Transmission Fluid Diagnosis

By Mister Transmission

If you’ve recently started experiencing a transmission problem and wanted to check your transmission fluid level and condition, then this article could help you.

 

Transmission fluid is typically a clear reddish pink colour when new, and over the course of its life that colour can change quite a bit, meaning different things are occurring.

The first step is to make sure you’re actually checking your transmission fluid properly in order to get an accurate reading. When checking your vehicle’s transmission fluid, first consult your owner’s manual and follow their procedure for fluid level checking. Many different manufacturers require differing methods (ie – engine running, in park, etc). It’s best to use a white paper towel when checking and do at least 2-3 dips of the stick (wiping it down between dips) to ensure an accurate reading.

 
 

  • Good level and good condition: If your transmission fluid is to the full mark and a clean reddish pink colour, then the fluid is in good condition. You could still have a problem with your transmission, but it has not yet affected the fluid condition.
  • Low level and good condition: If your transmission fluid is low, there is a leak. Unlike your engine which can “consume” oil due to normal use, a transmission is a sealed unit. Have your transmission inspected as soon as possible to avoid internal damage.
  • Good level but brown colour: If your transmission fluid has a brownish tinge and a slightly burnt smell to it, then there is a problem. It could be just that the fluid is very old and no longer protecting the transmission’s internal components properly, or there are worn components causing excess friction and heat. Have your transmission inspected as soon as possible to avoid internal damage.
  • Good level but black colour: If your transmission fluid has a black colour and a burnt smell to it, there is an internal problem. This would be caused by excessive heat due to internal friction. Have your transmission inspected as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
  • High level and pink foamy appearance: If your transmission fluid is high and has a “strawberry milkshake” look to it, then there is a problem. This is usually caused by a failure in your radiator. The transmission fluid is cooled by a cooler built into your radiator. Sometimes when the radiator fails, engine coolant is allowed to cross-over into the transmission cooling tubes and contaminates the transmission fluid. Have your transmission inspected as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

It’s important to remember that due to the complexity of today’s computerized transmissions, that just because the transmission appears to be malfunctioning doesn’t mean the actual problem is in the transmission. Your vehicle’s computer gets signals from up to 32 separate sensors throughout the vehicle’s other systems and any one of these could be sending inaccurate or no information.

If you’re experiencing any sort of transmission problem, please contact your local Mister Transmission and book an appointment for our FREE 21-Point Multi-Check Inspection.

Visit your nearest Mister Transmission location today!

10827km away
  • 15903 Stony Plain Rd. NW
  • Edmonton, AB
  • T5P 3Z7
  • 587-786-6465

Contact your nearest
Mister Transmission location today!

Click here to browse all Mister Transmission locations.

image-reviews image-reviews
Customer Reviews
I recently went in to...
Kyle Andree
I recently went in to see dez for a transmission in a 90's silverado. After he rebuilt the transmission he called me toTell me i needed a new shifter cable.i told him I didn't care about the new cable but he threw the cable in for free. Definitely good service and the price was very good too
Date: May 15, 2022
Website: Google
I went in to set...
Blue
I went in to set up an appointment for them to see what exactly was wrong with my car, because they were busy and couldn’t see to my car they wanted to know what they were dealing with.When they saw my car Bob the chap I was dealing with advised me against driving it any further until repairs were done.I could have had a terrible accident and my car could have been totalled.If I need anything done to my car and they can do it , I’m going to them.
Date: May 14, 2022
Website: Google
I went in to set...
Blue
I went in to set up an appointment for them to see what exactly was wrong with my car, because they were busy and couldn’t see to my car they wanted to know what they were dealing with.When they saw my car Bob the chap I was dealing with advised me against driving it any further until repairs were done.I could have had a terrible accident and my car could have been totalled.If I need anything done to my car and they can do it , I’m going to them.
Date: May 14, 2022
Website: Google
I went in to set...
Blue
I went in to set up an appointment for them to see what exactly was wrong with my car, because they were busy and couldn’t see to my car they wanted to know what they were dealing with.When they saw my car Bob the chap I was dealing with advised me against driving it any further until repairs were done.I could have had a terrible accident and my car could have been totalled.If I need anything done to my car and they can do it , I’m going to them.
Date: May 14, 2022
Website: Google
The staff and franchise owner...
Marty Roberts
The staff and franchise owner are trustworthy and professional. Service is excellent, being in the automotive business I have used Mister Transmission in Peterborough more than once with positive results.
Date: May 13, 2022
Website: Google
Always A1 service
Pat Pickles
Always A1 service
Date: May 13, 2022
Website: Google
I've had a great experience...
Peter Prudencio
I've had a great experience with this local auto shop: Giorgio is a fantastic business owner, with an honest and reliable work ethic, favouring and fostering long-term relationships with his customers, and offering very fair prices compared to larger dealerships and other shops. Comes strongly recommended by my neighbours, and I would vouch for his excellent quality of service as another witness to his workmanship.
Date: May 13, 2022
Website: Google
Gus is very professional, honest...
Karen Dyer
Gus is very professional, honest and his customer service is amazing. He explained everything to me so I knew exactly what he had done. I would recommend him to anyone
Date: May 12, 2022
Website: Google
The gentleman at Mister Transmission...
Marcus W.
The gentleman at Mister Transmission was incredibly helpful and professional. He looked at my car and diagnosed that the problem wasn't the transmission itself, but likely the transmission computer.  He then helped me contact the dealer to confirm that the model had been having problems.  Rather than charging me for the repairs, he worked with me to get me the best deal.  He put the customer ahead of the bottom line, and I couldn't be more grateful for his work ethic.
Date: May 12, 2022
Website: Yelp
These guys are very helpful,...
M Rashid
These guys are very helpful, I did not have any work done here but he still helped me on phone and answer my questions about transmission in the car I was going to buy.
Date: May 11, 2022
Website: Google
Featured Services
Transmission Repair

The evolution of transmissions has made these machines and systems increasingly complex. When transmission repairs are required, determining the cause and cure for what ails can be tricky.

Read More
Transmission Technology

At Mister Transmission we have access to leading-edge diagnostic equipment, enabling us to offer you the fastest and most accurate findings about what’s going on inside your vehicle’s transmission.

Read More
Transmission Maintenance & Service

Just as you have other parts of your car serviced, your transmission needs maintenance to ensure a long life and avoid transmission problems.

Read More
Recent Blogs
3 Common Transmission Repairs
Transmissions are complex pieces of machinery and there’s a lot that can go wrong
Read More
May 11, 2022
When Do You Need Transmission Service?
Transmissions need to be serviced, maintained, and repaired from time to time, but
Read More
May 4, 2022
How Is Transmission Repair Different Fro...
Mister Transmission specializes in servicing transmissions because they’re so
Read More
April 27, 2022
What Are Vehicle Diagnostics?
Discover what vehicle diagnostics are all about, how this practice helps transmission
Read More
April 7, 2022
What Are Some Common Automatic Transmiss...
If you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission, what are some common automatic
Read More
March 31, 2022
CVTs Vs. Automatic Transmissions
Looking at buying or leasing a vehicle and want to know if you should opt for one
Read More
March 28, 2022
What Is Transmission Oil And Do You Need...
You’ve probably heard of a transmission fluid change, and you’ve probably heard
Read More
March 24, 2022
What Causes Transmission Slipping?
Has your transmission been slipping? It’s important to get it looked at right away.
Read More
February 22, 2022
When Is A Transmission Rebuild Necessary...
If you can avoid ever having to rebuild your transmission, you’ll be better off for
Read More
February 15, 2022
Transmission Replacement Vs. Transmissio...
Many transmission repairs are minor, but some are not, and that’s when you might be
Read More
February 8, 2022