How to check transmission fluid without a dipstick

How to check transmission fluid without a dipstick: Don’t have a rod? You may need to visit a garage and have a technician check your transmission fluid without a dipstick. The average vehicle owner does not have the skills or facilities to get the job done. On transmissions without a dipstick, the oil level plug is on the side of the transmission. The level plug can only be accessed from under the vehicle. Most modern transmissions usehigh quality world standard (WS) fluids, eliminating periodic inspection or recharging requirements. WS lubricants are considered full for life.

Due to an oil leak or other reasons, if you need to check your manual transmission fluid, follow the instructions:

Step 1 – Raise the vehicle to find a level plug

It is easychecking the fluid level in a transmission with a dipstick. On vehicles without a dipstick, the car must be raised to reach the level plug. In a garage or service center, lift the car with a hydraulic lift with the proper safety SOPs. Find the oil level plug which is usually in the center of the transmission. Consult the vehicle manual for the exact location.

Step 2: Check the transmission fluid level

Depending on the type, you may need an Allen key or a wrench to open the screw. Be careful, remove the plug slowly and do not leave the hole completely open. Sometimes oil can leak out of the plug hole. If the transmission oil does not leak from the hole, check it with a finger. Insert your finger inside the oil plug and try to feel the fluid. If there is no oil, the transmission oil level is low.

Step 3: How to add transmission fluid?

Always use the manufacturer’s recommended transmission fluid. The wrong oil can cause costly repairs or equipment damage. Consult your owner’s manual if you are unsure or in doubt. Use the same plug hole to refill or top up the transmission oil. Slowly fill in the oil until it reaches the brim and seeps out of the level plug hole. The transmission is full of oil when it is just below the drain. If oil continuously comes out of the plug, consider it overfilled. Drain the extra oil until the oil seeps out of the hole

Signs of low transmission fluid in manual transmission:

  1. Squealing noise when changing gear
  2. Transmission slips while driving
  3. The transmission shifts approx.
  4. noisy transmission
  5. Smell of burning transmission fluid
  6. Oil leak or oily stain under the vehicle

Signs of low transmission fluid in automatic transmission:

  1. No driving compromise in both forward and reverse
  2. Transmission slips while driving
  3. hard transmission shifts
  4. Noisy transmission, like you are moaning or humming
  5. Smell of burning transmission fluid
  6. Oil leak, check for red fluid stains under the vehicle after overnight parking

Why does the rod disappear?

If you’re all too familiar with a car with a safe transmission, you’ll be looking for a dipstick when upgrading 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.

The dipstick for checking 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 about the development of science and technology and engineering of the new age.

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

Also, along with this innovation, some manufacturers use drain plugs combined with standpipes instead of the 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 a Dipstick

Checking a vehicle’s transmission fluid is one of the most fundamental maintenance tasks that everyone should know how to do. But what if your car doesn’t have a dipstick needed to check for that fluid?

Newer car models have a sealed transmission that does not have a dipstick. Checking the transmission fluid requires you to open the inspection plug on the side of the transmission. Excess dirty liquid will come out automatically. If you need a fluid change or top-up, you can do so through the fill plug on top of the transmission.

If you’re unfamiliar with sealed transmissions or checking fluid levels without a dipstick, you’ll want to read on. Checking sealed transmissions is easier than it sounds, and you’ll find out the step-by-step process below.

How do you check the transmission fluid level without a dipstick?

Most drivers, especially us from another era and era, know for a fact that you need a dipstick to check your transmission fluid level. So I can imagine your surprise (and perhaps confusion) when you first realized that your car’s transmission is missing this measuring device.

Well, it’s just a stick with markings, so don’t be too scared.

The truth is that an increasing number of cars these days do not have dipsticks. As newer car designs become more simplified, it is becoming more common for vehicles to be missing the dipstick that most of us have known since we were teenagers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Checking Dipstickless Transmission Fluid

If you’re wondering how to check your transmission fluid without a dipstick, you’ll be happy to know that it’s very quick and easy to do. One could even argue that it’s easier to check these newer transmissions than to rely on the old-fashioned dipstick.

This is how they work:

Step 1: Confirm that there is no rod

First of all, you need to confirm that your car model has a sealed transmission, which means you don’t rely on a dipstick to check your fluid level.

You see, it’s not enough to assume your transmission doesn’t have a dipstick just because you can’t find it. Instead, consult your car’s owner’s manual or perform a close inspection to confirm that your vehicle’s transmission is sealed.

Once you are sure and 100% sure, you can proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Locate the inspection plug and fill plug

If you have confirmed that you have a sealed transmission, how are you going to check, refill, and change the fluid?

A sealed transmission has an inspection plug and fill plug instead of a dipstick.

The fill plug is where you will pour the transmission fluid, while the inspection plug is where the excess fluid will automatically drain out of the transmission. You will see more about this in the following steps.

You will most likely find the inspection plug on the side of the transmission and the fill plug somewhere on top.

Remember: Check your car’s owner’s manual to be sure.

Step 3 – Get the car up to the right temperature

Once you know where everything is, it’s time to warm up the transmission fluid. The fluid must be at the correct operating temperature (ie not too hot and not too cold) for accurate fluid verification.

You can take your car out for a quick drive around the neighborhood to get your transmission fluid temperature up. For the most accurate reading, use a built-in diagnostic scanner to view transmission fluid temperature in real time.

The ideal temperature of the transmission fluid will differ between vehicles. So again, check your car’s owner’s manual to see what yours should be.

Step 4: Park, keep idle

When the transmission fluid is at the correct temperature, park your car and let it idle. Never Forget: Your car should always be on a level surface to ensure you’re performing a transmission fluid check correctly.

Parking your car on the ground should still allow you to access the inspection plug on your sealed transmission. However, if that is not the case with your particular car model, you will need to raise the car evenly with jacks or use a lift.

Step 5: Open the inspection plug

Next, it’s time to open the inspection plug on your sealed transmission. Wear protective gloves because the parts you will be touching will be hot enough to hurt your fingers.

Prepare a drain pan under the car to catch any excess transmission fluid that comes out.

Step 6: Check your transmission fluid

Now here’s what will happen when you open the inspection plug, what it means, and what to do about it:

  • If the transmission fluid leaks: Any transmission fluid that comes out after opening the inspection plug is excess fluid, so let it out without interruption. Once the flow stops, it means your car’s sealed transmission has the correct level of fluid inside.
  • If the transmission fluid does not come out: When you open the inspection plug and nothing comes out, that means there is too little or enough fluid. Slowly add more fluid through the fill plug until the excess runs out of the inspection plug. Let the excess liquid flow out and wait until it stops, at which point you will know that what is left inside is the correct amount.
  • If dark brown or black transmission fluid comes out: When you see dark brown or black transmission fluid coming out of the inspection plug, it means that the fluid inside has gone bad. You will need to drain the transmission and refill it with fresh transmission fluid.

Should You Check Transmission Fluid Hot Or Cold?

You should only check your transmission fluid when it is warm, but only at the ideal operating temperature. Your check will not give an accurate result if it is done while the transmission fluid is too hot or too cold.

For the most accurate reading, use an integrated diagnostic scanner that has a transmission fluid temperature function. This will help you control the exact temperature while driving or idling.

When should you check the transmission fluid?

Ideally, you should check your transmission fluid once a month. However, you’ll want to do it more often if you drive more than the average car owner.

Putting above average mileage on your car will expose it to additional wear and tear, which will affect your transmission and the fluid inside.

Regular checking and replacement (if necessary) of your oil will keep your transmission running at its best and also help maximize its life.

What happens if you don’t check your transmission fluid?

The role of the transmission fluid is crucial. It’s what keeps all the moving parts in a car lubricated and clean while removing excess heat. If you don’t check your transmission fluid and there isn’t enough, your car’s transmission will wear out faster and fail sooner than it should.

Here’s another way to look at it. Checking your transmission fluid regularly just takes a little time and money. Neglecting it will lead to big problems, with more expensive repairs that can keep your car in the workshop for long periods.


If you can’t find a transmission dipstick under the hood, it’s most likely a sealed transmission. The vast majority of Cadillac vehicles have employed this technology for more than a decade because of the benefits it offers busy drivers like those in Williamstown and Sicklerville. Check your owner’s manual or give us a call to be sure.

Despite thisis While it is possible to learn how to check the transmission fluid on a model with a sealed transmission, it is certainly not recommended. You’ll need a lift, a full set of tools, and a lot of knowledge, and even then, you risk causing irreparable damage.


There’s no easy way to check transmission fluid in a sealed transmission on your own, but we’d be happy to take a look at it whenever you visit us for service. Despite other service fluids should be checked once a month, the chance of fluid escaping from a sealed transmission is very low. So how often do you check your transmission fluid if it’s a sealed transmission? It’s no secret:regular checks of your transmission fluid are not essential.

Instead, watch for the following warning signs and schedule service if you notice any changes:

  • Strange noises during gear changes are generally red flags.
  • Slow or unsatisfactory shift performance is also often the result of a low fluid level.

If you find this post about how to check transmission fluid without a dipstick helpful to you and you want to know more about car fluid knowledge, please check more on our website Auto Oil And Fluid. Thank you for your interest!



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