How to Check Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid Change

Whenever you drive your vehicle around St Cloud, you have your transmission fluid to thank for moving your vehicle forward. Because transmission fluid is vital to your vehicle’s ability to move around effortlessly, it’s important to regularly check and change your transmission fluid when necessary. How often do you check your transmission fluid? The service center at Morrie's Buffalo Ford covers everything you need to know about checking your transmission fluid what to look for and when to change it!

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid Step by Step 

Checking your transmission fluid can be performed from your own home or garage, so there’s no need to make a trip to our dealership from Rockford. Follow these steps to check the transmission fluid in your Ford vehicle:

  1. Turn on your engine, and let your vehicle run for a few minutes. You want to make sure that your engine has been warmed up before you check your transmission fluid levels.
  2. Make sure your vehicle is in “park”.
  3. Open the hood of your vehicle, and locate the transmission fluid dipstick. 
  4. For most vehicles, the transmission fluid dipstick should be to the right of the oil dipstick, but if you’re having trouble finding it, consult your owner’s manual. 
  5. Take the transmission fluid dipstick out of its compartment, and move it in between your fingers.
  6. The transmission fluid should be mostly clear with a slight pink color.
  7. Wipe off the dipstick with a rag, then put it back inside your vehicle.
  8. Pull out the dipstick again, and check the transmission fluid level. 
  9. If the fluid level is underneath the marking that says “full”, you’ll want to add more fluid. If it’s at the “full” marking, then all you have to do is put the dipstick back inside your vehicle and close the hood. 
  10. If you need to top off your vehicle with transmission fluid, use a funnel to pour fluid into the transmission fluid compartment. Try your best not to overfill it. 
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Use a funnel to bring the fluid level up to the right spot. Be sure not to overfill it.

We mentioned earlier that when checking your transmission fluid, it should be mostly clear with a slight pink color to it. If it’s dirty or smells burnt, schedule service with us immediately to have it replaced.

What to Do With a Sealed Transmission

A sealed transmission is used to limit the amount of wasted transmission fluid, but just like any vehicle, it eventually needs to be replaced. Since this is sealed, there’s no dipstick to measure the fluid level, so you can count on our service team to check it for you to avoid any issues. 

Here are some clear indicators it’s time to replace your sealed transmission fluid: 

  • 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 Should You Check Transmission Fluid? 

How often do you check transmission fluid? You should check your transmission fluid around once a month. You should also check other parts like the power steering fluid and the engine oil. As always, refer to your owner’s manual for a more specific maintenance schedule and fluid types. If you have any other questions, you can always contact our service center.

How Often Should You Replace Your Transmission Fluid? 

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, or reach out to us for a recommendation. 

Schedule Transmission Fluid Service in Buffalo

Hopefully, you now know how to check your transmission fluid. If you have any other questions about the process or how often you should check transmission fluid, contact us. For all of your service and maintenance needs in the Monticello area, you can rely on the expertise of Morrie's Buffalo Ford. And don’t forget to take advantage of our service specials!

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