How to Check the Transmission Fluid on a 2006 Volvo S40by Richard Rowe
Volvo's second-generation (2004 to 2001) S40 may be a badge-engineered Ford Focus, but it's still one of Volvo's most popular and versatile offerings. The Ford C1 platform --- also used under the Mazda 3 and 5 series --- is a truly world offering, offering six different engines, four different transmissions and the buyer's choice of either front- or all-wheel drive. The transmission dipstick on this particular chassis is like the Isla de Meurta; impossible to find unless you already know where it is.
Park the car on level ground, shut the engine down and allow it to cool off completely. This procedure is best performed in the morning when the engine is stone cold and before the thermostat opens.
Start the car and pop the hood. Look down into the engine bay on the bottom driver-side of the radiator for the lower radiator hose. Reach down into the engine bay, being careful not to touch anything hot or moving, and grasp the lower radiator hose.
Push the radiator hose to one side, and you'll see the yellow transmission dipstick handle beneath. Pull the dipstick tube out and wipe the slender indicator stick down with a napkin or rag to remove any transmission fluid on it.
Put the dipstick back into the transmission to wet the indicator stick and pull it back out to check the transmission fluid level. It should read just below the "hot" indicator as the transmission hasn't quite reached its operating temperature. If the fluid reads low, use a long funnel to refill it through the dipstick tube.