The Process of Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

Posted on: 10 March 2015

Your vehicle's automatic transmission system also referred to as an automatic gearbox is one of the many hydraulic systems in your vehicle. It serves to transfer engine power to the wheels. To maintain its effective functioning, it is important to have the system's transmission fluid analysed periodically to ascertain whether there is adequate fluid of proper quality available for your automatic transmission system to perform as appropriately. With car owners in mind, this article provides detailed steps typically employed by automatic transmission service companies to assess and carry out fluid change as far as automatic transmission systems are concerned.

How to Assess the State of Transmission Fluid

Do note that transmission fluid assessment is typically carried out when the engine is running.

  1. The mechanic will first start by opening your car's hood in order to gain access to the automatic gearbox
  2. The next step involves identifying the automatic transmission fluid pipe also known as dipstick that sticks out of your transmission system. Most of the newer vehicles have their fluid pipe labelled which makes it easier for the mechanic. The dipstick is usually located at the back of the engine, on top of the oil reservoir in rear-wheel drive cars. For front-wheel cars, the dipstick is often located in front of the transmission engine, on the right side of the oil reservoir.
  3. Upon pulling out the fluid pipe, it is cleaned with a towel and then after plunged back in the transmission fluid and pulled out again to assess the transmission fluid level. The appropriate fluid level ought to be between two marks marked either hot, cold, and full and add. If the fluid levels are quite low, the mechanic will add the necessary transmission fluid slowly by slowly, rechecking the level every so often, until it's at the proper level.
  4. To examine the state of the transmission fluid, wipe the dipstick that's just pulled out from the engine using a clean towel. Good quality transmission fluid is typically red or pinkish, without odour or bubbles. However, any symptoms to the contrary dictate the need for fluid change.
  5. Upon draining the bad transmission fluid out of the fluid pan, the next step involves filling in the system with good quality transmission fluid. The fluid is added little by little until the correct fluid level is achieved.
  6. Next, the mechanic runs the vehicle and takes it through every gear spending about 60 seconds in every gear. This procedure enables the newly introduced transmission fluid to circulate and correctly coat every gear, oiling it. Lastly, inspect the dipstick handle to establish how much extra fuel injection ought to be added following the test drive in order to restore the correct fluid level.
  7. Your vehicle's transmission system is now correctly set and your engine should be running along.