How to Check Transmission Fluid

Hand pouring transmission fluid through funnel as for the good car maintenance

Making sure you check your transmission fluid on a regular basis can help you prevent maintenance issues before they become more serious. Your vehicle’s transmission is what helps propel you forward. Not sure how to measure the transmission fluid level in your vehicle? The service team at Volkswagen North Scottsdale can help you learn how to check transmission fluid and more!

Checking Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Guide 

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Turn the engine on for a few minutes before proceeding, since the engine should be warmed up to properly check the level. Make sure your car is in park before getting out and opening the hood.
  2. Find the transmission fluid dipstick. On front-wheel-drive cars, it’s usually located to the right of the oil dipstick. Check your owner’s manual if you’re having trouble finding it.
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid, moving it around between your thumb and forefinger. The fluid should be nearly clear, with a pink hue. If it looks dirty or gives off a burnt smell, take it to a service center for replacement.
  4. Use a rag to wipe off the dipstick. Then insert it back into the vehicle. Pull it out again and check the level. If it’s under the “Full” marking, you’ll need to add more.
  5. Use a funnel to bring the fluid level up to the right spot. Be sure not to overfill it.

Should you run into any issues, feel free to contact our service team in Phoenix. We’re here to help you keep your model in great shape for years to come.

Checking the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

Can’t find a dipstick under the hood? Chances are your model has a sealed transmission. So, what is a sealed transmission? First off, sealed doesn’t mean it can’t be accessed. This simply means that there’s no dipstick to meanse the transmission fluid level. If your vehicle has a sealed transmission, do not attempt to check its fluid level. This could cause damage. Get in touch with our service team and we can help you check the levels safely.

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

The reason for sealed transmissions is to limit the amount of wasted transmission fluid, saving you money in the long run. Even so, this transmission can still have issues pop up and the fluid will eventually need to be replaced. Keep an eye out for these red flags that indicate when a problem needs solving with your sealed transmission:

  • You can hear strange noises when the gears change. 
  • The gears hesitate before changing. 
  • During acceleration, there’s a noticeable delay when the gears shift.

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

It’s recommended to check the main fluid levels in your car monthly, including checking your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and engine oil. If you need a more specific schedule, consult your owner’s manual or contact us at Volkswagen North Scottsdale.

Transmission Fluid Basics

Your transmission is one of the most complex parts of your vehicle. Before you check your transmission fluid, explore these tips:

  • Not all transmission fluid is the same, with different types for recent models, manual transmissions, and automatic transmissions. Your owner’s manual will recommend a particular type of transmission fluid.
  • Checking the fluid on a manual transmission will usually require a jack to access a plug located beneath the car. For most drivers, a visit to our service center near Cave Creek is more convenient.
  • If your vehicle hesitates before shifting gears, it might be due to low transmission fluid. However, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. Check the fluid level first, but if it’s fine, schedule service with us today.
  • You’ll want to replace your transmission fluid every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. The actual amount depends on your driving habits, type of transmission, and other factors. Check your owner’s manual for a more specific replacement interval.

Rely on Volkswagen North Scottsdale For All Your Service Needs

If you have any questions or need some assistance, be sure to contact our team. We’re more than happy to help you check your vehicle’s transmission fluid and more! Also, check out our other service tips and tricks to help you better maintain your vehicle.

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7001 East Chauncey Lane, Phoenix, AZ, 85054
Volkswagen North Scottsdale 33.6506072, -111.9297524.