How to Check Transmission Fluid

Changing transmission fluid

When you understand how to check your transmission fluid, and you do so on a regular basis, you can prevent maintenance issues before they become more serious. So, what is a transmission and what does it do? The transmission is what propels your vehicle forward. If you’re unsure about how to measure the transmission fluid in your new model or want to learn how to check transmission fluid, take a look at our guide from the Acura Turnersville service team to get started.

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.

Should you run into issues, or simply want a professional to take a look, be sure to contact the service team at Acura Turnersville.

Checking the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

Typically, you check the transmission fluid with a dipstick. If there’s no dipstick under the hood, your vehicle likely has a sealed transmission. What is a sealed transmission? Sealed doesn’t mean it can’t be accessed. This simply means that there is no dipstick. If your vehicle has a sealed transmission, don’t attempt to check the transmission fluid level. Damage could be caused to the system. Schedule a service appointment with our service team in Turnersville and we can have the levels checked for you.

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

The whole purpose of a sealed transmission is to limit the amount of wasted transmission fluid, which will save you more money in the long run. Even so, no transmission fluid lasts forever. This will eventually need to be replaced. Keep an eye out for the following red flags which can indicate an issue 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?

It’s recommended you check the main fluid levels of your vehicle monthly. This includes checking your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and engine oil. If you’re unsure about where certain things are located or need some insight on when to change or check these fluids, be sure to consult your owner’s manual.

Transmission Fluid Basics

The transmission is one of the most complex parts of your vehicle. Before you get started to check your transmission fluid, keep these tips in mind:

  • 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 Maple Shade 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 Acura Turnersville For All Your Service Needs

If you have any questions about vehicle maintenance, our service specials, and more, don’t hesitate to contact our team online! Need a part? Our parts center has plenty available. If you don’t see what you need in stock, we can order the parts online and have them shipped in for you.

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