How to Check Transmission Fluid | Denver Ford Lakewood

How to Check Transmission Fluid in Denver, CO

  • An automatic transmission depends on the transmission fluid for transferring engine power to the wheels, shifting gears, lubrication moving parts, and cooling down the transmission.
  • Properly checking the automatic transmission fluid is not as easy as one would think.
  • Vehicles use different procedures and getting a correct reading can be tricky. You need to know the proper conditions of the engine before checking the fluid level.  For instance: Car engine running, or Not?; Engine Cool or warm?
  • Some manufacturers have eliminated the dip stick and checking fluid levels require specialized tools and procedures.
Important to review your Owners Manual before proceeding.

How to check transmission fluid on most cars: Check Owner's Manual for proper procedure.


 
how to check transmission fluid

  • Drive vehicle to let transmission fluid warm up
  • Park vehicle on level ground and set parking brake
  • Make sure transmission is in the "P" - Park position
  • Leave the engine running
  • Check owners manual for location of transmission dipstick
  • Pull out dipstick and wipe with clean lint-free rag
 
transmission

  • Insert dipstick fully and pull out to check fluid level
  • Transmission fluid expands when warmed up (driving for 20-30 minutes) Transmission level should be between the "HOT" marks
  • If the vehicle is cold the level will be between the "COOL" marks
  • Check the fluid condition: a very dirty fluid with a burnt smell is a sign of transmission problems
  • Normally the transmission fluid should be clear and transparent
 
how to check transmission fluid

  • On most new cars the new transmission fluid comes red, as in the photo
  • Overtime it becomes brownish as in the photo below
 
automatic transmission fluid

  • This is how synthetic transmission fluid looks after two years of driving; it's still clear and transparent
  • If fluid looks dark or dirty, and burnt smell, it is time to change it (refer to Owners Manual)
  • Some manufacturers  require it to be changed at 30,000 to 50,000 miles, others specify it never needs to be changed (refer to Owners Manual)
 
how to check automatic transmission fluid

If the transmission fluid is low you can top it off. Be careful not to overfill as this can cause problems. Only use the specified transmission type; incorrect fluid can damage your transmission.
  • Using a thin funnel add a small amount of the fluid through the dipstick pipe
  • Wait a few minutes to let the fluid drain down
  • Re-check level
  • Don't overfill

Ask the Service Department a Question


Larry H. Miller Ford Lakewood serves Denver Metro Area, including Littleton, Highlands Ranch,
Aurora, Golden, Westminster, Thornton, and Loveland.


   Denver Auto Repair Center at Larry H.Miller Lakewood Ford
      Payment Types Accepted: Cash, Check, All Major Credit Cards
  
       11595 West 6th Avenue
     Lakewood, Ford 80215
   Repair Shop Phone: 888-873-2208


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