How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Like your engine oil or coolant, it’s also essential to check your transmission fluid level to ensure it’s at the level it needs to be. It is only possible if your vehicle doesn’t have a closed or sealed transmission system. When your transmission fluid levels get low, you will need to bring it to a trusted auto repair shop for a transmission fluid flush or exchange, as well as an inspection of the entire transmission system.

First, Locate the Dipstick

Your vehicle should come equipped with a transmission fluid dipstick for inspection purposes. It looks very similar to the oil dipstick but can be more challenging to find. Most of the time, it has a red handle on top. Front-wheel vehicles tend to have the dipstick positioned at the front of the engine near the transaxle. In contrast, it is closer to the back of the engine in rear-wheel-drive vehicles. If you are still struggling to locate the dipstick, please refer to your owner’s manual. 

How to Check the Transmission Fluid Level

After you have found the dipstick, you can check the transmission fluid level (at home) in 4 simple steps:

  1. Remove the dipstick to analyze the fluid. Get a little bit of the solution on your finger to closely look at its color. Fresh fluid should be a translucent pink or red color. And the liquid should be free of particles. 
  2. Smell or waft the fluid. If the liquid has a burnt scent, you should take it to a professional to exchange the transmission fluid ASAP.
  3. Wipe the dipstick with a rag anddip the stick back into the tank to check the fluid level once again. Closely examine where the fluid sits on the indicator marks on the dipstick. If it is close to being low, then you should top it off.
  4. Reinsert the dipstick all the way once you’re done.

The visual inspection of transmission fluid should only take several minutes. If anything looks out of place, such as contaminated or dirty transmission fluid, please feel free to contact Carlsbad Auto Service, Inc. Our expert team can give you a reliable inspection and diagnosis of your transmission’s condition. For all your automotive repair needs, give us a call or visit today!

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