How do you check transmission fluid without the manual?

If it is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle you should see a transmission dipstick near the back of the engine. Transmissions are often checked with the engine running and in neutral but some vehicle manufacturers requre that their transmissions be checked with the engine off. Always have the vehicle parked on a level surface to check the transmission fluid. Transmission fluid should be bright red. If it has turned dark and smells burnt you might be having transmission problems. When automatic transmission clutches slip they produce heat that burns the fluid. You should never have a burnt smell to the transmission fluid. If the transmission still shifts ok you should have the fluid changed every 60,000 miles at least. Some manufacturers suggest more often. If all else fails, go to a full service gas station and ask them to check the transmission fluid and watch while they do it.