How to Check Transmission Fluid

Changing transmission fluid

A clear understanding of how to check your transmission fluid is crucial for any Issaquah car owner! That’s because checking transmission fluid is a quick and easy task that pays off in a big way, helping you to uncover transmission problems before they can get serious. Exactly how often do you check your transmission fluid, and what’s the easiest way to do so? We answer those questions and more in the guide below.



Checking Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Guide 

Many drivers find that checking transmission fluid is easy enough to do at home, although there’s certainly no harm in scheduling service so that a professional can take care of it. Either way, here’s how to check your transmission fluid in five simple steps:

  1. Before you get started, turn the car on and let it run for a few minutes to warm up the engine. Put the car in park, and then get out and open the hood.
  2. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick. Most front-wheel drive cars have it just to the right of the oil dipstick, but your owner’s manual can tell you exactly where to find it in your vehicle.
  3. Pull out the dipstick and inspect the transmission fluid that’s on it. You should be able to get a good idea of the fluid’s condition by moving it around between your thumb and forefinger. It should be nearly clear, with a pink hue. If it looks darker or smells burnt, it’s time to schedule service to replace your vehicle’s transmission fluid.
  4. If the transmission fluid looks good, the next step is to check the level and see if you need to top it off. Wipe the dipstick clean with an unused cloth, and then insert it back into the reservoir. Pull it out again and see how far the fluid reaches on the dipstick. If it doesn’t reach the “Full” marking, you’ll need to add more.
  5. Using a funnel, gradually add fluid until the proper level is reached. Be careful not to overfill!

If you run into any issues while checking transmission fluid, no worries! We can help—just contact our service center to speak with a technician who can answer your questions about how to check your transmission fluid if you’ve never done it before.

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

Checking the transmission fluid is something you should do about once per month—along with checking other automotive fluids like engine oil and power steering fluid. Your owner’s manual can provide more specific intervals for these checks, as well as services such as oil changes.

Checking Transmission Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

If your car doesn’t have a transmission dipstick, it’s most likely equipped with a newer, “sealed” transmission. The transmission fluid can still be accessed in a sealed transmission, but not by using a dipstick. You will, however, need to bring your car to a Bellevue-area service center like our own so that a technician can inspect your car’s transmission fluid quality and level.

How often do you check your transmission fluid if your car has a sealed transmission? Fluid in a sealed transmission doesn’t need to be changed out as often, but the following signs may indicate that it’s time for this service:

  • Unusual noises when changing gears
  • Hesitating or delayed gear changes

Rely On Us for Expert Auto Maintenance & Repairs Near North Bend 

North Bend Chevrolet is your go-to for exceptional auto maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and more in the Snoqualmie area! What’s more, our service offers to make it easier to access the best possible service and genuine OEM parts for your vehicle. Stop by today to learn more.

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