Transmission Fluid

January 12, 2023


Like most moving parts on an automobile, the transmission consists of a bunch of metal parts grinding against each other like some kind of hot robo-rave. Actually, the transmission is just a gear box full of moving gears that grate and rub against each other, and they would break quickly without lubricant. Transmission fluid is the lubricant for the gears in the transmission’s gearbox.

In vehicles with automatic transmission, transmission fluid also provides hydraulic pressure that enables internal components to operate. In both manual and automatic transmissions, it also helps reduce heat caused by friction between the gears, which aggravates wear and tear further.

Transfer Case
Transmission Fluid Service Near Me


There are a number of signs that your transmission fluid is low including:

  • Red, pink, or oddly tinted oils or fluids under your engine
  • Shifting gears is difficult or certain gears won’t engage at all
  • Shifting causes the vehicle to lurch or shake
  • Odds smell especially during shifting, likely of burning or smoke
  • Odd noises like whirring or humming, especially if you can feel it through the gear stick

While it’s unfortunate to have these problems at all, fortunately, they tend to be somewhat easy to identify so diagnosis isn’t usually too difficult. Not only that, but with proper maintenance and auto repair service, it’s fairly easy to prevent this from happening at all. You can usually keep up on transmission fluid refills simply by asking if you should get one at the same time you get an oil change. If you go to the same auto shop, they often keep that information on file and you won’t even have to remember anything.


Please have your vehicle owner’s manual at hand for this, as you may need it to reference where your transmission fluid dipstick is. Especially since some cars use transmission systems that are closed forever thus they do not have dipsticks, and you’re wasting your time looking for one. If that’s the case, you’d certainly want to know that beforehand, eh?

Here’s the gist of how to check your own transmission fluid:

  1. Pop the hood (preferably by banging it with your fist if you’re cool enough)
  2. Look for the transmission fluid dipstick.
    1. Do not confuse this with the engine oil dipstick which you’re likely more familiar with. The transmission fluid stick is usually located farther back in the engine compartment near the windshield. Often it’s marked with a unique color or symbol so you know what it’s for.
  3. Pull the transmission dipstick and wipe off the fluid. Look a the stick, there should be marks for “low”, “fill”, and/or “full”.
    1. Remember them, they come up later. This is foreshadowing.
  4. Put it back in all the way, without pushing too hard or shaking it around too much so you don’t get residual fluid on the stick and misread that there’s some in there when there’s not
  5. Turn on your car and leave it idling
  6. While the vehicle is idling, take the dipstick back out and look at the fluid to see where it lines up with the marks we remember from earlier. If the mark is at anything but the top “full” line, you need more transmission fluid.
  7. Put the dipstick back in securely, and probably go ahead and turn off your car and close your hood if you’re done here.
    1. Maybe go have a sandwich. You’ve earned it.

It’s a fairly simple process, just make sure you have a shop rag on hand so you don’t grease up that smartphone if you need to give us a service call.


Chico transmission repair

Thems the fundamental facts of transmission fluid and the role it plays in keeping you from needing expensive transmission replacement. Simply, it greases yer gears. And now with this guide, you should be able to check the transmission fluid levels yourself to determine when it’s time for a transmission fluid refill or not.

If it turns out you do need transmission service, well, you’ve come to the best transmission auto shop in Chico. We pride ourselves in offering premiere auto repair work at an affordable price and on schedule, too! If you need any help with your transmission including diagnosis, auto maintenance, or auto service unrelated to your transmission, just let us know by giving us a call using the contact information below.

You can also schedule an appointment online, and check in next week for more interesting auto mechanic articles, news, and the like. Thanks for reading! Transmission fluid near me.

Buddy Rausch

Buddy Rausch

Buddy started his auto career journey at Butte College and started his own auto repair company in 2007. Since then he has worked on countless cars, diagnosing, repairing, and replacing worn, faulty, and broken parts.

After a few years, he moved to a bigger shop to accommodate his growth and to better serve the Chico, CA community. It’s a family-owned & operated business.

Outside of work Buddy enjoys spending time with his family and playing softball is one of his many passions.

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