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How to Check the Transmission Fluid Level in a Dodge Dakota

by Christian Killian

Checking the fluid level in the automatic transmission of your Dodge Dakota pickup should be part of your regular maintenance routine. The transmission fluid is critical to proper operation of the transmission; and if the level gets low, the transmission can suffer from slow shifts, and the internal components can be damaged from improper lubrication. Check the transmission fluid level every time you check your oil or perform other routine service so it doesn't get overlooked.

1

Start the engine and let it run until your Dakota is at normal operating temperature. Make sure the truck is sitting on level ground so that the fluid level is accurate.

2

Apply the parking brake and with your foot on the brake cycle the transmission through all of the gears on the selector. Return the transmission to park and leave it running.

3

Open the hood of the truck and locate the transmission dipstick. It is located at the back of the engine on the passenger's side near the firewall. In most newer vehicles it will have a yellow T-handle on the top of the dipstick.

4

Pull the dipstick out of the dipstick tube and wipe the transmission fluid off of it with a clean rag. Insert the dipstick back into the tube, making sure it is fully seated in the tube.

5

Pull the dipstick out of the tube again and read the level by looking for the fluid on the dipstick. The level should be at the full mark on the dipstick. If it is below the full mark, transmission fluid should be added to bring it to full.

Tip

  • Use Mopar ATF+4 in the automatic transmission of your Dodge Dakota. There are several brands of transmission fluid on the market that have the same properties as the Mopar fluid; but before substituting another brand, check with your Dodge dealer to be sure it will work properly in your truck.

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About the Author

Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.

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Photo Credits

  • Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images