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What Color Is Transmission Fluid?

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We here at Eagle Transmission know a lot about transmission fluid. This fluid is crucial to the health of your vehicle’s transmission. As we discussed in a previous blog post, transmission fluid lubricates the delicate parts found in your automobile’s transmission as well as prevents them from overheating. Low, old, or dirty transmission fluid can seriously damage the transmission. What colors is transmission fluid? Here is a guide of the different colors transmission fluid can turn and what they mean.


Red transmission fluid that is also see-through is healthy transmission fluid. This fluid is clean, viscous, and does not need to be flushed and replaced. In most cases, the fluid is new or like-new, meaning it has been safely encased in the transmission without any excess heat or contaminants.

Light Brown

Transmission fluid that is light brown and transparent or semi-transparent is also okay. The fluid is still in good condition, although it has probably aged some, and it is still capable of effectively lubricating and cooling transmission parts. Light brown fluid doesn’t need to be changed yet, but it will soon.

Dark Brown

Dark brown transmission fluid that you cannot see through is old and dirty. If you keep this fluid in the transmission, it will begin to damage the transmission because it can no longer lubricate and cool the parts properly. Dark brown fluid needs to be flushed out of the system and replaced with new fluid.


If your transmission fluid is dark brown to the point of being almost black or actually black, you need a flush and fill right away. The fluid is not only old and dirty; it has also oxidized. It isn’t protecting your vehicle’s transmission at all, so schedule a transmission fluid service as soon as possible.

Light Pink

We hope your car, truck, or SUV’s transmission fluid never turns light pink because if it does, there’s real trouble brewing in the system. Transmission fluid turns pink when water or coolant infiltrates the transmission and water it down. This means you need a transmission rebuild or total replacement.

Because it is completely encased inside the transmission, you should never actually know what color your transmission fluid is. If your transmission is leaking fluid on your garage floor, bring your vehicle in to Eagle Transmission in Parker, CO, right away, no matter what color the fluid is. You can let us know you’re on your way or set up an appointment by calling 720-778-1888. We’ll find the transmission leak and fix it. Bring your vehicle in for a transmission fluid flush and fill when it’s time, too.

Eagle Transmission Team

Eagle Transmission Team

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