As a vehicle owner, it’s your responsibility to have a working vehicle at all times. Some maintenance requires a mechanic. Other forms of maintenance, you can do on your own. One of the many tasks you can perform, is adding transmission fluid- depending on your vehicle. We have the information you need when it comes to doing adding transmission fluid successfully!
How Do I Add Transmission Fluid?
Whether you have an automatic or a manual transmission, transmission fluid is vital for smooth vehicle shifting. Transmission fluid also extends the life of your vehicle, by providing protection to your vehicle’s internal components from lots of wear and tear. With motor oil, you have to check it on a regular basis and receive oil changes on a regular basis. But with transmission fluid, it won’t have your attention, till there is a leak or you experience a problem with shifting. But if you are a “hard driver” or you do lots of driving, then you need to have your transmission checked, just about as much as you may need to have your motor oil checked.
What are the Signs of Low Transmission Fluid?
- The first sign that there is low transmission fluid is rough or difficult shifting.
- Another sign may be your vehicle skipping gears.
- Odd or unusual noises are yet another sign that your transmission is low.
- Burning smells are an additional sign that you are just about out of transmission fluid.
During normal driving conditions, you probably can wait for your car to reach 60,000 miles, before you need to check and change the transmission fluid. Once your vehicle reaches about 30,000 miles, you can check your transmission fluid, if your vehicle has a manual transmission. Many vehicles have a sealed unit; so, you’ll need to take your vehicle to a repair shop. handle.
What are the Additional Steps To Changing Your Transmission Fluid?
Begin by starting your car. In order for you to get a precise transmission fluid reading, you have to check the level while your transmission is warm and running. You want to keep your vehicle in park mode and your handbrake/park brake activated as you check the transmission fluid. Be sure that you you’re your vehicle owner's manual for the correct position of your vehicle’s shifter. Have you driven your vehicle in the past 30 minutes? You want to give your engine an opportunity to idle for a few moments, before you check your transmission fluid. When you wait, you are allowing the temperature of the fluid to normalize and stabilize. It’s important to note that some vehicles may give you a “cold” reading which you will be able to see on your transmission dipstick. Even if this is the circumstance for your car, you want to still start your car engine and allow the transmission fluid to heat in order for your you to receive a correct and precise reading.
Next, you want to press on the brake while your car is stationary and be sure that you carefully run your transmission through all of the gears of your vehicle, including overdrive and reverse. If you decide to check your transmission fluid cold (for example, you have not driven anywhere and you don’t run it though all of your gears), then you will get an incorrect reading, as you use your dipstick to get a reading. You may use the dipstick and see that you have too much fluid in your car. But this may not be the case. You want to avoid this and allow your fluid to go through all gears. A cycle though all of the vehicle gears will allow proper and complete circulation of the transmission fluid.
Locate as well as remove the transmission fluid dipstick. Take your finger and dip it into the fluid on the dipstick. Then rub the fluid between your fingers. You are checking for a clear, bright reddish or even a pinkish color that is thick to the touch. If you have a darkish color, then it’s time for a transmission fluid change. If you see any huge metallic debris or particles, alongside a burnt smell, then there is a possibility that there is already some sort of damage that a mechanic needs to look at.
If you see that the fluid is clear, thick, free of debris and red, then continue on with cleaning your dipstick with a clean and fresh paper towel, or lint free rag. Now, you can reinsert your dipstick and pull it out again.
As you see that your transmission fluid is low, you can take a funnel, your transmission fluid and add more fluid. You want to be careful methodical and slow as you add that fluid. As you replace your transmission fluid, you want to be careful that you don’t overfill; overfilling can even cause damage!
What if My Car Doesn’t Have a Dipstick For Me To Check My Transmission Fluid?
Some vehicles don’t have a transmission dipstick but you can still check your transmission fluid. Check out the steps below:
You first want to look under the hood of your vehicle and be sure that you don’t have a transmission dipstick. The location of the dipstick can vary from car model from car model. So, be sure that you didn’t miss it. Generally, the handle of the dipstick is a t-shaped or a ring-shaped handle. You may also see the word “trans” or “transmission” printed on it too.
OK- so you don’t see a dipstick. Check out your owner's manual to see if your vehicle has a sealed transmission. With a sealed transmission you have a specific kind of transmission with no fluid dipstick and a design that is crafted to be maintenance free.
So, if you see that your vehicle has a sealed transmission, then you will need to take your car to a mechanic. The auto professional will need to check your transmission inside of an oil change bay, so that the fluid level can be checked.
You may need to ask your dealership or a mechanic to find out if you either missed the dipstick or you simply don’t have one. Either way, if you cannot locate the dipstick, you need assistance in checking your fluid level or get a mechanic to check it-due to the design of your car.
What Happens If I Don’t Change My Transmission Fluid?
When you make an effort to add and maintain fresh and clean transmission fluid, you are using the best method to ensure maximum stability and longevity of your vehicle’s transmission. If you decide not to change your transmission fluid as needed, then you will see an accumulation of dirty fluid that will cause a multitude of issues for your vehicle. The dirty, debris-filled fluid will not disperse heat well, causing wear and tear of your clutch. You will also have to endure other damage to other components. When the clutch packs lose their hold, the old and dirty fluid will create friction to have your clutches exchange. But you will still endure issues.
What Are Some Facts About Transmission Fluid I Need To Know?
Check out these facts about transmission fluid and even adding transmission fluid, you need to know.
Transmission Fluid Is Short For “Automatic Transmission Fluid”
When we use the term “transmission fluid”, we are actually using a shorter version of the phrase “automatic transmission fluid”. Once we speak of transmission fluid and its inner workings, we are speaking of vehicles that are outfitted with an automatic transmission. A vehicle with a standard transmission can use an array of transmission fluids that have a thickness that can be seen and felt.
Regular Checks of Transmission Fluid Benefits You And Your Car
There is no transmission issue that can’t be aggravated or caused by an inadequate amount of transmission fluid. If you don’t have enough transmission fluid in your car, then you can just about count on lots of problems coming to you and your vehicle. That is why it is to your benefit to get it checked regularly. Are you seeing pinkish or even reddish liquid under your car as it’s parked? Then you need to see a trusted mechanic to he or she can remedy the issue. Regular checks benefit you, and your car in the long run.
Do A Thorough Check
As you go and do a check of your transmission fluid levels, you just don’t want to look at the quantity of transmission fluid you have in your car. You also want to look at the quality of your fluid too. Is your transmission burnt or a darker color? Then, you need to change that fluid. Just because you have a sufficient amount of fluid, doesn’t mean that the fluid is good and healthy for your car. Look at the condition of the fluid too. Transmission fluid should be bright in color and just about clear in hue. Your transmission fluid should also be odorless. The opaquer your fluid is, the worse your damage is. Additionally, any transmission fluid with an unpleasant odor, is cause for concern.
The Kind Of Transmission Fluid You Use Matters
When it comes to choosing a transmission fluid, you certainly have your pick. Each is designed for particular vehicles. So, be sure that you choose a transmission that your benefit your vehicle. You can check your owner’s manual, or you can even stop by your local mechanic’s shop and simply ask.
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