The Different Colors Of Transmission Fluid And What They Mean

Do you realize how telling the color of transmission fluid is? While displaying the general condition of your vehicle’s transmission, it can assist in the diagnosis of transmission problems.

Your car’s transmission fluid is often bright red for a purpose and is clean and fresh. The vivid red hue eventually becomes maroon and brown, though. Should you be really worried if this occurs? The answer you seek will be revealed in this essay.

Transmission Fluid: Its Importance

Your car’s gearbox plays a critical role in setting it in motion. Despite the fact that the engine generates the majority of the power, the transmission’s role is to transfer that power to the wheels.

To minimize friction between gear sets, produce pressure, clean internal components, and avoid overheating, the transmission needs enough fluid. Every component in a transmission system benefits from the fluid’s protection and cleanliness.

Examining the color of the transmission fluid

1. By following these methods, you may detect the color of the transmission fluid in your car’s transaxle or transmission.
2. Find the gearbox dipstick by opening the hood of your automobile.
3. The filling tube dipstick should be remove.
4. Identify the fluid’s color.

Try to ascertain the color of the liquid by inspecting the end of the dipstick. To get a more precise reading, you can drop some transmission fluid onto a piece of white, clean paper.

You may make use of a color chart for automatic transmission fluid. Compare the transmission fluid’s color to the fluid color chart. This will provide you with a precise explanation and the necessary instructions.

Let’s first examine the many shades of transmission fluid that you can encounter.

What Transmission Fluid Color Means?


This hue characterizes the majority of fresh transmission fluids. It demonstrates that the fluid is clean and uncontaminated. The viscous, transparent transmission fluid has not corroded and may effectively shield the transmission while making gear shifting easier. This suggests that if the transmission fluid is still this color, there is absolutely no need for any action.


Never let your transmission fluid get pink. This tint in the transmission fluid denotes the presence of water or engine coolant. Your transmission is readily damaged by this diluted transmission fluid.

Take your car to your neighborhood mechanic’s shop if you notice that the color of the transmission fluid is pink. With the aid of a qualified technician, have the fluid from your transmission drained.


The transmission is still in good functioning order if the fluid is orange. It does, however, suggest that the fluid is aging.

As long as the orange tint of the transmission fluid allows you to see through it, there is no need to change it just yet. Before draining out the transmission fluid and replenishing the gear mechanism, you can continue to use your car for more days or weeks.

Light Brown

A faint brown tint in your transmission fluid is another sign that it needs to be replaced. You may not yet need to change the fluid because it may still be transparent and not endanger your transmission.

Transmission fluid that is only light brown is not always a concern. Before replacing the fluid, you can still drive your automobile for a little while.

Brown/Dark Brown

However, you must replace the transmission fluid in your car as soon as its color changes to dark brown or brown. This often happens after your car has driven up to 30,000 kilometers.

Transmission fluid that is tan or dark tan is no longer transparent but opaque. The fluid in the gearbox is no longer transparent. It is no longer viscous and is oxidizing, which means that air bubbles are forming in the fluid and preventing it from performing its function properly.

Therefore, as soon as you discover that your transmission fluid has changed color, change it immediately.

Additional Methods to Examine Your Transmission Fluid’s Condition

There are several methods to assess the general health of your transmission fluid.

The Smell of the Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid has a scent. If it smells burned, the fluid is just overheated and entirely oxidised.

As a result, the fluid produces more heat, friction, and poor lubrication. The seals and internal components may sustain significant damage and excessive wear as a result.

Burnt and odorous transmission fluid oftentimes already suggests that the gear system has sustained some internal damage. Change the transmission fluid right away, and then have the technician assess the general health of the transmission.

The Blotter Test

A few drops of transmission fluid should be placed on a paper towel. Wait approximately 30 seconds. No additional action is necessary if the fluid is light brown or red, or if it spreads across the paper towel. This means that the transmission fluid is in perfect condition.

However, if the transmission fluid does not spread across the paper towel and appears dark, it means it has totally oxidized. You will need to change the filter and fluids, or flush the transmission fluid from your car.

The importance of consistency

The color of your vehicle’s transmission fluid is one of the strongest indicators of its overall condition. You might also evaluate its fragrance and consistency to back up your suspicions.

The majority of transmission fluids are red, while others are yellow or even blue. The color of the transmission fluid progressively changes as it ages.

Consider replacing the transmission fluid if the hue has turned dark brown. You may extend the life of your vehicle’s gearbox by safeguarding it via maintenance. You also avoid costly rebuilds or replacements.

For maximum performance, don’t settle for anything less than the best transmission fluid for your vehicle. If you have any concerns or need assistance with anything transmission or converter-related, please visit our resources and help page for tips, techniques, and how-tos.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *