How to Properly Check
Fluid Level and Condition
NOTHING IS MORE
CRUCIAL to the continued operation of an
automatic transmission than the fluid level and condition.
Checking fluid level and condition monthly is highly
recommended. Doing so could save you thousands of dollars in
These DIY procedures are for checking the automatic transmission fluid
level and condition in transmissions and transaxles that have a
dipstick. If your transmission does not have a dipstick, you
have a sealed transmission.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED:
> Paper Towels or Clean Rag
> Funnel with
Transmission Fluid (ATF)
Always refer to your Vehicle Owner's Manual for the type of
transmission fluid to use. If you do not have your Owner's
Manual, refer to our Transmission Fluid Application Guide.
Transmission Fluid Level
DIY Instructions Begin Here
Park vehicle on a level surface
Start the engine and allow to warm up to normal operating temperature.
If vehicle has
recently been driven and the engine is
already warm, you can skip #3.
Once warm, depress the brake pedal and move the shifter through all the
gears - pausing several seconds between each shift before returning the
shifter to Park.
Set the parking brake and pull the hood release.
With the engine running and the transmission in Park, open the hood and
locate the transmission dipstick.
Transmission - Rear Wheel Drive. The transmission dipstick
is normally located on the right "passenger" side of the engine
compartment back near the firewall.
Most transmission dipsticks have a red handle.
Transaxle - Front
Wheel Drive The
transaxle dipstick is normally located on the left "driver's" side of
the engine compartment on top of the transaxle.
Pull the transmission dipstick out of the fill tube and check the fluid
level with the markings on the dipstick. Wipe the fluid from
the dipstick with a paper towel or clean rag. Re-insert the
dipstick fully into the fill tube and then pull out a second time -
check the fluid level again.
... if fluid level
or in the
"Full Range" - No fluid is needed. Replace the dipstick - close hood and
shut engine off.
... If fluid level shows Less
Than Full - wipe the fluid off the dipstick using a
paper towel or clean rag and set aside. Go to next step.
TRANSMISSION FLUID. Refer to your Vehicle Owner's Manual for
the type of ATF to use or refer to our Automatic
Transmission Fluid Application Guide.
To ADD FLUID, insert a small tipped funnel into the
fill tube and pour approximately 1/4 to 1/2 quart of fluid into the
transmission. Do not overfill.
FUNNEL and RE-INSERT DIPSTICK back into the fill tube. Be
certain to push the dipstick fully into the tube.
CHECK FLUID LEVEL AGAIN:
Pull dipstick and recheck fluid
level. If fluid level still shows less than full, wipe the dipstick
clean and set aside. Add a small amount of ATF and then
re-insert the dipstick. Pull the dipstick and check the fluid
level again. Repeat these procedures until fluid level is at
the "FULL" line or in the FULL RANGE". Do not
to properly check transmission fluid condition