Transmission Service Information

If you are a handy type person you may want to service your automobile transmission, or if you prefer you can have a seattle transmission service do it for you.

There are two types of transmissions available on cars. One is the automatic transmission: You just put it in drive and off you go. The automatic transmission shifts through the gears automatically. The second type of automobile transmission is the standard (manual) transmission. With a standard transmission you have to manually shift through the gears using a clutch pedal (located near the brake pedal.)

Depending on what type of transmission you have: automatic or standard, will determine how you check the fluid level. It’s generally recommended to check your automatic transmission fluid once a month, but if you’re really exuberant you can check it every time you fill up your gas tank: this way you can see if your transmission fluid is low, and you’ll be able to check the condition of the fluid. This is the best way to keep your transmission running well for the longest period of time: transmission repairs are some of the costliest repairs on your vehicle.

Checking the fluid level on a standard transmission is another thing altogether: there is no easy way to do it. You have to jack the car up evenly on all four wheels. Locate the fill plug on the side of the transmission, remove the fill plug, and either using your finger or a screwdriver determine the height of the fluid in the transmission case. If the fluid is below the fill line you will need to add fluid. This procedure is definitely out of the range of what a normal car owner is able to do, and is best left to a seattle transmission service.

How do you check the fluid in your automatic transmission?

• First make sure your vehicle is on a level surface. All four wheels must be level (no hills please.)

• Your vehicle needs to be up to operating temperature. Go through all the gears: park, reverse, neutral and drive. Place the car in park and engage the parking brake.

• Locate your automatic transmission fluid dipstick. It’s generally located in the vicinity of the oil dipstick. In many cases it stands out due to a larger dipstick handle, and some have bright colored handles. If you can’t locate it check your owner’s manual. In very rare cases there is no dipstick, and the dealer has to check it.

• With a clean paper towel or rag wipe the dipstick clean. Reinsert the dipstick. Remove the dipstick and check the level of the fluid. You will usually see cold and hot levels on the dipstick. Since you are checking while the fluid is at operating temperature go by the hot level. Some transmissions need to be in neutral when checked. Your owner’s manual will let you know.

• When checking your fluid level you should also check the condition of the fluid: does it have a nice red transparent look to it or does it look brown and burnt? If brown and burnt, you will need to have the transmission fluid replaced, and have a new filter installed.

These simple steps will help keep your transmission in great shape, extending the life of your transmission