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Q: Needs transmission serviced

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The transmission is slipping. I don't know if I need to have the transmission serviced. I've had the car for a while.

A: The first thing to check is the fluid level...

The first thing to check is the fluid level. Park the car on a level surface with the transmission in Park, and the engine running. The dipstick for the transmission is red. Pull it out, wipe it off and take note where the low and full marks are. Place the dipstick back in, fully bottom it, and remove. If it is below the low mark, but still showing on the stick, add fluid until it is about in the middle. Add 1/2 at a time and do not overfill. If it is not indicating on the stick, you are more that 2 quarts low and have a leak. If the level is in the hatch marked area, do not add fluid. It only takes being 1 quart low for the transmission to not function properly. Once the level is ok, you can check the color and smell. It should be red to reddish brown and not have burnt smell. If it is brown or black, you have more serious issues. Is the Check Engine light on? The computer will detect when a certain gear is slipping and set a code. If a vital sensor to the transmission is not working it can put the transmission in a limp mode. It will shift very hard when placed in drive or reverse. Also it will stay in 2nd or 3rd gear and not shift at all. The Check Engine light will be on for sure if it is in limp mode. A qualified mechanic from YourMechanic can help you diagnose the cause of your transmission slipping issue.

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