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Sump repairs won't last

Question : MY vehicle is a 2001 Proton Waja 1.6 (automatic).

At a recent service, the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) was replaced and in the process, the mechanic over-tightened the drain plug, resulting in a small leak at that point. Wrapping the drain plug's threads with plumbers' Teflon tape did not stop the leak.

Upon closer examination, it was discovered that there was a hairline crack in the vicinity of the drain plug, and the workshop offered to carry out welding repairs to the area.

I am not sure if this is a safe method of repair and would appreciate your comments.

Answer : SUMP plugs are simply designed to seal, either by means of a taper machined beneath the plug-head, or by use of a copper, fibre of aluminium washer. Either way, they only require gentle tightening in order to achieve an effective seal.

Over-tightening, as you have discovered, only serves to damage this seal and the surrounding area.

Although welding can be carried out as a means of repairing aluminium components, this is not preferable, and any repairs are merely temporary.

Compared to other common metals, aluminium has a high coefficient of expansion. This means that it expands more than other metals for the same temperature rise.

Any imperfections in the weld would result in a weld fracture within a short time. I would therefore recommend a replacement sump. Perhaps a used one from the breaker's yard can keep cost down.


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