How To Check Transmission Fluid & Change Cost

dipstick

Transmission is an extremely important part of any vehicle, and transmission fluid also plays an important role in providing lubrication to the transmission and keeping the internal parts of the transmission working smoothly without friction. Therefore, it is important to check the transmission fluid from time to time.

Because transmission fluid levels becoming low or contaminated over time is a natural process, if the transmission fluid is not checked in a timely manner, low fluid levels can damage the vehicle’s transmission or cause the transmission to fail completely. It is possible.

What Is A Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid is a smooth, thick liquid that provides lubrication to the internal parts of the transmission. Thereby, it protects the gears and other internal parts of the transmission from friction and also absorbs the heat generated due to the friction caused by the running of the gears in the transmission. Due to which the problem of overheating can be avoided in the transmission. Transmission fluid is used for every transmission system. Whether manual transmission or automatic transmission.

Transmission fluid comes in several grades. The grade of a transmission fluid indicates the viscosity of the fluid and its smoothness. Vehicle manufacturers often recommend different grades of transmission fluid depending on the size of the vehicle’s transmission. Transmission systems of light vehicles use a lower grade of transmission fluid, and for heavy and large vehicles, a higher grade of fluid is used.

How To Check Transmission Fluid Level?

To check the transmission fluid level in the vehicle, first park the warm vehicle in a parking area, allowing the transmission fluid to collect at the bottom. Then pull out and clean the transmission fluid dipstick. Insert the dipstick in and out again, and make sure the fluid is at the top mark on the dipstick. If the fluid level is at the bottom mark on the dipstick, you need to top up the transmission fluid level.

In some vehicles, the procedure for checking the transmission fluid varies depending on the transmission system, as some transmissions do not have a dipstick to check the fluid.

Precautions –

  • Before checking the transmission fluid level and adding fluid to any vehicle, be sure to refer to the owner’s service manual.
  • Some vehicles require the engine to be started in neutral to check the transmission fluid level.
  • But on some vehicles, the transmission fluid can be checked with the engine off. However, the transmission fluid and dipstick of a vehicle driven to the garage may overheat.
  • Which can be harmful for you. Therefore, only check it when the transmission fluid is cold.

1. Park The Vehicle On A Level Place

park car in garage

Before checking the transmission fluid of any vehicle, it is necessary to park the vehicle on a level surface so that the fluid level of the vehicle’s transmission can be uniform. And the level of transmission fluid can be detected correctly.

Transmission fluid is a type of fluid. The fluid level in the transmission can become unstable if the vehicle is parked on a high or low surface. That’s why it is always mandatory to park the vehicle in a flat place before checking the transmission or engine oil level of any vehicle.

2. Locate Transmission Fluid Dipstick or Fluid Check Plug

check transmission fluid

Some transmission systems are provided with a dipstick or check plug to check the fluid. The transmission fluid dipstick can be viewed from the top of the transmission with the hood open. The transmission fluid dipstick is located on the rear side of the transmission, near the transverse axle.

Often, the transmission fluid dipstick is the same as the engine oil dipstick. However, some transmissions do not have a dipstick. These transmissions have a fluid plug on the bottom and the fluid level is checked by opening this fluid plug.

3. How To Check Transmission Fluid Dipstick

transmission fluid check

Some automatic transmissions require the engine to be started to check the fluid level. But on some vehicles, the transmission fluid can be checked with the engine off. You will need to remove the dipstick to check the transmission fluid level.

After this, clean the dipstick with a clean cloth and put the dipstick back into the transmission. Now take out the dipstick again. At the bottom end of the fluid dipstick, you’ll find two fluid level points.

The top dot on the dipstick indicates the full fluid level, and fluid at the lower point indicates low transmission fluid. If the transmission fluid dipstick hits the low point, the level must be replenished by adding new transmission fluid.

4. Check Transmission Fluid From Plug ( Without Dipstick)

check transmission fluid from plug

Some vehicles do not have a dipstick to check the fluid level in the transmission system. To check the fluid level in such transmission systems, a nut-like plug is provided at the bottom of the transmission.

This process will often require you to jack up the vehicle. Because this transmission fluid check plug is given at the bottom of the transmission. You will need to jack up the vehicle to check the transmission fluid. Then loosen the transmission fluid-checking plug by loosening it slightly.

You don’t have to open this plug completely. If the transmission fluid level is just above the transmission fluid checking plug when the plug is loose, transmission fluid will begin to leak from the loose plug.

This means that the transmission fluid level in your vehicle is full. If transmission fluid does not leak when the transmission fluid checking plug is completely loosened, this indicates a low or completely drained level of your transmission fluid.

In this case, all you need to do is top up with new transmission fluid until transmission fluid starts leaking from the fluid plug. If transmission fluid leaks, tighten the fluid plug tightly. so that there is no leakage of transmission fluid.

5. Contact Mechanic

If you are facing any problems checking the transmission fluid level of your vehicle, then you can contact a professional vehicle mechanic to get the job done. so you can have your vehicle’s transmission fluid checked and troubleshoot a low transmission fluid level.

However, you will need to have a mechanic check the transmission fluid level and pay for the mechanic’s labor costs to replace the low fluid level. The labor cost of these mechanics may vary from location to location.

Transmission Fluid Change Cost

The cost of changing the transmission fluid in vehicles can range from $260 to $390 on average, including the labor cost of a mechanic. However, this estimated cost does not include taxes and fees. The cost of transmission fluid can range from $190 to $270, and the labor cost of having the transmission fluid replaced by a mechanic can range from $70 to $120.

The cost of changing the transmission fluid depends on several factors. If your vehicle’s transmission fluid level is a little low, you will need to pay some money to get the level checked. If you replace your vehicle’s transmission fluid with a completely new one, the cost of the transmission fluid change depends on the make and model of the vehicle.

If you are experienced with changing transmission fluid yourself and have the proper tools, you can save the labor cost of a mechanic by changing transmission fluid yourself.

FAQ’s

Q. Do you check transmission fluid with the engine running?

Yes, anytime the transmission fluid is checked with the engine running. because cold and stagnant transmission fluid can give false results during checking. The transmission fluid must be under normal operating conditions during the checking procedure. However, overheating transmission fluid can also be harmful to you. So check it at normal temperature only.

Q. What are the signs of low transmission fluid?

You can feel and see a variety of symptoms in your vehicle when it is low on transmission fluid. Such as – Transmission abnormal noise, burning smell, fluid leakage, gears sticking, hard shifting and noise during gear shifting etc.

Q. What happens if you overfill transmission fluid?

If you overfill the transmission fluid. Then you will see signs of a leak from the transmission. And the fluid becomes more foamy and affects the rotational speed of the internal parts of the transmission.

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