How to Check Transmission Fluid on a PT Cruiser

Updated July 20, 2017

Chrysler PT Cruiser automobiles equipped with an automatic transmission use a fluid that is optimised for the vehicle. Owners should regularly check to ensure the automatic transmission fluid remains at the proper level. Operating the vehicle with insufficient automatic transmission fluid can lead to serious and costly damage to the transmission.

Park the vehicle on flat ground and allow it to idle for at least one minute.

Engage the parking brake and fully depress the brake pedal. Shift the vehicle into the "Reverse" gear position and keep it there for a few seconds. Repeat this procedure with each gear position. Return the gear selector to "Park".

Turn off the engine and open the car's bonnet.

Remove the automatic transmission fluid dipstick. It has a round, yellow handle, and is located in the engine's midline, slightly toward the front of the vehicle.

Touch the dipstick to determine the fluid's temperature. If you can comfortably touch the dipstick for only a few seconds, consider the fluid hot. Otherwise, consider it cold.

Clean the dipstick and return it to its tube. Remove the dipstick again.

Observe the fluid level on the dipstick. You will see markings for "Hot" and "Cold", with two small dots next to each mark. The fluid is at the proper level if it falls between these two dots, according to the car's respective temperature. Replace the dipstick.


Clean around the dipstick before removing it to avoid contamination. Check the car's manual to determine the correct type of transmission fluid. Driving the vehicle approximately 15 miles should be sufficient to classify the fluid as hot.

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About the Author

Rex Molder began writing professionally in 1999 and specializes in automotive, technology and travel articles. His articles have appeared at iPad- and SEO-related websites. Rex holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian studies from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.