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Transmission Fluid Color Says a Lot

The color of your vehicle’s transmission fluid says a lot about its age, viscosity, and whether you’re on the road to transmission problems, which could be very bad. Accurate Auto stays on top of our customers’ transmission fluid because it helps us help them avoid transmission problems. We’ll check your transmission fluid every 15,000 miles to make sure it is still okay. The color of transmission fluid speaks volumes. Here’s what it is saying to you (and us).

“I’m Fine and Doing My Job”

When we raise your vehicle and check the fluid from underneath your car, truck, or C/SUV, if we see bright red and translucent transmission fluid, we know the fluid is fresh, viscous, doing its job, and doesn’t need to be changed for a while. Red is good. Bright red is great. Translucent is clean. All of these things add up to healthy transmission fluid that is lubricating parts as it should be.

“I’m Fine, But I Need to Be Changed Soon”

If we see that your transmission fluid is dark red or a little bit brown, it’s still okay, but we recommend you have it changed sooner rather than later. Depending on the color and translucency, we can probably give you an estimated lifespan of the transmission fluid in your automobile. You can then schedule a service at the appropriate time where we’ll flush the fluid and replace it with new fluid.

“Yikes! I Need to Be Changed Now!”

If your transmission fluid is dark brown or black, it needs to be flushed and changed right away. The reason why transmission fluid changes from bright red to brown to black as it ages is that is it oxidizing. Oxidation is bad for transmission fluid. Dark brown or black transmission fluid is dirty and incapable of lubricating the hundreds of transmission parts. It will cause damage if you don’t have it changed.

“Oh, Boy! There’s a Big Problem!”

Finally, your transmission is telling you there’s a big problem if the fluid is pink. When you water down red, it turns pink. In this case, the transmission fluid is being diluted with engine coolant, which doesn’t happen unless there’s a serious problem. Your transmission is cooled in the radiator well, and a mixture of transmission oil and coolant happens when the radiator well springs a leak.

Accurate Auto can check your transmission fluid if it’s been a while since you had it serviced. If you’re in Beaverton, Oswego, or Hillsboro, we are located near you. Call us today!

Photo by Batman2000 from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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