How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Do you know how to check your transmission fluid? If not, there’s no need to worry! You’re not alone, and the service pros at Hendrick Chevrolet Cary are here to help. The transmission provides power for forward motion as you drive through Apex and Raleigh, so proper upkeep is essential. Maintaining the transmission fluid is just one aspect of this upkeep, so keep reading to learn how to check your transmission fluid at home!

Steps to Check Transmission Fluid

Here’s how to check your transmission fluid at home in Cary:

  1. First, allow the engine to run and warm-up for a few minutes. When you’re done, ensure the car is in Park and turn it back off before you pop the hood.
  2. Under the hood, locate the transmission fluid dipstick. It’s typically situated just right of the oil dipstick on FWD cars. Struggling to find it? Your owner’s manual should contain a diagram.
  3. Slide the dipstick out and transfer a little bit of fluid to your finger. Slide it around between your thumb and forefinger to check the color. Healthy transmission fluid should be translucent and pinkish red. If it’s visibly dirty or smells burnt, you’ll know it’s time for fluid replacement.
  4. Using an old rag, wipe the dipstick of any fluid on it, then put it back into the holder. Remove the dipstick again, this time checking the level. If the fluid level falls below the “Full” indicator, you can top it off.
  5. Tip: use a funnel to cleanly add new fluid and help prevent overfilling.

Need help along the way? Contact us and our team will guide you through any issues!

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

Now you know how easy it is to check your transmission fluid, so how often do you check your transmission fluid? Along with the other essential fluids in your car–power steering fluid and engine oil–the transmission fluid should be checked monthly. As usual, you can also check your owner’s manual for a more specific recommendation.

Parting Tips for Transmission Fluid

Keep these tips in mind before you go about checking your transmission fluid:

  • There are different types of transmission fluid that aren’t all made the same. Check your owner’s manual for the proper type, as it can vary between new and old vehicles, manual, and automatic transmissions.
  • Do you drive with a manual transmission in Apex? Checking the fluid isn’t as easy and typically requires a jack to access a plug underneath the car. In these cases, many drivers will find it more convenient to visit a service center.
  • Can you feel your car holding back before shifting gears when you accelerate? Low transmission fluid may be to blame. You can start by checking the fluid level, but if it’s where it should be, you’ll want to schedule service soon.
  • Transmission fluid should be completely replaced every 50,000 – 100,000 miles. This interval is subject to change based on driving habits, transmission type, and other variables. We recommend checking your owner’s manual for an accurate interval.

Hendrick Chevrolet Cary Offers Transmission Service & More!

Whether you’re wondering how often do you check your transmission fluid or you have other car maintenance questions, Henrick Chevrolet Cary is here for you. Get in touch with us to get started today!