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How to Check the Transmission Fluid in Your Car

Checking Transimission Fluid
Has your car overheated? Your car can overheat if you have been driving too long in stop and go traffic or if your car is working too hard while towing another vehicle. It can also overheat if you have a leak in your car's transmission lubrication system or your transmission fluid is not working properly and needs to be flushed and replaced.

Here are a few things you can do to check the transmission fluid in your car and drive it safely to a mechanic to be inspected and repaired.

Stop Driving
When your car overheats, stop driving it immediately to allow it to cool down. Once your car has completely cooled, slowly drive it to a place where you can check your car's transmission fluid.

Check Your Transmission Fluid Level              
To check the transmission fluid, locate the transmission reservoir dipstick. On a rear-wheel drive car, the transmission is located in the back of the engine. On a car with front-wheel drive, the transmission is located in the front of the engine. If needed, check your owner's manual.

Once you locate the transmission fluid dipstick, pull it out slowly. Wipe the dipstick with a lint-free cloth and reinsert it into the transmission reservoir. Pull it out again and rest the dipstick tip on the cloth to read it.

Verify the Fluid Level
Your transmission fluid should be between the "Add" and "Full" lines on the dipstick. If it looks low, wait a few minutes to allow all liquid to seek the lowest level in the reservoir and check it again to verify your first reading.

Feel the Transmission Fluid
To test the quality of your car's transmission fluid, touch the fluid that is on the dipstick and rub it between your finger and thumb. If you feel grit or particles in the fluid, that is an indication that the transmission fluid is burnt and should be flushed from your engine and replaced with fresh fluid.

Smell the Transmission Fluid
Smell the transmission fluid on your finger and thumb. If the fluid smells burnt, that is another indication that the transmission fluid is no longer working properly. 

Check the Color of the Transmission Fluid
Look at the color of the transmission fluid. It should be slightly pink and almost clear. If the fluid is dark brown or black, then the transmission fluid is old and not cooling your car as it should.

Add Transmission Fluid
If you think your transmission fluid is low, old, or dirty, then you may need to have it professionally flushed and repaired by a professional mechanic.

To add fresh fluid to your car's transmission and protect it while you drive, first, place a funnel in the transmission reservoir and slowly add transmission fluid. Keep checking the level of the fluid on the dipstick until it reaches the "Full" line.

Do not overfill your car's transmission reservoir or spill it on other engine parts. If you do spill it, then wipe the fluid up thoroughly with an absorbent cloth or paper towel.

Take Your Car to a Qualified Mechanic
Once you have added adequate transmission fluid to your car, you can safely drive it to a mechanic. Start your car's engine and allow it to warm up for five minutes before you put it in gear and slowly drive it.

If you suspect that your car has transmission problems, then contact Morrison Automotive & Truck. We are transmission service experts and can inspect, diagnose, and repair your car and get you back on the road quickly and safely. Give our team a call today to learn more.