What Color is Transmission Fluid?

Service - Under the hood

If you find red fluid leaking from your car, you’ll probably cycle through a few common questions, including “what color is transmission fluid?” When transmission fluid is brand-new, the color is dark red and the appearance is translucent. So, red fluid leaking from a car is very likely transmission fluid! Below, the Hendrick Buick GMC Cary service team has more information on transmission fluid for Raleigh drivers.

Transmission Fluid Color Range

As transmission fluid ages, the color will start to darken, eventually turning a deep red. The color stages of transmission fluid can help Charlotte car owners determine when it’s time to replace the fluid completely:

  • Fresh fluid: Dark red
  • Normal color change: Darker brick red
  • Expect to replace the fluid soon: Deep blood red/rust red
  • Schedule transmission service ASAP: Burnt/almost black

As is indicated in this list, if your transmission fluid changes from a deep blood red to a burnt or almost black color, you may need more than a fluid change. Schedule service as soon as possible to have your transmission system inspected.

Why is There Red Fluid Leaking from My Car?

Red fluid leaking from a car almost always indicates a transmission fluid leak. Other factors that can help confirm whether you have a transmission fluid leak include:

  • Odor: If the fluid smells like petroleum, it’s likely transmission fluid. Fluid requiring replacement will have a burnt odor.
  • Look and feel: Transmission fluid looks and feels oily/slick, similar to the consistency of engine oil and brake fluid.
  • Where is the fluid leaking?: A transmission fluid leak will usually occur in the front middle area of the vehicle.

Preventing Transmission Issues

Keep these tips at the forefront of your mind to prevent future transmission problems:

  • Use the proper fluid: Check your owner’s manual to be sure you’re using the correct transmission fluid for your vehicle’s transmission type.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations: The owner’s manual should also recommend a schedule to follow for fluid replacement.
  • Don’t skip transmission service: Have your transmission system inspected regularly and serviced when needed. Component replacements or a transmission flush may be necessary at some point, and it’s best not to delay them.

Schedule Transmission Service in Cary, NC!

Have additional questions related to “what color is transmission fluid?” Hendrick Buick GMC Cary has the service information needed to be an informed car owner in Cary! Contact us at your convenience to speak with our service experts.

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