How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

May 13th, 2021 by
Service Technician Working Under Vehicle

It’s important to understand how to check your transmission fluid, and why you should do so on a regular basis. Keeping up with checking it can prevent serious maintenance issues, later on, so making sure you know how often to you check your transmission fluid is just as important as your oil changes and tire rotations. Not sure how to measure the transmission fluid level in your car? Then let Macke Motors, Inc. help you, or you can schedule service today, and we’ll do it for you in our center near Carroll.

Checking Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Guide 

Simply follow these steps:

  1. With your car in park, turn the engine on and wait a few minutes so that the engine can warm up. Then open the hood. 
  2. Find the transmission fluid dipstick. On front-wheel-drive cars, it’s usually located to the right of the oil dipstick. Check your owner’s manual if you’re having trouble finding it.
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid, moving it around between your thumb and forefinger. The fluid should be nearly clear, with a pink hue. If it looks dirty or gives off a burnt smell, take it to a service center near Fort Dodge for replacement.
  4. Use a rag to wipe off the dipstick. Then insert it back into the vehicle. Pull it out again and check the level. If it’s under the “Full” marking, you’ll need to add more.
  5. Use a funnel to bring the fluid level up to the right spot. Be sure not to overfill it.

If you run into any issues, or you just have questions about the process, then contact us to speak to our service team. We’ll be happy to help and answer any questions you might have. 

How to Check Your Fluid Levels in a Sealed Transmission

If you open the hood and discover there isn’t a dipstick, then chances are your car has a sealed transmission system. Not familiar with what that means? It means that the system can’t be accessed by traditional means. If your vehicle does have a sealed transmission, then you can bring it to our service center, and we’ll take care of the process for you. 

Why might a car have a sealed transmission? Well, it limits the amount of wasted transmission fluid, which saves you money in the long run. You can keep an eye out for the following red flags, however, so that you can make sure your vehicle isn’t running low on transmission fluids: 

  • You can hear strange noises when the gears change. 
  • The gears hesitate before changing. 
  • During acceleration, there’s a noticeable delay when the gears shift.

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

Now that you know how to check your transmission fluid, it’s time to know how often you should do it. Generally speaking, given average driving habits, you should check your transmission, power steering, and oil once a month and refill as necessary. As always, it’s important you check your owner’s manual for specifics such as maintenance schedules. 

Transmission Fluid Basics

Your transmission is one of the most complex parts of your vehicle. Before you check your transmission fluid, explore these tips:

  • Not all transmission fluid is the same, with different types for recent models, manual transmissions, and automatic transmissions. Your owner’s manual will recommend a particular type of transmission fluid.
  • Checking the fluid on a manual transmission will usually require a jack to access a plug located beneath the car. For most Lake View drivers, it’s more convenient to bring their vehicle into our service center. 
  • If your vehicle hesitates before shifting gears, it might be due to low transmission fluid. However, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. 
  • As a rule of thumb, based on driving habits and car models, you’ll want to replace your transmission fluid every 50,000 to 100,000 miles.

Rely on Macke Motors, Inc. To Keep You on the Road

Got any questions? Contact us to speak to our service team, and we’ll answer them right away. You can also view our service tips and tricks page for more information, to make sure you are always in the know on how to keep your car running smoothly. 

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