How to Check Transmission Fluid

The transmission is one of the most important parts of your car. It’s the component that sends power to your wheels, maintaining fluid and effective gear shifts, and it absolutely needs fluid to perform properly.

How can Atlantic City and Egg Harbor drivers check their transmission fluid? It’s quite simple, really-and the Boardwalk Honda team is going to show you how.

Checking Your Transmission Fluid

The key to checking the transmission fluid in your car is knowing where the dipstick is. In an inline engine, it can be found at the rear of the engine (behind the oil dipstick). On a front-wheel drive car, however, you’ll find it sticking out of the transaxle.

You’ll actually want the engine on when you pull out the dipstick, but to avoid hurting yourself, you should make sure it isn’t too hot (warm is perfect). Set your gearshift either in park or in neutral with the emergency brake on.

When you’ve pulled out the dipstick, dab a bit of the fluid on your finger, and rub it to make sure it’s viscous and not filled with debris. Healthy transmission fluid will be a pinkish color. If it’s a dirty brown or smells burnt, it may need to be flushed.

After this initial check, wipe the dipstick with a clean rag and stick it back in. When you pull it out, check to see if the fluid comes up to the “full” line on the stick. If not, it probably needs to be topped off!

How Often Should a Transmission Be Flushed?

Transmission flush intervals really depend on the make and model of your car. You’ll have to consult the owner’s manual to determine how often your car will need one.

If you’d like to go by the rule of thumb, however, most mechanics say that the transmission fluid only really needs to be flushed every 100,000 miles or so. However, you’ll want to start checking it as early as the 30,000-mile mark.

Signs That Your Transmission Fluid Is Bad


If you don’t check your transmission fluid very often, your car will still exhibit signs to let you know it should be changed.

First and foremost, you may start to hear a grinding noise when your car attempts to shift gears. This is because things are dry and grimy, causing the transmission parts to rub.

The transmission may also start to slip or stutter when gears shift. You’ll be able to feel as the car struggles to shift into a higher gear. It might even lurch if you shift suddenly or when you’re braking.

Lastly, the car may stall altogether before it begins moving. This delay should only last for a few seconds, but it’s a particularly pressing sign.

If you experience any of these issues, stop into our service center to have our highly trained service staff take a look!

Schedule Transmission Work Today

Whether you just need a transmission fluid top-off or a full flush here in the Atlantic City and Egg Harbor areas, Boardwalk Honda is always ready to help. Contact our service center today to schedule your next appointment!