Did You Know that Transmission Fluid Color Tells You a Lot?

Transmission fluid undergoes a pretty big transformation during its life cycle. It starts out one shade and gradually takes on different colors and transparencies as it ages. Here’s what North Texas Transmission wants you to know about the color of your car’s transmission fluid.


Transmission fluid that’s red is most likely brand new, especially if it’s still almost crystal clear and easy to see through. The big problem with red transmission fluid is that you really shouldn’t be seeing it at all. If you do, it means that there is a leak somewhere and it needs to be addressed right away. Your car’s transmission needs every drop of transmission fluid, and really can’t afford to lose any of it.


Pink transmission fluid is another massive problem. What this means is that water has somehow gotten into the car’s transmission and mixed with the fluid. So, you basically have two problems. There’s a leak, because you’re seeing the pink fluid. You’ve also got water mixed in with transmission fluid, which is an oil, and the transmission does not need even a single drop of water inside it. This is a big sign to get the car in to a specialist.


Brown transmission fluid has been working hard and doing its job, keeping the transmission parts lubricated and clean. Over time, that red fluid gradually becomes browner and opaquer, because it both breaks down due to heat and it picks up debris and gunk. As with red and pink fluid, the real problem here is if you’re seeing transmission fluid under your car at all, because it means that there’s a leak.


Black transmission fluid has given its all for your car’s transmission. It’s at the end of its life cycle and it really needs to be replaced. This color of transmission fluid tells you just how hard that fluid has worked to keep your car’s transmission in the best possible condition. It’s easy to mistake black transmission fluid for engine oil, so it’s important to really check out where the leak is coming from to be sure.

Seeing a transmission fluid leak? Or do you feel some other reason that your transmission might need inspecting? Give us a call at North Texas Transmission in Arlington, TX. We’ll take a close look at your car’s transmission and transmission fluid and let you know what we find so that you can make the best decision possible for your car.

Photo by chat9780 from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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