It’s officially spring and that means rain, flowers, and the need for a spring transmission check. While you might not usually put those together, you should. Having your transmission checked now, before you begin the heavier driving season, could save you thousands of dollars later.
Getting in the habit of a spring transmission check is an excellent way to make sure your vehicle and its transmission are in good health. It’s essential that coming out of winter and before heading into the hot summer months, you grab your checklist and start working your way through it. Remember, heat is the greatest enemy of a transmission and you don’t want to get caught off-guard with a major repair as it warms up.
Check the Transmission Fluid
Checking the transmission fluid is an important step on your spring checklist. Not only does it tell you a lot about the health of your transmission, but it can also help you decide what you do next to make sure it stays healthy. Doing this proactively is important, because once you have noticeable problems, there has already been some damage done to your transmission, and that is news that no one wants to get.
When checking the fluid, you’ll want to make sure the fluid level is correct and the quality of the fluid is good. If the fluid level is low, there could be a leak somewhere, and that should be investigated further. A leak also makes overheating likely which leads to internal hard part damage. If the fluid is not its customary bright red, but it is brown to dark brown, you will need to replace it because it has reached the end of its useful life and no longer is able to lubricate properly nor protect the internal parts. Replacement at this point is crucial. If it smells burnt, then internal damage of component has already began and there’s no turning back in which a transmission service or flush could fix.
When checking the transmission fluid, first, locate the transmission oil dipstick. If you cannot find it, then your vehicle is one where you need to bring it into a transmission specialist, like Advanced Transmission, to be checked. In some cases the check is done through a plug on the side of the transmission. For some vehicles specialty tooling is required.
Once you have found the dipstick, warm your car up and use a light-colored towel. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it down with the rag and reinsert it. Pull it out again and hold it against the rag. Look carefully to see that the fluid level is where it needs to be, and the color is right. Recall from our prior posts, some transmission fluids might be clear or blue. At this stage it is important to reference your vehicle’s OEM manual.
If either is a problem or if you’d rather not check it yourself, bring your vehicle into Advanced Transmission for our TrueTest Inspection. We will verify what you discovered at home and give you a proposal to take care of the problem.
Other Items to Check
When you come in for a TrueTest inspection, we will also take care of checking some other spring checklist items, including transmission, and coolant leaks, the transmission’s electronic connection, CV axles, universal joints and drive shafts, engine and transmission mounts, transfer case fluid level, and differential fluid level.
Other items you should check, or have checked for you, include battery, headlights, filters, belts and hoses, windshield wipers, tires, oil, and fluid levels. We can recommend highly qualified general automotive shops we trust with our own vehicles.
We Can Help!
If you are in the southwest Denver, Colorado, area, come into Advanced Transmission Center in Lakewood, while those in the northwest metro area of Denver, should come to our location in Arvada/Wheat Ridge. We specialize in servicing automatic and manual transmissions, differentials, and four-wheel drive, in addition to our popular transmission power flushing service.
Arvada/Wheat Ridge – Northwest Metro Denver: (303) 502-9565
Lakewood – Southwest Metro Denver: (303) 532-4842