Pouring transmission fluid into a funnel

One of the most frequent questions we're asked by Sylvania drivers is, "What color is transmission fluid?" Transmission fluid is specially dyed for identification purposes, and when it's brand new, it's translucent and dark red in color. Learn more about this important fluid and its properties with Kistler Ford.


A Breakdown of Transmission Fluid Colors

As you drive your vehicle in and around the Maumaa area, the transmission fluid will darken and age over time. This darkening can also result from contaminants slipping past a malfunctioning transmission filter. Take a look at the transmission fluid color guide below and use it to determine whether you have a transmission system issue or simply need a transmission fluid replacement: 

  • 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 

What Does it Mean When Red Fluid is Leaking From Your Car?

If you ever notice red fluid leaking from your car, it's more than likely a transmission fluid leak. While its red color makes it easy to identify, here are some other ways you can identify a transmission leak:

  • Odor: Transmission fluid usually smells like petroleum. You'll know that your fluid needs to be changed when it smells burnt. 
  • Consistency: Transmission fluid will look/feel oily and slick like engine oil or brake fluid.
  • Location of the Leak: Transmission fluid tends to leak in front of the car from the middle. 

How to Get Ahead of Transmission Problems 

If you're wondering what you can do to prevent future transmission issues, check out these tips below: 

  • Choose the Right Fluid: Now that there are more advanced automatic transmission systems available, it's crucial that you make sure to use the right automatic transmission fluid and genuine OEM parts are being used. 
  • Adhere to Your Owner's Manual: You'll always want to consult your owner's manual to find out what fluid to use, and to see the recommended maintenance schedule for your particular model.  
  • Keep Up with Transmission Service: When you regularly schedule service in the Perrysburg area, this can help catch issues before they get too serious. 

Turn to the Service Experts at Kistler Ford

If you're wary about your transmission fluid color, or there's red fluid leaking from your car, you'll want to bring it to the Kistler Ford service center. Our service experts can identify the issue and get you back on Toledo roads in no time! Also, don't forget to browse our service coupons to secure a great deal on vehicle maintenance.