Your European Automobile Transmission Fluid Should Always Be Red

The transmission fluid in your European automobile serves two purposes. First, the fluid acts as a protectant and lubricant. It lubricates moving parts to prevent them from overheating. This fluid reduces the friction caused by the moving parts and draws heat away from them. Second, transmission fluid is a hydraulic fluid that helps your automatic transmission shift gears smoothly and easily. The color of your European automobile’s transmission fluid can reflect its age and health. European Fix discusses this further below.

Bright Red

The transmission fluid in your European automobile should always be bright red and translucent. If you have your transmission fluid changed every 30,000 miles, which is commonly recommended, it will remain red and capable of doing an excellent job. This fluid is protecting the transmission the way it should be and also helping it shift gears without any problems.

Light Brown

As the transmission fluid in your European car or crossover begins to age, it will start to darken to light brown. The fluid remains translucent and doing its job. Even though the fluid is no longer bright red, it still has life left when it is light brown. You can hold off changing the fluid for a little while longer.


The same holds true for transmission fluid that is orange and translucent. This fluid is still doing the job that it needs to do to protect your transmission and help it shift gears. It isn’t time to change the fluid just yet, but it will soon be time for a transmission fluid flush and refill.

Dark Brown

When the fluid turns brown or dark brown, it is time to change it. Brown transmission fluid is oxidizing. Oxidation causes the fluid to be filled with tiny air bubbles. These air bubbles prevent the fluid from protecting the transmission and helping it shift gears. The more oxidation the darker the fluid gets. In fact, the transmission fluid can even turn black. This fluid is also opaque, which means you can no longer see-through it. Change brown transmission fluid right away.


Finally, pink transmission fluid is an unfortunate sign that your European automobile’s transmission has a serious leak. The reason the red fluid has turned pink is that it is filled with antifreeze/coolant. The transmission has tubes that run through the cooling system to cool off the transmission fluid. A breach in these tubes will cause the transmission fluid and engine coolant to mix.

European Fix in Clinton Township, MI, is the only auto shop you need for your European automobile. If it’s been 30,000 miles since you’ve had your transmission fluid changed, call us today.

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