If you’re having transmission problems or need to order parts, you’ll need to know what kind of transmission is installed in your vehicle. Knowing the year, make and model isn’t always enough – in some cases it can depend on the size of the engine and/or number of speeds it has. For example, a 2010 Toyota Highlander L4 2.7L has a U660E transmission, while a V6 3.5L has a U151E transmission.
1) ATRA’s Online Lookup Tool
You can search ATRA’s database by year, make and model to find the transmission type.
2) Check Your Owner’s Manual
One of the best places to find vehicle-specific information is in the glove box. Your owner’s manual contains a wealth of information, such as the type of transmission, the kind of transmission fluid to use, and how often you should change the fluid and filter. If your vehicle didn’t come with an owners manual (which is common if you bought it used), there are a few other ways to figure out which transmission you have.
3) White Card on the Driver’s Door
On the inside edge of the driver’s door is a tag that lists the year of the vehicle, country of origin, the type of engine installed, and usually, the transmission.
4) Look Under the Hood or on the Transmission Oil Pan
Another way is to crawl under the vehicle and look for part numbers. Using a good flashlight, look for part numbers stamped into the transmission pan or the transmission itself. Your local auto part store or dealer will be able to cross-reference the numbers to determine the kind of transmission the part belongs to.
5) Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Lookup
Every vehicle has a unique 17-character identification number located on a metal dash plaque that can be seen from the outside through the windshield at the edge of the dashboard on the driver’s side. It can also be found on the door tag (inside the driver’s door) or on the vehicle registration/insurance/finance papers. Each digit of the VIN number provides a different piece of information about that particular vehicle including the factory installed engine, transmission type, where it was built, etc. To decode the number, call your local dealer, repair shop or parts store and they’ll tell you what transmission you have. It should look like this: