What Color is Transmission Fluid?

transmission fluid


Transmission fluid is specially dyed for identification purposes. Transmission fluid found in a new vehicle begins as a translucent dark red color. If you have questions about the color of your transmission fluid, our handy guide below can help. You can also contact the experts at our service center for more information.

Transmission Fluid Color Guide

As the transmission fluid in your vehicle ages and you drive more and more on the roads of Arlington, the transmission fluid color will darken. This can also be caused by contaminants getting past a malfunctioning transmission filter. The color guide below should let you know if there is an issue that needs to be addressed by a professional.

  • 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 Car

If you notice red fluid leaking from your car, there is a good chance that this is caused by a transmission fluid leak. Fortunately, because of its red color, the problem can be easily identified. Additional ways to determine where or not there is a transmission fluid leak are as follows:

  • Odor: Transmission fluid usually smells like petroleum. If you notice a burning smell, it is time for it to be replaced.
  • Consistency: Transmission fluid should have a similar look and feel to brake fluid or engine oil (oily and slick).
  • Location of the leak: A transmission fluid leak usually occurs at the front of the car from the middle.

Prevent Transmission Problems

  • With more advanced automatic transmission systems available, now it is even more important than ever to use the proper automatic transmission fluid and genuine OEM parts.
  • Be sure to follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your particular make and model. Your owner’s manual should contain that information.
  • To help prevent issues before they become major problems, it is essential to keep up with regularly scheduled service. Alexandria Volkswagen can inspect and replace transmission components or perform a transmission flush.

Make Alexandria Volkswagen Your Destination for Automotive Service

If your transmission fluid color is too dark or your car is leaking and you want to identify the issue, the team at Alexandria Volkswagen would be more than happy to help. Set up an appointment today, or contact us with any questions. We would love to provide any car care tips you may need, like how to get the smoke smell out of a car.

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