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Is Your Automatic Transmission Working Okay?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Is Your Automatic Transmission Working Okay?

Jennifer Dylan
June 6, 2006

The automatic transmission system is simply one kind of transmission system for a car or vehicle. The other type is the manual transmission system. Now, the main difference between the two is that with the automatic transmission system, you would not have to change your gear ratios for the system would do the thing for you as your go about driving your car. In fact, it simply means that the gear ratios would be done by the system itself as unlike the manual transmission system, you would be doing this task yourself manually.

Part of your car’s automatic transmission system is the automatic transmission fluid and this is also known as the ATF. According to automobile experts, it is important that you do check this regularly, at most every month. However, if you do feel that your automatic transmission system is not shifting gears as smoothly as before, then it is recommended that you do check your car’s ATF.

To check your car’s ATF, you should first park your car on level ground. Then start up your engine. You should also leave the gear in neutral or in park. Have a little patience while your engine warms up.

When you have achieved so, try to locate the ATF dipstick. This is usually located at the back of your car’s engine. You would know it is the ATF dipstick because it is much shorter compared to the engine oil dipstick. Pull the dipstick out and remove it. Then, wipe it off clean using a rag. After that, put it back in the engine and push it all the way. Then remove it again.

It is now time to scrutinize the dipstick tip. You would see that there are actually two marks there – one is for cold readings while the other is for warm readings. You should set your sight on the one marked ‘warm’. You should see that the ATF should come up until the line that has been marked ‘Full’. If not, then it is time to add your ATF for your car.

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