When it comes to adding transmission fluid to a car, the question of whether to leave the engine running or not often arises. This article aims to provide clarity on this topic by exploring the reasons behind both approaches and offering guidance on the best practice.
Should You Leave the Car Running?
Reasons to Leave the Car Running: Some people argue that leaving the car running while adding transmission fluid helps circulate the fluid more effectively. The idea is that with the engine running, the transmission pump is engaged, ensuring that the fluid reaches all parts of the transmission system.
Reasons to Turn Off the Engine: On the other hand, many experts recommend turning off the engine before adding transmission fluid. One primary reason for this is safety. Working on a running engine can be dangerous, especially when dealing with hot components and moving parts. Turning off the engine eliminates the risk of accidental injury.
Another reason to turn off the engine is to get an accurate fluid level reading. When the engine is running, the transmission fluid is in constant motion, making it difficult to determine the correct fluid level. By turning off the engine, the fluid settles, allowing for a more accurate measurement.
The Best Practice
Considering the arguments from both sides, the best practice is to turn off the engine before adding transmission fluid. This approach prioritizes safety and ensures a more accurate fluid level reading. It is important to follow the specific instructions provided in the car’s owner manual or by the manufacturer. These instructions may vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
To add transmission fluid, locate the transmission dipstick, which is usually labeled and located near the engine. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it fully. Then, remove the dipstick again and check the fluid level. If the level is low, use a funnel to pour the appropriate transmission fluid into the dipstick tube. It is crucial not to overfill the transmission, as this can lead to damage.
In conclusion, it is generally recommended to turn off the engine before adding transmission fluid. This practice prioritizes safety and allows for a more accurate fluid level reading. However, it is essential to consult the car’s owner manual or manufacturer instructions for specific guidance.
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