How to Check Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid Change

Your transmission requires clean fluid in order to operate as intended. If you forgo regular transmission fluid checks, you risk serious damage or even a total transmission failure. Although some luxury vehicles–including some Jaguar models–have sealed transmissions that can’t be checked easily at home, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on under the hood. Find out how to check your transmission fluid–and how to identify problems with a sealed transmission–by reading on.

Checking Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Guide 

If your vehicle does not have a sealed transmission, learning how to check your transmission fluid is easy:

  1. Turn on the engine and give your vehicle a few minutes to warm up. 
  2. Make sure that the car is in park, and open up the hood.
  3. The transmission fluid dipstick is normally located toward the back of the engine, closer to the cabin. Check your owner’s manual if you’re not sure what to look for.
  4. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a lint-free cloth. Then reinsert the dipstick and draw it out once more to get your level. 

If the level is beneath the “full” marking on your dipstick, you’ll need to add more as soon as possible. Our parts department has approved transmission fluid that’s safe to use in your vehicle, and we’re easy to reach from anywhere near Peoria. Use a funnel and add more transmission fluid slowly to avoid overfilling.

New, usable transmission fluid is usually clear with a pinkish hue. If it’s dark, or smells burnt, it may be time for a total flush of your transmission fluid. Schedule service as soon as possible.

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid? 

Transmission fluid should be completely flushed and replaced roughly once every 30,000 to 50,000 miles or so, but how often do you check your transmission fluid by hand? If your vehicle has an unsealed transmission, you should check your transmission fluid every six months. 

What if Your Jaguar Has a Sealed Transmission? 

If you open the hood and see the words “Sealed for Life” where your transmission dipstick should be, you can’t check the transmission fluid using the technique outlined above. Since you can seriously damage a sealed transmission by trying to check the level manually, it’s best to schedule service if you think there’s an issue.

Sealed transmissions have been designed to minimize contamination, so your transmission and your transmission fluid can enjoy a longer lifespan. However, if you’re experiencing any of the following issues on the roads of Scottsdale and Phoenix, your sealed transmission may be to blame:

  • Your vehicle hesitates before shifting gears
  • Your vehicle isn’t accelerating like it used to
  • You hear strange or startling noises when changing gears

Rely on Jaguar North Scottsdale For All Your Service Needs

Problems with gear shifts and acceleration are often the result of low or dirty transmission fluid, but in some cases they can be caused by deeper issues. Since these aren’t the kind of issues you’ll want to leave up to chance, explore our service specials and let us help with any problems that arise.


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