How to Check Transmission Fluids

Transmission Flush in Albuquerque The transmission is what changes the gears to move a car forward, so it’s crucial that it’s working properly. Transmission fluid is what keeps all the moving parts properly lubricated and cool, so the transmission continues to run well. Otherwise, you could be stranded in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or South Valley.

You can run low on transmission fluid over time, so you’ll want to check it regularly to make sure it’s always at the proper level. There are different ways to check fluid in a manual vs. an automatic transmission. Below, we’ll tell you exactly how to check transmission fluids. Read through our detailed guide and contact us at Jaguar Albuquerque if you have any questions.

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Checking Manual Transmission Fluid

Replacing Manual Fluid

Checking transmission fluid in a manual vehicle is a bit involved since it doesn’t have the typical dipstick that you’d find in an automatic. Instead, it has a fluid fill plug that’s located underneath the vehicle.

To check manual transmission fluid, you’ll want to complete the following steps…

  1. Lift the car up off the ground. Use a hydraulic floor jack to do this, and then secure the car with jack stands. You’ll want to get the car high enough to gain enough clearance underneath.
  2. Find the fluid fill plug. This will be a large bolt that’s located about halfway up the side of the transmission, which is under the car.
  3. Remove the filler plug and check the level. Use a socket wrench to remove the plug. Then, place your finger in the hole, and check if there’s any fluid on the end of your finger. If there is, then the level is good. If not, then continue onto step 4.
  4. Add transmission fluid. Use a pump to add fluid through the plug. Afterwards, repeat step 3 until there’s enough fluid inside the transmission.

Checking Automatic Transmission Fluid

Checking automatic transmission fluid is a bit more straightforward, where the following steps are to be completed…

  1. Find the dipstick. The location of the transmission fluid dipstick will depend on what type of automobile you have. If your car is front-wheel drive, the dipstick will be toward the front and sticking out of the transaxle. If your car is rear-wheel drive, it’ll be toward the back and behind the engine oil dipstick.
  2. Pull out the dipstick. Set the car to Neutral or Park and keep the engine running.
  3. Check the transmission fluid. Once the dipstick is out, you’ll want to stick your finger on it to get some oil, and then rub it between your finger and thumb. Make sure it’s a clear-ish bright red color, has no particles, and doesn’t smell or look burnt.
  4. Wipe the dipstick clean, reinsert it, and pull it out again. After checking the color and consistency, it’s time to check the fluid level. See that it’s up to the Full line. If not, then more will have to be added.

When You Need a Transmission Fluid Change

Replacing Manual Automatic Fluid

It’s recommended to get a manual transmission fluid change about every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. If the vehicle undergoes heavy-duty use, then it should get replaced every 15,000 miles.

For an automatic transmission, the service interval is usually between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. However, it could be as often as 30,000 miles or as infrequent as never needing one.

Regardless, if you’re doing a transmission fluid check and notice that the color, scent, or consistency is off, then it’ll have to be replaced as soon as possible. This is so the transmission can continue to run well for many years and miles.

Schedule Service Today

As you can see, it’s possible to check the transmission fluid yourself. However, you’ll probably want to leave that kind of job to the professionals. This is especially true if it turns out that you have to get fluid replaced or topped off.

So, if you live near Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or South Valley, then schedule service at Jaguar Albuquerque today!