How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid Change

One of the most important parts of car maintenance for Birmingham drivers is understanding how to check your transmission fluid, and why it is so important to do so. If left unattended, it can turn into a serious issue down the line. Your car’s transmission is what moves it forward, and without it, you’re stuck spinning your wheels. Find out how to check your transmission fluid, as well as more reasons why to make sure you check it regularly, from Brady Kilmury CDJR. We’ll help you stay up to date on your maintenance needs, whether you’re driving one of our new or used vehicle vehicles. 

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Guide 

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your engine and wait a few minutes for the engine to warm up, this is important for properly checking the levels. As always, make sure your vehicle is in park before proceeding and opening the hood. 
  2. Find the transmission fluid dipstick, which is usually located on the right of the oil dipstick on front-wheel drives. If you’re having trouble locating it, check your owner’s manual. 
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid, rubbing it between your thumb and forefinger. It should be nearly clear, with a pink hue. If it looks dirty or smells burnt, then you need to have it replaced. 
  4. Use a rag to wipe off the dipstick, and then insert it back into your vehicle. Pull it out again, and check the levels. If it appears under the “Full” marking, you need to add more. 
  5. Use a funnel to add more transmission fluid, but being careful not to overfill it. 

If you run into any issues, or you simply have questions, you can always contact us to speak to our service department, who will gladly answer any questions you have. 

Checking the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

If your vehicle is equipped with a sealed transmission, you more than likely won’t find a dipstick under the hood. Are you curious about what a sealed transmission means? Well, it doesn’t mean that you can’t access it, it simply means that there is no dipstick for you to use. If your car has a sealed transmission, don’t attempt to check its fluid levels, as this may cause damage as a result. Our service center will check your transmission fluid levels for you when you bring your vehicle in for service. 

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

The purpose of a sealed transmission is to limit the amount of wasted transmission fluid so that you can save money in the long run. But eventually, that fluid will need to be replaced, so keep an eye, and ear, out for these red flags while you’re driving around Hoover:

  • You can hear strange noises when the gears change. 
  • The gears hesitate before changing. 
  • During acceleration, there’s a noticeable delay when the gears shift.

How Often Should You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

Your car should have its main fluid levels checked monthly, which includes your transmission. It also means your power steering fluid and engine oil. As always, your owner’s manual will have the specifics about your maintenance schedule, so you should consult that for any questions. 

Understanding the Basics of Transmission Fluid

Transmissions are one of the most complex parts of any vehicle, and you should keep these tips in mind for when you are ready to check your transmission fluid. 

  • Not all transmission fluids are the same, as different models will have different types, as well as manual transmission and automatic transmission, have different fluid types. Your owner’s manual has your vehicle’s needed particular type of transmission fluid. 
  • Checking your manual transmission’s fluid levels will usually require a jack to access the plug, which is located under the car. This can usually be done much easier at our service center near Tuscaloosa. 
  • Not all transmission fluid is the same, with different types for recent models, manual transmissions, and automatic transmissions. Your owner’s manual will recommend a particular type of transmission fluid.
  • You should replace your transmission fluid every 50,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on driving habits, type of transmission, and some other factors. Your owner’s manual will have specifics about the replacement intervals. 

Brady Kilmury CDJR Has You Covered For Your Maintenance Needs

Now that you know how to check transmission fluid, it’s time for you to learn more about our many service tips and tricks. This will help your vehicle remain on the road for years to come, with routine maintenance. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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