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How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Most drivers know that they need to have their car’s engine oil changed regularly, but did you know that you also need to have your transmission fluid changed every once in a while? This important fluid keeps your car running smoothly, but when it breaks down, it can cause issues. Fortunately, it’s easy to check on the health of your transmission fluid yourself. Our team at Cherry Hill Nissan is here to teach drivers like you in Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, and Collingswood how with this guide on how to check your transmission fluid. With any questions while reading, feel free to contact us. Let’s get started!

  1. Gather Your Materials.

You’ll only need two things to conduct this test yourself: a white towel and your car’s owner’s manual. Make sure the towel or rag is white or light in color so that you can clearly see the color of the fluid when you check it.

  1. Warm Up the Car.

When your car’s engine is warm, the transmission fluid will warm up and expand, providing you with a more accurate reading on its health. Turn on your engine, and let it run for a few minutes before conducting your test. Leave it running so that the fluid stays warm throughout the process.

  1. Locate the Dipstick.

Pop the hood of your car and look around inside to find the transmission fluid dipstick. This is where you may need to take a look in your owner’s manual to figure out where the dipstick is located.

  1. Check Your Fluid.

Pull that dipstick out and wipe it on your white towel so that you can get a good look at it. You’ll get a good idea of the fluid’s condition by inspecting its color and consistency. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:

  • Color: If the fluid appears red or light brown in color, you’ve got healthy fluid! If the fluid is dark brown or black, that’s a big sign that the fluid needs to be replaced.
  • Consistency: The fluid should be thin and smooth. If it’s viscous or has dirty debris suspended in it, it’s old and you need a change.
  • Smell: While it’s not a good idea to get up close and inhale, if you can detect a burning smell from the fluid, it probably needs to be changed. Healthy fluid won’t have a detectable scent.
  1. One More Check.

Finally, you’ll want to check your fluid level to be sure that there’s enough fluid in your transmission to keep it running smoothly. Reinsert the dipstick and pull it back out. Take a look at the dipstick, which should have a couple indicator lines. If your fluid doesn’t reach past the lowest line, you’ll need to top up the fluid.

Schedule Maintenance for Your Car

If your transmission fluid isn’t in tip-top shape, it’s time to bring your car in for a fluid replacement. Our service center at Cherry Hill Nissan is here to provide you with this service, and any others that your car may need. Contact us today, and we’ll have you back on the roads of Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, and Collingswood right away.