How Do I Check My Automatic Transmission Fluid?
Checking your automatic transmission fluid is relatively simple, and should be done regularly to ensure your vehicle continues to shift properly.
One of the most common questions we get is “do you have to check your automatic transmission fluid with the engine running?” The answer is yes. Check your automatic transmission fluid with the engine warmed up and the transmission in park (or neutral for some vehicles) with the vehicle parked on level ground.
Why while the engine is running? The automatic transmission has its own fluid pump that must fill the torque converter in order to get an accurate reading.
Here are the steps to checking your automatic transmission fluid:
- With the engine running and in neutral, remove the transmission dipstick (often red or pink). If you are unsure of where it is located, check your owner’s manual.
- Remove the transmission dipstick, wipe it clean, replace, and then remove it again.
- Check if the level reaches the mark on the dipstick labeled “Warm.”
- If the level is not full, you will need to top of your transmission fluid with the correct viscosity and type of lubricant.
- Check your owner’s manual for fluid specifications and fill location. Generally you can use a funnel and pour it into the hole where you pulled the dipstick. After filling, replace the dipstick, and after a few moments remove to confirm that it has been done correctly.
When you are checking your transmission fluid, keep an eye out for colour and for any metallic flakes or other impurities. If your fluid is brown (instead of pinkish or red) then there may be an issue with your transmission or you may need a fluid flush.
If this is the case, schedule a service appointment at Kelowna Nissan and our trained service technicians would be happy to assist you.