This may seem like a silly question. I've been trying to read the dipstick for my automatic transmission fluid but am having a very difficult time determining the level. The fluid is very light and translucent and I'm unsure if it is in the proper range.

Are there any tricks to making the level on the dipstick easier to determine?

  • 1
    Not a silly question, some dipsticks are harder to read than others.
    – ManiacZX
    Jul 20, 2011 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


Take a scrap of paper towel, touch it lightly to the top of the dipstick, and then slowly swipe it down the dipstick. You'll clearly see when it touches fluid even if the fluid is light, and you can then determine where the fluid level is on the stick.

  • 2
    Also, typically your car manual will have you run the engine while checking, or shift the gears a few times before measuring (totally unlike oil which is best checked in a cold engine). I know with my car, although they don't require it, Toyota says it's a good idea to have at least 20 minutes of highway driving before the check.
    – theonlylos
    Sep 12, 2011 at 19:10

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