I have a 2013 Silverado 2500 with 150000 miles, about 5 miles after an oil change I noticed two hard shifts.

The next day I drove 1/2 mile, the trans slipped and is now disabled.

I had mechanic look at it and suggested it might be engine oil in the transmission. They suggested I drain the transmission fluid and change filter. Less than 10 miles since oil changed mechanics said that the oil looked brown not red, which is consistent with transmission fluid. They suggested it may be engine oil.

What is your opinion ? Is there a recourse?

  • Is there recourse as far as what? Are you asking a legal question, or a remedial question? Commented May 14, 2016 at 13:32
  • Wow, who put the hammer vote on this question? This isn't a bad question, just needs some details. Commented May 14, 2016 at 13:33
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 they asked for opinion?
    – Moab
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 18:39
  • @Moab - Which leads me to believe this question is opinion bait and should probably therefore be closed. Commented May 16, 2016 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


Brown fluid is common in higher mileage automatic transmissions, especially if they do not get regular fluid changes.

Red ATF turns brown when it is worn out and the clutches in the transmission start slipping, creating friction and burning the fluid, turning it from red to brown.

I don't think it is anyone's fault, its just time for a transmission rebuild.

  • 2
    I suspect the smell would be a better indicator in this instance? Transmission fluid has a stank even when fresh that I've never smelled in any motor oil ever. Commented May 14, 2016 at 15:59
  • When it comes to automatic tranny fluid Brown is burnt, I don't have to smell it. I don't have to step in dog poop to know what it is either. :-)
    – Moab
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 18:39

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