Check Your Transmission Fluid Regularly to Avoid a Nasty Surprise

Transmission fluid is something that you need to keep an eye on before there is a problem. Once your transmission starts behaving oddly or making noise, then it may be a much bigger problem than a simple fluid check. If you check your own transmission fluid about once a month, you will be keeping your transmission in good repair and should get early warning of possible problems. Considering how expensive transmission repair can be, it’s worth taking a few minutes every month to keep things in good running order.

It’s important that your car be parked on level ground when checking the transmission fluid. The engine should be running and the transmission should be placed in neutral. Remove the transmission dipstick and wipe it with a clean, lint-free cloth. Then reinsert the dipstick and draw it back out. Check the fluid level on the stick. There are two placed marked, one for “full hot” and the other for “full cold.” Compare the fluid level to the appropriate mark, depending on the temperature of the transmission fluid. If the fluid appears to be below the full mark, then you need to add transmission fluid.

In most cars, the transmission fluid will be added to the tube that also holds the dipstick. Make sure the fluid you add is clean, new and appropriate for your make and model. Dirt is one of the biggest enemies of your transmission. Avoid overfilling your transmission because this can cause poor shifting and puts unnecessary strain on the various gaskets and seals in your transmission.

Your owners manual can provide you with essential information, especially the type of fluid you should be adding to your specific vehicle. You should also check out the maintenance schedule to make sure you change your transmission fluid at the right time. It certainly doesn’t need to be changed as often as your oil, but changing your transmission fluid when recommended will keep your gears shifting happily ever after.

10 comments to Check Your Transmission Fluid Regularly to Avoid a Nasty Surprise

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  • Servicing your transmission will avoid costly repairs down the road. True that dirt is the biggest enemy of any transmission. However Heat is the cause of major damage. The clean fluid will be able to combat the breakdown of the internal parts. Unfortunately the fluid exchange of the transmission is the most overlooked service in any car.

  • Kristen Ehrman

    Great blog! Sorry to get off subject, but I’m new to town and I’d like to find a great auto repair in Nashville TN. Have you heard of any good ones? There’s a new auto repair shop called Veterans Auto Services, but I’ve only seen a few reviews. Here’s the address of this new Nashville Auto Repair, Veterans Auto Services 2404 CruzenSt Nashville, TN 37211 (615) 712-9777. Thoughts? Thanks!

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