How to Add Transmission Fluid (5 Signs You Need to Add)

Jerry Wilson
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Checking Transmission Fluid Level

The only way to check the transmission fluid level is to actually check the transmission fluid level. Most vehicles’ owners manual will tell you where it’s located, but some may not.

Usually, the transmission fluid level can be checked from outside the vehicle. But if you can’t see the dipstick, there will be a dipstick inside the transmission that you will have to check. It’s hidden somewhere, usually right by where you connect the fluid line to the transmission.

To check the level with a dipstick, follow these steps:

{1}. Open the hood of your vehicle; if you can’t see the dipstick, consult your owner’s manual.
{2}. Locate the dipstick. It’s usually about 2-3 inches long and made of plastic. It’s usually at the bottom of the transmission and in the middle.
{3}. Check the fluid level. The transmission will have a red fluid line that goes straight to the transmission. There should be a line indicating the fluid level. It’s usually located just near the dipstick and should be marked at intervals up and down.

How to Add Transmission Fluid

Automatic transmission fluid is like a car’s lifeblood. It’s actually more than just a transmission fluid; it’s an entire lubricating system that provides smooth and controlled shifts in automatic vehicles.

The transmission fluid cools the transmission system and regulates the transmission valves. It also lubricates the gears and bearings as they rotate smoothly through the transmission, as well as collect and return excess fluid back to the transmission pan.

Automatic transmissions use different kinds of fluids. Your car’s manual will tell you which one to use. The recommended automatic transmission fluid has a neutral color that ranges from pale yellow to amber.

Fluid level is everything in a transmission. The transmission fluid is responsible for transferring all power from the engine to the transmission and then between the gears. In vehicles with computer-controlled transmissions, the fluid level is measured, and if levels drop below a certain point, a warning sign appears.

Low transmission fluid causes smoother shifts. But when it’s empty, the transmission will shift harshly, possibly damage your car’s internal parts, and even grind the gears.

Signs of Low Transmission Fluid

Your car loses power, it becomes over-heated and needs to be cool down before proceeding, or it hesitates when clicking in a gear. These are just some of the symptoms of low transmission fluid. Before you attempt to add transmission fluid, it’s helpful to understand what transmission fluid does. It is a lubricant that keeps all of the moving parts, and in particular the gears, of your transmission working smoothly. There are many signs to look for that indicate a transmission fluid problem, some of which are gas related. ***** You can add transmission fluid yourself, but the replacement of the filter is typically a more involved job and is best left to professionals.


Transmission fluid is essentially a mixture of oil and water. It is the oil that acts as a lubricant and will help you to move your vehicle.

You will know that it is time to add transmission fluid to your vehicle when your transmission shifts poorly or problems occur. Before you add transmission fluid, you should check your fluid level and color. The fluid should be of the same color that you use to refill it. The color can range anywhere between golden to dark red. The level of the fluid should fall between the minimum level and maximum levels. You can do this by checking the dipstick sent in the owner’s manual.

You can add the transmission fluid by following the instructions on the dipstick or the owner’s manual. It is easier to add transmission fluid when you have a transmission drain. You will need a drain pan and a wrench to use it.

If the transmission fluid is highly contaminated by the coolant or has very low levels, you may be leaking. Your vehicle’s radiator and lines could contain a leak. This should be checked immediately.