On Orders Over $99

Select Your Vehicle

Get the parts you need today. Pay later with . Learn more


Our USA based
parts pros can help.

Click Here

Industry Leading Warranty

Click to learn more


Home >   How To >   Common Repair and Auto Questions >   How To Check Transmission Fluid

How To Check Transmission Fluid


The transmission fluid is used to lubricate and cool down the transmission components, just as the engine oil removes heat from the engine parts. Besides lubricating and cooling, the transmission fluid in an automatic transmission gets compressed and provides the required pressure to shift, engage and disengage the gears. The transmission fluid is stored in the transmission oil pan. It is necessary to check the level of the transmission fluid periodically to ensure the proper working of the transmission.


Generally, the recommended range to change the transmission fluid is between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, or as suggested in the owners' manual. If you notice any discoloration in the transmission fluid, inspect the fluid and change it, if required. This may prevent costly repairs for your transmission parts in the future. The following steps detail how to check the transmission fluid and refill it, if it is low.


Checking the Transmission Fluid?


1. Park your car on a level surface. Start the engine. Set the transmission lever to the "P" (parking) position, and let the engine idle (On some cars, this process may differ, check the owners' manual for details). Pull out the transmission dipstick. Check your owners manual to find where this dipstick is located in your car.


how to check transmission fluid    


2. Wipe it with a lint-free, clean rag or tissue and insert it back carefully all the way down into its place.


checking transmission fluid    


3. Pull the dipstick out again and check the fluid level. If the engine is cool, it should be at the upper end of the “COLD” mark. If the engine is hot, the level should be at the upper end of the “HOT” mark. If it's lower, you should add some amount of automatic transmission fluid.


Check the fluid condition also:


If its too black and has a burnt smell - your transmission is not going to last. Normally it should be clean and transparent, as shown in the image below. Its color may vary from red to brown. Wipe the dipstick with clean white paper and look at the paper. Normally, there should be no black deposits, metal particles or dirt left on the paper.


checking transmission fluid-1    


How to add the transmission fluid:


Check the transmission fluid type in the owners manual. For example, some Chrysler transmissions need only a specific type of fluid and regular fluid like Dexron II can harm the transmission. Add a little amount of the fluid as shown in the image below. Wait for a while to let the fluid flow down. Start the engine. Check the level again.


checking transmission fluid-2    


Find Automotive Parts with an Industry-Leading Warranty at Buy Auto Parts!


Buy Auto Parts is the best place online to get car parts at unbeatable prices. We stock a wide range of OEM replacement and aftermarket parts for every make and model. To find the right part for your car, simply tell us your car's year, make and model. Your order will be shipped from the warehouse closest to your location. We offer free shipping for purchases over $99 in the continental United States. Our products have been throughly-tested to meet or exceed industry standards. You can reach us on our support line at or leave us an email at [email protected], if you need help in choosing your part. Please feel free to leave us an online review. We value your feedback!


"How To" Home  |  BuyAutoParts Home


Copyright © 2019 Buy Auto Parts. All rights reserved.


Click here for Mobile version