What Color is Transmission Fluid?

Car Care

Understanding Transmission Fluid

Your vehicle's transmission transfers power from your engine to your wheels, and the automatic transmission fluid makes automatic shifting possible. Without these two things, your vehicle wouldn't move at all.

What Color Should My Transmission Fluid Be?

New transmission fluid should be a red translucent color. Transmission fluid is actually dyed this red color to make it easier to identify. The fluid will become darker as time passes, causing it to go from its original red to a dark, burnt color due to age and excessive driving. It can also occur when contaminants flow through an improperly functioning transmission filter.

Other Transmission Warning Signs

Color isn't the only factor to determine if your transmission fluid needs to be changed or not. Typically, it should be changed every 30,000 miles or 2 years to ensure your vehicle's safety, as well as your own.

Are there any Other Symptoms Show My Transmission Fluid Is Bad?

  • Slipping and improper shifting   
  • Dashboard warning light   
  • Sharp pungent smell or burned-rubber odor   
  • Leakage   
  • Clicking or buzzing sounds