What Color is Transmission Fluid?

December 17th, 2018 by

Hand pouring transmission fluid through funnel

Transmission fluid is specially dyed for identification purposes, and on a new vehicle, it starts as a translucent dark red color. Learn more about this vital vehicle component at Apple Tree Acura near Hendersonville, and contact our service center if you have any questions!

How to Check Transmission Fluid

One of the first things you’ll want to familiarize yourself with is how to check transmission fluid as this can help you spot issues before they get worse, which can easily be done by following these simple steps:

  1. Let your engine run for 10 minutes before proceeding, the engine must be warm to get an accurate reading. 
  2. Find the transmission fluid dipstick. On front-wheel-drive cars, it’s usually located to the right of the oil dipstick. Check your owner’s manual if you’re having trouble finding it.
  3. Remove the dipstick and touch the fluid. It should be nearly clear, with a pink hue. If it looks dirty or has a burnt smell, your transmission fluid needs to be replaced.
  4. Use a rag to wipe off the dipstick. Then insert it back into the stem. Pull it out again and check the level. Add more fluid if the indicator shows it’s not full.
  5. Use a funnel to bring the fluid level up to the proper level. Take care to not overfill it.

Transmission Fluid Color Guide

Your vehicle’s transmission fluid color will darken from age and vehicle use, but it can also be from contaminants getting past a malfunctioning transmission filter. Observe this basic color guide to approximate whether your transmission system has an issue or fluids need replacing in Asheville:

  • 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, it is most likely a transmission fluid leak. Thankfully, the red color makes it easy to identify the problem. Other ways to identify a transmission leak include:

  • Odor: Transmission fluid usually smells like petroleum. If the fluid needs to be changed, it will smell burnt.
  • Consistency: Transmission fluid will look/feel oily and slick like engine oil or brake fluid.
  • Location of leak: Transmission fluid tends to leak at front of the car from the middle.

Get Ahead of Transmission Problems

  • 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.
  • Consult your owner’s manual to see what fluid to use, and to see the recommended maintenance schedule for your specific vehicle.
  • Regularly scheduled service can 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.

Not that you know more about transmission fluid color, you may also be wondering if this service will hurt your wallet. While transmission fluid change costs can depend for each dealer and service center, costs can ranges from $80 to $250, and on average you can expect to pay around $100 for both automatic and manual transmission fluid changes.

Rely on Apple Tree Acura for Your Service Needs

Routine maintenance checks on your vehicle will keep you informed of the health of your transmission fluid color. If your transmission fluid color is too dark or your car is leaking and you want to identify the issue, schedule service at Apple Tree Acura and we can help get your vehicle back on Johnson City roads. You can also learn how to keep your Acura leather seats in great condition or how often to rotate your tires. Don’t forget to check out our parts and service coupons so you don’t miss out on a great deal!

More Service Tips From Apple Tree Acura

  • What Color is Transmission Fluid?

    Transmission fluid is specially dyed for identification purposes, and on a new vehicle, it starts as a translucent dark red color. Learn more about this vital vehicle component at Apple Tree Acura near Hendersonville, and contact our service center if you have any questions! How to Check Transmission Fluid One of the first things you’ll want to…

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