How to tell the transmission fluid level when dip stick has no markings?

Tiny
STARLORD1976
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 DODGE CHARGER
  • 5.7L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
I just bought a dip stick for the transmission fluid. And there is no full mark or nothing on it, how do I know if it’s full?
Friday, October 2nd, 2020 AT 10:04 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • MECHANIC
  • 52,797 POSTS
Good afternoon,

I attached the amount of fluid required for changing the fluid. I would drop the pan and change the filter. Then add the correct amount and when you check it with the dipstick, put a mark on the stick for the full mark so you have a reference for the full mark.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-service-an-automatic-transmission

Roy

Fluid Types

Automatic Transmission Fluid Type

Mopar(R) ATF +4 Automatic Transmission Fluid or equivalent.
Capacities

Transmission Fluid Capacity

Service Fill - NAG1 .................... 5.0Liters (10.6 pts.)

Overhaul Fill - NAG1 .................... 7.7Liters (16.3 pts.) *

Service Fill - 42RLE .................... 3.8Liters (4.0 qts.)

Overhaul Fill - 42RLE .................... 8.3Liters (17.6 pts.) *

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Friday, October 2nd, 2020 AT 10:11 AM
Tiny
STARLORD1976
  • MEMBER
  • 173 POSTS
The thing is I had to buy a dipstick to check my transmission fluid. But on the dipstick I’m not sure what level my fluid is on because there isn’t no full mark or add mark.
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Friday, October 2nd, 2020 AT 10:31 AM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • MECHANIC
  • 52,797 POSTS
That is why you need to start from scratch to make a reference mark for full level.

When you add the proper amount back into the transmission it will be full and you can mark the dipstick somehow to indicate it is full.

Roy
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Friday, October 2nd, 2020 AT 10:40 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • MECHANIC
  • 12,935 POSTS
There is a way to check the level without dropping and changing the fluid but it can be a bit tricky. You use the stick and a chart to read the level. The chart below show the level the fluid should be at a given fluid temperature. It is getting the fluid temperature that is the trick. The best way is with a scan tool, even many of the lower cost ones can read the temperatures these days. Or you could use a probe on a thermometer to check it. Then you consult the chart. All of the levels are read after you start the engine, run it through the gears and check it at idle with the transmission in park. You then look at the temperature and the level. So say you have been driving the car, pull onto a flat level area, use the scan tool or other method to measure the fluid temperature and it shows the fluid is at 148 degrees. Put the stick in and let it bottom out, remove it and read the level, it should be right around the 55 mm mark if the system is full.
A quick approach I have seen done as well is to take a measurement with everything cold. Then start the engine, run the transmission through the gears, put it in park and take another reading. Then that becomes the "full cold" level. Then they drive the car around a bunch. Come back to the same spot and measure again. Then that get's marked as "full hot" Not as precise as the OEM but it should work as long as the transmission isn't leaking and is operating okay.
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Friday, October 2nd, 2020 AT 12:08 PM

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