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Auto Repair How Do I Check or Add Automatic Transmission Fluid to My Car or Truck

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Auto Repair How Do I Check or Add Automatic Transmission Fluid to My Car or Truck

Created on: 2010-10-21

Learn how to check and refill the automatic transmission fluid in your vehicle. Some details will vary between models, but the process is similar for many

  1. step 1 :Locating your Dipstick and Setting Up
    • Locate your transmission dipstick.
    • Make sure your car is on a flat surface and the transmission is warm and the engine is idling in 'park'.
    • Pull the dipstick and clean it with a cloth rag.
  2. step 2 :Checking Your Transmission Fluid
    • Dip the dipstick and remove it.
    • If the fluid is being circulated, the dip stick should be coated with fluid up to half way between the fill marks on the dip stick.
    • If your vehicle isn't idling, it will appear as if there is too much fluid in the system.
    • Your owner's manual is a good source of information regarding the correct transmission fluid, and how much the car should take and so forth.

Tools needed for replacement

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Transmission Fluid

    Cloth Rags

Installation Video
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Brought to you by, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Hi, I'm Mike Green; I'm one of the owners of 1A Auto. I want to help you save time and money repairing and maintaining your vehicle. I'm going to use my 20 plus years' experience restoring and repairing cars and trucks like this to show you the correct to install parts from The right parts, installed correctly, that's going to save you time and money. Thank you and enjoy the video.

In this video, we'll be showing you how to check the transmission fluid on this 1998 Ford Explorer. Really, it's the same as any vehicle. You've got to look for the transmission dipstick, which is also the fill tube. Then we also talk a little bit about what type of transmission you use and where you can find that information. In this vehicle, the transmission dipstick is way back here at the back of the motor. I'm going to pull it out and look at it. You can see that you actually need to wipe it down. When you check this, your car must be running it needs to be on a flat surface and the transmission needs to be warm. You can check it cold just to see if you're having any transmission issues you can check it and just make sure that there is some fluid in there.

What's important is to check both sides and you can see that it would appear that there's way too much fluid in here. That's because the fluid is not circulating through the transmission right now. You can check to make sure that there's fluid in it if you're concerned. Then get your car running, you should drive it some. Drive it to the gas station or whatever. Make sure it's on a flat surface and while the vehicle's in part generally, that's how you check it. Vehicle running in park with the transmission warm, check that fluid. Basically on the dipstick you'll see on this one there's two holes and the level of fluid should be between those two holes. Like I said, since the engine's not running right now, there's no fluid circulating so that's why it appears that it's way over full. Very important that you don't overfill your transmission. Overfilling could lead to transmission damage but more likely it just leads to transmission fluid leaking out and not being good to the environment.

Also on the transmission dipstick there's some other important information, which I'm not sure if you're going to be able to read it. Don't add too much because you don't want it leaking out all over the place. Somewhere on here it tells you the type of fluid. Yes, here it says use Mercon V. It can tell you on the dipstick and also the manual has specifications that recommend what type of fluid. There are four or five different types of transmission fluid and they're formulated differently for different needs, so you want to make sure that you use the correct fluid. Then obviously to add fluid, I generally just add it right through the tube. This funnel has a nice small end. Stick it down in the tube, pour the fluid in there and add a little bit a t a time until you level is where you need it to be. Again, you're doing this all with the engine running and the transmission in park.

We hope this helps you out. Brought to you by, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Transmission Fluid
  • Cloth Rags

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