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How To Check Gear Oil Levels: When, Where + How To Change It

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Without sufficient oil, your gearbox can lead to a shaky ride, difficulty shifting gears, or total gearbox failure. Learn how to check gear oil levels here.

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  • How To Check Gear Oil Levels: When, Where + How To Change It

Within your vehicle, a gearbox is one of the most essential components. If your gearbox fails, you may experience grinding, shaking, or jerking, which can eventually lead to gearbox failure or a damaged transmission. Each, on its own, can make your car unsafe to drive or undriveable altogether.

To prevent such damage and defects, it's important to check your gearbox oil level regularly. Here's how to check gear oil levels at home:

How To Check Your Gearbox Oil Level

To obtain a dipstick reading, your engine needs to be running, and your oil needs to be warm.

  • Start by parking your vehicle on a flat surface.
  • Activate the brake.
  • Leave it idle until the engine warms.
  • After a few minutes, open the vehicle bonnet.
  • Find the gear oil dipstick.
    • This is usually positioned near the back of the engine compartment.
  • Pull out the dipstick.
  • Wipe it clean with a cloth or towel.
  • Reinsert the dipstick.
  • Now, take the dipstick back out and check the oil.
    • Most dipsticks feature a "cross-hatch" pattern where the oil level should sit.
    • You may also see "hot" and "cold" lines - your oil should never go above the 'hot' line.
  • If your oil is running low, top it up until it reaches the "fill" level. You may need a long-neck funnel.
  • Once it's topped up, you can reinsert the dipstick.

You're done! Just keep in mind that your gearbox oil level should never drop noticeably between oil changes. If you need to top it up significantly to reach the correct level, check for leaks or get in touch with your local Autofusion for an inspection/repair package.

Why Do You Need To Check The Gearbox Oil Level?

Your car's gearbox is the second stage of the transmission system. It's often bolted to the rear of your engine, and it's used to change the speed of your motor (or to increase the output or torque).

Put simply, a gearbox is made up of a series of gears that are designed to offer more power and less speed, or less power and greater speed, if required.

If you let your car run low on gearbox oil, your transmission can shift improperly or not at all. You may find yourself missing gears or feeling a "grinding sensation" when you're driving. Inadequate oil levels can permanently harm your gearbox, resulting in costly repairs.

The oil in your gearbox is there to prevent its metal teeth from grinding on gears and causing metal-to-metal fiction, which can damage your car's components.

How Often Should You Check Your Gearbox Oil Level?

It's recommended that you check all primary fluid levels in your car at least once a month. This includes your engine oil, gearbox oil level, transmission fluid, and steering fluid.

Most manual gearboxes need an oil change every 30,000-50,000 miles. Automatic gearboxes differ and may require changes between 60,000-100,000 miles.

If you book an engine oil and filter change with Autofusion today, we'll ensure your gearbox is in peak condition as part of our service.