmission pan should not cause clogs in the transmission as long as you use the appropriate amount and type of sealer.
It’s important not to use too much sealer as it can potentially clog the transmission or cause other issues.
Q. How Long Does The Gasket Sealer Take To Dry?
A: The drying time for gasket sealers can vary depending on the type of sealer you’re using.
Typically, it takes 1-2 hours for the sealer to dry enough to handle and 24 hours for it to fully cure.
However, it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific drying and curing times.
If you’re working on a high-performance or heavily used transmission, or if the pan and case have small imperfections, using a gasket sealer may provide some extra insurance against leaks.
However, if you’re working on a standard transmission and the pan and case are in good condition, a good-quality gasket alone may be sufficient.
Just be sure to use the right amount of sealer, apply it evenly, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.