Tips

What the 5 Different Colors of Your Transmission Fluid Me

Most people don’t think about transmission fluid and that’s okay; that’s our job here at Eurozone Motors. Checking the transmission fluid is something that should be done at least once a year, although every six months is better. Fluid flushes are generally done every 30,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual for your car’s specific schedule. It’s important that your vehicle’s transmission fluid doesn’t get lost in the oil change, tire rotation, and brake inspection shuffle, and the color of the fluid says a lot about the health of your transmission.

Red Fluid That’s Translucent

Bright red and translucent transmission fluid says your transmission is healthy (barring any other signs of transmission trouble) and the fluid does not need to be changed. Bright red/red means the fluid is clean, free of oxidation, and capable of protecting the transmission for miles to come.

Light Brown Fluid That’s Semi-Translucent

Light brown transmission fluid that is still somewhat translucent is still okay, as well. This fluid is starting to show its age, but it hasn’t aged to the point of needing a change. The light brown color suggests a little wear and tear but not enough to worry about. You’ll need a change soon but you can wait.

Dark Brown Fluid That’s Opaque

Once the transmission fluid has changed from light brown to dark brown, it’s time to change it. Usually, the fluid is also opaque, meaning you cannot see through it anymore. This fluid is dirty and beginning to oxidize. It’s also old, likely having been in your vehicle’s transmission for at least 30,000 miles.

Black Fluid That’s Opaque

Black transmission fluid means trouble. Change it immediately to avoid transmission damage. The fluid is oxidized and unable to protect transmission parts from heat and friction. In fact, leaving the fluid in the transmission will damage the parts, as the fluid is dirty and carries grime into the transmission.

Pink Fluid That’s Translucent or Opaque

The only time transmission fluid turns pink is if it’s being diluted by engine coolant. As you can imagine, this is not a good sign for your European automobile. Transmission fluid is enclosed in the transmission completely. Dilution indicates a serious breach that may require a rebuilt or new transmission.

Located in Los Angeles, CA, Eurozone Motors would be happy to inspect your transmission and change the fluid if it needs to be flushed and refilled. We’ll also replace the filter. Call our shop to schedule an appointment.

Photo by Batman2000 from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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