Learning how to check your transmission fluid is something every car owner should know how to do. It's suggested to change your transmission fluid every 60,000 miles. This basic car maintenance step can save you hundreds on auto repairs. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you learn how to check your transmission fluid in ten minutes or less.
Step 1: Basic Setup
Whenever you check any fluids, you want your car to be even. Having it on a slanted ground will cause your fluid to read inaccurately. While checking your transmission fluid, you want to leave your vehicle running. Pop open your hood and secure it with the lever.
Step 2: Locating the Fluid Pipe
If your car is a newer model, it should be labeled as such. If you have a rear-end drive vehicle, the dipstick is located in the rear of the engine. It should be above the oil reservoir. For front wheel drive vehicles, it will be connected to the transaxle at the front of your engine. For most cars, this location is to the right of the oil reservoir.
Step 3: Checking for the Fluid Level
Pull out the dipstick and wipe it off with a clean rag or paper towel. Now, place the dipstick back into the pipe and pull it out again to check your fluid level. The level should be between two different markers. The markers are "full" and "add." For some cars, it can be labeled as "hot" and "cold." If the mark is below the "add" or "cold" markers, you should take your car in for repairs to see if there is a leak.
Step 4: Verifying if Your Fluid is Good or Not
Check the condition of the transmission fluid by noting the color. Red is the best color to have, but it is okay if the fluid is pink or light brown. Add transmission fluid if necessary. This is when the line is close to "add" but not below it. Switch the gears in your car to get the new fluid to circulate. Check the levels again to make sure you have added enough fluid. If you have, you are done.
Make sure there is no odor or bubbles forming in the fluid. If your fluid smells like burnt toast, it is time to change it. Also notice its color. If it's milky brown that means that the coolant is leaking into your transmission fluid. Go get your car checked by your auto mechanic immediately. For more information, contact a shop such as Import Automotive.