How to Check Transmission Fluids
Most drivers around Santa Fe, White Rock, and La Cienega know the importance of the transmission. And, like the engine, the transmission has fluid that needs to be clean to effectively do its job.
That’s why it’s important to regularly check transmission fluid. Not only can it tell you a lot about the transmission, but it also helps determine what steps you have to take to ensure it continues running well.
Below, our team at Land Rover Santa Fe will tell you how to check transmission fluids. Learn the processes below, and contact us if you have any questions.
How to Check Automatic Transmission Fluid
To check transmission fluid in an automatic vehicle, you’ll want to complete the following steps…
- Get the car all ready. Park it on a level surface and start the engine. Make sure the car is in park or neutral and that the parking brake is on.
Note: Keep the engine running throughout this entire process, unless your owner’s manual says otherwise. Some automatic vehicles need to be kept off to check the fluid, so you’ll want to double-check if that pertains to your car or not.
- Find the transmission fluid dipstick. It looks similar to the engine oil dipstick, and is usually where the transmission or transaxle meets the back of the engine.
- Pull the dipstick out, and check the fluid. When the fluid isn’t too hot, take some off the dipstick, and rub it between your finger and thumb. This is to check that the color is a bright red, has no particles, and doesn’t look or smell burnt.
- Wipe the dipstick clean with a rag, reinsert it, and pull it out again. You’re now checking the fluid level. Some dipsticks have two markings for “full”: one warm and one cold. If the fluid level doesn’t reach the “warm” line, then more fluid will have to be added.
Note: If the fluid level is clear and at a low level, you simply need to add more. However, if the color or consistency is off, then the fluid will have to get replaced as soon as possible.
Checking Manual Transmission Fluid
If your vehicle is a manual, you’ll have to follow a different process for checking the transmission fluid. That’s because rather than a dipstick, the transmission will have a plug that’s located underneath the car.
So, to check manual transmission fluid, the process will go as follows…
- Pick the vehicle up. Put it on a lift, or use jack stands to keep it level.
- Find the fill plug, and remove it. The bolt is usually about halfway up the side of the transmission, but you’ll want to double-check your owner’s manual for the exact location. You’ll then want to use a proper wrench to remove the plug.
- Check the fluid level. It should be even with the fill plug. Stick your finger or other object inside to see if you immediately touch the fluid. If not, then more will have to be added until it’s at the proper level.
Have Your Transmission Fluid Checked Today
Now that you know how to check transmission fluid, you may be wondering how often the fluid has to get replaced. It all depends on the car you have. The average is between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, but you’ll want to check your owner’s manual for the exact mileage.
If you think you need to get a transmission fluid replacement or top-off, then schedule service at Land Rover Santa Fe. Our team will work quickly and efficiently, so you can get back on the roads of Santa Fe, White Rock, and La Cienega in no time.
Don’t wait. Schedule a service appointment today!