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How to Check Transmission Fluid

Changing transmission fluid

Knowing how to check transmission fluid and when to check transmission fluid can help you find out if something is wrong with your vehicle before it becomes a problem. So, how often do you check your transmission fluid, and what is involved in the process? Greenway Hyundai Decatur is here with a step-by-step guide so you can perform this easy task right from your driveway in Huntsville or Moulton. 

Guide to Checking Transmission Fluid

Want to know how to check transmission fluid? Simply follow these steps:

  1. To get a proper reading, warm up the engine a bit by letting it run for a few minutes. Your vehicle should be in park before you open the hood. 
  2. Find the transmission fluid dipstick. On front-wheel-drive cars, it’s usually located to the right of the oil dipstick. If you are unsure of the location, your owner’s manual can help. 
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid, moving it around between your thumb and forefinger. If it looks dirty or gives off a burnt smell, it is time to have the fluid replaced. 
  4. Use a rag to wipe off the dipstick. Then insert it back into the vehicle. Take the dipstick out again to check the level. 
  5. If the level falls below the “full” mark, your car will need more transmission fluid, and you should leave that to a professional at a service center.

What Color is Transmission Fluid? 

If you’re looking at transmission fluid, you’re probably wondering what color it is — it’s especially good to know if you’ve got a leak. Transmission fluid is normally red or pink, but if it is brown or you notice metal shavings, it can indicate an issue or that the fluid needs to be replaced. If you notice that your transmission fluid is low and that there is a leak, bring your vehicle to the Greenway Hyundai Decatur service center right away. 

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

How often do you check your transmission fluid? This is a vehicle maintenance task that should be performed monthly. It is also a good idea to check the power steering fluid and engine oil on a monthly basis. Be sure to take a look at your owner’s manual to see if the automaker has provided different recommendations. If you have trouble remembering, we suggest making a calendar reminder in your phone that comes back every month with a list of some fluid checks.

Transmission Fluid: The Basics

Because your transmission is a very complex piece of machinery, it is important to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Not all transmission fluid is the same. You will find different varieties for recent models, manual transmissions, and automatic transmissions. Once again, take a look at your owner’s manual to see what is recommended for your particular make and model. 
  • If your vehicle has a manual transmission, checking the fluid will usually require a jack to access a plug located beneath the car. If this is the case, you may want to leave this task to our service center. 
  • If your vehicle hesitates before shifting gears, your transmission fluid could be too low. However, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. If the fluid level is not the issue, have your vehicle looked at by one of our highly-skilled technicians ASAP. 
  • Replace your transmission fluid every 50,000 to 100,000 miles, or as recommended in your owner’s manual. Keep in mind that driving habits can affect this interval. 

Turn to Greenway Hyundai Decatur for Quality Automotive Maintenance

If you find yourself in need of transmission repair or other vehicle service, do not hesitate to reach out to the team at Greenway Hyundai Decatur. It is our goal to keep your vehicle operating at peak performance around The Shoals.

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