How to Check Transmission Fluid


Checking your vehicle’s transmission fluid is a quick and simple task that you can perform to ensure that your car is continually operating at its best. Regular checks will be your first line of defense for indicating if something may be wrong with your transmission.

At Rockwall CDJR, we want to help drivers in Rockwall, Terrell, Rowlett, and Wylie keep their vehicles at their peak, so we created this helpful transmission fluid guide.

Checking Transmission Fluid

Checking your transmission fluid is easily done at home and can be performed very quickly. Follow these simple steps to make sure you are checking your fluid correctly.

  1. Ensure the vehicle is on a level surface, engage the parking brake, and start the engine. Your vehicle should be in neutral or park. Allow the engine to warm up and continue to run throughout your check unless your vehicle’s owner manual specifically states not to.
  2. Locate the automatic transmission fluid dipstick. Most transmissions are mounted on the back of the engine, so the dipstick is typically found where the transmission or transaxle meets the rear of the engine.
  3. Remove the dipstick, wipe clean, reinsert fully, and remove again. Try to pull the dipstick out slowly to get the most accurate reading. Exercise caution as the fluid may be hot.
  4. Observe the end of the dipstick. It may have two markings for “full,” one for warm and one for cold. If the fluid level does not reach the “warm” line, then you’ll need to add more automatic transmission fluid. Add fluid through a funnel in small increments, rechecking the fluid level until it reaches the “warm” line. Be careful not to overfill and spill fluid on hot engine parts.
  5. Fully reinsert the transmission dipstick and you are done!

Why Check Your Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid typically does not need to be changed often during the lifespan of the vehicle. Although to keep your vehicle performing at its best, it should be flushed out once or twice. In some cases, depending on the type of car you are driving, it may need to be changed every 50,000 miles or so. Even though the fluid may not need to be replaced, it still needs to be checked to ensure your vehicle is running smoothly.

The chemical properties of transmission fluid break down over time, but the fluid maintains its proper level unless there is a problem. If you see a low fluid level or are continually adding transmission fluid, then there may be a leak in the system somewhere. Routinely check your transmission fluid every year to ensure that there are no leaks or larger problems.

Symptoms of Low Transmission Fluid

Transmission Service near Rockwall, TX

Even though you should check your transmission fluid regularly, there are some other signs that there might be an issue with your fluid.

  • Overheated transmission
  • Stalled gear engagement
  • Slippage of gears
  • Difficulty shifting gears
  • Delayed gear engagement
  • Irregular gear shifts

In an automatic transmission, you should not necessarily feel the shifting of gears. Therefore, if you experience any of these issues, check your transmission fluid right away or schedule your car to be checked by our service center.

Need a Service Appointment?

If your transmission fluid is continuously low or you’re experiencing gear shifting issues, then it is best to bring your car into a service center as soon as possible.

At Rockwall CDJR, our service center is here to help drivers in Rockwall, Terrell, Rowlett, and Wylie with all their transmission problems. Our service center has convenient hours to accommodate all guests. Call our center today to schedule an appointment!

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