What Color is Transmission Fluid?

December 30th, 2018 by

Detail of a mechanic using electrnoic diagnostic equipment to tune a car

Transmission fluid is dyed a translucent, dark red shade to make it easier for you to identify contaminants. At Wilde Lexus Sarasota, our goal is to ensure your new vehicle is safe to drive on Lakewood Ranch roads. If you’re worried that your transmission fluid color is off, read our guide. Our service center will help you identify signs that your manual or automatic transmission fluid color is healthy or worrisome.

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Manual and Automatic Transmission Fluid Color Guide

As your vehicle ages, your manual or automatic transmission fluid color will darken, but it can also change color due to a malfunctioning transmission filter. Here is a transmission fluid color guide to help you determine whether or not you need a fluid flush or a new filter.

  • 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

If your manual or automatic transmission fluid color is a deep, rusty red or looks burnt, Venice drivers should get in touch with our mechanics.

How to Identify a Transmission Fluid Leak

Is red fluid leaking from your car? Since most transmission fluid is red, a reddish puddle beneath your car is a sign that you have a transmission fluid leak. Here are a few other ways of knowing when there’s a transmission leak:

  • Odor: Transmission fluid typically has a petroleum smell. When it’s time to change the fluid, it will smell burnt.
  • Consistency: Transmission fluid looks and feels oily and slick, just like brake fluid or engine oil.
  • Location of the leak: With a transmission fluid leak, it typically happens in the middle area of the front of your vehicle below the engine bay.

Stay On Top of Transmission Problems

  • Advanced automatic transmission systems are now available, so it’s vital that you’re making sure you’re using the right transmission fluid and genuine OEM parts.
  • Read through the owner’s manual to see which fluid to use, as well as to learn the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
  • Having your car serviced regularly helps to catch issues before they become serious. Our service department will know when to replace transmission components or have a transmission flush done.

How Often Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid?

Before we answer this question, we’d like to remind Tampa drivers that you should regularly check your manual or automatic transmission fluid color and go by what you see. You should also consult your manufacturer’s guide for highly accurate recommendations about service intervals for your particular Lexus model. That said, the general rule of thumb is that for vehicles with automatic transmissions, you should change your transmission fluid out every 30,000 miles to 60,000 miles.

As for manual transmissions, they generate much less heat than automatic transmissions. This means that you may never need a transmission fluid flush, but that ambiguity emphasizes that you should keep a close eye on the color of your transmission fluid and continue to get comprehensive transmission service every 60,000 miles just in case.

Trust Wilde Lexus Sarasota for Your Service Needs

If your transmission fluid is leaking, or if your manual or automatic transmission fluid color looks too dark or too red, schedule a service appointment at Wilde Lexus Sarasota so we can inspect and identify the issue. We’ll get your vehicle on the Bradenton roads in no time. Before coming in, check our rotating service specials and coupons available to help save on your visit!

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