If your vehicle’s automatic transmission hesitates when shifting gears, try checking the transmission fluid level. This involves locating the dipstick (easily accessible in the engine compartment), pulling it out, and checking to see if the level on the dipstick is between the “Full” and “Add” marks.
The fluid itself should be bright, cherry red, and smell pungent. If it’s black and smells burned, it could spell trouble.
Ounce of prevention
It is also worth mentioning that, although many manufacturers’ maintenance schedules recommend that the transmission fluid be replaced every 100,000 miles (or more), many auto technicians suggest that it be replaced every 24,000 miles or so.
Transmission fluid deteriorates over time. It is far better to replace the fluid than the entire transmission.
TIP: If you do a lot of driving under severe conditions (hard acceleration, city driving, towing, etc.), check the level and condition of your transmission fluid often.
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