Transmission fluid is red, but it isn’t the only red fluid in your automobile’s engine. Power steering fluid is also red, and, in some cases, radiator fluid can be red, as well. If you see red fluid leaking from the center of your automobile, this is most likely transmission fluid. Anything leaking more toward the front underneath the engine is either power steering fluid or coolant. AutoFix discusses transmission fluid, which should be changed every 30,000 miles or per your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation, in greater detail below.
Yes, New Fluid Is Red
New transmission fluid is bright red, viscous, and transparent. This fluid is a lubricating fluid that protects your transmission’s parts and gears, and it is also a hydraulic fluid that helps your transmission shift gears. As the transmission fluid ages, it will go from bright red to a darker red and then to a light brown. As long as the fluid is light brown in color and still translucent, it is still effective in your transmission. You don’t need to change the fluid just yet, but you will need to soon, so make an appointment for the service in the next few months.
Old Fluid Is Brown or Black
Old transmission fluid is brown or dark brown. Once the transmission fluid has reached this color, it is becoming too thick to do its job. The transmission fluid is oxidizing, and once it has reached a dark brown or black color, it is actually damaging your transmission. This fluid will deposit dirt and grime throughout the transmission gears, and it has oxidized completely, which means it is no longer acting as a lubricant or hydraulic fluid. Your transmission will overheat if you don’t have the fluid changed right away.
Pink Fluid Means Trouble
Pink fluid is a sign of serious trouble in your automobile. One way that the transmission stays cool aside from the transmission fluid is that radiator tubes run through it to keep its temperature down. A breach between the transmission and radiator systems will cause coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. This dilutes the fluid, turns it pink, and, sometimes, makes it foamy. The diluted fluid will severely damage your transmission and you’ll end up with a repair bill for both the transmission and, possibly, the breach in the cooling system.
AutoFix in Franklin, TN, can inspect your transmission, including the fluid, and make sure everything is okay. If the fluid needs to be changed, we will flush the transmission and refill it. Call us today for an appointment.