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How Do I Check Transmission Fluid on Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The transmission on the Honda car has a black cap on its side with the words "Transmission Fluid' stamped on the top of the cap. The transmission dipstick is connected to the bottom of the transmission fluid tank cap. On the transmission fluid dipstick are two words: "FULL" is at the top of the dipstick and "ADD" at the bottom of the dipstick. The transmission fluid should have a pinkish red color. If the transmission fluid is any other color than pinkish red, you need to take the Honda car in for serious maintenance.

Under The Hood:

 How Do I Check Transmission Fluid on a 1993 Honda Accord?

Manual Transmission

Drive the Accord until it is up to normal operating temperature. Park it on solid, level ground. Crawl under the passenger side behind the front tire.

Remove the oil filler bolt, which is located behind the axle toward the firewall. Insert your finger into the hole. The oil level should be just up to the bottom of the filler hole.

Add engine oil as necessary to achieve the appropriate level. Insert a funnel into the filler hole and slowly add oil until it runs out of the hole. Install and tighten the bolt.

Automatic Transmission

Drive the vehicle until it reaches normal operating temperature. Park it on solid, level surface.

Remove the transmission dipstick. It is located below the top radiator hose and has a yellow rubber coating on the handle. Wipe it clean and reinsert it.

Remove the dipstick and hold it parallel to the ground. The fluid level should be within the cross-hatch area. If the level is low, insert a funnel into the hole and slowly add fluid to bring it to the correct level.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • Socket

  • Rag/shop towel

  • Funnel

  • 10W-30 engine oil (manual transmission)

  • New transmission fluid (automatic transmission)

 How to Check the Transmission Fluid on a Honda Shadow Spirit

Park the Honda Shadow Spirit on flat ground and run the engine for about 20 minutes to warm the transmission fluid up.

Turn off the engine. Locate the transmission dipstick cap on the side of the transmission and twist the cap in a counterclockwise motion to remove the cap from the transmission.

Wipe the dipstick off with a shop rag. Replace the dipstick into the transmission and tighten the cap in a clockwise motion.

Remove the dipstick from the transmission and look at it. If the transmission fluid level is at the "FULL" line and the fluid is a pinkish red color, no further action is needed. If the transmission fluid level is at the "ADD" line, you will need to add the recommended 20w50 Honda motorcycle transmission fluid.

Replace the cap onto the transmission and tighten it.

Items you will need

  • Shop rag

 How to Check the Transmission Fluid in a Honda Civic

Automatic Honda Civic Transmission

Pop the hood of the car.

Locate the transmission dipstick to the side and rear of the engine. Make sure it isn't the engine oil dipstick; the engine oil dipstick is at the front of the engine.

Pull the transmission dipstick out, wipe the tip of it with a towel and insert it completely back into the tube.

Pull it out again and look at the end of the dipstick. Look for oil at the end of the stick between two marks. If there's no transmission oil on the dipstick at all or it's below the lowest line, the transmission needs oil. If the oil level is above the highest mark, the transmission is filled too much and should be drained.

Manual Honda Civic Transmission

Place the jack under the front of the car and jack it up. Pace jack stands behind the front tires on the frame of the car.

Get under the car and find the side of the transmission where the two drain plugs are located. The bottom plug is the transmission drain and the top plug is used to check the oil level.

Use a ratchet and socket to remove the top plug from the transmission.

Put your finger in the hole. If your finger can touch transmission fluid, the level is good. If you cannot reach any fluid through the hole, the level is too low. If fluid pours out of the hole when you unplug it, the level is too high.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Towel

  • Ratchet/socket set

  • Transmission fluid (if needed)

 How to Check Transmission Fluid in a Honda Accord

Park your car in a safe place with a level surface.

Start and warm the engine until it reaches operating temperature and the cooling fan comes on.

Move the transmission shift selector through every position and back to park. Apply the parking brake and block the rear and front wheels.

Open the hood of your car and locate the transmission dipstick. In most models, you will find the dipstick at the rear and to the side of the engine. Some transmissions have a dipstick handle marked with the words Transmission Oil, or come with a rounded, orange-colored handle.

Pull the dipstick and wipe clean the tip with a clean shop rag. Insert the dipstick back into its guide tube.

Pull the dipstick again, hold the tip on a clean shop rag and inspect the oil at the tip. The oil should be clear with a reddish color to it. If the oil looks dirty or smells burned, change the transmission oil.

Look at the oil closely and make sure there are no metal, dirt, moisture or fiber particles in it. These particles might come from internal parts' wear. If left in the oil, these particles may accelerate parts' wear and even cause transmission failure. Change the transmission oil if it is contaminated.

Make sure the level of the oil in the dipstick reaches the full mark. If the oil is between the Add and Full mark, add only half a quart of the manufacturer recommended transmission oil. If the oil is at the Add mark, add a quart of oil. Add oil through the dipstick guide tube using a funnel and check the oil level again.

Replace the dipstick in the guide tube, close the hood and turn off the engine.

Items you will need

  • Clean shop rag

  • Transmission oil and funnel if necessary

About the Author

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