Automatic Transmission fluid level

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Apr 8, 2016
Houston, TX
I changed my fluid and filter last weekend and have been checking both hot and cold fluid levels. The cold was spot on at the high mark, but the hot level didn't seem like it was even reaching the dipstick. I put about 3.5 qts in at the initial fill up. Now up to about 4.5 qts and the cold level is above the cold marks and the hot level is in the cold level range. There are no leaks. When I check it for the hot level it's been running/driving for at least 15 minutes at only in town speeds. Does it need a longer warm up time at more speed? Which level is more accurate, cold or hot? I assumed to go off the hot as with every other car I've owned, but wondering what your experiences have been.
Hot should be 'almost too hot to hold fingers tightly on the dipstick'. 15 minutes around town won't likely do that - go flog it down the highway. Hot is what matters most, since that represents your transmission under normal operating conditions (most of the time). I ignore the 'cold' markings on mine.
Have you added a tranny cooler? You’ve increased the capcity if you have.
I think I just realized my mistake after reading the manual, Again. I was taking cold as to be not running and was checking it after sitting all night. I’m probably pretty close to the allowed cold range when I thought I was checking hot. Anyway, I’ll get it good and hot and check.
Where was it when “hot”? Idling?

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