This may seem like a silly question but anyone know how high the fluid should be on the transmission dipstick when the engine is off? This is for a 2000 X 5.4 L engine 4x4. Reason I ask is because I am having a heck of time reading my dipstick with the new fluid, not dark enough in color. I can see it easily when the engine is off, it is reading a little high but with the engine in park and idle seems like the fluid is all over the place on the stick and I want to be sure I have not over filled or underfilled.
I don't think you can get a consistent reading with the engine off. That is why it has to be checked while running. If you cannot read the front side of the dipstick, look at the back side. This seems to work for me. Good luck!
Thanks for the response. I am feeling foolish having such trouble reading a dipstick. I have tried looking at both sides and looking at it in different light. I am thinking now maybe I am a little low and that is why I am having trouble seeing it, I guess I can always drain some out if I am wrong.
Hopper, you can try scuffing the back side of the dipstick with emory cloth or fine sandpaper. Sometimes this helps. Before checking it though, be sure and take it for a good long drive. Remember, you're heating up 17 quarts of fluid. The extra fluid should clear out of the dipstick and be easier to read also.
You gotta make sure the trans is fully warmed up (as suggested above w/the long drive). Your truck has to be on a fairly level surface, I've gotten wonky readings while at the gas pumps that have a slight slope away from the pump. Leave the engine running and cycle the trans from 'PARK', all the way down to '1', and back up to 'PARK', letting the trans engage in each gear.
I've never been able to get a solid marking on my trans dipstick. I always get a half-mark, or a dry spot where the fluid is marking.
Thanks for the input. I was finaly able to get a reliable reading by looking at where the fluid started to run from on the stick when holding the dipstick at a slight angle. A word of caution for those of you doing your own tranny fluid changes. When I was was filling mine up, i spilled some and the fluid went into the #2 plug and coil socket on the engine. Engine started to miss until I figured out what was going on and cleaned the COP and sparkplug. Scarry thing was that the engine miss felt like a tranny problem. As usual, another learning experience for me.