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Discussion Starter #1
I just checked my ATF level today. As this is the first automatic I have ever owned (driving stick for ever) I want to make sure I am doing and interpreting this correctly. Per the manual Warm engine, level ground, engine off. The fluid level seemed to be just below the lower dot on the stick(tried it a couple of times), no obvious red fluid above that.

If so then I need to top off right? Purchase a tube and funnel to fill through the dip stick tube?

What kind of fluid?

How much added to top off?

How often should you check it?

Sorry for the lame questions but I don't want to add fluid incorrectly or unnecessarily.

Thanks
 

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Normally, the transmission should have been full leaving the factory. Or should have been topped off by the dealer.
Remember, fresh ATF is very hard to see against the dipstick. So check it with the right amount of light. It may look more red towards the bottom of the stick where it pools, but you may actually see a film of ATF all the way to the second dot. Overfilling is not good either. So look carefully.
Go down to Honda or Acura and buy a quart of Honda Z1 ATF fluid. That is the ONLY ATF to use in this transmission.
I would add maybe 1/3 of a qt. and check it again. If it has not risen significantly, then add 1/2, etc. Maybe someone knows the significance of the dots as far as what they represent in terms of quantity.
Use a very clean funnel to pour the fluid into the dipstick hole. There is a plug that can be unscrewed, just a few inches behind the dipstick, it will offer a larger opening, but you will still need to use a funnel. Plus, repleace the metal gasket under the plug. Check the level daily for a few days, and make sure it's not leaking. Check under the vehicle for evidence of leaking. It should be totally dry underneath, and on the ground.
If after a week or so, the level has not dropped, I would check it every 2 weeks or so.
 

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Suggest "Don't Add Anything"

Looks like your X is brand new. Because of this, I would NOT add any trans fluid, I would take it to the dealer:

(1) If it was simply delivered with "low fluid", this will get it documented. Might help later should you encounter any trans problems.

(2) Might indicate a problem. The sooner this is addressed, the better off you are. Additionally, the sooner you get this documented, the better off you are [see other posts about major problems and the grief owners have had].

:20:
 

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I would not drive it more than necessary myself, with a low fluid level. Take another car to the dealer to buy the fluid.
Of course if he is going to the dealer to buy the fluid, then tell the service manager what happened and have it down in writing.
I am sure they will tell him to keep an eye on it after topping it off, and check the ground for leaks.
 

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wpf said:
I just checked my ATF level today. As this is the first automatic I have ever owned (driving stick for ever) I want to make sure I am doing and interpreting this correctly. Per the manual Warm engine, level ground, engine off. The fluid level seemed to be just below the lower dot on the stick(tried it a couple of times), no obvious red fluid above that.

If so then I need to top off right? Purchase a tube and funnel to fill through the dip stick tube?

What kind of fluid?

How much added to top off?

How often should you check it?

Sorry for the lame questions but I don't want to add fluid incorrectly or unnecessarily.

Thanks
Go to the dealer and let them check for you. There are two dots it should be at the lower dot when cold, you don't want to overfill because when the fluid heats up it risies. The is a nut behind the dipstick where you are supposed to add fluid. Technically not in the dipstick tube. It shouldn't be burning or losing fluid. It is a good idea to check it once every couple of months. I believe this is the cause of some tranny problems posted on this website. The dealer tends not to check unless you specifically tell them. If it goes below the lower dor it should be topped off. Also only use the Acura/Honda transmission fluid, don't use aftermarket fluid!!!
Also when you check the fluid the engine should be off and on a level surface. This is totally different than other cars which you must have the engine running to check. Wierd system.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for your replies especially DaleB.

After reading DaleB's first reply

Remember, fresh ATF is very hard to see against the dipstick. So check it with the right amount of light. It may look more red towards the bottom of the stick where it pools, but you may actually see a film of ATF all the way to the second dot.

I checked again and that's exactly how it was, red at the bottom and a clear film to the top. I made sure to look more carefully with the correct lighting.

I guess in time as the fluid ages it is probaly easier to see.

Anyway now I know how to check it.

Thanks for the quick response and excellent advice DaleB :)
 

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Re: Re: Checking ATF level

paul123 said:


The is a nut behind the dipstick where you are supposed to add fluid. Technically not in the dipstick tube.
FYI, adding fluid for level correction through the dipstick tube IS authorized per the Factory Shop Manual...

I don't know where this "nut" is you've mentioned though:D
 

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White paper towels!

And ziploc bags! Super super handy to have around. With new fluids (oil, power steeering, ATF, differential, coolant) all being so darn hard to tell apart I keep a few clean WHITE paper towels stuffed in a ziploc bag in the glove box. If there is something to check or dripping you really want to identify it QUICKLY and just looking at the 'dipstick ' won't cut it...

BTW I also use the underhood time to wipe up anything I see there too. It's a short time between "gee everything is spotless" to "wow, is THAT a leak" {though Honda's are generally pretty darn tight...}
 

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Kind of dumb question, but

is there a ATF dipstick in a manual transmission car? I don't see one in my car with manual transmission. Thanks.
 

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Re: Kind of dumb question, but

MaD-X said:
is there a ATF dipstick in a manual transmission car? I don't see one in my car with manual transmission. Thanks.
Is it April fool's day already? <grin> Why would a manual tran have ATF...automatic transmission fluid????:confused:
 

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Question for those who have changed their own ATF. When you take off the drain plug, there is a grayish grease at the end of it with a lot of metal shavings. Do you usually wipe off that grease looking material and reapply with new? If so, where and what it that grayish grease???
 

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Re: Re: Kind of dumb question, but

edepa said:
Is it April fool's day already? <grin> Why would a manual tran have ATF...automatic transmission fluid????:confused:
FYI, my '93 Mustang LX called for ATF in its 5-speed gearbox...

No dipstick though:cool:
 

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lausy said:
Question for those who have changed their own ATF. When you take off the drain plug, there is a grayish grease at the end of it with a lot of metal shavings. Do you usually wipe off that grease looking material and reapply with new? If so, where and what it that grayish grease???
That "Grayish Grease" as you put it, is the normal wear and tear residual from your AT's clutch packs. They are semi-metallic in nature and being ferrous, also able to be collected by a magnet.

Wipe the magnetic drain plug clean before reinstalling with a new crush washer.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Kind of dumb question, but

deltajetfixer said:


FYI, my '93 Mustang LX called for ATF in its 5-speed gearbox...

No dipstick though:cool:
Only automatic transmissions have dipsticks, any manual transmission or a stick must be put up in the air and there is a bolt you remove to see if the case is full. If not you add fluid and let the excess drain off and then re-bolt. It's a little more tricky on a 5 speed than an automatic. with a 5 speed have the mechanic check at 5-10k intervals. Automatic can check just like oil.
 
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