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How to Check Automatic Transmission Fluid

So one of the core organs in your beast of a car is your transmission. Whether it's an automatic transmission or a manual transmission, there is something that lubricates the greatness that makes up what we call a transmission. The transmission is used to control how fast the wheels spin in relation to the engine rotation speed. Similar to a bicycle, your legs are the engine, and the gears on your bike is the transmission gear box. Basically, the faster you pedal, the faster the bicycle goes, but if you only have one gear, there is a limit to how fast you can go. Add a couple gears, and the speed of the bicycle will increase or decrease depending on which gear you put your bicycle in.

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Super simplified, but for example, each rotation on gear a, will rotate gear c 10 times, but each rotation on gear a will only rotate gear b 5 times. Meaning the rear wheel on your bicycle will only turn 5 times per rotation on a going slower than if you were on gear c.

So replace the front gear with the engine of your car, and the rear gears with the transmission, add some pulleys and things like that to connect the wheels to the transmission, and you have your car. Anyways, those gears in the back, if not lubricated will grind away, resulting in a faulty transmission.

Today, we will take a look at how to check your Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF).

So what are you looking for when you look at the ATF?

Well, for a starter, you want to make sure that the ATF level is at the correct cold and hot lines respectively. And then after checking the ATF level, you will need a clean white rag to check the ATF color. Make sure that the automatic transmission fluid is a nice pink color. If the color of your automatic transmission fluid is brown or dark brown, you may need to change your ATF.

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When you put your ATF dipstick back into the well, make sure you wipe any debris off the dipstick before inserting it back into the well, because any debris in the ATF may cause irreversible damage to your transmission.

What you need:

  1. Rubber Gloves
  2. Clean Rag
  3. An Automatic Transmission Car

Step 1
Open the hood of your car.

Step 2
Locate the ATF dip stick. Here, we are using a Mitsubishi Pajero IO.

Step 3
Turn your car over, and change your shifter to all the gears, and back into park.

Step 4
Turn off the engine, and check the cold ATF level.

Step 5
Turn the car back on, and heat up the ATF

Step 6
Check the warm ATF level

Step 7
Refill if necessary.

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