Automatic Transmission Fluid
Most automatic transmissions should be checked while the engine is running. Also make sure the car is on a level surface and fully warmed up. Pull the transmission dipstick out, wipe off the end and note the markings on the end of the stick. The usual markings are “Full” and “Add 1 pint.” Push the stick into the tube until it seats, then immediately pull it out to see the fluid level.
Transmission fluid should be pink or red in color with the look and consistency of cherry cough syrup. If the fluid is a muddy brown or has a burnt smell, have it checked by a mechanic. As with the engine, never add fluid unless it is below the “Add” mark and never bring it above the “Full” mark. Make sure you use the correct transmission fluid for your vehicle. If you plan to add transmission fluid yourself, you should know that fluid usually comes in quarts, but the level may not be low enough to take the full quart. Also, you will need a special funnel to get the fluid into the small tube that the dipstick came out of. Make sure you use the proper type of fluid and do not substitute anything else. Any noticeable transmission oil consumption should be checked out at a repair shop.