What Color Is Transmission Fluid
Engine Diagnostics

Clean transmission fluid should be red. As it ages, it becomes darker and may appear a burnt red when in need of a change. When it comes time to change out your vehicle’s transmission fluid, trust the technicians at the Wolfchase Nissan service center to help you out! After learning more about transmission fluid and our services at Wolfchase Nissan make your way from Memphis to our service center to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

What Does Transmission Fluid Do?

Transmission fluid is absolutely essential for your car to work properly. But what exactly does transmission fluid do? Transmission fluid works much like motor oil in that it works to cool and lubricate the moving parts inside. All of your gears are metal-on-metal contact points and are spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute. That means your gears are generating huge amounts of friction, and friction generates heat. Transmission fluid lowers the friction and heat generated by your gears, allowing them to move and change efficiently. However, there’s one main difference between transmission fluid and engine oil. Transmission fluid helps build hydraulic pressure that actually makes the gears in an automatic transmission change. That’s why it’s important to use the proper transmission fluid and not just any kind of oil.

Transmission Fluid Color Guide

While your vehicle’s transmission fluid color will darken with age, it can also be a sign of contaminants getting past an old or malfunctioning transmission filter. Use this basic color guide to check your vehicle’s transmission fluid colors and determine if there might be an issue or if it’s time for a transmission fluid change:

  • Brand-new fluid: Dark red – if your transmission fluid is translucent red, then it’s perfectly healthy and ready to go!
  • Normal: Darker brick red – transmission fluid may become a bit more opaque and darker after a few thousand miles, but is still perfectly safe to continue using
  • Service your vehicle soon: Deep blood red/rust red – if your transmission fluid is a cloudy, deep burgundy, then it’s time for it to be replaced.
  • Service your vehicle immediately: Burnt/almost black – if you notice that your transmission fluid is brown or almost black, there’s a serious issue that needs to be attended to as soon as possible.

So what color should transmission fluid be? While there’s no one answer, you should absolutely make sure your transmission fluid is not overly dark, cloudy, or brown.

Red Fluid Leaking from Car

If you notice your vehicle leaking red fluid, this is the transmission. This red color helps easily identify the problem, but sometimes, it takes more than the color to know about a transmission leak. Other signs to be aware of 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.

Stay On Top of Transmission Problems

It’s vital for your model to be free of leaks and other transmission issues to run smoothly on Arlington streets. In order to get ahead of transmission problems, follow this advice from Wolfchase Nissan:

  • Consult the owner’s manual to ensure you’re using the right type of transmission fluid, and to keep up with the recommended maintenance schedule.
  • Not all transmissions are the same, and with advanced automatic transmission systems available make sure the right type of transmission fluid and genuine OEM parts are being used for your model.
  • Be sure to keep up with regularly scheduled service appointments to help catch issues early on, avoiding worse problems down the road.

Find Reliable Car Service in Bartlett

If you notice the transmission fluid in your vehicle is leaking or the color is darker than normal, bring your model to our service center! Our technicians are standing by to help you get your new Nissan in working order. Contact our Nissan service center near Memphis today to schedule a service appointment or with any questions, such as what will happen if you don’t change your oil or why your steering wheel might be shaking.

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