Keeping Your Transmission In Check: How To Properly Inspect Your Fluid

By Martin B

Regularly inspecting your vehicle’s transmission fluid is a crucial maintenance duty that safeguards the efficiency and durability of the transmission system, enabling smooth operation and prolonged lifespan. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check your transmission fluid:

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Park on a level surface: Ensure that your vehicle is parked on a flat surface and the engine is turned off. This allows for accurate fluid level readings.

Locate the transmission dipstick: Refer to the owner’s manual of your vehicle to determine the precise location of the transmission dipstick. In most cars, it is located near the back of the engine compartment and has a distinctive handle or a red-colored cap.

Pull out the dipstick: After identifying the dipstick, extract it from the transmission. Employ a cloth or paper towel to wipe the dipstick clean and eliminate any residue.

Reinsert the dipstick and check the level: Once you have thoroughly wiped the dipstick, insert it back into the transmission until it is fully seated, and then withdraw it once more. Take note of the fluid level indicated on the dipstick for examination. There may be markings indicating the ideal range for proper fluid level.

Observe the fluid condition: In addition to checking the level, pay attention to the fluid’s color and consistency. Ideally, transmission fluid should possess a transparent quality, exhibiting a reddish coloration. If the fluid appears murky, opaque or emits a scent of burning, these could be potential signs of an issue and may necessitate additional investigation.

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Add fluid if necessary: If the fluid level is below the recommended range, you will need to add transmission fluid. To prevent any spills, employ a funnel when adding transmission fluid in small increments. Remember to periodically check the fluid level to avoid overfilling.

It is crucial to recognize that certain vehicles may have distinct protocols for checking transmission fluid, so it is imperative to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for precise instructions.

Regularly checking your transmission fluid allows you to identify any potential issues, such as low fluid levels or fluid degradation, early on. If you notice any significant abnormalities or have concerns about your transmission, it’s recommended to consult a qualified mechanic or service professional for further inspection and advice.