Checking Your Transmission Fluid

If you are wondering how to check transmission fluid, our experts at Pfeiffer Wholesale Parts prepared this guide to walk you through the process.

We are an online store selling OEM parts like brake pads, lights, radiators, alternators, oil filters, spark plugs, and starters for Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury car models.

The prices of our spare parts are competitive, and we ship them within a reasonable period to all aspects of the US.

Why and How to Check Transmission Fluid

Checking your transmission fluid level helps identify contaminated oil, worn-out filters, low transmission fluid levels, and issues with the transmission system.

With the service, you spot and fix issues that could accelerate the wear and tear of transmission parts, impair gear shifting, and deteriorate engine health.

To check your car's transmission fluid, follow the steps below. You do not have to be a mechanic to execute this maintenance service.

Checking the Fluid

There are three common types of transmission fluid — manual transmission, synthetic, and automatic transmission fluid. Many transmission fluids have a red hue, but there are few others with an amber, purple, or blue/green color.

So, before you check the fluid's quality and levels, ensure you know the vehicle's specific fluid. The information helps you understand the characteristics of fresh and contaminated oil. Refer to the owner's manual if you cannot tell your vehicle's particular transmission fluid type. 

Check the Level

To check the fluid level, get your car on a flat surface, power on the engine, and let it run for a couple of minutes. Then follow the steps below to determine if the transmission fluid's level is low or high:

  • Identify the transmission fluid dipstick under the vehicle's hood. Unlike engine oil dipsticks, fluid dipsticks might have a red or yellow handle for identification.
  • Remove the dipstick from the reservoir, and use a towel to dry it.
  • Fit the dipstick back into the reservoir and get it out again. Use the dipstick's calibrations to rule if the fluid level is okay.
  • If the levels are low, go to an auto center for refilling.

Note that some cars lack a dipstick, making it hard to check fluid levels at home. So, how do you execute the required check transmission fluid service for such vehicles? Since you cannot do it yourself, get a service member to help check the level through your vehicle's oil level plug.

Fluid Condition

Feeling stuck on how to check transmission fluid condition? Focus on analyzing the fluid's color and odor. Fresh fluid is odorless, with a transparent red color, while fairly used transmission fluid has a dark-red or light brown hue.

On the other hand, contaminated oil is black or dark brown with a burnt odor. It might have visible contaminants like metal shavings. Since contaminated oil is less effective, replace it immediately to avoid car damage.

Things to Look for When Checking Your Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid's color, amount, and odor are the most important things to look for when checking your transmission fluid. Color and odor tell if the fluid is fresh for use or too contaminated, while levels tell if the fluid is enough to keep your car running smoothly.

When is it Time for Filters or Other Vehicle Parts?

Consider replacing the filters if you notice contaminants like metal shavings in your vehicle's transmission fluid. The visible impurities signify that your vehicle's transmission fluid filters have worn out, a reason they cannot keep pollutants out of the reservoir.

On the other hand, a burnt smell, a foamy fluid, or black color signifies an issue with your transmission system. Get a mechanic to diagnose the case, and fix it before it advances to a critical problem.

For Replacements, Get OEM Parts from Pfeiffer Wholesale Parts

How to check transmission fluid? Locate the dipstick and use it to check the levels. Afterward, check the fluid color to determine whether it is contaminated.

Suppose the maintenance schedule points to possible issues in the transmission system; hire a mechanic to diagnose and fix your car.

If you wish to replace some parts, purchase genuine OEM parts for your Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury car model from Pfeiffer Wholesale parts at a competitive price.

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