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Freaking out about my ATF dipstick #4561692
11/01/17 11:14 PM
11/01/17 11:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 60
Gatineau QC Canada
TheMidnightNarwh Offline OP
TheMidnightNarwh  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 60
Gatineau QC Canada
Ok, I'm a bit freaking out here. Trying to read my dipstick.. I was checking it periodacally to make sure I didn't get any leaking after my ATF and all was good. After the 1st day I noticed it wasn't fully hitting the hot mark so I added and I thought I was good (after re-checking).

Here are some questionse because I don't understand this.

1. Every time I pull it out to check it and do the first wipe before reinserting, the fluid is all dark and black and it's everywhere on it, but pulling it back out I can clearly see bright red fluid at the hot mark? Why is this like this?

2. I checked today and noticed something, after I reinsert after wipe and take it out, the rear side of the dipstick where the cold mark is almost the whole dipstick is covered in fluid while on the hot mark I can see red fluid up until 1/4 full of the hot mark. Is this normal? This is what got me freaking out here.

Could I possibly have had to much fluid all this time? Surely my transmission would have acted weird or major slip? Every time I put the pedal down it accelerated normally.

Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4561724
11/01/17 11:59 PM
11/01/17 11:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 9,804
Central Washington
Colt45ws Offline
Colt45ws  Offline
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 9,804
Central Washington
1. I think dipsticks can become somewhat magnetic and attract small ferrous particulate from the fluid
2. Believe the lower one. The side with fluid all the way up is getting smeared inside the tube somewhere.


-Colton
2002 Ford Crown Vic PI 207k, Ex-Kootenai County, ID Unit #42
Down for engine swap
2003 Ford Crown Vic PI 75k
Castrol EDGE HM 5W30, Fram XG2
Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4561744
11/02/17 12:19 AM
11/02/17 12:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
1) the inside of the tube is dirty for some weird reason
2) make sure fill/dipstick tube isn't cracked


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4561746
11/02/17 12:22 AM
11/02/17 12:22 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,416
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,416
Seattle-ish, WA
Are you checking it while running, after shifting through all gears?

Also, I find on most cars, the only reliable reading is starting with a stone cold engine (transmission). After driving, there's so much fluid splashed around, it drains down the tube and prevents the dipstick from reading accurately. That may be what you are experiencing. Some units may not be as susceptible to this, but it's worth being aware.

Quote:
Could I possibly have had to much fluid all this time?


The total system capacity is on average about 10qts. Unless you went wild, you can't have added so much as to cause a problem.

Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: Oro_O] #4561769
11/02/17 02:08 AM
11/02/17 02:08 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 60
Gatineau QC Canada
TheMidnightNarwh Offline OP
TheMidnightNarwh  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 60
Gatineau QC Canada
Originally Posted By: Oro_O
Are you checking it while running, after shifting through all gears?

Also, I find on most cars, the only reliable reading is starting with a stone cold engine (transmission). After driving, there's so much fluid splashed around, it drains down the tube and prevents the dipstick from reading accurately. That may be what you are experiencing. Some units may not be as susceptible to this, but it's worth being aware.

Quote:
Could I possibly have had to much fluid all this time?


The total system capacity is on average about 10qts. Unless you went wild, you can't have added so much as to cause a problem.


Yeah as stated in manual, operating temp, engine idling, shift to all gears then go back to neutral.

I added around the same amount that came out. Re-filled the empty new ATF bottle and came out to about 4 full and bit for a fifth one. Originally I had 4 bottles but 4 wasn't enough had to go back to dealer and I have put maybe 300ml more from the fifth bottle. And that's when after the check some bright red fluid I could see in the hot mark.

I noticed in the service manual to check it they don't explicitly say to wipe dipstick and reinsert but I suppose that is already understood since a dipstick you should do that.

Last edited by TheMidnightNarwh; 11/02/17 02:09 AM.
Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: Oro_O] #4561771
11/02/17 02:17 AM
11/02/17 02:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 148
WA state, USA
NothingNew Offline
NothingNew  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 148
WA state, USA
Originally Posted By: Oro_O



The total system capacity is on average about 10qts. Unless you went wild, you can't have added so much as to cause a problem.


What does the "average" ATF system capacity have to do with the capacity or ATF level of a specific vehicle? I help service two different vehicles that each have a total system capacity of 7.x quarts. Adding 10 quarts would cause a problem.

Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: NothingNew] #4561776
11/02/17 02:42 AM
11/02/17 02:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 60
Gatineau QC Canada
TheMidnightNarwh Offline OP
TheMidnightNarwh  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 60
Gatineau QC Canada
Originally Posted By: NothingNew
Originally Posted By: Oro_O



The total system capacity is on average about 10qts. Unless you went wild, you can't have added so much as to cause a problem.


What does the "average" ATF system capacity have to do with the capacity or ATF level of a specific vehicle? I help service two different vehicles that each have a total system capacity of 7.x quarts. Adding 10 quarts would cause a problem.


Right. In the service manual the 06 Tucson capacity is 7.8L . But that's a flush, not a change.

I did put back the same ammount of bottles. At least 4 bottles I was sure the fifth one I had some spillage and added about 300ml.

Last edited by TheMidnightNarwh; 11/02/17 02:42 AM.
Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4561779
11/02/17 03:23 AM
11/02/17 03:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,422
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,422
NY
I found the most reliable way for me to check ATF is to drive the car about half an hour. Park it on perfectly level ground and let it idle at least three minutes, pull the stick and read it. Reinserting the stick and reading it again and again throws the reading off. I check mine in Park, which is what the service manual states for my automatic transmission vehicles.

I'm not sure why you're seeing dark and black fluid. Fortunately that is not something I've encountered. If I did I would drop the pan replace the filter refill the unit take a short drive and do a good line exchange of the fluid.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: demarpaint] #4561802
11/02/17 05:42 AM
11/02/17 05:42 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,156
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
JC1 Offline
JC1  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,156
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
I found the most reliable way for me to check ATF is to drive the car about half an hour. Park it on perfectly level ground and let it idle at least three minutes, pull the stick and read it. Reinserting the stick and reading it again and again throws the reading off. I check mine in Park, which is what the service manual states for my automatic transmission vehicles.

I'm not sure why you're seeing dark and black fluid. Fortunately that is not something I've encountered. If I did I would drop the pan replace the filter refill the unit take a short drive and do a good line exchange of the fluid.


Its a Hyundai, I don't think they have pans that are removable. Its setup like a Honda with the magnetic drain plug only.

As others said check the level when its cold and parked on level ground. You may need a fluid extractor to remove some ATF.

When I had my 98 sienna I overfilled the tranny by a litre a few different times and had no issues. If its slightly overfilled you are probably OK.

Last edited by JC1; 11/02/17 05:44 AM.

2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 Shell Conventional/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4561911
11/02/17 08:56 AM
11/02/17 08:56 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,454
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
zzyzzx Offline
zzyzzx  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,454
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Did you just change your ATF fluid? If so sometimes you get air bubbles in the system when you do this and they work themselves out over a few days, causing the fluid level to drop at the dipstick.

Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4561917
11/02/17 09:09 AM
11/02/17 09:09 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 153
New Jersey
Ursatdx Offline
Ursatdx  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 153
New Jersey
Are the Hyundais' not checked in neutral?

Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4561976
11/02/17 10:39 AM
11/02/17 10:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
Connecticut
If you're gonna check in cold, make sure you also know what the hot reading when idling is. They can be drastically different. I probably have 1-2" difference between hot and cold. But they are always at those same 2 levels. So I can check either way. I too would be concerned about black or white stuff. The dip stick should only show red or brownish red fluid. Black fluid is long past changing. A mixture of those colors is baffling as they could represent air, water, anti-freeze, power steering fluid, and/or motor oil leakage.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: NothingNew] #4561978
11/02/17 10:40 AM
11/02/17 10:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,416
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,416
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted By: NothingNew
Originally Posted By: Oro_O



The total system capacity is on average about 10qts. Unless you went wild, you can't have added so much as to cause a problem.


What does the "average" ATF system capacity have to do with the capacity or ATF level of a specific vehicle? I help service two different vehicles that each have a total system capacity of 7.x quarts. Adding 10 quarts would cause a problem.


It is really quite obvious. If he put in 1/2 qt. More, as he was intimating, it would not be fatal. Not rocket science.

Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4562021
11/02/17 11:46 AM
11/02/17 11:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,390
Ontario, Canada
StevieC Offline
StevieC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 18,390
Ontario, Canada
I always check the fluid cold (engine shut-off over night cold) on level ground, and always the way the manual tells you to check it. Some will require the vehicle to be off, some will require the vehicle to be running in neutral, some will request cycling the shifter from Park to Reverse/Drive/Neutral gears etc. before checking. Some can't be checked without a special measuring tool and a temperature chart.

I have never had luck checking it "hot" because if the transmission isn't fully hot as verified by fluid temperature reading then who knows.

As for the slime on the dipstick this normal. My Santa Fe used to always have a nice coating of gunk on the dipstick on the first pull out, and then none on the second pull. It lasted no problem to 535,000km. It's when the fluid is dark and smells burn't or the transmission is shifting strangely that you might have problems to worry about.


Last edited by StevieC; 11/02/17 11:48 AM.

'18 Highlander - AMSOIL SS 0w20 / ATF / Severe Gear
'06 Santa Fe - 535,000km AMSOIL SS 0w30 / ATF (R.I.P)
Re: Freaking out about my ATF dipstick [Re: TheMidnightNarwh] #4562068
11/02/17 01:15 PM
11/02/17 01:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,896
Utah
CKN Offline
CKN  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,896
Utah
Perfect case example of why there doesn't need to be dipsticks in vehicles......

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