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How to Check Transmission Fluid

Left unchecked, your car’s transmission fluid can get too low or become dirtied with contaminants, which can lead to more serious issues. Thankfully, learning how to check transmission fluid is simple! Once you learn how, you can check your car’s transmission fluid regularly and avoid a costly service issue in the future. Join the service team at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet as we dive into how to check transmission fluid in the guide below!

Check Transmission Fluid in 6 Simple Steps

Follow these step-by-step instructions to check your transmission fluid from your own garage in North Charleston:

  1. Before you get started, run the engine for a few minutes to allow it to warm up. Ensure the car is in park before turning it off and exiting to pop the hood.
  2. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick under the hood; it’s typically situated to the right of the oil dipstick in front-wheel-drive cars. Having trouble finding it? Consult your owner’s manual.
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid to transfer a bit to your finger. Move the fluid between your thumb and forefinger, then inspect the color. It should be clear with a pink tinge. If it’s dirty or is emitting a burnt smell, it’s time to visit a service center for fluid replacement.
  4. Wipe the dipstick clean with an old rag, then re-insert it in its holder. Remove it again, this time to check the fluid level. If it falls under the “Full” marker, you will need to top it off.
  5. Use a funnel for ease and accuracy as you add more fluid. Be careful not to overfill it and only bring it up to the “Full” line.

Should you have any questions or doubts along the way, we welcome you to give us a call at for assistance!

How to Check Transmission Fluid in a Sealed Transmission

Can’t find a transmission fluid dipstick anywhere under the hood? Your car likely has a sealed transmission, but sealed doesn’t mean it can’t be accessed. It just means there isn’t a dipstick you can use to check the fluid. Attempting to check the fluid in a sealed transmission on your own can lead to damage, so it’s best left to a service professional.

How Often Does a Sealed Transmission Need Service?

Sealed transmissions are designed to limit the amount of transmission fluid that gets wasted, which leads to future savings for Mount Pleasant drivers. However, a sealed transmission will still require a full fluid replacement eventually. Here’s how to know if it’s time to schedule this service:

  • You’re hearing unusual noises when changing gears.
  • There’s a delay when the gears are changing.
  • The gears hesitate before shifting during acceleration.

How Often Do You Check Transmission Fluid?

It’s best to check all of your car’s fluids on a monthly basis – not just the transmission fluid, but also the power steering fluid and engine oil. For a more specific schedule, you can also check your owner’s manual.

More Transmission Fluid Tips

In addition to knowing how to check the fluid level and overall quality, these tips can help you better understand transmission fluid maintenance:

  • Like engine oil, transmission fluid is not all made the same. There are varying types based on the newness of the vehicle and whether it uses a manual or automatic transmission. Again, a consultation with your owner’s manual should tell you what type of fluid you need.
  • If your car has a manual transmission, you may find that it’s easier to let a service center check the fluid for you. If you do want to attempt it at home in James Island, know that you will need to jack the car up in order to access a plug located beneath it.
  • Frustrated with your car or SUV hesitating before shifting gears? Low transmission fluid might be the culprit. Check the fluid level for starters; if it’s correct, you should schedule service without delay as there may be a more serious issue to address.
  • Transmission fluid should be fully replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. This is a large interval because the actual frequency will vary depending on your driving habits and transmission type, among other factors. The maintenance schedule outlined in your owner’s manual should give you an exact figure.

Rely on Rick Hendrick Chevrolet for Transmission Service and More!

When you need to have your car’s transmission fluid checked or replaced, head to Rick Hendrick Chevrolet for reliable service and expert technicians. Contact us with any additional questions, or consult our online service information center for more tips and tricks you can trust!

Service Specials at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet

ACDelco PROFESSIONAL BATTERIES
Starting at $99.95
Battery6
  • $99.95 or less for ACDelco Professional Red battery Includes 18-month free replacement limited warranty.
  • $129.95 or less for ACDelco Professional Silver battery Includes 30-month free replacement limited warranty.
  • $144.95 or less for ACDelco Professional Gold battery Includes 42-month free replacement limited warranty.

*Plus $24.95 or less installation on most GM vehicles.

*Pressure tested to ensure heat seal of battery cover. Designed to increase life and reduce water consumption for battery durability. Tax extra. Excludes AGM batteries and select vehicles. See participating U.S. dealer for details. ••To the original retail purchaser. Parts only; installation extra. †Excludes Chevrolet Uplander and Buick Terraza (2007-2009) and other select vehicles. See participating U.S. dealer for details.

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NO-CHARGE BATTERY TEST Good on most GM vehicles.

*See dealership for all details.

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Buy select tires and if you find a better price within 30 days of purchase, we’ll refund the difference.

ELIGIBLE TIRE BRANDS FOR TIRE DEALS: BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Kelly, Michelin, Pirelli, and Uniroyal

*‡Ad, written estimate, or Internet quote for identical tire(s) from a competing tire retailer/installer located within 50 miles of the dealer required during guarantee period for price match. Offer valid at participating U.S. dealers.

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