How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Changing transmission fluid

How often do you check your transmission fluid? If you’re running low, that can seriously affect the performance of your transmission. If you don’t have a clue where to start, don’t worry! A lot of our Norman area customers do it themselves. Our service department wants to help keep your car running smoothly, so we explain below how to check your transmission fluid.

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid – Automatic Transmissions

It’s easy to check the transmission fluid in an automatic transmission. Just make sure to do this while the engine is running and already warm:

  1. Locate the correct dipstick (don’t confuse it with the oil dipstick!). If your car is rear-wheel drive, then you’ll find the dipstick towards the back of the engine, usually on the passenger side. If your car is front-wheel drive, then the dipstick will be towards the front of the engine, usually on the driver side.
  2. Look at the fluid that is on the dipstick. If it looks dirty, you will need to have the fluid changed.
  3. Wipe the dipstick clean and re-insert it.
  4. Take the dipstick back out and check the level.
  5. If the level is low, use a funnel and top off the fluid through the dipstick tube.

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid – Manual Transmissions

Checking the fluid level in a manual transmission is a little more complicated as the car needs to be lifted while you do this. Your car will need to be secured on jack stands or a hoist. Never get under your car when it is only on jacks!

  • Locate the fluid fill plug. It is usually halfway up the side of the transmission.
  • Unscrew the plug.
  • Stick your finger in the plug hole. Examine the fluid on your finger. If it looks dirty (not pink), it is time to change your fluid.
  • If you can’t feel fluid, then top off the fluid through the hole.

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

How often you should check your transmission fluid is determined by the manufacturer. Most manufacturers recommend checking your transmission fluid once a year, but you should ask your techs to do it whenever you get your oil changed. Most oil and lube places do this anyway just to make sure it is done. After all, you don’t want to find yourself broken down somewhere in the greater Oklahoma City area.

Trust Your Car to the Transmission Experts at Allen Samuels Volkswagen of Oklahoma City

Did you know we check your car’s fluids as a regular part of scheduled maintenance? We also specialize in transmission service, and you can even schedule an appointment online. We’re just a short drive away from Oklahoma City, so drop by or contact us today!

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