Transmission fluid 1, 2, 3
For engines with transmission fluid, a quarterly check, or more if used often, is recommended prevention. For hydraulic transmissions, start by running the engine for a few minutes and then shut it down.
Check these 3 indicators:
1. fluid level - how has it changed?
2. viscosity - with a dab of oil between your pointer and thumb, pull fingers apart and look at the shape. An hour glass shape means your oil is good.
3. color - pink is good, maple syrup colored indicates abnormal wear on the clutch plate, and anything metallic is wear on gears, bearings, or bushings
* smell - tranmission fluid will have a sweet smell. If it doesn't smell sweet and isn't pink, your transmission uses gear oil. Gear oil should be clear like oil. If abused it will take on a burnt color.
Generally, the transmission fluid can be pumped out with your oil pump. To ensure a longer wear of the oil you're putting in, suck out the old oil, flush it with a little bit of new, and suck it back out again to remove all contaminants. Most transmissions operate on 30 weight or "F" type transmission fluids; the later is preferred.
When finished, note the engine's hours in your maintenance log book.