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Thread: Meaning of Lines on Transmission Fluid Dipstick

  1. #1
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    Meaning of Lines on Transmission Fluid Dipstick

    My AT fluid dipstick has cold, warm hot on one side and several lines on the other side, about 4 if memory serves me. No writing just lines. What do each of those lines suppose to represent? I know the bottom line is going to be the low range and top line is the high range but what about all the intermediate ranges? The manual has a different description of the dipstick than what I have.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WelmoedJ's Avatar
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    Checking transmission fluid level is about the same for all cars, regardless its make.
    To check the level, the fluid must be at operational temperature.
    The next thing to do is move the selector through all the gears, frm P to D1 and back.
    Then pull the dip stick and check if the level is between the low and high mark.

    On some sticks the low and high marks are represented by words.
    In that case you will use "hot" as the check mark for high (which means "full" - no need to add).

    From my previous D, an auto, I recall having both low and high marks as lines with the words cold and hot respectively, on the same side of the stick.
    Do the low and high lines on your stick correspond to the the words on the other side?
    I presume they do.

    Overfilling is a sure path towards future problems, as is too low level.
    Also be carefull with the fluid pan's gasket: don't overtighten the bolts as this causes deformation of the edge and will cause leaking.

    Welmoed.
    Welmoed
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Don't forget you check the fluid level with the engine running and the car perfectly level. Most line marks on autos I've seen show to add one pint to get to the next line.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  4. #4
    Sláinte Dangermouse's Avatar
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    I wonder why they have a line for "cold" if the level should be checked Hot?
    Dermot
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  5. #5
    Admn Retired Ron's Avatar
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    That is rare on a transmission... But, I agree you should always check it hot, on level ground, and after putting it in and out of gear (Note: You should drive it and make it go into all gears if it's fresh, had a fluid change, major leak etc. to ensure ALL components have had a chance to fill).

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    I'll try and get pictures tonight of what I'm talking about. My question was about the lines on the dipstick.

  7. #7
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    Here are the pictures of my dipstick. You'll see on one side there are three lines at the lower portion then one line higher up. My transmission fluid level is at the third from the bottom which tells me I need more fluid.
    Attached Images

  8. #8
    LS1 DMC Nicholas R's Avatar
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    I dont remember my Auto Dipstick looking like that...

  9. #9
    Admn Retired Ron's Avatar
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    $.02

    Second pic, from left to right: Full HOT, Full WARM, Full COLD, ADD

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    $.02

    Second pic, from left to right: Full HOT, Full WARM, Full COLD, ADD
    My fluid was up to the third line. Since there is a larger gap between the third and fourth line is this about 1 quart?

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