Transmission Fluid Color Has a Lot to Say About Transmission Health

If you have spots on your garage floor underneath the center of your automobile, you could have a transmission fluid leak. Depending on the color of the fluid, you might have more problems than just the leak. Automotive Specialists, Inc., services and repairs transmissions, and we’d be happy to ensure your vehicle’s transmission is in tiptop shape. The color of the transmission fluid will help us make this determination. Here’s what the different colors mean.

Bright Red = Good

New transmission fluid is bright red and you can see through it. When your vehicle’s transmission fluid is this color, the fluid is viscous and ready to do its job. This job includes lubricating transmission parts so they don’t produce too much friction and overheat. It’s important that transmission fluid be clean and clear or it cannot do that job. This is why bright red or red transmission fluid is a good sign.

Light Brown = Okay

Light brown transmission fluid has a few miles on it and although it can still do its job okay, you should think about changing it soon. The fluid has changed from bright red to light brown because it’s getting old, dirty, and losing its viscosity. As long as the fluid is light brown and still translucent, you won’t need to have it changed right away, but you will need a transmission fluid flush soon.

Dark Brown to Black = Bad

Usually, transmission fluid flush and fills are recommended anywhere from 30,000 miles to 50,000 miles depending on your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the exact mileage milestone. Regardless of the mileage, if your transmission fluid is dark brown or black, you need to have it changed right away. By the time the fluid reaches this color, it has oxidized and lost its viscosity, i.e. it isn’t effective anymore.

Pink = Really Bad

You would think that pink transmission fluid would be okay since red transmission fluid is okay, but, unfortunately, pink is the worst color transmission fluid could be. Pink transmission fluid means the fluid is being diluted by radiator coolant, and this doesn’t happen unless you have a serious crack or leak somewhere in the radiator or transmission system. Red is good and pink is very bad.

If it’s been a long time since you’ve had your transmission serviced, give Automotive Specialists, Inc., a call at 303-848-2901. You’ll find our shop in Westminster, CO, and we’d be happy to give your car, truck, or SUV a full inspection and service.

Photo by Chat9780 from Getty Images via Canva Pro