When a cold engine has sufficient transmission fluid levels, the fluid ends between the two notches at the end of the dipstick. Some vehicles do not provide accurate readings when the engines are cold, so refer to an owner’s manual before taking a cold reading.
To take a cold engine reading, open the hood, and remove the dipstick from its compartment. Wipe the dipstick with a clean cloth, and reinsert it into the compartment. Remove the dipstick again, and inspect where the fluid ends on the dipstick to take the reading. If the fluid ends outside of the two notches between the end of the dipstick and the closest notch, then the vehicle needs additional transmission fluid.