What Color is Transmission Fluid?

Transmission Fluid Change

Most Fairmont drivers who visit our service center for routine service or maintenance ask, “what color is transmission fluid supposed to be, and when should I replace it?” Transmission fluid is dyed for identification purposes. So, when it’s brand-new, it’s translucent and dark red. Learn more about your vehicle’s vital car fluid and its properties at Dan Cava's Buick GMC. Don’t hesitate to contact our service center or visit our facility near Fairmont if you have any questions.



Transmission Fluid Color Guide

Transmission fluid darkens over time and as you drive your vehicle, but a color change can also be due to contaminants that have made it past a malfunctioning transmission filter. Below is a basic color guide to follow to determine if your transmission system has an issue, or if you simply just need to replace the fluid:

  • Brand-new fluid: Dark red
  • Normal: Darker brick red
  • Service your vehicle soon: Deep blood red/rust red
  • Service your vehicle immediately: Burnt/almost black 

Red Fluid Leaking From the Car: What Does This Mean? 

Do you notice red fluid leaking from your car? If so, it is most likely a transmission fluid leak. The red color makes it easy to identify the problem, but there are other ways to know if it’s a transmission leak:

  • Odor: Transmission fluid often smells like petroleum. If the fluid needs to be changed, it’ll smell burnt.
  • Consistency: Transmission fluid will look/feel oily and slick, like engine oil or brake fluid.
  • Location of the Leak: Transmission fluid usually leaks usually come from the front of the vehicle, in the center.

How Do I Get Ahead of the Transmission Problems?

Stay on top of things by remembering these handy service tips to prevent any future transmission problems: 

  • Purchase the Right Fluid: With more advanced automatic transmission systems available, it’s critical to ensure you’re buying the correct automatic transmission fluid and only using genuine OEM parts
  • Follow Your Owner’s Manual: Always check your owner’s manual to see what fluid to use and the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle. 
  • Keep Up with Transmission Service: Regularly scheduled servicehelps catch and prevent any issues before becoming severe. Our Bridgeport service center can inspect and replace transmission components or perform a transmission flush. 

Trust Dan Cava's Buick GMC for Your Routine Service Appointments!

Learn more service tips, like how often to change the oil or how to check the transmission fluid by checking out our service guides. Have any questions about your transmission or need to schedule your next routine service appointment in the Morgantown or Grafton area? Give us a call! We offer competitive rates and unbeatable service specials.

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