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How to Check Transmission Fluid

Changing transmission fluid

It’s easy to prevent maintenance issues when you understand how to check your transmission fluid on a regular basis. So what is a transmission and how does it work? Your vehicle’s transmission is what propels it forward. Not sure how to measure the transmission fluid level in your new model? Our service team at Findlay Acura is here to help. Read our helpful service guide to learn more about how to check transmission fluid levels and keep your vehicle in great working order.

Checking Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Guide

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Turn the engine on for a few minutes before proceeding, since the engine should be warmed up to properly check the level. Make sure your car is in park before getting out and opening the hood.
  2. Find the transmission fluid dipstick. On front-wheel-drive cars, it’s usually located to the right of the oil dipstick. Check your owner’s manual if you’re having trouble finding it.
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid, moving it around between your thumb and forefinger. The fluid should be nearly clear, with a pink hue. If it looks dirty or gives off a burnt smell, take it to a service center for replacement.
  4. Use a rag to wipe off the dipstick. Then insert it back into the vehicle. Pull it out again and check the level. If it’s under the “Full” marking, you’ll need to add more.
  5. Use a funnel to bring the fluid level up to the right spot. Be sure not to overfill it.

If you have any issues or questions, feel free to check in with the service experts at our Henderson service center.

Checking the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission

Don’t see a dipstick under the hood? Chances are your car has a sealed transmission. So, what is a sealed transmission? Sealed doesn’t mean “can’t be accessed” — it simply means there’s no dipstick with which you can measure the transmission fluid level. If your vehicle has a sealed transmission, you shouldn’t attempt to check its fluid level as you could cause damage to the system. Contact our service team and we can take a closer look for you.

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission

The main time to check the fluid in a sealed transmission is every time you go in for an oil change. The purpose of a sealed transmission is to limit the amount of wasted transmission fluid. Even so, there can be some issues popping up and the fluid will need replacing eventually. Keep an eye out for the following red flags, which indicate a problem with your sealed transmission:

  • 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 Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

You should check the main fluid levels in your vehicle monthly. This includes transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and even engine oil. As always, you can consult your owner’s manual for a more specific maintenance schedule.

Transmission Fluid Basics

Your transmission is one of the most complex parts of your vehicle. Before you check your transmission fluid, explore these tips:

  • 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.
  • Checking the fluid on a manual transmission will usually require a jack to access a plug located beneath the car. For most drivers, a visit to our service center near North Las Vegas is more convenient.
  • If your vehicle hesitates before shifting gears, it might be due to low transmission fluid. However, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. Check the fluid level first, but if it’s fine, schedule service with us today.
  • You’ll want to replace your transmission fluid every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. The actual amount depends on your driving habits, type of transmission, and other factors. Check your owner’s manual for a more specific replacement interval.

Rely on Findlay Acura For All Your Service Needs

When the time comes to check your transmission fluid, be sure to visit us at Findlay Acura for assistance. We offer rotating service specials and parts deals to help you save more on the services your vehicle needs. Contact us today to schedule service or with any questions.

Service Specials at Findlay Acura

We are currently updating our Specials. Please check back soon.

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