Checking your car’s transmission fluid level is an essential maintenance task that can help you avoid costly repairs down the road.
I’m a mechanic, and in this beginner-friendly guide, we will explain how to check the transmission fluid level and provide an overview of the symptoms of low transmission fluid.
We’ll cover the following:
1 Locate the Transmission Fluid Dipstick: The transmission fluid dipstick is typically located near the engine block and is labeled as “Transmission Fluid.” Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual if you cannot locate the dipstick.
2 Check the Fluid Level: Let the engine run for a few minutes to warm up the fluid.
Turn off the engine, and while the car is in park and on level ground, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel. Reinsert the dipstick, ensure it is fully seated, then remove it again and check the fluid level. The fluid level should be between the two marks on the dipstick.
3 Add or Replace Fluid: If the fluid level is low, you must add or replace the transmission fluid.
Use a funnel to pour the recommended fluid into the transmission through the dipstick tube. Make sure to add the fluid gradually and check the level frequently to avoid overfilling.
Symptoms of Low Transmission Fluid
Low transmission fluid can cause various issues with your car’s performance. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:
- Strange noises when shifting gears.
- Difficulty shifting gears or slipping gears.
- A burning smell coming from under the hood.
- Unusual vibrations or shaking while driving.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to check the transmission fluid level and add or replace it as needed.
Transmission Oil Level FAQ
Q: How often should I check my car’s transmission fluid level? You should check your car’s transmission fluid level at least once a month or every 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, you should consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations, as some manufacturers may have different intervals.
Q: What should I do if the transmission fluid level is low? If the transmission fluid level is low, you should add or replace the fluid as soon as possible to avoid damage to your car’s transmission. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended type of transmission fluid and the proper way to add it.
Q: Can I check my car’s transmission fluid level while the engine is running? Yes, you can check your car’s transmission fluid level while the engine is running, but it’s recommended to let the engine run for a few minutes first to warm up the fluid. However, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take necessary safety precautions when working around a running engine.
Q: What should I do if I notice any of the symptoms of low transmission fluid? If you notice any of the symptoms of low transmission fluid, such as strange noises or difficulty shifting gears, you should check the fluid level and add or replace the fluid as soon as possible. If the symptoms persist even after adding or replacing the fluid, you should take your car to a qualified mechanic for further diagnosis and repair.
Checking your car’s transmission fluid level is a quick and easy maintenance task that can help you avoid costly repairs in the future. Following the simple steps outlined in this guide ensures your car’s transmission runs smoothly and efficiently.
If you experience any issues with your car’s transmission, be sure to consult a qualified mechanic for assistance.
About the Author
This article was created with the assistance of AI technology to aid the author, John Cunningham, who is a seasoned Red Seal-certified auto technician with more than 25 years of experience in vehicle repairs. However, please note that John Cunningham has edited the content to ensure accuracy and quality.
You may find the following links helpful:
- Beginner maintenance page
- Repair guide page
- How to change transmission oil
- Transmission fluid in my coolant
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.