Trans fluid

What would be a sign other than reading the stick,that the trans is filled with more fluid than needed? What damage if any would this cause to the transmission?

I haven’t noticed any problems with this vehicle,but was told by a mechanic that someone had put in two quarts more than needed.He said that this was recent due to the fluid being red. I’m not sure whether I’m buying this,since it has been months since any work has been done on the vehicle.He said that I needed a flush and fill done so as not to cause damage to the tranny.I don’t have much confidence in this guy seeing as he couldn’t latch my hood properly.Lucky I noticed before it caused an accident or a broken window.This trans problem was discovered during an oil change.

Thanks for any help you can give.

so drain the fluid yourself and fill it with the right amount and life goes on. make sure you get the right fluid.

Transmission fluid is supposed to be a nice clean pink on the dipstick. The engine must be idling in neutral to get a correct reading on the stick. If you pull the transmission dipstick when the engine is off, it could easily read overfull.

I suggest you check the fluid level yourself (the owner’s manual should have instructions) before you agree to any work.

Anyone suggesting a transmission flush is to be avoided. Drain and refill is the preferred method of transmission fluid replacement.

Dont buy into his telling you you need a flush fast before your transmission is damaged. He said himself that the fluid is red, which it is supposed to be. I dont know what kind of vehicle we are talking about here but it is important that the fluid is checked on a level surface with the engine running like mcparadise pointed out. Now some vehicles like some chrysler RWD vehicles need to be checked with the engine running and the gear selector in neutral. As far as it being overfilled, if it is indeed overfilled, you run the risk of damaging the clutch friction plates and bands if your trans is so equipped. The overfilled fluid gets churned up by the internals of the trans causing air bubbles in the fluid. These air bubbles cause reduce the hydraulic integrity of the trans simply because the trans basicly operates on hydraulics. Like a brake system, having air in the brake lines reduces braking efficiency. Bottom line, if it is indeed overfilled, just remove the excess amount. There are several ways of doing this. Or, if the trans has not been serviced lately, drain, change filter, and refill using the correct amount.

Good luck.


Agree with all the above; but the car should be warmed up and sitting level to get a really accurate fluid level reading. Nice red fluid means that you don’t need a flush. If none of the bands are slipping (car is shifting smoothly) only the fluid level needs to be adjusted.

No damage usually except for modulator valve if you have one and it could cause no upshift. There are probably some others. Removing a modulator valve will drain enough fluid sometimes.

Thanks everyone.I should have mentioned that this is a 97 Dodge Ram and an automatic in my first post.I lost the manual for it,so called a dealership to ask whether the truck should be in Park or Neutral to check the fluids.He said Park,but the stick said Neutral.hmmm.I checked it both ways and still can’t tell if it is overfilled.I think I’ll check it again tomorrow when I have more light to see.Failing me being to tell myself when I do a recheck I’ll take it to a free transmission shop in my area and have them take a look at it.Thanks again.

That transmission should be checked hot, on a level surface and with the gear selector in NEUTRAL… Reason being is that this transmission’s fluid flow is restricted in park and you will not get an accurate reading if checking it in park. 2 quarts overfilled is kind of excessive in this trans but if you dont notice any slipping (Especially the 1-2 shift) you are probably not damaged. Hows your reverse engagement when cold??


Funny you should ask about reverse…It seems okay,but started making a noise a few days ago while in reverse and while it was cold.This is a noise that I haven’t heard for about two years and only does it when backing right after it’s first started.The funny part was my complaining to the dealership while under warranty plus extended warranty.The dealership denied ever hearing the noise,but it finally came out that there was a recall on some part of the transmission.So they fixed it,or at least I thought they had.At any rate the noise went away until a few days ago.It would be hard to explain what it sounds like,but it would be a mix between high pitched whistle and groan,only in reverse and when first backed out while cold.Iv’e heard that this model is well known for transmission problems.It really seems to shift with no slipping so I guess that’s good.