How to Check If There is Antifreeze in Transmission Fluid

by Casey Holley

If you think that you have antifreeze in the transmission fluid, you should avoid driving the vehicle until you determine if the two fluids have mixed and corrected the problem. This may involve draining and flushing both systems. Regardless of the type of antifreeze your vehicle uses, the signs of the antifreeze in the transmission are the same. However, the only certain way to determine if there is antifreeze in the transmission is to take your vehicle to a certified mechanic and let him run a complete check on the transmission and cooling system.

Pay attention to the function of the transmission. If there is antifreeze in the transmission fluid, the transmission will slip or stall. This is especially obvious when accelerating from a complete stop.

Look at the color of the transmission fluid. Fresh transmission fluid is a bright red color due to dye that is added to the fluid. If the fluid is a milky pink color, it has either antifreeze or water in it.

Inspect the lines from the transmission and the radiator. If any are cracked, worn or damaged, there may be antifreeze in the transmission fluid.

Smell the transmission fluid. If there is a sweet smell to it, it is mixed with antifreeze.

Disassemble the transmission. The way to do this is dependent upon the type of vehicle you have. Antifreeze will stick to metal and be noticeable once the transmission is disassembled.

About the Author

Casey Holley is a medical writer who began working in the health and fitness industries in 1995, while still in high school. She has worked as a nutrition consultant and has written numerous health and wellness articles for various online publications. She has also served in the Navy and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Phoenix.