Do you consider yourself to be diligent when it comes to looking after your family car? Do you open the bonnet every Saturday morning to have a look at the engine oil level, the condition of the coolant and the brake fluid? All this is well and good, but you're missing one very important check and it could end up costing a lot of money down the road. Why do you need to check the transmission fluid on a regular basis as well and what could happen if you don't?
How to Access
It is usually a lot more difficult to check the level of your car's transmission fluid during your weekend examination because the dipstick will be located in an area that's hard to access. If you've never checked before, you may not know where it is and should have a look in your owner's manual to start off with.
What to Look for
When you have found the stick, have a good look at the consistency and colour of the oil when you pull it out. Note that transmission fluid does not burn off as readily as engine oil and will not need to be "topped up" too often in normal circumstances. However, it goes through a great deal of abuse as well and operates at very high temperatures. In time, it will start to degrade and this is why you need to be looking at the colour and consistency of the reading.
In normal circumstances, transmission fluid will have a reddish appearance and should be relatively clear whenever you check it. However, if it is more brown than red and seems to have tiny specks within it, it may be time for you to take action. Fluid that has this type of appearance is generally passed its best days and will need to be replaced. If not, expensive failure could result.
What to Do
In order to achieve this, you need to take the vehicle into your qualified mechanic, so that they can do a full system "flush." It's certainly possible for you to drain the fluid and refill it at home, but the mechanic will be able to do a far superior job. They will use a machine that is connected "in-line" to the vehicle, by uncoupling fluid cooler lines and connecting them to the machine. Once the machine is switched on, it will "pull" all of the fluid in, while pushing brand-new fluid out of the other end and back into the vehicle. This will make sure that all of the old fluid is withdrawn and none of it is left.
If you try and do it at home, then you may leave a significant amount of fluid within the torque converter, as the only way fluid goes into and out of that component is when the engine is running, or that special machine is attached.
Make sure that you get into the habit of checking transmission fluid often and taking the vehicle into your transmission specialist for recommended servicing. Contact an Audi transmission service centre for more information and assistance.