How to Check Transmission Fluid

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Maintain the life of your car with regular maintenance and tune-ups. Learn how to check the transmission fluid with expert auto maintenance tips in this important free car repair video.

Part of the Video Series: Basic Car Tune-Up
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Video Transcript

Hi! My name is Nate McCullough. In this clip we are going to talk about one of the maintenance items involved in a major tune-up or vehicle overhaul. The item we are going to talk about in this clip is checking the fluid level in a standard transmission. On this particular vehicle here, the manual transmission has a dipstick. Some vehicles do, some don’t. Either way the fluid does need to be checked on a regular basis. As you can see there is a dipstick down here that says Trans fill. It is pretty much like any other dipstick. It sticks down into the fluid to a proper level. What I am going to do is flip the locking mechanism, pull it out, get my paper towel out, give it a nice wipe and clean it off. Most dipsticks are labeled. If you can see on there, there is a line for add and a line for maximum. Beware in between there is fine; anything in the add area you should top it off until it hits the max level. How you do a dipstick is dip it in and pull it out. You want the vehicle on level ground when you do so and at normal operating temperature. As you can see, we are about a 1/8 inch above the add mark, which means we are good. We are right there. When you reading a dipstick, you want to look for the lowest dry spot. That is how you check your manual Trans fluid.

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