How to Check Transmission Fluids

Transmission

Whether you have an automatic transmission or a manual one, ensuring there is enough fluid under the hood is crucial. Just like oil is to your engine, transmission fluid ensures that all the working parts in this vital piece of equipment are working smoothly, allowing you to have a smooth ride in the Richardson, Garland, and Plano area.

If you are unsure how this process goes down, worry not – Courtesy Nissan is here to help. We have put together this guide on how to check transmission fluid, so you can do it yourself right in your own home! But first, let’s go over a few notable things about this fluid.

What is Transmission Fluid?

Simply put, your transmission needs fluid to work the way it should. It provides lubrication, cleans and protects from wear, and cools to reduce friction when operating. Without it, your transmission can develop damage and even cause erratic driving habits.

Healthy transmission fluid is pinkish red in coloring but will darken over time. If it becomes brown and even darker, this a sign you need new fluid. Fresh fluid is also almost odorless, so if it smells burnt, you need to schedule a change. Finally, clean fluid should be translucent and free of debris.

How to Check Automatic Transmission Fluid

1. Turn on your engine and place your vehicle in park or neutral. Then once it’s warmed up, pop open the hood and locate your dipstick. This should be in the front or the back of your vehicle.

2. Remove the dipstick from the pipe and check the color and consistency by dipping your finger into the fluid at the end of the stick. How does it look compared to the information provided above?

3. Now, wipe it with a clean, lint-free rag and reinsert it back into where it came from. Take it out one more time to check to the levels. If it meets the “full” line, you’re good to go. If not, you probably need to add more of the correct type of transmission fluid. Make sure not to overfill!

4. Insert the dipstick back into its home, close your hood, shut off the engine, and you’re good to go. 

How to Check Manual Transmission Fluid

Transmission

As this process greatly differs from the automatic method, you’ll need some tools. Make sure you have the following before you start:

  • Jack &Jack Stands
  • Fluid Pump
  • Wheel Clocks
  • Rachet
  • Socket Wrench

1. Position your wheel clocks on the rear tires and using your jack, heighten your vehicle. Once complete, place your jack stands under the strongest point in the frame for safety.

2. Find your fluid fill plug, which is typically located halfway up the side of your transmission. Then, remove the plug.

3. Check the fluid by dipping your finger into the plug. If you see liquid, you probably do not need to add more. Also, check for the right color, consistency, and smell.

4. If you need to add fluid, use the fluid pump to feed the fluid into your transmission through the plug. Do this slowly and check often, to ensure you have enough or have not overfilled.

5. Replace the plug, lower your vehicle off the jack stands, and you’re done!

Schedule Transmission Service Richardson, Garland, & Plano

If you’d like further help on checking your transmission fluids or need to schedule a change or repairs, contact the service center at Courtesy Nissan today! Our professional and talented team is glad to take care of any transmission issue you have in a timely manner.