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How to Check Transmission Fluid Without Dipstick

Transmission fluid is an essential part of a car's functioning, as it lubricates the moving parts within the transmission system. The fluid needs to be checked regularly to ensure it's at the correct level and is clean. However, not all cars have a dipstick to check the transmission fluid level, which can make the process more challenging. In this article, we will discuss how to check transmission fluid without a dipstick, what tools you will need, and the steps involved.

Understanding the Transmission System

Before we dive into the process of checking the transmission fluid level without a dipstick, it's essential to understand how the transmission system works. The transmission system is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels, allowing the car to move. The transmission fluid lubricates the gears, allowing them to move smoothly and prevent damage to the transmission.

Signs that Your Transmission Fluid Needs to Be Checked

There are several signs that your car's transmission fluid needs to be checked, including:

  1. Whining or clunking noises when shifting gears

  2. Difficulty shifting gears

  3. Burning smell

  4. Leaking fluid under the car

  5. Dashboard warning light

If you notice any of these signs, it's essential to check your transmission fluid level as soon as possible.

Tools Required to Check Transmission Fluid Without Dipstick

To check the transmission fluid level without a dipstick, you will need the following tools:

  1. Clean rags or towels

  2. Socket wrench

  3. Oil funnel

  4. Car lift or jack stands

  5. Torque wrench (optional)

Steps to Check Transmission Fluid Without Dipstick

Here are the steps to follow to check the transmission fluid level without a dipstick:

Step 1: Locate the Transmission Fluid Fill Hole

The first step is to locate the transmission fluid fill hole. The fill hole is typically located on the side of the transmission, close to the engine block. It's usually a threaded bolt with a square head.

Step 2: Prepare the Car

Before checking the transmission fluid level, ensure the car is on level ground and the engine is warm. This will ensure accurate readings.

Step 3: Remove the Transmission Fluid Fill Hole Bolt

Using a socket wrench, remove the fill hole bolt. Ensure you have a clean rag or towel ready to catch any fluid that may spill out.

Step 4: Check the Transmission Fluid Level

Insert the oil funnel into the fill hole and pour a small amount of transmission fluid into the funnel. Wait for the fluid to settle, then remove the funnel and check the fluid level. The fluid level should be at the bottom of the fill hole.

Step 5: Add Fluid If Needed

If the fluid level is low, add more transmission fluid until it reaches the bottom of the fill hole. Be sure not to overfill the transmission system.

Step 6: Reinstall the Fill Hole Bolt

Once you have added the transmission fluid, reinstall the fill hole bolt and tighten it to the manufacturer's specifications. If you have a torque wrench, use it to ensure the bolt is tightened correctly.

Tips for Maintaining Transmission Fluid

Maintaining proper transmission fluid levels is essential to keep your car running smoothly. Here are some tips to help you maintain your transmission fluid:

  1. Check your car's owner manual for the recommended transmission fluid type and change intervals.

  2. Always use the recommended transmission fluid type.

  3. Check the transmission fluid level regularly and top up if needed.

  4. Get your transmission system serviced regularly by a certified mechanic.


Checking transmission fluid levels without a dipstick may seem daunting, but it's a simple process that can be done with the right tools and instructions. Regular maintenance of your transmission system is essential to keep your car running smoothly

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