We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Transmission Fluid?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Transmission fluid is a car fluid used to lubricate and cool automatic and manual transmissions. It is put into transmissions of cars, trucks, boats, recreational vehicles (RVs), and motorcycles, and other vehicles. The weight or thickness of this lubricant depends largely on the type of vehicle and make of transmission. It is added by pouring the fluid from the bottle directly into an opening in the top of the transmission.

Automatic transmission fluid is usually made up of a variety of substances including detergents, rust-preventatives, and lubricants. It normally contains a pink dye that will turn black or brown when it becomes dirty, signaling the need to have it changed. Most bottles hold around one quart (.95 l) of liquid.

Manual transmissions vary greatly in the type of fluid required. Some may actually use motor oil, and others need to have automatic transmission fluid added. People who have a manual transmission in their vehicle should check the owner's manual to see what type the manufacturer recommends.

In order to check the level of transmission fluid in a vehicle, the engine should be warm and running. A driver should make sure her car is parked on level ground, and then allow the motor to idle for one to two minutes. After this, she can remove the dipstick found on the top of the transmission and wipe it clean with a paper towel. She should then insert the dipstick into the designated slot. The fluid should reach the line marked "full"; if levels are lower than the full line, enough fluid should be added to fill the transmission to that point.

Automobile manufacturers recommend changing the transmission fluid periodically. This is because sand, grit, or even metal shavings can get into the lubricant and pass through the transmission, potentially causing harm. The interval for changing this fluid varies based upon the type of vehicle and the way it is normally driven. Most of the time, this service is recommended every 30,000 to 60,000 miles (48,300 to 96,600 km), but should be done more often if a driver notices discoloration or particles in the fluid.

Transmission fluid is generally very inexpensive to purchase. Failure to keep this lubricant at proper levels can cause a great deal of damage, which may be costly to repair. For this reason, drivers should know how to check the amount of lubricant in their transmissions and do so on a regular basis.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.