How to Check Transmission Fluid

How to Check Transmission Fluid

If you’re like most American drivers, you most likely drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission. This important piece of machinery helps keep your vehicle in motion and requires routine maintenance which involves checking the transmission fluid.

At Faulkner Volkswagen, our service center is here to help drivers throughout Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Camp Hill make the best decisions when it comes to their vehicle’s maintenance.

To learn how to check transmission fluid, continue reading and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions! If you know you are in need of service, easily schedule your appointment online today!

How Do I Check Transmission Fluid?

The first step is to find a level parking space preferably outside as you’ll need to run the vehicle’s engine for several minutes. Once in position, turn on the engine, pop the hood, and perform the following steps:

  1. Locate the Dipstick. If your vehicle uses front-wheel-drive, the dipstick will be found towards the front of the engine closest to you. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles typically place the dipstick towards the back.
  2. Inspect the Color and Consistency. Healthy transmission fluid is odorless and should appear either translucent or a pink color. Brown or dirty-looking fluid should be immediately replaced.
  3. Check the Fluid Level. Wipe the dipstick with a shop rag and return it to its holster. Remove the dipstick and check to see whether the fluid reaches the full line mark. If the line isn’t completely covered, add fresh transmission fluid.

How Do I Check a Manual Transmission?

If your vehicle uses a manual transmission, it’s highly advised you schedule a quick service appointment to have it inspected by a certified technician. The reason is that in many cases, transmission fluid is harder to access and requires your vehicle to be hoisted to reach the plug.

How Often Should I Change Transmission Fluid?

A good rule of thumb is to fully replace your vehicle’s transmission fluid every 60,000 miles for automatic transmissions and every 30,000 miles for a manual transmission. If this seems difficult to track, the aim is to have it replaced every two to four years.

These number might fluctuate based on your personal driving habits and local road conditions. For instance, those who frequently tow heavy loads will want to have their fluid replaced more often than those who don’t.

What’s the Purpose of Transmission Fluid?

How to Check Transmission FluidThe simplest explanation is transmission fluid is needed to lubricate the complex system of gears found inside your transmission. These gears help regulate the energy being sent from your engine to the vehicle’s tires and must more freely in order to safely work.

Fluid not only keeps these gears from overheating they also remove any dangerous particles and debris. A broken or seized transmission is often highly expensive and, in some cases, irreversible. The good news is that with a little forethought, you can generally avoid any of these issues.

Schedule Service Today!

If after reading this guide you realize that you’re due for a transmission checkup, simply stop by Faulkner Volkswagen go online to schedule an appointment that best suits your busy schedule.

Our team will have you take care of your needs and have you back on the roads of Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Camp Hill in no time.

Contact Service

Please don't hesitate to direct your service questions to us! Fill out the simple form below and our technicians will get back to you.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.