How To Check Transmission Fluid Without Dipstick?

Dipstick helps show the oil level, allows you to know the amount of oil added, and detects abnormalities.

If you have a car with a transmission, you probably already know how to use a dipstick. But new cars don't have this tool. Many new users ask how to check out the transmission fluid without any dipstick.

Then, let's find out through the article below to answer!

Why should you check the level of transmission fluid?


How to check transmission fluid without dipstick?

The reason for checking the transmission fluid level is to make sure the car runs smoothly. They rely on the smooth coordination of moving parts.

As with any vehicle component, checking the transmission fluid level is routine maintenance. As such, it is essential to your car.

If you examine the transmission fluid, you will discover the common problems it encounters. One of the most common cases is the transmission fluid leaking or damage. They are encountered for a long time of use and operation of the vehicle.

The cause of low levels of the transmission fluid is that the transmission line is poorly lubricated and therefore operates less efficiently.

Automated cars work on the hydraulics principle. They need oil pressure to operate correctly.

Also, the pump sucks air from the transmission fluid if they have low levels. As such, the clutch components will have unexpected errors.

However, a great transmission fluid level is not an excellent sign. If it is at a high level, air bubbles will form.

At that time, the fluid needs to work to compress this air bubble, bringing the line pressure down to a smaller level. It is perilous, leading to a burning clutch.

As such, it is crucial to check out the level of fluid regularly. You need to check it every one to two months.

Why does the dipstick disappear?

If you are too familiar with a car with a secure transmission, you will look for a dipstick when moving to a new car. The most frequent question is, where is it?

A common thing in most modern cars is that there is no dipstick. It is also what many manufacturers tell you about this new model of cars.

Dipstick to check the transmission fluid level is considered old and outdated technology. The developers claim that using technology to test them is more modern and progressive. This argument is on the development of science and technology and engineering of the new era.

They use a new generation vehicle level sensor to check the fluid level.

Moreover, along with this innovation, some manufacturers use drain plugs combined with standpipes instead of previously used dipsticks. The principle of this change is that the drain plug will help drain the transmission fluid, keeping the transmission fluid level at a reasonable level

How to check transmission fluid without dipstick?

As mentioned above, your modern car may not have a dipstick, so how to check the fluid level?

Here are some suggestions for you when you want to maintain your car.

1. Check if your car has a dipstick or not


Have a dipstick or not

Some manufacturers have improved the dipstick by using level sensors. However, you can check the dipstick position if the manufacturer does not mention it. They can install them in different places in the car.

Dipsticks can be under one hood of your car. So you should check this location first.

The feature of the dipstick has a T-shaped handle that will help you find it more accessible.

The next step is for you if you can't find a dipstick or the design doesn't include it.

2. Check the manual to see if your vehicle has a sealed transmission

All cars come with a manual, so take advantage of it. You need to read them to know if your car is an automatic transmission with an oil dipstick or sealed transmission.

If your car has a sealed transmission, you need to take the vehicle to a repair center. Here, professional repairers will help you.

3. Check the temperature of the transmission fluid 

You need to check the drain plugs and fill plugs. This test requires you to be under the cars, and the temperature should be appropriate.

Then the liquid temperature is between 185 and 194 degrees with an idle time of 600 to 800 rpm.

It would help if you used a scanning tool or even a regular kitchen thermometer to check the liquid temperature.

4. Supply a large amount of air to fill plug

Specifically, the process of performing this step is as follows:

  • You need to clean and not let the fenders get stuck with bolts. Also, there, you find the plug and perform unplugging.
  • Next, you need to find the position of the fill hole along with the mounting of the fill adapter. Then it would be best if you connected this filling adapter to the vacuum regulator.
  • At the same time, the next thing to do is to adjust the regulator and the liquid extraction tank and make sure the air is at 100 psi.

You can watch this video for details!

Video created by proclaimliberty2000

5. Test the drain plug

You will need a wrench on the inspection plug and now you can loosen it.

You'll also need to place some kind of drain pan underneath the inspection plug once the inspection plug has been loosened enough to remove it by hand.

Be sure to wear some kind of work glove to avoid being burned by the inspection plug in fluid, once the inspection plug is removed.

If any fluid starts draining out of the inspection plug opening then this means it's overfilled.

Waiting until it stops draining and then reinstall the inspection plug now the fluid is at the proper level if the fluid draining out was dark brown or black then it needs to be changed.

If no fluid comes out when the inspection plug is removed then remove the fill plug insert along that funnel into the fill plug opening and slowly add fluid once fluid starts draining out of the inspection plug opening, stop adding fluid and reinstall the inspection plug and fill plug.

Now the fluid is at the proper level if the fluid draining out was dark brown or black then it needs to be changed.

Signs of low transmission fluid

1. Noise


Car noise

If you hear an abnormal sound, it may indicate a low transmission fluid level. However, it's very difficult for you to discover them on your own.

At this point, you need a mechanic or technician to help you inspect it more closely to find this problem as soon as possible.

At the same time, each vehicle with a different engine model will have different noises. Your car is excellent if you don't hear even the slightest noise.

2. Has a strange smell

The burning smell you smell may be caused by the fluid having a high temperature in your car. Transmission fluid not only keeps many parts of the transmission properly lubricated but also prevents the transmission from igniting by providing the necessary cooling measures.

The cause of this problem was the low fluid level. In other words, it is a sign that the fluid is leaking or contaminated and needs to be changed. At that time, you should take the car to the nearest repair shop or center.

If you let this go on for a long time, the transmission will gradually erode and be damaged. More dangerous makes it challenging to use the vehicle, even leading to vehicle damage.

3. Transmission fluid leak

Leaking transmission fluid is probably one of the easiest ways to determine that your transmission needs attention. Automatic transmission fluid is vital to your vehicle's ability to shift gears, so even a small leak while driving can quickly turn into a major problem.

Automatic transmission oil is bright red, clear, and scented when everything is working correctly.

When you test your automatic transmission oil, make sure it's free of dark colors and a burning smell. If so, you'll need to take the car to a mechanic to have it replaced.

Unlike engine gasoline, the transmission does not consume or burn any oil during use, so if you notice the transmission oil is running low then it must have leaked somewhere.

If you suspect your transmission is leaking oil, locate it and fix it immediately.

4. Number slipping

In a well-functioning transmission, the car will run with the gear you choose, or the computer assigns a rev range until you or the system start changing gears.

However, a gearbox failure that causes gears to slip can be caused by low fluid levels,
and the car can change gears abnormally while driving (with manual transmission) and push the shift lever to 0.

This is the worst and potentially the most dangerous. When you hold the throttle to prevent the car from losing control, the last thing you want is a transmission that doesn't send power to the wheels.

Don't wonder if this is a problem because if it does, take your vehicle in for service and remind the mechanic to double-check the transmission.


The article has helped you to check transmission fluid without dipstick. Hopefully, you can detect and fix these errors yourself temporarily. If you can't do it yourself, you need to bring them to a repair center, and a professional will do this.

Don't forget, have your car serviced regularly. They will keep you safer every step of the way. Thank you for reading!

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