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How to Check Transmission Fluids

 
  
  
  


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.


Transmission Fluid Change
  

Car Jack Transmission Check

Checking Manual Transmission 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 these key steps.

  • Position wheel chocks. These should be placed around the back tires.
  • Jack up the car. Use a hydraulic floor jack to lift the front of the car one side at a time, using the manufacturer-suggested jacking points. It should be lifted high enough to provide clearance for you underneath.
  • Secure the vehicle. Use jack stands to secure the vehicle. Place them under the lifting points and lower the car onto the jack stands.
  • Find the fluid fill plug. This is typically found about halfway up the side of the transmission. Remove the filler plug.
  • Check the fluid level. The fluid level can be checked using the manufacturer specifications. Usually, placing your finger into the filler plug hole and seeing if you get fluid on your finger is enough of a test. If there’s no fluid on your finger, then more is needed.
  • Add transmission fluid. Use the fluid pump to add transmission fluid through the filler plug. Check it until it’s at the proper level.
  • Replace the plug. Put the filler plug back in and use the floor jack to lower the vehicle to the ground. You’re done!

  • Transmission Fluid Check  
    Transmission Fluid

    Checking Automatic Transmission Fluid

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

  • Park on a level surface. If there’s a manual gear selector, it’s a good idea to shift through the gears before putting things in park and letting the engine idle. The engine will need to be running to check the fluid level.
  • Open the hood. Find the transmission fluid pipe. Your owner’s manual should be able to tell you where the pipe is, but if that’s not available, look for the dipstick handle. It may have a label on it. Typically, front-wheel drive vehicles’ dipsticks are at the front of the engine, while rear-wheel drive vehicles have the dipstick at the rear of the engine.
  • Pull the dipstick out. Have a paper towel or rag ready as you pull the dipstick out. Re-insert the dipstick all the way and pull it back out for an accurate reading. The fluid should be between the “Hot” and “Cold” or “Full” and “Add” lines. It’s a good idea to look at the fluid, too. It should be clear. If the fluid is dark or burnt looking, a fluid change may be required.
  • Check for any issues. If you see burnt fluid, then the radiator fluid will need to be flushed out, as it won’t protect the transmission. Repairs may be needed.
  • Add transmission fluid. If everything looks okay fluid-wise, and it’s determined that more fluid is needed, then you’ll need the right transmission fluid. Add it using a thin funnel. Continue checking the level until it’s between the two lines.
  • Go through the transmission. Get behind the wheel while keeping the hood open. With your foot on the brake, go through the transmission settings. This moves the fluid around and lets it coat the transmission parts.
  • Proper maintenance keeps your car running smoothly. Never neglect the transmission, and be sure to add fluid if your car needs it.

    Save on your next transmission repair with our Jaguar Service Specials.


    When You Need a Transmission Fluid Change

    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.


    Transmission Service

    We Take Care of Your Jaguar

    With Jaguar EliteCare, you’re covered. You’ll have a 5-year/60,000-mile coverage, along with complimentary scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance. The 5-year coverage includes a New Vehicle Limited Warranty, as well.

    Complimentary scheduled maintenance helps keep your Jaguar in the best possible condition. Our Jaguar-trained technicians will ensure your car’s fluids, including transmission fluid, are at the proper level. Plus, we only use genuine Jaguar-approved parts. So, if any repairs are ever needed, we’ll provide them and get your car back on the road in a timely manner.


    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.

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

     


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    (505) 797-3600
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