Doing a thorough pre-purchase examination of a used vehicle can help you ensure that you get a car that's in great condition. If you are in the market for a used car, it is important to check all the fluids carefully, including the automatic transmission fluid.
Automatic transmissions are lasting longer than ever these days, but the cost of replacing a failed unit has not gone down. If the used car you buy turns out to have a transmission problem, you could be looking at a four-figure repair bill to get it back on the road.
It is important to note that a transmission problem could be lurking even if the car drives perfectly. In the early stages of transmission failure, you may not notice any slippage or hear any noise. The transmission fluid, however, will tell the tale and give you an early warning of an inherent problem.
Checking the automatic transmission fluid is not hard. All you need is access to the vehicle, a clean cloth and a piece of white paper. Just follow these steps to get started.
Make sure the vehicle is warmed up. A good time to check the transmission fluid is at the conclusion of the test drive, before you have turned off the key.
Check that the vehicle is sitting on level ground. Place the car in a garage or on a flat surface like a driveway.
Locate the automatic transmission fluid dipstick. The transmission dipstick is often colored yellow to distinguish it from the oil dipstick. Refer to the manual or ask the owner if you are not sure of the location.
Pull the dipstick out and wipe it off with a clean cloth. Insert the measuring stick back into the slot and pull it back out.
Examine the fluid on the dipstick and check the level. If the fluid is low, the car could have a transmission leak.
Drip a bit of the fluid onto a plain white piece of paper and examine its color. New transmission fluid will be bright red, but as it ages it will take on a brownish hue, which is normal; black fluid can indicate a serious transmission problem.
Place your nose as close to the transmission fluid as possible. If the fluid smells burnt, you could be looking at a serious transmission problem.
Look for any discoloration or flecks of metal inside the fluid. That could be an indication that the internal mechanisms inside the transmission have been compromised.Share
15 August 2017
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