Normal Vs. Not Normal: Transmission Fluid
Do you know what is normal and not normal when it comes to your transmission fluid? If not, our experts are here to fill you in. We know new transmissions are expensive and repairs are expensive. The best way to keep from having to repair or replace one is to do simple maintenance on your cars and trucks.
Normal transmission fluid is a bright, vibrant red color.
Over time, transmission fluid changes color because of the heat and foreign elements that get into it over time. If your transmission fluid is a pinkish or orangish color, this is normal and you shouldn’t be alarmed, but it does indicate that the fluid will need to be changed soon.
However color alone is not a completely reliable indication of the service life of an ATF as most ATF products will darken with use. The manufacturer’s recommended service interval is a more reliable measure of ATF life. In the absence of service or repair records, fluid color is a common means of gauging ATF service life.
When your transmission fluid turns a murky, dark red color, it means that it’s time for a change.
When transmission fluid is burnt, or is full of metal shavings, it can cause serious damage to your transmission. This is especially important to remember because the transmission is one of the most complex and costly systems in your vehicle to repair, and if it fails completely you could end up spending thousands of dollars in repairs.
The use of a lint free white rag to wipe the dipstick on automatic transmissions is advised so that the color of the fluid can be checked. Dark brown or black ATF can be an indicator of a transmission problem, vehicle abuse, or fluid that has far exceeded its useful life.Overused ATF often has reduced lubrication properties and abrasive friction materials (from clutches and brake bands) suspended in it; failure to replace such fluid will accelerate transmission wear and could eventually ruin an otherwise healthy transmission.
Be sure to have your transmission inspected checked every few months so you know the status of your fluid. When the fluid starts to turn too dark in color, don’t wait – have your transmission fluid changed in order to avoid a costly and inconvenient repair.
Call 303-840-6400 to talk to your local “Mr. Transmission” today!
11155 South Dransfeldt Road
Parker, CO, 80134
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