How to Check the Levels of Transmission Fluid

by John Brown | Last Updated: 10/14/2019

Just like traditional cars, automatic cars also need an oil-like substance for the smooth functioning of its components. Like engine oil in old car, transmission fluid is required to keep automatic cars running. This is the fluid that helps the car system carry out features like self-shifting or automatic transmission.

If you own an automatic car, you already know how important transmission fluid is for your car. But what bothers many people is the type of transmission fluid to use in their car. There are different types of fluids available in the market and many car owners found themselves to be at a crossroads when it comes to choosing one for their car.

In this article, we will take a brief look at different types of transmission fluids available in the market to help you choose the one that is the most suitable for your car battery.

Types of Transmission Fluid

In this section, we have listed the different types of transmission fluid available in the market along with a brief explanation of what keeps them apart from the rest of the types.  To check what transmission fluid is in your car, you will have to refer to the owner’s manual.

1. Type F

This type of fluid was quite famous and commonly used in cars in the 1970s. However, today, the fluid has lost almost all popularity and is not widely used. One reason for a loss of market could be the fact that the fluid didn’t include friction modifiers. This means that it didn’t have the ability to reduce the friction in lubricated parts.

2. HFM Fluids

Known as Highly Friction Modified, these fluids include friction modifiers that are quite beneficial for vehicles that need reduced friction.

3. Synthetic Fluids

These fluids are easily available in the market and are quite popular in today’s time. They offer better performance and service including improved resistance to shearing, friction, cold, heat, and oxidation.

How to Check Transmission Fluid in Vehicle

The following are some easy steps that you can follow to check the level of transmission fluid in your vehicle:

  1. Park vehicle using the parking brake. Start the engine and let it sit. You will notice that the engine has warmed up. Let it run throughout operations. [Don’t forget to check in the owner’s manual. If it says that for your car, the engine needs to be shut off. Keep the engine off.]
  2. At the place where the transmission or transaxle meets rear of the engine, locate automatic transmission fluid dipstick. [Tip for Identifying the Dipstick: It looks similar to the oil dipstick]
  3. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean. Reinsert it and then remove again.
  4. Now, observe the markings – labeled warm and cold – at the end of the dipstick. If the fluid level doesn’t come to the warm line, you have to add the fluid/
  5. Add the fluid in small proportions and keep rechecking the fluid levels.
  6. Once the level reaches the warm line, reinsert the dipstick back again.