What Color Is Transmission Fluid – Different Colored Transmission Fluid Explained

what color is transmission fluid

Transmission is an essential component of a vehicle’s mechanics. A car’s transmission system sends the necessary power to the wheels at the right time to achieve the desired speed. Your transmissions, like your engine, require fluid to produce pressure, decrease friction, avoid overheating, and keep internal components clean. The color of the transmission fluid gets generated by a dye applied to assist you in identifying it from other fluids in your automobiles, such as engine oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and antifreeze. Now you might be thinking about what colors is transmission fluid?

Quick Answer: Like many other automotive fluids, transmission fluid gets colored to make identification easier. The color of a transparent dark crimson will darken with time as it gets used, and if it is pretty old, it can cause more harm to your transmission.

The color of your car’s automatic transmission fluid can assist avoid transmission problems and serve as an indicator of your transmission’s general condition. Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about transmission fluid color.

What Is Transmission Fluid?

It gets noted that transmission fluid is considered the component’s lifeblood since it plays a significant part in smooth gear changing and transmitting engine power to the drive wheels.

Transmission fluids provide various functions, and they protect gear sets from corrosion, lubricant bearing, and gear systems and guarantee that frictional properties are appropriate for smooth clutch engagement.

The transmission fluid color warns you when anything in the transmission line needs to get serviced.

What color is Transmission Fluid?

The transmission fluid color changes as it ages and acquires pollutants such as debris and dirt while subjected to friction. So, what color is transmission fluid? When do you know the liquid is in good condition and does not require replacement? Transmission fluid is often pink or red.

Because impurities travel through the system and mix with the fluid, the initial bright red color might fade to various shades over time.

Transmission Fluid Color Chart

Here’s a color chart for transmission fluid, and it can assist you in determining whether there are any problems with your transmission fluid. Each fluid color gets explained in detail below, along with a proposed course of action.


When the fluid is brand new, it is transparent red. It may be difficult to see on the dipstick, but it will turn bright to dark pink or crimson if you wipe it with a clean white cloth.

This color and the proper amount will perform nicely with your transmission system. Check your fluid regularly and schedule routine maintenance, such as transmission flushes, to maintain it bright red and full.

Light Brown

After use, the transmission fluid’s red color fades to light brown. There’s no need to worry because the fluid is still in fine condition with this color. The fluid begins to smell like burnt oil at this point. Please consider changing your fluid. However, slightly translucent indicates that the fluid is in good condition.

As a result, such fluid is safe. Maintain this level of fluid and look for leakage, and your drivetrain should outlast the duration of your vehicle.

Dark Brown

Transmission fluid that is murky or dark brown is old and contaminated. Inadequate lubrication causes intense wearing and damage to interior components. Dark brown transmission fluid also raises the temperature inside the transmission, leading to transmission breakdown soon.

When you notice the transmission fluid of this shade, you must act quickly before it causes harm. Change your vehicle’s transmission filter or fluid at an auto service center.


This shade signifies that your transmission fluid is in bad condition. The transmission fluid has become oxidized, filthy, and polluted. The presence of a burned odor indicates oxidization.

In this situation, you must act promptly. Please consider switching your fluid. If you see any signs of imminent deterioration, you’ll have to replace the entire transmission. (Phentermine) Get support by towing the vehicle to a transmission repair as quickly as possible.


Pink is a lovely, sparkling shade, but it’s a worrying sign when transmission fluid becomes pink. The friction clutches degrade, and the seals fail when water or coolant reaches the transmission.

A leaky or broken transmission oil cooler line allows water into the transmission, resulting in transmission failure. The repair is expensive since it must be rebuilt or replaced.

How To Check Transmission Fluid Color?

Depending on the design of your vehicle, determining the composition of transmission fluid might be challenging or straightforward; here, how to find what colors transmission fluid is?

  • Dipstick: The fluid tank gets located behind the hood. To begin, lift the hood and locate the gearbox dipstick. Check the color of the fluid using the dipstick. To disclose the color, wipe the dipstick on a white tissue. Take action according to the prescribed method above, along with transmission fluid colors
  • Smelling: The fluid may also get smelled. If it has a burned odor, the gearbox has overheated, and the fluid has become oxidized.
  • Blotter test: After pouring a few droplets of ATF on the paper towel, wait about 30 seconds. If the fluid has become crimson or light brown, there is no need to treat it. The fluid is oxidized if it does not spread out and is dark in color.

When to Change Transmission Fluid?

Changing the fluid at the specified intervals in the owner’s handbook will keep the transmission in excellent working order. The basic guideline is that it should get changed every two years or 30,000–50,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. The transmission fluid’s color is a good indicator of what’s happening within your transmission.

Maintaining your transmission can not only help it survive more prolonged, but it will also save you money on rebuilds and replacements. Use the finest transmission fluid for the car to get the most out of it.

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