Automobile Problems

Do you Check Transmission Fluid While the Car is Running ?

Do you Check Transmission Fluid While the Car is running ?
Written by Autofot
Sponsored Links

Do you check transmission fluid while the car is running? It’s essential to check transmission fluid levels regularly on your car, but there’s a lot of confusion about whether you should check it with the engine running or off. It’s important that you do this because if you don’t monitor your transmission fluid levels and they get too low, it could cause serious damage to your vehicle. In this article we’ll explain the difference between checking transmission fluid with car on and off as well as why you need to check it while driving.

Do You Check Transmission Fluid with Car On or Off?

Before you begin, you should know that it’s best to check the transmission fluid when your car is on. However, it’s also fine to check the fluid with the vehicle running.

The general rule of thumb is that if you’re checking your fluids regularly (as you should), then it’s not a bad idea for them all to be checked while running or off.

However, if you’re only checking one or two of them because they’ve been acting up recently and need attention immediately, then it might be better to do those ones while running—so as not to waste any time by waiting until after driving around in order to make sure everything else is working properly before fixing those specific problems.

Difference Between Checking Transmission Fluid When Car is Cold and While Running

If you have a vehicle with a manual transmission, you’ll want to check the fluid while it’s running. This is because when the car is running, the transmission fluid will be hot and therefore thinner than when it’s cold. The good news is that most modern cars have computerized transmissions that can detect this difference and automatically adjust for it so there’s no need to worry about your car not shifting properly after doing this test. Read Also: Tips on What Transmission do in a Car

If you have an older vehicle with automatic transmission, then checking the fluid level may require some extra steps since most older cars don’t have sensors or computers in them that can adjust for temperature changes like newer models do; but still–even if there are no such features on board your car–checking your transmission’s levels should pose little problem as long as you pay attention (and follow instructions).

How long do I need to run my car before checking transmission fluid level?

How long you need to run your car depends on the type of transmission fluid used. Some newer cars use synthetic oil that’s more slippery and doesn’t need as much time to warm up. If you have an older car with conventional mineral-based transmission fluid, it’s best to let your vehicle idle for at least 10 minutes before checking the level.

When checking the level in your vehicle’s transmission, remember that coolant temperatures may not always be accurate when measuring how much fluid is present (especially if it has overheated). For example, if a gauge shows that only 1/2 quart of coolant remains but there isn’t any visible water overflow or leaks on the ground under where it sits parked, then chances are good that no leaks exist elsewhere either—so checking under hood won’t necessarily solve this problem!

While many mechanics recommend driving until “normal operating temperature” before checking fluids levels in order avoid mistakes like those above; others argue against this practice because they believe such specifications aren’t realistic enough when considering what some people consider normal operating temperatures (elevators for instance) vs actual outdoor temps experienced throughout America’s seasons.

How often should you check your transmission fluid?

Do you check transmission fluid while the car is running?

Transmission fluid should be checked every 6 months, or whenever you are having your oil changed. If you drive in harsh weather conditions, or a lot of miles, it is recommended that you check your transmission fluid more often.

If there is any sign of trouble such as noise when shifting gears or slippage between gears then you may need to have the transmission fluid replaced.

How Much Transmission Fluid Should a Car Have?

How much transmission fluid should a car have?

  • It’s important to check the transmission fluid level of your car at regular intervals, because if you don’t do so and it drops below the minimum mark, serious damage could occur.
  • Always check the transmission fluid level when the engine is cold. The exact temperature will differ depending on your vehicle, but you can usually gauge this by looking at an oil dipstick that has an indicator built into it—if there are any red or black marks on this indicator, wait until they disappear before checking your levels. If in doubt about what temperature is appropriate for your vehicle, consult with a mechanic or someone familiar with vehicles in general to confirm how best to go about checking for current levels without causing unnecessary wear-and-tear on moving parts.

What happens if you check the transmission fluid while the car is running?

Check your transmission fluid while the car is running and you’re likely to get burned. The fluid will be hot, and as such, it will burn your skin. It can also burn your eyes or clothes if you spill some on yourself or get too close to the engine compartment when checking the fluid level.

If you accidentally spill transmission fluid on any part of your vehicle’s interior, make sure that it’s cleaned off immediately—the last thing that most people want is to be driving around in a car with stained upholstery! Read Also: Causes of Blown Transmission

The transmission must be running when you’re checking the transmission fluid.

The transmission must be running when you’re checking the transmission fluid.

  • Transmission fluid is hot and can cause serious injury or death if it spills on you.
  • Transmissions are expensive. You could burn up your car if you do something wrong when checking the level of the transmission fluid and damage some part of it. Also, if you spill some on your clothes, it can ruin them completely, so be careful!

Transmission fluid should be reddish in color and clear, like motor oil.

Transmission fluid should be checked when the car is on level ground. It’s important to note that you can’t check your transmission fluid if your car is jacked up or off of all four tires. If this is the case, then you’ll have to go back down to all four wheels on level ground before checking it again.

Also make sure that you’re not running any other fluids through your transmission while checking it out! The only thing that should be going through there while performing this task is more transmission liquid!

If your transmission fluid is low, you can usually fix it by topping off the fluid level.

If your transmission fluid is low, you can usually fix it by topping off the fluid level. To do this, first check the dipstick to see if the fluid level is low. If so, add a few quarts of transmission fluid and then check again to make sure the level has risen enough. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual or contact your local mechanic for instructions on how much transmission fluid should be added to your car and what type of fluid you should use (some cars have different types of transmissions).

Checking your fluid levels is one of the easiest and most important routine maintenance tasks you can do, so don’t put it off. If all of your fluids are at the correct level, you’ll be able to enjoy a trouble-free driving experience for many years.

  • Check fluid levels when the car is on level ground.
  • Check fluid levels when the car is off (engine not running).
  • Check fluid levels when the engine is cold (coolant temperature below 180 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Check fluid levels when the engine is hot (coolant temperature over 180 degrees Fahrenheit).


In conclusion, it is vital to check the fluid in your transmission while the car is running. This will ensure that you know exactly how much fluid is in there and will help you avoid any future problems with your vehicle.


Sponsored Links

About the author


Autofot is a website that blogs on the importance of taking good care of our automobiles. Little things that are ignored matter the most, hence we try to educate car owners and other different auto owners on how to go about taking care of their cars with little or no cost.

Leave a Reply