How to Check Transmission Fluid

Hand Pouring Transmission Fluid

 

Checking your transmission fluids at home is a quick, easy, and effective way to maintain your vehicle’s health by catching minor issues before they can become full blown problems. Your car’s transmission is what propels it down the road while you’re cruising around Omaha, and if it’s not working properly, then you’re going to be stuck. If you’re wondering how to check your transmission fluid, then the service team at Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln is here to make the process easier than ever for you as well as by helping you find out how often do you need to check your transmission fluid. Or you can contact us with any questions that you might have. 

Steps to Check Transmission Fluid at Home

If you’re working on your own in your Beatrice driveway, here’s how to check your transmission fluid:

  1. Allow your engine to warm up for a few minutes before getting started so you can get an accurate reading when you check the transmission fluid. Make sure your car is in park when you turn it off again to open the hood.
  2. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick under the hood. It’s often situated just right of the oil dipstick, but you can check your owner’s manual for a diagram if needed.
  3. Pull the transmission fluid dipstick out of its tube. Rub a bit of the fluid between your thumb and index finger to check the fluid color. Healthy transmission fluid is mostly clear with a hint of pink. If the fluid is dirty or smells burnt, then you’re past due for a transmission fluid change.
  4. Use an old rag to wipe the dipstick clean, then insert it back into its holder. Remove it once more to check the fluid level. If the fluid line is below the “Full” marking, you will need to top off the fluid. 
  5. Always use a funnel when adding fluid to your car so you don’t add too much.

Do you prefer to let a professional service tech add the fluid, or is your transmission fluid dirty? Schedule an appointment at Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln and we’ll get the job done swiftly. 

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

When it comes to finding out how often to check your transmission fluid, we recommend checking your transmission fluid once per month, in addition to other essential vehicle fluids like engine oil and power steering fluid. As usual, you can also check your owner’s manual for a more specific recommendation.

How to Check Transmission Fluid with a Sealed Transmission 

If you’ve looked tirelessly for the transmission fluid dipstick to no avail, your car probably has a sealed transmission. Sealed doesn’t mean inaccessible, but rather that there is no dipstick you can use to check the fluid level. Instead, a car with a sealed transmission will need to have the fluid level inspected by an experienced technician with the proper tools. 

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

Sealed transmissions help reduce the amount of wasted transmission fluid, so you shouldn’t have to check and replace it quite as often. If you experience any of the following on the roads of Hickman, you’ll know it’s time for an inspection:

  • Gear changes are accompanied by strange noises
  • Hesitation during gear changes
  • Gear shifting is delayed during acceleration 

Transmission Fluid Tips

  • There are different types of transmission fluid on the market, and not all are suited to your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the type of transmission fluid you should use based on your model year and transmission type.
  • If you have a manual transmission, you’ll need to elevate your car with a jack to access a plug underneath. Typically, manual drivers have their transmission fluid inspected and replaced at a service center to keep things easy.
  • Feel a little hesitation when shifting gears? It might be caused by low transmission fluid — check the level to be sure, but if it’s fine then you will need to bring your vehicle in for further inspection.
  • Transmission fluid should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Exactly when you need the fluid changed will depend on your driving habits, transmission type, and other factors. As always, you can check your owner’s manual for a specific recommendation.

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