Too much transmission fluid symptoms/ how to check A/T fluid level without a dipstick

 Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of transmission. It ensures the smooth running of the engine and keeps the transmission temperature down since gear usually generates alot of heat. but what happens if you put too much fluid in the transmission?

What are the signs of an overfilled automatic transmission?

  1. leakage of transmission seals
  2. puddles of transmission fluid underneath the vehicle
  3. foamy transmission oil
  4. transmission overheating
  5.  failure to shift properly, causing a jerking sensation

what are the consequences of an overfilled automatic transmission?

  1. oil starvation 
  2. reduced lubrication
  3. reduced cooling
  4. increased frictions
  5. damage to parts
  6. damage to seals
  7. increased wear

what are the signs of overfilled manual transmission?

  1. leakage of transmission seals
  2. puddles of transmission oil underneath the vehicle
  3. puddles of transmission oil inside the vehicle
  4. foamy transmission oil 
  5. tansmission overheating
  6. clutch chatter or slipping when applying the clutch
  7. difficulty pushing in the clutch

what are the consequences of an overfilled manual transmission?

  1. oil starvation
  2. reduced cooling 
  3. reduced lubrication
  4. increased friction
  5. increased wear 
  6. damage to the clutch
  7. damage to seals
  8. damage to parts
Transmission oils expand more than other oils at high temperture. so you must not overfil the transmission as it will grossly affect the lifespan of the transaxle of your vehicle,

How to check automatic transmission fluid without a dipstick

Nobody needs to learn how to check the fluid level of an automatic transmission that has a dipstick, as this is fairly simple. But how can we check the  A/T fluid level that doesn't have a dipstick installed?
 We all know that low level of fluid or overfilled fluid in the transmission affects the smooth performance of the system, we want to know how much fluid we have in there so that we can have rest of mind.
for an automatic transmission that doesn't have the dipstick installed, there are two ways you can safely check the fluid level:

  • Using the drain plug overflow at lower temperature
Earlier on, I said automatic transmission fluid is very picky to high temperature, it increases volume with increasing temperature, so care must be taken to allow the transmission to cool down to its room temperature before trying to remove the drain plug, else you may end up draining all the fluid in the transaxle and damage the transmission without even realizing it.


On the above picture, the protrude in the pan is used as a fluid gauge level for any automatic transmission that doesn't have a dipstick, so if you remove the drain plug while at low temperature, any draining fluid is an excess fluid. Allow it to jet down till a low drop 💧 is observed. If no fluid comes out, the transmission is low on fluid. Add fluid untill it start dropping.

Again this way of checking fluid level should be at the very low temperature of the transmission, if possible allow the system to cool down overnight, as you'll not want to empty the fluid in the transaxle due to expansion at high temperature. 

  • Using the vaccum system
 A vaccum system is  designed differently, by different manufacturers, so that they can compensate for fluid expansion at any temperature while checking the A/T fluid level. 

The assembly consists of:
  1. fluid pump
  2. vaccum tank 
  3. vaccum regulator
  4. adjustable straw graduated in millimetres
Depending on the instruction from the TSB, the vaccum regulator is used to create vaccum inside the whole transaxle, so that you can be able to remove the drain plug without loosing any fluid at high temperature. This is dependent on the set idle speed and the temperature of the transmission for different vehicle (check your vehicle TSB).

When vaccum is created in the system, you can use the adjustabe straw, set it as directed by your vehicle TSB, at a given transmission temperature and engine RPM, and screw it into the drain hole of the transaxle, then remove the vaccum. If oil drains slowly, then it's at a gauge level, if high jet of oil drains, allow the excess fluid to come out of the system. if it's a slow drop or no fluid comes out of the transaxle, then the system is low of fluid. use the fluid pump to add fluid from the fill hole of the transaxle, until it start dropping.

To tight, the drain plug, set the system to vaccum, so that you'll not loose  any fluid when removing the adjustable straw. The video below demonstrates step by step to check the A/T fluid level without a dipstick, using a vaccum system


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