How to check manual transmission fluid

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The gearbox is not easily accessible without equipment and there is no straightforward system – such as an engine oil gauge – for determining oil levels. You should therefore contact your garage mechanic in order to have it checked. They will have equipment for checking oil levels and topping it up if necessary.
If, however, you still wish to carry out this operation yourself, here is our advice:

Before you begin

  • Refer to your service manual to find out what transmission fluid your gearbox requires and how frequently it should be changed. The manual will also tell you where the filling cap is located.
  • Get a cloth or a roll of paper towel.

How to check the manual transmission fluid level:

  • Park your car on a horizontal, stable surface. Disengage the clutch and apply the handbrake.
  • Make sure the engine has been switched off for at least 2 minutes so that the oil is "resting" and at the bottom of the sump.
  • If your car has been used for more than 30 minutes, allow the engine to rest for a few minutes so that the transmission fluid can cool down. This is important for your safety, as well as ensuring that the results are not biased.
  • Refer to your service manual to in order to locate the gearbox's filling cap and find out what type of spanner you need in order to unscrew it.
  • Open the filling cap and check the level: it should be just beneath the cap.
  • Given that there is no gauge, you may use a metal stem or screwdriver in order to probe the oil level and find out how high it is in the sump.
  • Note: the oil may also overflow. If this happens, then it is at the right level. Quickly replace the cap.
  • You can use a syringe to take an oil sample for analysis. However, we recommend that you get a professional to carry this out.
  • Remember to screw the filling cap back on in accordance with the instructions in the user manual.

Manual transmission fluid top up

In order to top up the oil, you have to locate and unscrew the filling cap.
We recommend that you use a syringe or a special pump in order to gradually insert fresh oil into the gearbox sump.
Keep checking the oil level as described above in order to ensure that it does not overflow.


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