How to Check Transmission Fluid Without Dipstick (Quick Guide)

Did you just find out that your car lacks a dipstick? This could be troublesome. Because dipsticks have been saving the day for drivers helping them judge the quality and quantity of transmission fluid in their cars.

However, if you drive an automatic car, you’re likely unaware of such a thing, as these are no longer found in modern vehicles. Only the old gearheads know what a pearl of the great price it was for checking transmission fluid.

Yet as checking the transmission fluid is a crucial part of your ride’s routine maintenance, we must do it with or without a dipstick. But how to check transmission fluid without dipstick, then?

It could be challenging but, fortunately, still possible. Later on in this article, we’ll see just that. So, stick with us as we explore the step-by-step guide to checking transmission fluid without dipstick.

Steps-by-Step Guide: How to Check Transmission Fluid Without Dipstick

Step 1: Check for Dipstick

Wait, why check for the dipstick when you’re sure it’s not there? Well, some car manufacturers put the dipstick in different locations. 

So, let’s consider this a seek for a miracle and open your car hood to check for a dipstick. When searching for a dipstick in your car, look for a T-shaped handle if you’re unaware of its appearance.

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If you don’t find the dipstick, move on to the next tip.

Step 2: Check Whether Your Car has a Sealed Transmission

First, make sure your car has a sealed or unsealed transmission. For this, you can refer to the car manufacturer’s manual. 

If your car has a sealed transmission, this is an indication that your car truly doesn’t require a dipstick to check the CVT level.

Step 3: Find Inspection and Fill Plug

If your vehicle has a sealed transmission, you must locate the inspection plug and fill plug to check your transmission level.

The inspection plug should be located where you add transmission fluid, while the inspection fluid is where all the excess fluid flows out of the transmission. 

You can also check for your car’s manual to be sure.

Step 4: Check the Temperature of the Transmission Fluid

To check your car’s CVT level, ensure the transmission fluid is at the correct temperature. It shouldn’t be too cold or too hot.

The ideal temperature for checking transmission fluid must be between 91 and 92 degrees centigrade. You can also use an Onboard Diagnostic Scanner (OBD) to check the real-time temperature of the fluid. 

Step 5: Park Your Vehicle in a Level Area

Now park your car, preferably in your garage, and keep it idle. Remember, parking your car on a level surface is crucial for accurately checking the transmission fluid.

Step 6: Open the Inspection Plug

We’re close now. Once your car is in an idle position, open the inspection plug. Don’t forget to grab a pair of gloves before touching any part because it may damage your fingers.

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Step 7: Check the Transmission Fluid

It’s time to inspect the transmission fluid. Use a wrench to loosen and remove the inspection plug. Make sure to place a drain pain underneath before loosening the plug.

How would you know that your car’s CVT level is okay? Here are some pointers to note and act accordingly.

If the transmission fluid flows out upon opening the inspection plug, it has an excessive fluid and needs to drain out. So, let it all flow out until it stops and has the right fluid level.

If the fluid isn’t flowing out, then it’s time for a refill. Add more fluid using a funnel in the fill plug until it starts draining out.

Also, notice the color of the fluid draining out. If it’s black or dark brown, it’s a sign that it needs to be changed.


The transmission fluid check procedure is different for every make and model of car. However, if you drive a modern vehicle, there’s a good chance it has a sealed transmission and doesn’t use a dipstick for a fluid check.

Without a dipstick, checking your car’s transmission fluid can be challenging. Following our step-by-step guide on how to check transmission fluid without dipstick saves you the hassle of contacting a professional mechanic. So, head to the garage and grab a wrench!

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