Trans fluid color ?


Active Member
Wanted to check with the brain trust here. Had a trans service / fluid change on 2/26 .. so about a week and half ago and about 500-600 miles mostly highway. No noises or issues with trans shifting or power .. but just for heck of it, i check the fluid today after getting home from work (approx 35 mile drive) Before i check it, i dropped a bit of Dexron VI fluid onto a white shop rag to compare color. To me, the outter ring of the spot from the bottle closely matches what is on the rag from the dip stick. I always thought it was bright red. Maybe my memory is getting too old. But i should be good for a 800 mile round trip with wife to see friends right?


  • TB Trans fluid 1.jpg
    TB Trans fluid 1.jpg
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Master Blaster
It looks close, maybe a tad darker except for the dirty portion.

Was it a full fluid exchange or just a pan drop? The pan drop doesn't get it all out. A lot of the old fluid gets left in the tranny.


Gold Supporter
Yeap, if it was just a pan drop, there is over 1/2 of the tranny fluid still in the Torque Converter, and tail end of the tranny.

The only way to get a near 100% new fluid is with a exchange service. And I personally dont recommend them unless you know the specific history of the vehicle, and have followed fluid service intervals to a -T-.


Active Member
Thread Starter
Thanks for getting back to me. Some history .. I bought the truck 6 years ago with about 85k miles on it. That weekend I changed what fluids i could and had a shop change the rest. Kept up in all scheduled changes and maybe even a few before needed. Now have 220k miles and it runs great Everything works but the CD player Yes I think it was just a drop and fill, but since I have kept up on those as well, i dont think I should have any issues but wanted to get a second (or third) opinion.


Lifetime VIP Supporter
I think your fluid is just fine. As regards the (paper) cloth you put the fluid on... the lightening of the color on the outer edge is due to less fluid at the edge permeating the cloth.
IOW, nothing to be worried about.

If the fluid is pinkish-red or even darker red, and smells 'sweet'... you're fine. I'd be more concerned with 'amount' of fluid, than condition, at this point.

I probably wouldn't have left the old fluid in for... 135,000 miles, but for now, at least, the trans seems to have suffered no ill effects for it. If you want to get more fresh fluid in... wait 10K, and do another drain / fill (pan removal optional, unless you don't have a drain plug). That won't get you to 100% fresh, but you'll be over 50%, even with intermixing.

Frankly, at 220K on an later OEM 4L60e... you did something right, or you should go buy lottery tickets. (I don't say that to scare you off your trip; just to state that the ones in our trucks generally don't go too much farther than that, unless they've had some TLC along the way.)

Bottom line... enjoy your trip, and drive safely! :thumbsup:


Master Blaster
We never recommend using a fluid flushing machine as it usually does this backwards to normal flow and dislodges crap that has caused some failures. We suggest using the methods in the FAQ using the cooler line.


Active Member


Active Member
Thread Starter
I probably wouldn't have left the old fluid in for... 135,000 miles,

My mistake .. I meant in the 6 years I have had the truck, this was like the third trans fluid change I have done on it ... once soon after I got it .. then about 60k miles after that and then back on 2/26 of this year

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