Is Transmission Fluid Red or Brown?

1 May
Is Transmission Fluid Red or Brown?

Is Transmission Fluid Red or Brown?

The answer to the titled question is both. Your car, truck, utility vehicle, or van’s transmission fluid changes color as it ages. Generally, the fluid should be changed every 30,000 miles. If it has been at least that long since you last had your transmission serviced, bring your vehicle into DOC Auto for a quick inspection. We can determine the health of your transmission based upon its color. The differences are listed below.

Red Means New

Red means that your transmission’s fluid is new and doing its job to the best of its ability. The fluid is responsible for lubricating the gears, protecting them, reducing their heat, and helping the transmission to shift gears. Red fluid is translucent and an indication that you don’t need to have your it changed at this moment.

Light Brown Means Getting Old

Light brown means that the transmission fluid is starting to age. In some cases, the fluid may look more orange than light brown, but either way, it’s time to start thinking about getting your fluid changed. You may have a few more miles out of the fluid depending on how translucent it still is, but you’re on the road to a necessary flush and refill soon.

Brown Means Old

When the fluid turns brown, it also turns opaque and is no longer able to do its job. This means that it is too old and you need to have it changed right away. Brown fluid is not circulating through the transmission properly and, on top of its age, the fluid level is likely too low due to dissipation.

Black Means Dangerously Old

If your transmission has a black and opaque fluid, it is actually damaging your transmission rather than protecting it. The fluid needs to be changed right away in order to prevent further damage to your vehicle’s transmission. It’s important to never let it get so old that it turns black. This fluid is oxidized and filled with air bubbles.

Pink Means Diluted

Finally, if your fluid looks like a strawberry milkshake, you’ve got a serious problem. Pink and frothy fluid is a combination of the fluid in the transmission mixed with engine coolant. This usually happens when there is a breach between the two systems. This diluted fluid will damage your transmission if you drive your automobile.

DOC Auto in Fredericksburg, VA, can check the fluid in your transmission for you and let you know whether it needs to be changed. Stop by our shop or call us today.

Leave a Comment

Chatham Heights
175 Chatham Heights Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
(540) 899-3732

Courthouse Road
10734 Courthouse Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
(540) 710-0173

Monday – Friday:
8am to 6pm

8am to 2pm

Closed on Sunday