Do you Check Transmission Fluid while the Car is running | Expert Tips

Do you Check Transmission Fluid while the Car is running

Do you check transmission fluid while the car is running? When the engine warms up, the transmission fluid is inspected (up to operating temperature). The fluid expands as it warms up. If the liquid is too cold, the level reading will be incorrect, resulting in overfilling.

If you are concerned about overfilling, add all but one pint of the required amount, start the engine, let it idle until the engine reaches average operating temperature, check the fluid level and add more if necessary. It is simply essential to keep it running while checking the status.

The engine must be running to maintain torque converter capacity, supported by the crankshaft-driven pump. A significant portion of the torque converter fluid flows back into the transmission when the engine is turned off. This results in an inaccurate reading because the torque converter does not consistently drain the same amount when the engine is off.

Transmissions are just as critical as engines in vehicles. Without it, your car will start but will not accelerate quickly. Maintaining a healthy transmission is vital, and like any other major component of your vehicle, protection begins with routine maintenance. Examining the transmission fluid level, its color, and even its scent will help you determine the condition of your transmission. 

Regular transmission flushes and good behaviors, such as applying the parking brake when stationary and shifting into drive only from reverse, are excellent strategies for prolonging the life of your transmission.

Do you Add Transmission Fluid while the Car Running?

Do you Check Transmission Fluid while the Car is running

This depends on the transmission mode. The usual answer is getting the most accurate readings, bringing it up to operating temperature, putting it in each gear for a few seconds, parking it, and checking it while in a bag with all channels fully engaged.

This is true for the vast majority, but not for all transmissions. For example, modern Hondas should be inspected at operating temperature, but only after the engine has been off for 30-60 seconds (do not check too soon or too long).

How to Check Transmission Fluid When Hot or Cold

Do you Check Transmission Fluid while the Car is running

The car will start automatically with the engine running. You will see a sign on the side of the vehicle telling you that the parking brake has been applied. The car will now beep three times, and it will turn over.

Find the Dipstick

Locate the dipstick by opening the front hood. A red or orange ring should surround the dipstick handle.

The transmission dipstick usually protrudes from the transaxle on a front-wheel-drive car. If you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, locate the dipstick at the rear of the engine.

Check the Fluid Level (When Engine Cold)

Once the engine is located and warmed up, remove the dipstick. Reinsert it completely by wiping it with a towel. Now, re-examine the dipstick markings.

There are two marks labeled “Cold” and “Hot” on most rods.” Occasionally there are “Additional” and “Full” markings.

Occasionally, no words are necessary. Next to each label, dots, notches, or lines indicate the desired fluid level range. Since the engine is still cold, you want the level to be in the “cold” range or lower.

Check the Fluid Level (When Engine Hot)

To get an accurate reading of the transmission fluid level while the engine is warm, you should do this after regular driving. A drive of about fifteen kilometers is usually sufficient.

Repeat the procedure described in step 3 above once the engine is warm. Be careful, as the fluid and the machine will be pretty hot, and you run the risk of burning yourself. When inspecting the measurement, make sure that the level is within the “hot” range.

Add Fluid if Necessary

If the transmission’s fluid level had been below the “cold” or minimum point on the dipstick when the engine was cold, you must add more transmission fluid to the gearbox.

If the transmission’s fluid level had been below the “hot” or maximum point on the dipstick when the engine was warm, you should add more transmission fluid to the gearbox.

How to Check Transmission Fluid Level

Do you Check Transmission Fluid while the Car is running

Transmission fluid dipsticks are similar to oil dipsticks. However, instead of measuring your car’s engine oil level, transmission dipsticks measure your vehicle’s transmission fluid level.

Keep in mind that low fluid levels cause many transmission problems. If the fluid level is low, there is likely a leak, which should be discovered and treated immediately by a professional. If it is necessary to add fluid, be careful not to overfill the reservoir. Overfilling the transmission fluid can cause foaming, increasing the pressure inside the transmission and forcing fluid out of the vents or seals. As a result, slipping and instability can occur.

Raising your vehicle’s hood and parking it on a level surface will improve visibility.

Start your vehicle and leave it in the park for a few minutes to allow the engine to warm up. Transmission fluid expands in the presence of heat, and for accurate results, it should generally be running. If you check the fluid level while the engine is cold, you may receive erroneous readings showing that the fluid level is low. Honda is the only manufacturer that recommends turning the engine off and checking the level immediately.

Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a clean rag before replacing it in the reservoir. Removing the dipstick and locating the indicators on the dipstick will indicate whether the fluid level is “full” or “low.” If the fluid level is sufficient, replace the dipstick and shut the hood. If the fluid level is low, immediately take your vehicle to an auto store for a refill.

Bottom line

Just as an engine needs engine oil to lubricate itself, an automatic gearbox needs transmission fluid to lubricate itself. Like the engine, it contains multiple moving components that rub against each other.

Automatic gearbox components can only function smoothly if they are constantly lubricated while the car is running. Any form of fluid leakage would be highly detrimental to the transmission components and the vehicle as a whole.

There are many reasons why the automatic transmission fluid level should be regularly checked. One reason is that the automatic transmission fluid may have a high concentration if it has not been changed recently. The frequent check of the automatic transmission fluid level will ensure that you get all the benefits of using this engine part.

It will also help prevent repetitive failure of the automatic transmission filter and loss of power on the sidecar. Most automakers recommend checking the fluid level every 40,000 miles. Of course, you can confirm the mileage in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If the manual specifies a different distance, use that figure.