How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Changing transmission fluid

Learning how to check your transmission fluid is a smart idea for any car owner. Taking on this task regularly will help you spot maintenance issues before they become expensive or hazardous. Since your car’s transmission is what propels it forward during your commute from Lincoln to Omaha, staying up to date on your transmission fluid is key. Not sure how to check your transmission fluid for your new or used ride? Sid Dillon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is here to answer questions like “How often do you check your transmission fluid?” and “How do you check your transmission fluid?” Read on below with our service team to get started. 

Checking Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Guide 

To learn how to check your transmission fluid, follow these simple steps:

  1. To start, turn on your engine and allow it to warm up for a few minutes before you proceed. Make sure your car is in park before you exit the vehicle to pop the hood. 
  2. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick. Generally, you’ll find it to the right of the oil dipstick. Refer to your owner’s manual for exact instructions if you’re having trouble locating it. 
  3. Remove the dipstick and move the fluid around between your thumb and forefinger. The fluid should be essentially clear with a slight pink hue. If it looks dirty or smells burnt, you’ll need to have the fluid replaced. 
  4. Use a rag to clean off the dipstick. Reinsert the dipstick and check the volume. If the level is below the “Full” indicator, you need to add more fluid.
  5. Use a funnel to add fluid until the volume is sufficient, be careful not to overfill. 

Checking the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

If you can’t locate a dipstick under the hood, more than likely, your vehicle is equipped with a sealed transmission. A sealed transmission doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible, it simply means you can’t use a dipstick to measure the fluid volume. If you have a sealed transmission, do not attempt to check the fluid on your own. Instead, bring your vehicle to the professionals at Sid Dillon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram for a transmission fluid check. 

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission

The reason a transmission is sealed isn’t to make it more difficult to work with, rather it serves to make the system more efficient. This design cuts down on wasted fluid, which saves you money and time in the long run. Even with this efficiency, you’ll eventually need to replace the fluid in your sealed transmission. Keep an eye out for the following warning signs that your fluid needs to be replaced:

  • You hear strange noises when changing gears. 
  • You feel the gears hesitate before changing. 
  • You notice a delay when the gears shift as you accelerate. 

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

So, how often do you check your transmission fluid? You should take a look at all of your car’s fluids, including your transmission fluid, about once a month. You can also reference your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle has a more specific recommendation for how often to check your fluids.

Transmission Fluid Basics

Since your transmission is one of the most complex systems in your vehicle, it requires diligent care. Before you check your transmission fluid, keep the following in mind:

  • Transmission fluid is not universal. There are different types of fluid for older models, newer models, automatic transmissions, and manual transmissions. Your owner’s manual will tell you what type of transmission fluid your vehicle requires.
  • Checking the fluid on a manual transmission requires a jack to access the plug beneath the car. With this much work involved, most drivers save time by working with our Crete service center. 
  • If you feel your vehicle hesitate before shifting gears, you might be low on transmission fluid. However, this can also be a sign of a more serious problem. Check your fluid, then schedule service with us for more in-depth care. 
  • You’ll need to replace your transmission fluid every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. The precise number depends on your driving habits, transmission type, and other factors. Flip through your owner’s manual to find a specific replacement interval. 

Visit Us in Crete For All Your Service Needs

When it comes to car care near Seward, Sid Dillon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is here for you! We can handle the needs of nearly any make and model in our cutting-edge service center, and we can’t wait to serve you. If you have any lingering service questions, contact our team right away!

Sid Dillon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 40.6437383, -96.9354739.