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Tips for Cleaning Your Car
April 1, 2019

Shifting gears – especially for a vehicle that has an automatic transmission – should be a relatively pain-free, simply, and easy thing to do. However, if you’ve ever felt that you’ve been driving in a certain gear and it changes for no apparent reason, or if the gear shifts and doesn’t feel smooth, there may be an issue with the transmission fluid. If there is delayed engagement when you shift from park to drive, or if the engine seems to stall before shifting from one gear to the next, this might mean you have a maintenance issue or mechanical problem with the transmission. Before you take it into the shop, you’ll want to see if you have an adequate amount of transmission fluid. Often times, this can be the case and it doesn’t take much to change it yourself. One of the questions that High Gear gets asked over and over again is: “How to Check the Transmission Fluid?”. In this article we’ll be going over this basic DIY vehicle maintenance task that can save you a trip to the mechanic and keep a few extra bucks in your pocket.

Locate the Transmission Fluid Dipstick

The transmission fluid dipstick should look similar to the dipstick that you use to regularly check your oil levels. The two are often color-coded, so check your car manual if you are unsure of which dipstick is which. The exact location of each dipstick will vary from car to car, but it shouldn’t be very difficult to find. In rear wheel drive vehicles, the transmission fluid dipstick should be towards the rear of the engine, while front-wheel drive vehicles typically have their transmission fluid dipstick located towards the front of the engine, sticking out of the transaxle.

How to Check the Level of Your Transmission Fluidtransmission fluid dipstick

Now that you’ve located your dipstick, you can check the level of your transmission fluid.

  1. Make sure that your vehicle is in park or neutral, with the parking brake on. Start your engine and leave the engine running while you pull out the dipstick. Make sure the engine has been running warm for a minute or two as you check the fluid level of the transmission fluid.
  2. Take your index finger and touch the fluid that is on the dipstick, then run it between your finger and your thumb. You should see some pink or red-tinted (but mostly translucent) liquid. If you see particles that are present in the fluid, or it smells like something is burning, you’ll need to change your fluid as soon as possible.
  3. Just to make sure you haven’t missed anything, wipe the dipstick clean with a rag or paper towel and insert the dipstick one more time. If you decide that the fluid looks good-to-go and just needs a little bit of a top-up, then add some more transmission fluid with a funnel. Be sure to not go over the fill line.
  4. Re-insert the dipstick and you’ll be good to go!

Filling the Transmission Fluid

If you are unsure of which transmission fluid to use, or if you’re not comfortable changing the fluid, bring it into the shop! Always double check your owner’s manual before purchasing new transmission fluid, as there are many different kinds to choose from.

Best Transmission Rebuilders

High Gear Transmission is one of the best and fastest-growing transmission rebuilders in the United States. If you need a transmission rebuild or repair, contact us today. We’ve been working in the indsutry for over three decades and have the transmission manufacturing and rebuild experience to get the job done. If you are looking for the best transmission rebuilders, you’ve come to the right place. All of our manual standard shift transmissions are 100% dyno tested, come with new or like-new parts, are under constant quality control, and have extensive warranties based on your unique transmission needs. Our generous 90 day, 12 month, and 24 month warranties will leave you satisfied and happy with your transmission.

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