Automatic-Transmission Fluid Level
How to Check Your Transmission Fluid Level
When you go in for an oil change, there are many fluids that the auto shop will top off as a courtesy, like windshield fluid and power steering fluid. But there’s one fluid that they don’t top off that’s very important to check every now and then: transmission fluid.
You don’t need to go into the shop to check it if you have an automatic transmission (for manual transmissions, it’s best to take it in). Use these step-by-step instructions to do this right in your own driveway.
1. Start the engine and let it idle so the engine and transmission can warm up.
2. Once warm, put it in park and apply the parking brake. Keep the engine running.
3. Pop the hood and locate your transmission dipstick. It may be labeled “TRANS” and is distinctly colored. It may even have a topper in the shape of a hook.
4. Remove the dipstick and gently dip the tip of your finger onto the fluid on the dipstick to check for abnormalities. Those include suspended particles or a burnt smell.
5. If the fluid is not a pinkish color, then you will want to get your transmission fluid flushed by Kennedy.
6. Take a rag and wipe the dipstick clean.
7. Put the dipstick all the way back in until it is fully seated.
8. Pull it back out and observe where the fluid sits on the stick. There should be a marked line on the stick where the fluid should reach.
If the fluid does not reach the level on the dipstick that it should, it’s time to add more fluid. You can bring your car into your neighborhood Kennedy location, and we will add some more transmission fluid to the tank. Unless you’re familiar with the workings of the transmission tank, we don’t recommend you fill it yourself. There are many types of transmission fluid and they are designed for specific automatic transmissions, so there’s a chance of filling up your tank with the wrong kind. Plus, it’s very important you don’t fill it over the fill line, and a seasoned mechanic will have a lot of experience with this kind of service.