How to check transmission fluid without dipstick?

How to check transmission fluid without dipstick?


Checking transmission fluid is an essential part of maintaining a vehicle’s performance and longevity. Typically, this is done by using a dipstick to measure the fluid level and check its condition. However, some newer car models are designed without a dipstick, leaving many car owners wondering how to check their transmission fluid. In this article, we will explore alternative methods to check transmission fluid when a dipstick is not available.

Method 1: Manufacturer’s Manual

Step 1: Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website to determine if your car model is equipped with a dipstick or if there is an alternative method recommended for checking the transmission fluid.

Step 2: If an alternative method is provided, follow the instructions precisely. This may involve using a specific tool or accessing a hidden fill plug.

Method 2: Fluid Level Sight Glass

Step 1: Some vehicles without a dipstick may have a fluid level sight glass on the transmission housing. This glass allows you to visually inspect the fluid level.

Step 2: Locate the sight glass, which is typically positioned on the side of the transmission. It may have markings indicating the proper fluid level.

Step 3: With the engine running and the transmission warmed up, observe the fluid level through the sight glass. The fluid should be within the designated range. If it is below the minimum mark, additional fluid may be required.

Method 3: Temperature Check

Step 1: Some car manufacturers recommend checking the transmission fluid level by monitoring its temperature. This method requires a specialized scan tool that can read the transmission fluid temperature.

Step 2: Connect the scan tool to the vehicle’s OBD-II port and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to access the transmission fluid temperature data.

Step 3: Compare the temperature reading to the manufacturer’s specifications. If the fluid is within the recommended temperature range, it is likely at the correct level. If not, further inspection may be necessary.

Method 4: Professional Inspection

Step 1: If you are unable to check the transmission fluid using the methods mentioned above or feel uncertain about the results, it is advisable to seek professional assistance.

Step 2: Take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic or dealership with expertise in your car’s make and model. They will have the necessary tools and knowledge to accurately check the transmission fluid level and condition.


While checking transmission fluid without a dipstick may seem challenging, alternative methods exist for different car models. By referring to the manufacturer’s manual, utilizing a fluid level sight glass, monitoring fluid temperature, or seeking professional assistance, you can ensure that your transmission fluid is at the appropriate level and in good condition.


– Car and Driver:
– Popular Mechanics:
– Edmunds: