How to Check Transmission Fluid

Changing transmission fluid

 

Checking your transmission fluid at home is usually a quick and easy task, and it can help you catch minor issues before they turn into major problems. Your car’s transmission propels it forward on our Raleigh roads, so it’s safe to say that transmission maintenance is critical. If you’re wondering how to check your transmission fluid, Hendrick Buick GMC Cary has the guide to help! Our service team provides detailed information below.

Steps to Check Transmission Fluid at Home

If you’re working on your own in your Apex driveway, here’s how to check your transmission fluid:

  1. Allow your engine to warm up for a few minutes before getting started so you can get an accurate reading when you check the transmission fluid. Make sure your car is in park when you turn it off again to open the hood.
  2. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick under the hood. It’s often situated just right of the oil dipstick, but you can check your owner’s manual for a diagram if needed.
  3. Pull the transmission fluid dipstick out of its tube. Rub a bit of the fluid between your thumb and index finger to check the fluid color. Healthy transmission fluid is mostly clear with a hint of pink. If the fluid is dirty or smells burnt, then you’re past due for a transmission fluid change.
  4. Use an old rag to wipe the dipstick clean, then insert it back into its holder. Remove it once more to check the fluid level. If the fluid line is below the “Full” marking, you will need to top off the fluid. 
  5. Always use a funnel when adding fluid to your car so you don’t add too much.

Do you prefer to let a professional service tech add the fluid, or is your transmission fluid dirty? Schedule an appointment at Hendrick Buick GMC Cary and we’ll get the job done swiftly. 

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

We recommend checking your transmission fluid once per month, in addition to other essential vehicle fluids like engine oil and power steering fluid. As usual, you can also check your owner’s manual for a more specific recommendation.

How to Check Transmission Fluid with a Sealed Transmission 

If you’ve looked tirelessly for the transmission fluid dipstick to no avail, your car probably has a sealed transmission. Sealed doesn’t mean inaccessible, but rather that there is no dipstick you can use to check the fluid level. Instead, a car with a sealed transmission will need to have the fluid level inspected by an experienced technician with the proper tools. 

When to Check the Fluid in a Sealed Transmission 

Sealed transmissions help reduce the amount of wasted transmission fluid, so you shouldn’t have to check and replace it quite as often. If you experience any of the following on the roads of Apex, you’ll know it’s time for an inspection:

  • Gear changes are accompanied by strange noises
  • Hesitation during gear changes
  • Gear shifting is delayed during acceleration 

Transmission Fluid Tips

  • There are different types of transmission fluid on the market, and not all are suited to your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the type of transmission fluid you should use based on your model year and transmission type.
  • If you have a manual transmission, you’ll need to elevate your car with a jack to access a plug underneath. Typically, manual drivers have their transmission fluid inspected and replaced at a service center to keep things easy.
  • Feel a little hesitation when shifting gears? It might be caused by low transmission fluid — check the level to be sure, but if it’s fine then you will need to bring your vehicle in for further inspection.
  • Transmission fluid should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Exactly when you need the fluid changed will depend on your driving habits, transmission type, and other factors. As always, you can check your owner’s manual for a specific recommendation.

Schedule Transmission Service in Cary

Whether you want us to check your transmission fluid level or your maintenance schedule is calling for a fluid replacement, you can count on the Hendrick Buick GMC Cary service center. Take a look at our ongoing service offers for budget-friendly maintenance, and let us know if you have any questions.

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Hendrick Vehicle Disclaimer:

 

$749.00 Dealer Administrative Fee not included in advertised price.

All prices exclude all taxes, tag, title, registration fees and government fees. Out of state buyers are responsible for all taxes and government fees and title/registration fees in the state where the vehicle will be registered. All prices include all manufacturer to dealer incentives, which the dealer retains unless otherwise specifically provided. Dealer not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers subject to change without notice; please confirm listings with dealer.

All vehicles may not be physically located at this dealership but may be available for delivery through this location. Transportation charges may apply. Please contact the dealership for more specific information. All vehicles are subject to prior sale.

 

Additional Disclaimers:

 


*Applies to select GMC Models, the 2023 and 2024 GMC Sierra 1500. Length of contract limited. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 3/4/24. **Only on the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 Engine. For trade assistance, you must show proof of ownership and trade in a 2010 model year or newer vehicle. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 3/4/24.. ***Deferred monthly payments for 90 days. Excludes residents of PA. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Down payment required at signing, if applicable. Finance charges accrue from date of financing. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 3/4/24.

*Length of contract limited. Some customers may not qualify. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 3/4/24.**MUST BE A CURRENT OWNER OF A 2010 MODEL YEAR OR NEWER NON-GM VEHICLE OR A CURRENT LESSEE OF A 2019 MODEL YEAR OR NEWER NON-GM VEHICLE FOR AT LEAST 30 DAYS PRIOR TO NEW VEHICLE SALE. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 3/4/24. ***Deferred monthly payments for 90 days. Excludes residents of PA. Must finance with GM Financial. Some customers may not qualify. Down payment required at signing, if applicable. Finance charges accrue from date of financing. Not available with lease and some other offers. Take new retail delivery by 3/4/24.

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