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Transmission Fluid Leak

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HI all. Tomorrow I am planning to go pick up my first boat: a 2000 Malibu Escape 23 LSV. While I am no stranger to boating (grew up waterskiing on a 1982 16' Checkmate with Merc 115 OB) or vehicle maintenance in general (cars/motorcycles), this will be my first foray into boat ownership.

The shop that looked the boat over said that overall the boat was in excellent shape (said it was easily one of the best looking 15 year old boats he had ever seen, and it was a Mailbu dealership). The one thing they did note was that there was a slight leak of transmission fluid somewhere. Said it wasn't much and not enough to really worry about at all, but there was some residue concentrated near the starboard motor mount (this boat has the 383 HammerHead with 994 hours --> meticulously maintained and tested very well on compression: 170 180 185 180 175 170 170 180).

The mechanic seemed to think it was probably just a loose fitting or worn hose somewhere, but I thought I would get a headstart on troubleshooting this issue.

Any help or advice on where to look and what to look for would be most appreciated. Thank you.

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As others alluded, sounds like good news really in that it's not likely the actual transmision if the oil is on an engine mount.

Surely it will only be a hose or hose fitting in the oil cooler circuit. A good look around should reveal the source and, whatever it is, is not likely to be difficult to rectify.

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Thanks for all the advice and I will start looking as I ended up buying the boat! (Was not sold by dealer, just had them look over it and do the compression). Just in time for the holiday weekend, but now I need to learn where the deeper channels are on our river (lower Susquehanna in Southern PA). What depths have people found they tend to start to get in trouble around? I will be watching the depth finder closely as I troll the river tonight, but I know there are places where the "deep" areas are only ~7 feet deep. Thank you.

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