How Do You Know If Your Car Needs Transmission Fluid Change?
When it comes to your car, you’ll need to have a good idea of how to tell if your transmission needs a fluid change. This can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Most modern cars come equipped with a number of warning lights. You might see one that indicates low transmission fluid, or a “check engine” light that indicates OBD-II errors in your car’s system. Whether you have a problem or not, you might want to check the fluid level to make sure your transmission is running as smoothly as possible.
The transmission is responsible for sending the engine’s power to your wheels. It also transfers the heat from your engine to the rest of your vehicle. If the fluid isn’t flowing well, it will cause excess heat. A good indicator of the state of your transmission is the color of the transmission fluid. Lighter colored fluids will indicate that your transmission is in better shape than dark brown fluids.
If you notice a clunking noise or a weird smell, it might be time to get the car’s transmission fluid checked out. There are many reasons for a failing transmission. Some common causes include improper viscosity of transmission fluid, needed adjustment of the clutch linkage or shift cables, or even low transmission fluid levels. To ensure that you have the right fluid in your vehicle, consult your owner’s manual for the exact specifications.
Your transmission’s odometer will tell you how many miles you’ve put on your vehicle. It is best to get the fluid changed when you reach the 100,000 mark. After that, you may need to take a little longer to make a decision. Getting a free road test will allow you to decide for yourself.
A transmission dipstick can be found under your hood, usually on the firewall. Pull it out and you’ll be rewarded with an easy to read display showing the fluid’s level. While you are doing this, the engine should be turned on, since the fluid must flow in order to be read.
You may want to have a professional do the work for you. Changing your transmission’s fluid can cost a pretty penny. Alternatively, you can have it checked out by a reputable dealer. That said, if you don’t have the budget for a new transmission, you might want to try the next best thing.
Other signs of a problem are a sluggish or erratic engine, uneven performance and the occasional revving. Check the oil and transmission fluid levels regularly to prevent these problems from occurring. However, if you do experience a problem, don’t hesitate to contact a towing service to help you out.
Another way to tell if your car needs a fluid change is to use the hood popper. Usually, this is located in the inside of your car, or just behind your grill. In some vehicles, you’ll need to open the hood to access this. Once you have the dipstick out, pour the aforementioned small amount of automatic transmission fluid into the tube.