How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid Pouring into Funnel

Of the many consistent maintenance check-ups you should perform on your car, checking your transmission fluid is simple — on par with checking your coolant levels. Learn how to check your transmission fluid with Auffenberg CDJR so you can ensure your vehicle is in good health, and follow these steps below:

  1. First, turn on your car and warm up your engine.
  2. Next, find the transmission fluid dipstick, which, on FWD vehicles, is typically found next to your oil dipstick. If not, you may want to consult with your owner’s manual to get an exact position.
  3. Once you know where it is, simply remove the dipstick and touch the fluid. Move the fluid around between your forefinger and thumb, and inspect the color and appearance of it. It should be nearly clear with a pinkish hue, but if it looks dirty or smells burnt, you’ll want to replace it.
  4. Now, wipe off the dipstick with a towel or rage and insert it back into your vehicle. Pull it out again to check the level, which, if it is below the “Full” marker on the stick, then that means you need more.
  5. Finally, use a funnel and transmission fluid to fill it up to the right spot, making sure you do not overfill it.

In case you run into any problems while performing this action, contact our service department. Our expert technicians will be glad to help!

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

To ensure your vehicle’s best performance, you should be checking the fluid levels of your car on a monthly basis, including your power steering fluid, engine oil, and transmission fluid. Of course, you can also take a look in your owner’s manual to get more exact time frames suitable for your vehicle.

It’s routine checks like these that can alert you to problems before something bad happens (like that check engine light coming on).

Mechanic Going Over Checklist

Transmission Fluid Basics

The transmission in a vehicle is a complex component, so you should know these basic tips before you check your levels:

  • It’s important to note that not all transmission fluid is the same, with varying kinds being used for automatic transmissions, manual transmissions, and even specific types for recent models. Consult with your owner’s manual to know which kind is right for your vehicle.
  • If you have a manual transmission, you’ll likely need to jack up your vehicle in order to access a plug that’s on the underside of the vehicle. If you’re located in East St. Louis, then you’re not too far from our service center. If you need help, stop on by!
  • One way to tell that your vehicle is low on transmission fluid is if it hesitates before shifting gears. This could also be a sign of bigger problems, though, so be sure to check your transmission levels just in case. If your transmission fluid appears alright, schedule a service appointment with us to discover what else may be wrong with your vehicle.
  • Transmission fluid should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Of course, this could differ based on driving habits, conditions, the type of transmission, and other factors. If you want a better understanding of your specific vehicle, you can of course check inside your owner’s manual.

Learn More Car Maintenance Tips with Auffenberg CDJR

If you need any help keeping up with your car maintenance schedule and are located in Belleville or Smithton, then you’re just a short drive from our service center. Contact us if you need further information, and you can also schedule a service with us online. We look forward to seeing you in O'Fallon!

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