How to Check Transmission Fluid

How to Check Transmission Fluid
:Maintaining your vehicle’s transmission is crucial for its smooth operation and longevity. One important aspect of transmission maintenance is regularly checking the transmission fluid. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission system, allowing for proper shifting and cooling of the components. In this blog, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to check the transmission fluid in your vehicle. By following these easy steps, you can ensure that your transmission remains in optimal condition, preventing costly repairs and ensuring a smoother driving experience.

Step 1: Park on a Level Surface: How to Check Transmission Fluid

To accurately check the transmission fluid level, it is essential to park your vehicle on a level surface. This ensures that the fluid is distributed evenly and provides an accurate reading. Make sure to engage the parking brake for safety.

Step 2: Locate the Transmission Fluid Dipstick

Open the hood of your vehicle and locate the transmission fluid dipstick. The dipstick is usually labelled and can be found near the back of the engine compartment. It is distinguishable by its bright colour and a loop or T-shaped handle for easy removal.

Step 3: Warm Up the Engine

Start your engine and let it run for a few minutes to warm up the transmission fluid. This is important as the warm fluid expands and gives a more accurate reading. However, be cautious not to run the engine for too long, as excessive heat can affect the accuracy of the reading.

Step 4: Engage the Gear Selector

With the engine still running, move the gear selector through each gear position, pausing for a few seconds in each gear. Start with Park and work your way down to Drive, Reverse, and all other gears. This ensures that the fluid circulates throughout the transmission system.

Step 5: Remove the Dipstick and Wipe Neat

Turn off the engine and carefully remove the transmission fluid dipstick. Wipe it neat with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. This step is crucial to remove any residual fluid that may skew the reading.

Step 6: Reinsert the Dipstick and Remove Again

Once the dipstick is clean, reinsert it fully into the dipstick tube. Then, remove it again to check the fluid level. The dipstick will have markings indicating the recommended range for the fluid level. Pay attention to the “Full” and “Add” or “Low” marks.

Step 7: Check the Fluid Condition

Besides the fluid level, it is important to examine the fluid’s condition. Healthy transmission fluid should be transparent and reddish. If the fluid appears dark, cloudy or has a burnt odour, it may indicate a need for a fluid change or potential issues with the transmission system.

Step 8: Add Fluid if Necessary

If the fluid level is below the “Add” or “Low” mark, you must add transmission fluid. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the appropriate type of fluid and the correct procedure for adding it. It is important to fill the transmission appropriately, as it can lead to damage or leaks.

Step 9: Recheck the Fluid Level

After adding fluid:

  • Reinsert the dipstick and extract it again to check the fluid level.
  • Ensure that it is within the recommended range.
  • Repeat this step until the fluid level reaches the appropriate mark.

Step 10: Secure the Dipstick and Close the Hood

Once you are satisfied with the fluid level and condition, securely reinsert the dipstick into the tube. Close the hood of your vehicle, ensuring it is properly latched.


Checking the transmission fluid in your vehicle is a simple yet important maintenance task that can prolong the life of your transmission. By following the step-by-step guide in this blog, you can confidently check the fluid level and condition, ensuring optimal performance and reducing the risk of transmission-related issues. Regularly checking the transmission fluid and scheduled maintenance will let your vehicle run smoothly and help you avoid costly repairs down the road. Remember, if you are unsure or uncomfortable performing this task, consult a professional mechanic who can assist you in maintaining your vehicle’s transmission.


Q: How often should I check the transmission fluid?

Ans: It is generally recommended to check the transmission fluid at least once a month or as specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Daily checks will help you identify any potential issues early on.

Q: Can I check the transmission fluid when the engine is cold?

Ans: It is best to check the transmission fluid when the engine is warm, as it provides a more accurate reading. However, be cautious not to touch hot engine components to prevent burns.

Q: What if the transmission fluid level is consistently low?

Ans: If the fluid level is consistently low, it may indicate a leak in the transmission system. It is recommended to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to identify and repair the source of the leak.

Q: Can I use any transmission fluid for my vehicle?

Ans: No, it is crucial to use the type of transmission fluid recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or seek professional advice to ensure you use the correct fluid.

Q: Is it normal for the transmission fluid to change colour over time?

Ans: The transmission fluid may darken over time due to normal wear and tear. However, if the fluid becomes significantly dark, has a burnt odour, or shows signs of contamination, it is advisable to have it inspected by a professional.

Q: Can I check the transmission fluid in an automatic transmission without a dipstick?

Ans: Some newer vehicles with sealed transmissions may need a dipstick for knowing the transmission fluid. In such cases, it is recommended to consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual or seek professional assistance.

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