What Color is Transmission Fluid?

Transmission Cross Section Close-Up
The transmission fluid in your car serves as both an oil and a hydraulic fluid that helps shift gears, cool the transmission, and lubricate moving parts as you drive in San Diego. However, like every fluid in your vehicle, you will need to check transmission fluid regularly and keep an eye on its constitution so you know when it’s time to replace it. Learn more about what color transmission fluid is and what to do if you have a red fluid leaking from your car with Mossy Toyota below.

Transmission Fluid Color Guide

Over time, your vehicle’s transmission fluid color will darken from use and age. Debris and contaminants can also darken the color and change the consistency of your transmission fluid if your filter is malfunctioning. Typically, transmission fluid is translucent and dark red in color when it’s brand new. Use the guide below to determine what color your transmission fluid is and if it’s time to have it changed at a La Jolla-area service center:

  • 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 Leak

If you see a red fluid leaking from your car, it’s most likely a transmission fluid leak. The vibrant red color in transmission fluid makes it easy to spot and identify in your driveway or at a Chula Vista shopping center. However, there are other ways to identify a transmission fluid leak when you check your vehicle:

  • Odor: Transmission fluid usually 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 tends to leak in front of the car from the middle.

Avoid Costly Transmission Problems

Your vehicle’s transmission is an essential part of your engine, to say the least. In order to keep your vehicle running smoothly on Carlsbad roads, follow the tips below to keep your transmission in like-new condition:

  • Choose the Right Fluid: With more advanced automatic transmission systems available, it’s important to make sure the right automatic transmission fluid and genuine OEM parts are being used.
  • Follow Your Owner’s Manual: Consult your owner’s manual to see what fluid to use, and to see the recommended maintenance schedule for your specific vehicle.
  • Keep Up with Transmission Service: Regularly scheduled servicecan help catch issues before they become severe, and your local authorized dealership will know when you inspect and replace transmission components or perform a transmission flush.

Get Transmission Service at Mossy Toyota

If you notice your transmission fluid is dark brown or black in color, or if you have a red fluid leaking from your car, it’s time to visit the Mossy Toyota service center. Our team of technicians will inspect your transmission and replace your transmission fluid so it’s new and ready for your San Diego commute. Read our other service tips for more DIY car care information or contact our team if you have any questions about your vehicle’s transmission!

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