For many drivers, transmission fluid isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when anticipating car problems. However, transmission services are an important aspect of your car’s health. Understanding how to maintain a happy transmission and knowing what you can do to keep your transmission running smoothly can help prolong the life of your car.
Not all cars use the same transmission fluid. Your car will have certain specifications for which transmission fluid can be used without causing damage. It’s important that you only use the transmission fluid that is recommended by the manufacturer. You can find this information in your car’s manual.
How you check your car’s transmission fluid will depend on if you have an automatic or manual transmission. If you have an automatic transmission, the process will be relatively simple. To check the fluid in an automatic transmission, you simply pull out the dipstick, observe the consistency of the fluid, and wipe the fluid off the dipstick. You would then reinsert the dipstick and pull the dipstick back out to check the level of fluid.
If you have a manual transmission, it’s likely that your car does not have a dipstick. Instead, you will have to jack up your car and find the fluid plug. Since most drivers don’t have the proper tools to jack up their car, it’s best to bring your car to a mechanic to have your transmission fluid checked.
For drivers who can check their own transmission fluid, there are a few things to look out for. Over time, transmission fluid becomes dirty and contaminated. Healthy transmission fluid should look relatively clear or pink in color. Transmission fluid that has a deep red or brown color means that it is old and is causing additional damage to your transmission. Dark brown transmission fluid is a sign that your burnt transmission fluid is overheating.
If your transmission fluid has a color other than clear or pink, it’s time to have an experienced auto mechanic inspect and change your transmission fluid for you. Additionally, it’s always better to be proactive. Have your transmission inspected every few months so you know the status of your fluid and avoid costly and inconvenient repairs.
Do you need to change your transmission fluid? Are you unsure about the status of your transmission fluid? Let the professional mechanics at Ken’s Automotive and Transmissions help. With over 50 years of experience, we know what to look for when it comes to maintaining a healthy transmission.
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