Contaminated Transmission Fluid Color Chart

Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of an automatic transmission and it should be checked regularly to ensure proper operation. The color of the fluid can tell you a lot about its condition, so it’s important to know what each shade means. A contaminated transmission fluid color chart is a helpful tool that can help identify when something isn’t right with your vehicle’s transmission.

It typically includes different shades from clear or light yellow to dark brown and black, each indicating various levels of contamination or degradation in the fluid. Clear fluids usually indicate fresh oil while darker colors may signal burned, aged or contaminated oil which needs replacing for optimal performance. Additionally, if any other contaminants are present such as metal flakes then they’ll also be visible within the chart range at certain points.

Transmission fluid is an essential component in any vehicle and it needs to be kept clean and changed regularly. Knowing what color your transmission fluid should be can help you identify if there’s something wrong with your car. Fortunately, there are a variety of visual charts available online that show the different colors of transmission fluids as well as their corresponding levels of contamination.

This resource can prove invaluable when trying to determine whether or not your transmission fluid has been contaminated and needs to be replaced immediately!

What Does Bad Transmission Fluid Look Like? Good vs Bad

How Do You Know If Your Transmission Fluid is Contaminated?

If your transmission fluid is contaminated, you may notice some common symptoms such as excessive noise from the engine bay, a burning smell coming from the engine bay or under the hood, difficulty shifting gears and increased hesitation when trying to shift. You may also experience slipping gears or lack of power when accelerating. Additionally, if you check your transmission fluid level and find that it’s excessively low despite no signs of leakage, this could be an indication that there is contamination present in the system.

If any of these symptoms are present it’s important to get your car checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible since contaminated transmission fluid can cause serious damage to other components in your vehicle’s drivetrain.

What Color is Dirty Transmission Fluid?

Dirty transmission fluid typically has a dark, almost black color. This is due to the fact that the fluid acts as an oil-based lubricant for all of the components within an automatic transmission, which can cause it to become contaminated by dirt, debris and other contaminants from regular wear and tear on the system. In addition, dirty fluid can also be caused by oxidation or chemical breakdowns over time.

It’s important to regularly check your vehicle’s transmission fluid for signs of contamination or discoloration so you don’t end up damaging any internal parts of your car’s transmission system.

What Does Light Brown Transmission Fluid Mean?

Light brown transmission fluid can be an indication of normal wear and tear. It may mean that the fluid is dirty from debris or has been contaminated with water, which can lead to poor performance and damage to the transmission over time. If you notice your transmission fluid is light brown, it’s important to have a mechanic inspect it for any signs of trouble or contamination.

They will be able to advise you on whether or not you need a flush, seal replacement, filter change or other repairs in order to keep your transmission running smoothly and safely.

What Does Grey Transmission Fluid Mean?

Grey transmission fluid typically indicates that the fluid has become contaminated and is in need of a change. It can also be caused by oxidization, which occurs when the fluid interacts with air over time or when it’s exposed to high temperatures. In either case, grey transmission fluid means that the lubricating properties of the oil have been compromised and will no longer properly protect your vehicle’s moving parts from grinding against each other.

If left unchecked, this problem can cause serious damage to your car’s engine or transmission system. For this reason, you should always check your vehicle’s transmission fluid levels regularly and replace it as soon as you notice any discoloration.

Contaminated Transmission Fluid Color Chart


What Does Yellow Transmission Fluid Mean

Yellow transmission fluid is a sign that the fluid has been contaminated with water, heat or age. It is important to have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic if you notice that the color of your transmission fluid has changed from its original red hue to yellow. If left unchecked, this can potentially cause serious damage to your engine and transmission components due to overheating or insufficient lubrication.

What Color is Transmission Fluid When It Leaks

Transmission fluid is typically a bright red color when it is first added to the transmission. However, if it has been in the system for some time, or if it has been exposed to extreme temperatures and conditions, then its appearance may be darker than when originally added. It can also appear brown or black if there are particles of dirt or rust present in the fluid.

If you notice any discoloration in your transmission fluid, this could indicate that there is a leak somewhere within the system and should be inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

What Color Should Transmission Fluid Be

Transmission fluid is an essential part of any vehicle and should be checked regularly. The color of transmission fluid can vary from vehicle to vehicle, but generally it should be a bright red or pinkish hue. It should also appear translucent and have no visible particles floating in it.

If your transmission fluid has darkened or taken on a burnt smell, then it’s time to get it changed as this indicates that the fluid has broken down over time due to heat and usage.


This Contaminated Transmission Fluid Color Chart provides a helpful reference guide to easily identify and diagnose potential transmission issues. The chart is also useful for people who are new to the process of checking and diagnosing transmission problems, as it simplifies the task by providing an easy-to-understand visual resource. With this chart, anyone can be prepared to tackle any possible transmission issue in no time.


  • Alex Gearhart

    Alex Gearhart, an automotive expert specializing in transmissions, has over a decade of hands-on industry experience. With extensive knowledge in manual and automatic systems, Alex is passionate about educating car enthusiasts on vehicle maintenance. As the chief author at, Alex simplifies complex concepts for readers, helping them make informed decisions about their vehicles. Outside of work, Alex enjoys road trips, restoring classic cars, and exploring new automotive technologies.

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