Checking Transmission Fluid Level
Checking the fluid level on your transmission is fairly easy, but a bit more complicated than checking your oil. Firstly, this only applies to automatic transmissions, and secondly, some modern cars don’t have dipsticks or dipstick tubes to check and add transmission fluid. With that in mind, here are some tips from Mercie J Auto Care in Mesa, AZ in regard to checking your transmission fluid.
With your car off, pull your transmission dipstick out the same way you would check your oil. Examine the length of the dipstick for any instructions that are written on it; some vehicles will have a cold fluid level and a hot fluid level, or will typically indicate which method you should use. It will also generally advise you to check the level with the vehicle in Park or Neutral, with or without the engine running. If the dipstick doesn’t have any instructions, consult your owner’s manual, but typically you should check the fluid level with the vehicle running, in Park or Neutral, with the parking brake on, and the engine at operating temperature.
Once you have determined which procedure your vehicle uses, you are ready to check the fluid level. Since most vehicles use the operating temperature in Park with the vehicle running method, this is the example we will use here. Make sure your car is fully warmed up. Then, set the parking brake, open the hood, and pull the dipstick out. Be aware of any moving engine parts and loose clothing. Wipe the dipstick clean with a lint free rag, making sure you leave behind no debris on the dipstick. Re-insert the dipstick fully, then pull it out again. If your fluid level is low, add more fluid, but be careful to use only the fluid recommended by the manufacturer - using the wrong transmission fluid can be disastrous. Once you have achieved the correct fluid level, drive the car, put it back in Park, and repeat the process to make sure you’re ready to go. Be careful not to overfill the transmission; high fluid levels can be more hazardous than low levels.
It’s never a bad idea to check the transmission fluid level when you check you oil level and other fluids, but if your transmission is behaving irregularly you should definitely do so immediately. If the transmission slips in and out of gear, shifts inappropriately, or doesn’t kick into gear when you shift into drive or reverse, the first thing you should check is the transmission fluid level. Don’t wait until it’s too late...driving on low fluid for any amount of time can damage an automatic transmission.
If the fluid level is low, you must have a leak somewhere; sometimes this is an easy fix, sometimes it’s a bit more invasive. If your car is losing fluid, your transmission is acting up even after you obtain the proper fluid levels, you have a sealed system with no dipstick, or you’d rather we check the fluid out for you, call or come by Mercie J Auto Care anytime and let one of our technicians examine your vehicle. We’ll keep your car on the road and running smooth.
Thank you for visiting Mercie J Auto Care in Mesa serving: Mesa, Gilbert, & Apache Junction, AZ where we love our customers and their kids! Expect Hot Wheels Racing, Great Customer Service & Excellent Mechanics who know how to fix anything that comes through these bay doors! Our goal is to have everyone of EVERY age to leave happy!