An Important Message from Hendrick

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Knowing the steps for how to check your transmission fluid is an important part of being a diligent car owner, as checking transmission fluid levels on a routine basis can help keep maintenance problems at bay. For those Corona drivers who are less familiar with the mechanical workings of their daily driver, the transmission is what propels your car forward. Needless to say, it’s quite important that you keep up to date with transmission service and fluid checks! Unsure how to measure the transmission fluid level in your vehicle? No problem; the Murrieta service pros from BMW of Murrieta provide step-by-step instructions, below!

Checking Your Transmission Fluid: Step-by-Step Instructions

These easy-to-follow instructions will tell you how to check your transmission fluid:

  1. Turn the engine on and let it run for a few minutes before getting started – the engine needs to be warmed up to get an accurate fluid level reading. Before getting out to pop the hood, double-check that your car is in park.
  2. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick. This is typically located to the right of the oil dipstick on front-wheel drive vehicles. If you’re having any trouble locating it, your owner’s manual will give you a clear picture.
  3. Remove the transmission fluid dipstick and touch the fluid on it. Rub your thumb and forefinger together to spread the fluid out and get a good look at its appearance. The fluid should be almost clear, with a pink hue. If it appears to be dirty or is emitting a burnt smell, a trip to a service center for fluid replacement is necessary.
  4. Using an old rag, wipe the dipstick clean before inserting it back into its holder. Remove the dipstick once more to check the level. If the reading falls beneath the “Full” marking, you will need to add more fluid.
  5. Using a funnel, pour in a small amount of fluid at a time, checking the level repeatedly until you see that it reaches the “Full” marking.

What to Do in the Case of a Sealed Transmission

If you can’t seem to locate a transmission fluid dipstick under the hood of your car, you’re not having vision problems. More likely, your car employs a sealed transmission. Sealed doesn’t mean the transmission cannot be accessed, it just means there isn’t a dipstick you can measure the fluid level with. If your vehicle uses a sealed transmission, you will not want to attempt to check the fluid on your own as it can lead to damage. Instead, bring your car into a certified service center such as the one here at BMW of Murrieta.

How Often Do You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

You should check the main fluid levels of your car monthly. That includes checking your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and engine oil. Of course, you can always read your owner’s manual to check the factory recommended maintenance schedule.

Transmission Fluid Tips

Your transmission is one of the most complex parts of your vehicle. Before you check the transmission fluid level in your car, keep these tips in mind:

  • Transmission fluid is not all the same. There are different types for recent model years, manual transmissions, and automatic transmissions. To find out what type of transmission fluid your car requires, consult your owner’s manual.
  • If you’re checking the transmission fluid on a manual transmission, you’ll need a car jack in order to access a plug that is housed beneath the car. Most Riverside manual drivers find that it’s easier to rely on a service tech in this case.
  • Does your vehicle feel like it’s hesitating a bit when you try to shift gears? This is often caused by low transmission fluid, but it could be a more serious issue. Check your car’s fluid level first, but if it’s at the right level, you’ll want to schedule a service appointment soon.
  • Transmission fluid should be fully replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. The interval will vary depending on your unique driving habits, transmission type, and other factors. As always, a quick consultation with your owner’s manual will provide you with a specific recommendation.

Schedule Transmission Service With BMW of Murrieta

If your Ontario vehicle needs a transmission fluid replacement or you suspect it may be time for a new transmission altogether, you can count on the service professionals at BMW of Murrieta to get the job done efficiently. Contact us or schedule an appointment online to get started today! Just don’t forget to take a moment to browse our service specials for a great savings opportunity.

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Service Specials at BMW of Murrieta

10% OFF BMW approved Tires

May not be combined with any other offers, discounts, or coupons. Has no cash value, must be presented at time of write-up. See dealership for complete details.

Complimentary Check Engine Light Diagnosis

Disclaimer:  Offer good only at BMW of Murrieta.  One offer per customer/household. 



Applies to BMW vehicles only. Offer only valid at BMW of Murrieta. Cannot be combined with any other offer and cannot be applied to previous purchases. Must present coupon at time of write-up. Some models slightly higher. Restrictions may apply.



Applies to BMW vehicles only. Up to $150. Offer only valid at BMW of Murrieta. Cannot be combined with any other offer and cannot be applied to previous purchases. Must present coupon at time of write-up. Restrictions may apply.



Discount not to exceed $500. Tires not included. Cannot be combined with other offers.

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