How to Check Transmission Fluid

There’s a lot that can go into making sure that your vehicle is staying as healthy as possible. Oil changes, tire rotations, routine maintenance. These are all important, but so is taking the time to check your transmission fluid before you head out on long drives. Doing this as part of your car-care routine can help you catch any problems before they become serious and ensure your vehicle is operating at its best. 

The transmission is in charge of propelling your vehicle forward, and having the right transmission fluid will keep you moving with ease. Explore the details regarding how to check transmission fluid in your car, and then visit Lum's GMC if you have any maintenance concerns for your Salem vehicle!

How to Check Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Guide 

If you know how to check your vehicle’s oil, some of these steps may sound familiar, but keep in mind a few marked differences in the process of how to check transmission fluid for your Newberg vehicle:

  1. You’ll want to have the engine warmed up properly before checking the level, so run your vehicle for a few minutes prior. Put your car in park before getting out and popping the hood.
  2. Find the transmission fluid dipstick, and check your owner’s manual if you’re having trouble finding it. On front-wheel-drive cars, it’s usually located to the right of the oil dipstick. (Your vehicle may have a sealed transmission if you can’t find the dipstick, which we’ll get into below). 
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid, moving it around between your thumb and forefinger. The fluid should be nearly clear, with a pink hue. If it looks dirty or gives off a burnt smell, take it to a service center for replacement.
  4. Use a rag to wipe off the dipstick. Then insert it back into the vehicle. Pull it out again and check the level. If it’s under the “Full” marking, you’ll need to add more.
  5. Use a funnel to bring the fluid level up to the right spot. Be sure not to overfill it.

Additional Transmission Fluid Basics

Your transmission is a crucial part of your vehicle’s operation, so here are a couple of important pieces of information to keep in mind when you get your transmission fluid checked below:

  • Not all transmission fluid is the same, they’ll vary based on model year, manual transmissions, and automatic transmissions. Your owner’s manual will recommend a particular type of transmission fluid.
  • Manual transmissions usually require a jack to access a plug located beneath the car that allows you to check the fluid levels. Schedule a service appointment at our center near Hillsboro, and you’ll have a much easier time.
  • If your vehicle hesitates before shifting gears, it could be because you have low transmission fluid. It could also be a sign of a more serious problem, so be sure to check the fluid level first. If the fluid level is normal, visit our service center. 
  • Your transmission fluid should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. The actual amount depends on your driving habits, type of transmission, and other factors. Check your owner’s manual for a more specific replacement interval.

Transmission Fluid: FAQs

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

How often do you check your transmission fluid? Our service team at Lum's GMC recommends checking your transmission fluid about once a month, along with the power steering fluid and engine oil are good to keep up with at this time as well. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for a more specific maintenance schedule and fluid types.

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission? 

The point of a sealed transmission is to limit the amount of wasted transmission fluid, but it still needs to be replaced. In this case, you’ll want to visit our Lum's GMC service team to check it for you to avoid any issues. If you are wondering if it’s time for a transmission fluid change, here are some signs to keep in mind: 

  • You can hear strange noises when the gears change. 
  • The gears hesitate before changing. 
  • During acceleration, there’s a noticeable delay when the gears shift.

Get Your Vehicle Serviced at Lum's GMC Today!

So, how often do you check your transmission fluid? Well, now that you know the intervals for checking, as well as how to check your transmission fluid yourself, you can schedule your next appointment at Lum's GMC the next time your service interval comes around for your vehicle. Our team is dedicated to making sure that your vehicle is getting the best out of every new and used vehicle in our inventory. 

Service Specials at Lum's GMC

We are currently updating our Specials. Please check back soon.

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