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How To Check The Transmission Fluid


Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) should be changed every 25,000 miles. ATF usually does not require refilling any sooner than 25,000 miles, since the transmission fluid system is entirely sealed. If you notice that there is an oily fluid beneath your car, check the ATF levels to see if you have a leak.

You must check ATF levels while your engine is running. Be very careful as you lean over your engine; make sure you?re not wearing any dangling clothes or jewelry so that you and avoid getting caught in moving parts.

? With your car on level ground, put your car in park with the emergency brake engaged and let your engine run. Give the engine a few minutes to warm up.
? Locate the ATF dipstick, which will look like a bigger version of the motor oil dipstick. It?s often placed behind the oil dipstick, though it can also be near the rear of the engine. If you can not find the ATF dipstick, consul your owner?s manual.
? Pull the dipstick out of its tube, clean it with a rag, and push it all the way back into the tube. Remove the dipstick again and read the level indicator at the tip. The level should come up to the ?full? mark.
? If the level is low, add ATF through a funnel into the hole that you pulled the dipstick out of. Check your owner?s manual to determine which type of ATF you should add.
? Add only a little ATF at a time and check the level after each addition. Avoid overfilling.
? If the ATF that is already in your car looks dark, you need to take your car to a service station to have the fluid changed completely.

If you have a car with a manual transmission, do not attempt to change the transmission fluid yourself. Take the car to a service station at the appropriate intervals specified in the owner?s manual. If you ever feel that the transmission fluid is leaking out of the engine, take your car to a service station as soon as possible.

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