How to Check Transmission Fluid in a Honda Accord

Written by dan ferrell
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How to Check Transmission Fluid in a Honda Accord
Transmission oil should be clear with a reddish colour to it. (Photo courtesy of IFCAR at

Like other automotive fluids and oils, you should check the transmission fluid on your Honda Accord at regular intervals. Look for foreign particles and oil condition that may affect and accelerate the wear of internal components. Follow these simple steps to inspect the condition of the transmission oil in your vehicle in a matter of minutes. The guide applies to the 2003 2.4-litre engine, which is very similar to other models.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clean shop rag
  • Transmission oil and funnel if necessary

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  1. 1

    Park your car in a safe place with a level surface.

  2. 2

    Start and warm the engine until it reaches operating temperature and the cooling fan comes on.

  3. 3

    Move the transmission shift selector through every position and back to park. Apply the parking brake and block the rear and front wheels.

  4. 4

    Open the bonnet of your car and locate the transmission dipstick. In most models, you will find the dipstick at the rear and to the side of the engine. Some transmissions have a dipstick handle marked with the words Transmission Oil, or come with a rounded, orange-coloured handle.

  5. 5

    Pull the dipstick and wipe clean the tip with a clean shop rag. Insert the dipstick back into its guide tube.

  6. 6

    Pull the dipstick again, hold the tip on a clean shop rag and inspect the oil at the tip. The oil should be clear with a reddish colour to it. If the oil looks dirty or smells burnt, change the transmission oil.

  7. 7

    Look at the oil closely and make sure there are no metal, dirt, moisture or fibre particles in it. These particles might come from internal parts' wear. If left in the oil, these particles may accelerate parts' wear and even cause transmission failure. Change the transmission oil if it is contaminated.

  8. 8

    Make sure the level of the oil in the dipstick reaches the full mark. If the oil is between the Add and Full mark, add only half a quart of the manufacturer recommended transmission oil. If the oil is at the Add mark, add a quart of oil. Add oil through the dipstick guide tube using a funnel and check the oil level again.

  9. 9

    Replace the dipstick in the guide tube, close the bonnet and turn off the engine.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult your car owner's manual for the manufacturer recommended transmission oil for your car. You may also find this information in your car's vehicle service manual. You can buy a service manual at most auto parts stores or consult one for free at most public libraries.
  • Check the automatic transmission oil level at least every three months to keep your transmission in good condition.

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