How to Check Transmission Fluid

May 1, 2020 | By Mister Transmission

How to Check Transmission Fluid

Regular checking of your transmission fluid is a vital practice to keep up the health of your transmission. Regular transmission fluid checks could save you a lot of money in the long run. But how do you do it?

Not every transmission problem is caused by a problem with the transmission fluid. However, pretty much any transmission problem could be caused by a problem with the transmission fluid.

Your transmission fluid is vital to the health of your transmission. It’s lubricant, it’s coolant, it’s the lifeblood of the transmission. You need to make sure you have enough of it and you need to make sure it’s in good condition. If not, you need to top it up and/or bring your vehicle into a transmission shop to find out the root of the problem.

Now that we’ve established the importance of transmission fluid, you need to know how to check it. You should check your transmission fluid about once a month or whenever you suspect a problem. Here’s how to check your transmission fluid:

  • Step One: Shift your vehicle into neutral or park and put the parking brake on; let your engine run. The engine has to be warm, so don’t turn it off. Pull out your dipstick. Don’t confuse the transmission fluid dipstick for the oil dipstick. In an inline engine, the transmission fluid dipstick is further in, closer to the body of the vehicle. In a front-wheel drive vehicle, it is on the driver’s side. Check your manufacturer’s booklet to find out exactly where your transmission fluid dipstick is.
  • Step Two: Check the fluid. Insert your dipstick into the fluid and then remove it. Look to see if it comes up to “full” line on the dipstick. If not, use a funnel to top up your transmission fluid. Do not overfill it. Keep the engine running for this. If you find you have to add fluid every time you check it, something is wrong. Bring your vehicle in for inspection.
  • Step Three: Touch your finger to the fluid on the dipstick and rub the fluid between your finger and thumb. Good transmission fluid is mostly clear with a reddish tint and neutral odour. Dark coloured or foul-smelling fluid is bad. These qualities indicate a problem with your transmission. Do not ignore these impurities. Bringing in your vehicle now could save you from paying thousands of dollars later for a transmission overhaul.
  • Step Four: Wipe the dipstick with a clean, lint-free rag. Congratulations, you’re done! You just checked your own transmission fluid.
  • Step Five: Most newer vehicles do not have an accessible dipstick in this case you need to bring your vehicle in to a transmission service centre for an inspection.

Mister Transmission

To learn more about transmission fluid or to have your transmission fluid inspected or flushed out, please get in touch with us at Mister Transmission today.

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