When your cars transmission fluid is low or in need of replacement, damage could possibly have already occurred to the transmission, which is why regular fluid checks are essential for car maintenance. Transmission fluid is essential in lubricating and cooling parts in the gear box of the car. Changing the transmission fluid is not necessary to replace as often as the cars motor oil, every 2 years or 50,000 miles is the typical recommendation.


What to check for automatic transmission fluid?


A complete inspection is the appropriate first step in checking the transmission fluid. At first look, the transmission fluid should be a bright red color with a somewhat sweet smell to it. If the transmission fluid is low it could be the result of a leak. Check the line that runs to the bottom of the radiator. If there is a leak there, you absolutely must find where the leak is coming from and repair it or replace the part. A local car repair shop can help you locate the leak and diagnose the situation.


What type transmission fluid requires for your car?


The type of transmission fluid requires varies per car, but the owner’s manual should let you know the type your particular car requires. You will need a fluid pump (relatively inexpensive at a car repair and parts store.) You will then need a jack to lift the car and necessary wrenches and other tools.


How to check the fluid level?


Checking transmission fluid becomes very simple with a dipstick. Here are the steps to check whether your car needs to add more oil or change it.

Transmission Dipstick

4 things to do when checking transmission fluid

  • Experts recommend checking the fluid while the engine is warm. So before you check the level, turn the car on and let it run for a couple of minutes.
  • Pull the dipstick out and wipe it with a clean towel or rag and put it back. After few seconds, pull it out again.
  • If you see the oil on the dipstick is clear and the fluid is at the low mark, add adequate fluid into it. Make sure you don’t over fill it.
  • What if, you see the oil is dark in color and a burnt smell, you should change the fluid as soon as possible.

If you need to change your transmission fluid, it may cost you $80-$240 for a professional mechanic to do the job. But changing fluid by yourself will cost you almost half and save you up to $100. 


How to change transmission fluid yourself? - Step by step


Changing Transmission fluid is very simple now. Follow these 7 steps and you will be able to change your transmission fluid yourself. It 

Transmission Fluid Change

7 easy steps of changing transmission fluid

 1. Start the engine and heat it up

You will need to start the engine and allow it to heat up appropriately for a few minutes. A quick 10-15 minute around your neighborhood could heat it up well enough.

 2. Park the car on a plain level

After the cars’ transmission is heated up appropriately, you’ll need to park it and raise it using the car jack.

 3. Locate the drain plug

Lie under the car and locate the transmission drain plug. If you are unsure about how to locate the drain plug then turn to your owners’ manual.

 4. Place the pan underneath

After locating it, place a pan or other container underneath it. This will contain and catch the old fluid as it drains out.

 5. Remove the drain plug carefully

Using the appropriate size wrench remove the drain plug, carefully because it will be hot and allow the drain pan to catch the hot fluid.

 6. Clean the drain plug and replace it

It will take a little time for the fluid to drain out, so use this time to clean the drain plug. After the drain plug is cleaned and the fluid has drained, replace the drain plug.

 7. Add new transmission fluid


Now you can locate the transmission fill plug, remove the plug and add the new transmission fluid. You will need to use the fluid fill pump for this, occasionally it can be accomplished without the use of the pump but space is very tight to do so without the assistance of the pump. Add the adequate amount of transmission fluid for your make of car and replace the fill plug.


Afterward, drive your car for several minutes once more and return. Park the car and check if the transmission fluid is leaking anywhere, especially any leakage around both plugs. If no leaks are visible then you can feel confident that you have provided appropriate car care to maintain your transmission. Changing Transmission Fluid is not so simple as changing engine oil as we discussed earlier. So you can give it a go next time.


About the author


Hello, My name is Andrew David, a passionate car lover, and enthusiast.
I am not so called expert but love to share my experiences and knowledge regarding the car and motor parts for all vehicles.