How To Properly Check An Automatic Transmission Dipstick
It has never been more important to be able to maintain your car on your own. The more you can do yourself, the better. Checking your transmission fluid can save you a trip to the garage, which can save you time and money.
How To Check The Transmission Fluid
Before you check the fluid level, there are a few steps you need to follow.
- Start the engine of the car. Make sure it is parked on a level surface, and keep the engine running.
- Apply the parking brake and put the car into park.
- Move the gearstick through each gear option, stopping in each for around 3 seconds. Then return the car to park.
- Keep the car idling in 500- 800rpm for around a minute.
- Then use the driver information, to check the temperature.
You now have a choice. You either let the fluid cool down so that you can perform a cold check or you let it heat up so you can perform a hot check. The hot test is a more accurate method. You should complete the cold method first to ensure that you have enough fluid to conduct the hot check safely.
The temperature should be allowed to drop to 27oC and 32oC. Then complete the steps as follows.
- Locate the dipstick.
- Remove it and wipe it off with a rag or paper towel.
- Replace the dipstick for three seconds, then remove again
- Check both sides of the stick and read from the lower level.
- Repeat until you are getting consistent readings.
If you have enough transmission fluid, then the fluid should be above the lower level of the cold band.
The temperature should be raised by driving the car around. For the hot check, the fluid temperature should be between 71oC and 93oC. Once the temperature is in range, the procedure is the same. Only this time you are comparing the level to the hot check marks on the dipstick.
While you are performing these checks, you should also check the colour of the fluid. It should be dark red. If it is very dark in colour or smells burnt, then it needs to be replaced.