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How to Check Transmission Fluid

The Truth About Cars

Automatic transmission fluid is as important as engine oil. Like the engine it is also necessary to check the ATF, someone asks us how do I read transmission fluid dipstick? Well, there are readings you need to be done when the engine is cold and when the engine is hot.

How to read transmission fluid dipstick

The Truth About Cars

Step 1. To read transmission fluid dipstick, park the car on level ground than wait for the engine to warm up. While warming up the engine, look around the transmission and check for any leakage of transmission fluid.

Step 2. After the engine warmed up to locate the transmission dipstick and check the fluid at fluid temperatures of 86 to 122 °F using the “COLD” range on the dipstick.

Step 3. Start the engine and move the selector lever on every gear position, then leave the selector lever in the park “P” position. Usually, this is located at the back of the engine and is shorter than the engine oil dipstick.

Step 4. Check the fluid level with the engine idling. Remove the dipstick and take note of the reading, wipe with a clean rag and re-insert again the dipstick on the charging pipe.

Step 5. Remove the dipstick and take note of the reading, if the reading is at the low side of either range, add automatic transmission fluid on the charging pipe, do not overfill.

Step 6. Drive your car for about 5 minutes, and recheck the fluid level at fluid temperatures of 122 to 176 °F using the “Hot” range or dipstick.

You can also check the A/T fluid condition, if the fluid is very dark or smells burned, check the transmission for any problems and repair if necessary.

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