How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Part of the modern car engine

Knowing how to check your transmission fluid can help keep small issues from turning in to big problems down the road. This maintenance task is relatively easy to perform at home:

  1. Turn the car on. You should warm up the engine before inspecting the transmission fluid.
  2. Find the transmission fluid dipstick. It’s likely that you will find it to the right of the oil dipstick if you have a front-wheel drive car. If you are still unsure of its location, your owner’s manual will show you where you can find it.
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid. Its appearance should be nearly clear, with a tint of pink. If you notice a burning smell or that the fluid is dirty and contaminated with debris, it is time to have your transmission fluid replaced.
  4. Use a rag to wipe off the dipstick. Insert it back into the vehicle and then pull it out again so you can take a look at the fluid level. If it’s under the “Full” marking, you will need to add to what is remaining.
  5. Use a funnel to bring the fluid level up to full. Be careful to avoid overfilling it.

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to check the main fluids in your vehicle at least once a month. This includes your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and engine oil. Your owner’s manual may provide a more specific maintenance schedule.

Transmission Fluid Basics

The transmission is one of the most intricate parts of your vehicle, so proper maintenance is critical for avoiding costly repairs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when checking your transmission fluid:

  • Not all transmission fluid is the same. It can vary depending on whether you have a certain model, a manual transmission, or an automatic transmission. Your owner’s manual will let you know which type of transmission fluid is right for your specific vehicle.
  • Checking the fluid on a manual transmission will usually require a jack to access a plug located beneath the car. For most drivers, a visit to our service center near Gettysburg is more convenient.
  • If you notice that your vehicle is hesitating before shifting gears, low transmission fluid could be to blame. The cause of that issue may not be so simple, though, and could be a sign of something more serious. See if your transmission fluid is at the proper level first and, if it is, schedule service with us today.
  • You’ll want to replace your transmission fluid every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. The actual amount depends on your driving habits, type of transmission, and other factors. For a more specific maintenance interval, be sure to consult your owner’s manual and follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Learn More About How to Check Your Transmission Fluid at Buchanan Auto Park, Inc.

Whether you want to know how to check your transmission fluid or how to repair dents and scratches, our service team would be glad to assist you. Contact our service center online or stop by our showroom near Chambersburg.

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