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Checking transmission fluid without burning arm

For whatever reason the transmission dipstick is way down low in my 2011 honda accord with radiator hoses covering the area to reach to get it. The manual says to let the engine get hot, turn it off, wait 1 minute then check it. It seems like a very bad design, they should have made the dipstick longer. How am I supposed to check it without burning myself on the radiator hoses? Even if I wear gloves my forearm will touch the hoses.

That’s why they make ArmChaps.


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I really don’t want to have to buy that just to check my fluid. What do guys in shops do?

Wear ArmChaps.


I was thinking of just wearing sweatshirt, do you think that would be enough to stop a burn?

You’ll find out.



Haha no thanks. Do they have any kind of tool that I can grab the stick with to check it?

At least you HAVE a transmission dipstick! I had to add my own to my 2013 Mustang.

Well it had one, a tiny one, accessible only from under a hot, running car. No thanks.

LOL! How hot is a radiator hose? 200F? I would just weld an extension to the dipstick handle but for some reason I doubt that would be acceptable if ArmChaps are not.

It depends.

Coolant can get as hot as 240F


But usually doesn’t. My point is that touching a radiator hose is not like touching a 1,000F plus exhaust manifold.

Does anyone here actually check it hot like your supposed to or just check it cold and try to estimate if the level is ok? I know my color is ok, just need to check the level.

Yup :smiley_cat:

I don’t check mine at all. 6 speed M/T is checked by dealership at 6 month services.

I would think a cotton sweatshirt would be fine, sleeves look good, hemostats or long nose pliers?

Here’s a $6.50 pair of welding gloves. Will they work?

Yup, hot, always.

This is the type of situation where Harbor Freight’s really inexpensive products are perfect, and HF charges only $4.99! And, with one of their ubiquitous coupons, it would be even cheaper.

I’ll admit to doing this. Have your fluid changed at a dealer (your transmission will thank you for this.) Then check in the morning cold without starting it, and note the level. I’ve done this with my last four Hondas. In fact, I’ve found Honda’s instructions produce questionable results. I would then start the engine, let it run 10-15 seconds, and immediately check it again per Honda’s instructions (except cold). Note the level. This should give you all the info you need.

Why not!!! It’s not like you are going to get a 3rd degree burn instantly.

If it get’s too hot for you, pull your arm out. Got an old winter coat??? Cut one arm off and use that as am protective sleeve.

If you’re too chicken to try that…call you wife over!!!