|Quote, originally posted by tmtalpey »|
I just wanted to highlight a couple of important points in your useful quote, and mention that 80C is 176F and can scald the skin right off your hands. Please be careful if attempting this.
Also, be aware that the transmission is an extraordinarily high precision component and any dirt at all entering it will hasten its demise.
Personally, I would strongly advise against even checking the level unless there is an issue, and the person doing it is rather highly skilled.
Checking the ATF level when the ATF is hot is standard operating procedure with most any automatic transmission or transaxle. ATF normally expands as it heats up causing an increase in volume. Checking it when cold to the touch can result in an inaccurate level reading.
Naturally one should always whip out a clean, unsoiled hanky and wipe the dipstick on said hanky when checking the ATF level--not on one's bare fingers--so handling the hot dispstick and the few drops of hot ATF on it shouldn't be life threatening to one's person.
Also any scant few particles of dirt that make their way onto the dipstick won't damage the transaxle at all. Of course, it goes without saying to remember to wipe the dipstick clean before reinserting it back into the dipstick tube.
Note that since the invention of the automatic transmission more than half a century ago, people of all stripes have been using a dipstick to check their transmission's ATF. Huge numbers of automatic transmissions have been in service for hundreds of thousands of miles each with frequent ATF level checks performed both by skilled mechanics and laypeople alike.
It goes without saying that regular ATF changes are critical to the life of any automatic and this is one thing that Volvo and some other automakers have tried to do away with as of late by taking away the conventional dipstick and encouraging the myth of "lifetime" ATF that, as it turns out, is good only for the lifetime of the ATF itself--which most definitely is *not* the same lifetime as the vehicle. No wonder then that people are complaining of early automatic transmission and transaxle failures against the advice of the automaker.