How To Check Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid Change


How often do you check your transmission fluid? You might know how to check your windshield wiper fluid or your motor oil, but learning how to check transmission fluid is a great – and easy – skill to master. Learning how to check your transmission fluid allows you to keep tabs on your car’s overall health, which helps you spot any abnormalities and can even save you tons of money in the long run. Find out all about transmission maintenance with Spitzer Motors of Mansfield CDJR, and schedule your next service in Ontario today!

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

We recommend Mansfield and Ashland drivers check their transmission fluid once per month. It’s a good idea to check up on all of your automotive fluids monthly, including: transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and engine oil. But, feel free to double check with your owner’s manual. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Transmission fluid is specifically designed for your type of transmission, so you’ll need different formulations for manual vs. automatic transmission designs.
  • Manual transmissions are more complicated to check, and they generally require a jack to access the plug. Most manual drivers schedule a check at a service center for convenience.
  • Replace your transmission fluid every 50,000 to 100,000 miles for the best results. This depends on your driving habits, transmission type, and other factors.
  • Low transmission fluid can cause your vehicle to hesitate before shifting gears, so check your fluid levels if you notice this red flag. But if the problem persists, schedule your service to rule out other issues.

Checking a Standard Transmission

  1. Turn on the engine to let it warm up the fluid. Park the car on a level surface and turn off the engine, then pop the hood.
  2. Look for the transmission fluid dipstick. It is generally to the right of the oil dipstick, but check your owner’s manual for added guidance.
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid with your finger. Move the fluid between your thumb and forefinger, noting the color and texture. It should be nearly clear with a slight pink tinge, and it shouldn’t feel gritty or smell burnt.
  4. Wipe the dipstick off with a rag, and place it back in the reservoir. Pull it out again, and see where the fluid level falls on the dipstick markings.
  5. If the fluid level reaches the “Full” line, you’re good to go. Otherwise, you’ll use a funnel to add more. Do not overfill.

Checking a Sealed Transmission

If you look under the hood and can’t find a dipstick, your owner’s manual might indicate that you have a “sealed transmission.” A sealed transmission is designed to protect the transmission fluid from debris and contaminants, so you’ll need to take your car to a service center to get the fluid levels checked. The process requires special automotive tools that you won’t have at home, and trying to access the reservoir can damage the transmission. Here are some clues that you’ll need to schedule your transmission inspection:

  • 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.

Schedule Your Service at Spitzer Motors of Mansfield CDJR

Whether you have questions on how to check your transmission fluid or how often you check your transmission fluid in Galion, don’t hesitate to reach out to our service center for additional advice. Our team can give you personalized service recommendations, so contact us or schedule your service online.

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