How to Check Automatic Transmission Fluid

Step1

Park your car on level ground and start the engine, leaving the gear in neutral or park. Wait for the engine to warm up. Unless your owner's manual directs otherwise, allow the engine to continue running throughout this procedure.

Step2

Find the ATF dipstick, located at the back of the engine. The ATF dipstick is often shorter than the engine oil dipstick but otherwise looks similar. If you're lucky, it will be labeled.

Step3

Pull on the dipstick and completely remove it. It may be very long.

Step4

Wipe the dipstick with a rag, replace it in the engine, push it all the way in and remove it again.

Step5

Look at the dipstick's tip. Observe whether there are two different full markings: one for cold readings and one for warm readings. If so, read the one for 'Warm.' If the ATF does not come up to the line marked 'Full,' add ATF.

Step6

Add ATF into the hole that the dipstick came out of (yes, that little tiny hole). Use a funnel with a long, narrow neck. Add only a little at a time, and check the level with the dipstick after each time. It's easy to add ATF but fairly difficult to take it out if you add too much.

Step7

Put the dipstick all the way back in when you are done.

 

 

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