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Butterfingers
September 2, 2009 1:20 PM   Subscribe

I spilled some transmission fluid into my engine compartment and now it's smoking. What can I do?

I am an enthusiastic but clumsy home mechanic and I was topping off my transmission fluid after fixing a leaky line. What must've been a few tablespoons spilled and disappeared into the engine compartment. It quickly started to smoke so I shut the engine off and mopped up what I could reach. Is there anything I can/need to do? Will it eventually smoke off, start on fire, etc?
posted by TungstenChef to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
 
It'll burn off in a few hours of driving.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:29 PM on September 2, 2009


Yes, it will burn off. No big whoop.
posted by Duffington at 1:46 PM on September 2, 2009


the smoke looks worse than it is, you'll be fine I wager
posted by Think_Long at 1:46 PM on September 2, 2009


It's moderately flammable (MSDS) but it probably won't reach flash point in this instance. Avoid the smoke, of course. Driving around for a while is probably all you need to do.
posted by tommasz at 2:00 PM on September 2, 2009


You could try Simple Green or brake parts cleaner. Use these and a brush. Should work.
posted by luckypozzo at 2:14 PM on September 2, 2009


Brake Clean will get rid of a lot of it, but the trans fluid will just burn off eventually. Don't sweat it. Just open your hood and run your engine at about 2500 rpm for a few minutes and you'll clear out most of it.
posted by Jon-o at 2:31 PM on September 2, 2009


Thanks a lot, the stuff has been burned off I'm good to go.
posted by TungstenChef at 3:02 PM on September 2, 2009


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