Transmission dipsticks are slowly becoming a thing of the past. In just about any vehicle built prior than a few years ago, you’d find a dipstick that would allow you to check and measure the level (and quality) of your transmission fluid. It works just like the engine oil dipstick and it’s very easy to use.
How to Check Your Transmission Fluid with a Dipstick
If your vehicle does have a transmission dipstick, consult your owner’s manual to locate it in the engine compartment and make a point to check it somewhat regularly. The reason for this is simple. Your transmission needs fluid to keep components properly lubricated. If your transmission fluid is low, there could be a leak or some other problem that is worth looking into. If your transmission fluid is dark, discolored or has a burned smell, that’s also a sign that it’s probably time for a transmission service to replace the fluid and filter.
Why You Need Transmission Fluid
If left unresolved, a low transmission fluid level or poor quality transmission fluid will lead to bigger problems. It is often the most common cause of transmission failure. Just think about how much easier (and less expensive) it is to have your transmission fluid replaced now compared to having to replace or rebuild your transmission because of internal failures caused by a lack of transmission fluid.
Why Are Transmission Dipsticks Being Removed from New Cars?
As for why vehicle manufacturers are doing away with the transmission dipstick, it’s actually quite understandable. Transmissions are much more complex in modern cars and even the fluid is much more specialized. There are different types of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) and also many of today’s more high-tech automobiles will require continuously variable transmission (CVT) fluid.
Transmission dipsticks are being removed and replaced by clear tubes that still allow you to see the fluid level and coloration, but make it harder for you to just add or replace any fluid in the transmission pan by yourself. A lot of car owners will actually cause more damage by overfilling the reservoir or, even worse, using the wrong type of fluid.
Why You Need a Transmission Specialist
When it comes to servicing transmissions on cars both new and old, it’s always a good idea to trust an expert mechanic unless you are really knowledgeable about what you are doing. In the Central Valley, people turn to Ralph’s Transmission for the best in transmission service and repair. We specialize only in transmissions and we work on vehicles of all sizes, ages and styles. We know exactly what to look for and we know what type of transmission fluid is required for each vehicle we service. Unfortunately, a lot of general repair shops do not. We can’t tell you how many times we have a customer come in with transmission problem only to find out another mechanic put in ATF fluid when CVT fluid was required—or vice versa.
If you are going to get your transmission serviced or repaired, trust the local specialists. Call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.