How to Check Transmission Fluid

Hand Pouring Transmission Fluid

When you understand how to check your transmission fluid on a regular basis, it can help keep transmission issues at bay, saving you time and money. Your car’s transmission is what pushes it forward and makes it possible to drive. Needless to say, you want to stay up-to-date on routine transmissions service, so you don’t end up in a situation where you can’t drive your car. If you’re not sure how to measure the transmission fluid level in your new Acura or pre-owned model, Acura of Milford can help. Read on to learn more. 

Checking Transmission Fluid Manually 

If you have an older model with a dipstick, follow these instructions below to check your transmission fluid level: 

  1. Before proceeding, turn the engine on and let it run for a few minutes. Place the car in park before getting out and opening the hood. 
  2. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick. On FWD vehicles, it can usually be found to the right of the oil dipstick. If you’re having an issue finding it, check your owner’s manual.
  3. Pull the dipstick out and touch the fluid. Move it around between your thumb and forefinger. The color of the fluid should be mostly clear, with a slight pink tint. Bring your car to our service center ASAP if the fluid looks dirty or smells burnt. 
  4. Wipe off the dipstick with a clean rag. Then, place it back into the dipstick slot. Pull it out once more and check the level. If the fluid level is under the “Full” marking, add more fluid to top it off. 
  5. Use a funnel and slowly add fluid until “Full.” Do not overfill

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

All primary fluids in your car should be checked monthly, including the transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and engine oil. Consult your owner’s manual for a more specific maintenance schedule, or reach out to our service technicians with any questions. Keep in mind that you’ll also want to have your transmission fluid replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles for the best performance. 

Checking the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

If you drive a luxury car or a newer model, you’ll probably have difficulty locating a dipstick. That’s because your car has a sealed transmission. “Sealed” doesn’t mean the transmission can’t ever be accessed — it can be — it just means there’s no traditional dipstick that can be removed and reinserted. If you have a sealed transmission, you shouldn’t attempt to check the fluid level on your own, as you may end up damaging it. Simply leave it to the professionals to handle for you! 

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

Because you can’t check the fluid in a sealed transmission the old-fashioned way, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any red flags that could indicate a transmission problem. Some of these red flags include:

  • You can hear concerning noises when the gears change. 
  • The gears hesitate when you shift. 
  • You can’t accelerate without a noticeable delay. 

Choose Acura of Milford for Expert Transmission Service 

If you have any more questions related to, “How often do you check your transmission fluid,” don’t hesitate to reach out to our service department. Schedule a service appointment if your vehicle is due for transmission service, or for any other form of regular maintenance. While you’re here, be sure to check out service specials for opportunities to save on your next service visit with Acura of Milford in Milford! 

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