1 The level of the automatic transmission fluid should be carefully maintained. Low fluid level can lead to slipping or loss of drive, while overfilling can cause foaming, loss of fluid and transmission damage.
2 The transmission fluid level should only be checked when the transmission is hot (at its normal operating temperature). If the vehicle has just been driven over 10 miles (15 miles in a cold climate), and the fluid temperature is 160 to 175°F, the transmission is hot. Caution: If the vehicle has just been driven for a long time at high speed or in city traffic in hot weather, or if it has been pulling a trailer, an accurate fluid level reading cannot be obtained. In these circumstances, allow the fluid to cool down for about 30 minutes.
3 Park the vehicle on level ground, apply the handbrake, and start the engine. While the engine is idling, depress the brake pedal and move the selector lever through all the gear positions, beginning and ending in P.
4 With the engine still idling, remove the dipstick from its tube (see illustration). Note the condition and colour of the fluid on the dipstick.
5 Wipe the fluid from the dipstick with a clean rag, and re-insert it into the filler tube until the cap seats.
6 Pull the dipstick out again, and note the fluid level. The level should be between the two notches on the dipstick either side of the word HOT (see illustration). Note that there are also two notches on the dipstick either side of the word COLD. If the car has not been driven for about five hours, and the fluid is at or below room temperature, the fluid should be between the two notches either side of the word COLD. Checking the level with the fluid cold should only be used for reference and the level must be checked again when the fluid is hot.
7 If the fluid level is near or below the appropriate lower notch, stop the engine, and add the specified automatic transmission fluid through the dipstick tube, using a clean funnel if necessary (see illustration). It is important
5.6 Automatic transmission fluid level markings on the dipstick not to introduce dirt into the transmission when topping-up.
8 Add the fluid a little at a time, and keep checking the level as previously described until it is correct.
9 The need for regular topping-up of the transmission fluid indicates a leak, which should be found and rectified without delay.
10 The condition of the fluid should also be checked along with the level. If the fluid on the dipstick is black or a dark reddish-brown colour, or if it has a burned smell, the fluid should be changed. If you are in doubt about the condition of the fluid, purchase some new fluid, and compare the two for colour and smell.
Engine coolant level and strength check
7.2 Alternator and drivebelt (3S-FE engines without air conditioning)
5.7 Topping up the automatic transmission fluid through the dipstick tube
3 If the strength of the coolant is low, drain the coolant and refill with the correct strength as described in Section 36.
4 Check the coolant level with reference to "Weekly checks".
7 Auxiliary drivebelt(s) check %>
Was this article helpful?