How To Check Your Transmission Fluid in Collinsville, IL!
Automatic and manual vehicle transmissions perform the same function: they utilize engine power to make vehicles go forward and backward. The standard architecture of most transmissions involves a solid metal casing containing gears, bearings shafts, and transmission fluid.
Without transmission fluid lubricating and cooling a transmission, vehicles won’t move when you press on the gas pedal. Insufficient or dirty fluid can cause a vehicle to “slip” (the motor is engaged but the movement is delayed) or simply act like it’s in neutral. Other signs you need to have your fluid checked by an auto technician in Collinsville, IL include smelling scorched odors coming from the engine, hearing grating or clanking sounds while driving, or having your engine light remain on.
All automatic transmissions use transmission fluid. However, some manual transmissions may use regular motor oil. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, check the owner’s guide for information about manufacturer recommendations regarding the type of fluid your vehicle uses.
How to Check Transmission Fluid Levels Accurately
First, start your car and let the engine warm up for about two minutes. Next, remove the transmission dipstick and wipe it off with a clean shop cloth or paper towel. Finally, replace the dipstick all the way into the transmission casing, then remove it slowly. The fluid level should be at the “full” level. If the fluid line is below the “full” mark, add fluid as needed.
If you haven’t driven your car within a few hours before checking the transmission fluid level, get into your car while it is still idling. While holding down the brake, move the shifter through each gear slowly–park, drive, reverse and neutral. Then put your car in park and check fluid levels. This will give you a more accurate assessment of your car’s fluid level because it simulates conditions while driving.
Take extra precautions while checking your car’s transmission fluid. The risk for sudden accidents significantly increases anytime you work on a running engine. When removing and replacing the dipstick, remain vigilant of fan belts, fans, pulleys and other moving parts. If you want your fluid checked but don’t want to do it yourself, call Marshall’s Transmission Repair in Collinsville, IL to schedule an appointment. Our technicians will be more than happy to do this service for you.
How Often Should Transmission Fluid Levels be Checked?
Marshall’s Transmission Repair recommends checking fluid levels once a month. Even vehicles less than five years old with high mileage can develop slow leaks due to broken seals, cracked fluid line or faulty drain plug.
You should also have your car’s fluid changed periodically. How often fluid needs changed depends on a vehicle’s type and how it is normally driven. Metal shavings, dirt and gritty debris can infiltrate transmission fluid lines and cause damage to the transmission over time. You can avoid unnecessarily changing fluid by having one of our Collinsville transmission repair technicians inspect fluid for signs of particles or discoloration. Most vehicles should have their old fluid drained and replaced by new fluid every 40,000 to 60,000 miles.
Cost of Transmission Maintenance vs Transmission Replacement
Having your transmission fluid checked and your car’s transmission maintained by Marshall’s Transmission repair typically costs around $100. Of course, this cost rises slightly if we have to replace dirty fluid or perform minor repairs to a transmission system.
Neglecting the health of your transmission to the point it where the damage cannot be repaired means you will need a new or rebuilt transmission. The cost of replacing a broken transmission can range from $1500 to well over $5000, depending on a vehicle’s make and overall condition. Much of the cost of replacing a transmission involves labor. Rebuilding an existing transmission or installing a new transmission may take transmission repair technicians in Collinsville, IL several days to complete the job properly.
Call Marshall's Transmission Repair at the First Sign of Transmission Trouble
Bring your car in for an inspection if you notice any of the following:
- Burning odors that don’t smell like burning oil
- Noisy transmission when your car is in neutral
- Slipping gears
- Fluid leaking under the car (transmission fluid is reddish-brown in color and not as thick as oil)
- Check engine light comes on
- Your car isn’t responding quickly to gear changes
We do not recommend dumping auto products into your transmission that claim to seal and stop fluid leaks. Although these products may or may not stop an extremely small leak, they only provide a temporary fix. That leak will return and it may cause further damage resulting in a permanently broken transmission.
We are proud to be the leading transmission repair center in Collinsville, IL. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a transmission inspection at your convenience.