Most truck owners know that routine, basic maintenance is important. To keep a vehicle roadworthy and running well, things like changing the oil, checking the tires, and changing the air filter are necessary. Something that goes overlooked, for no reason at all, is the transmission. Without the transmission, your truck won’t move at all. That makes checking the transmission fluid important and something that should be done often. If the fluid level is low, or the fluid is cloudy, then action should be taken. The next time you get fuel, pop the hood and check the fluid on that Allison transmission for the good of the truck. Understand the importance of checking your transmission fluid and protect it.
How to Check the Fluid
Just like the oil, there is a dipstick for the transmission fluid. Find yours under the hood and inside the engine compartment. Don’t confuse it for the oil dipstick. It is usually a different color, will have a transmission graphic on it, and will be closer to the firewall. If you still aren’t sure, you’ll know when you pull it. Oil is dark brown to black, while transmission fluid is a reddish color. If you can’t find yours, don’t panic. Some newer vehicles have a sealed-for-life transmission that doesn’t require checking or replacing. Check your owner’s manual to know for sure.
Condition of the Fluid
Once you pull the dipstick, check the level of fluid and the color. If the level is low, then add some fluid until it falls into the desired “full” zone on the stick. Lay the stick on something white so you can compare the color. If the fluid is clean, it should have a reddish-pink color and appear clear, not cloudy. If the fluid is brownish or murky, then it’s about time to replace it within the next week or so. If the fluid is dark brown or black, you will be replacing something more expensive. Black fluid is burnt, and there might be metal shavings in it, meaning those shavings are in the transmission and doing damage.
What If It’s Low?
If the fluid is low, then add some to the reservoir immediately. Monitor the level every time you fill up with fuel. If you find yourself adding fluid regularly, then there is a leak somewhere in the truck. Get underneath the truck and try to find the leak and monitor the spot. If there is a leak, then it will create a puddle in your driveway or garage directly underneath. Checking your transmission fluid is important if you want to save a few thousand dollars replacing or repairing it.