Choosing Transmission Fluids
Choosing the correct transmission fluid is essential for optimum performance and fuel economy. Check the owner’s manual to learn what type of transmission fluid is recommended for your vehicle. Many transmission fluids are now made with synthetic base oils for increased performance, resistance to heat and cold, and reduced friction. Some are blended with both types of oils. Consumers can confirm the product information online. In case you’re unsure, consider getting a second opinion from a mechanic.
The formulation of transmission fluids can have a profound effect on the functioning of transmission hardware. High temperatures can result in compromised boundary lubrication, which exposes hardware components to increased metal-to-metal contact and accelerated wear. Flowing through a transmission fluid in extreme cold conditions is also necessary to prevent sluggish shifting and reduced fuel economy. To find the right transmission fluid, you should read the specifications carefully and consider the recommendations of the manufacturer.
If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, you should look for a compatible type of fluid. ATF fluids are generally compatible with most transmissions. Toyota, for example, produces a fluid called WS, which is slightly thicker than Type T-IV. Listed as a ‘world standard’, it is used in both Lexus and Toyota vehicles. The fluid is available in a wide variety of sizes, including Quarts, Gallons, Drums, and Totes.
CVTs also use synthetic fluids. The company ceased licensing Mercon in 2007, but they still recommend Mercon V for Mercon transmissions. This oil replaces Type H, CJ, and E fluids, but not Type F. Late-model Fords will use Mercon V in their transmissions. It is similar to Dexron III, but should not be used in Type F transmissions. When choosing a replacement transmission fluid, it’s important to note the manufacturer’s recommendation and the type of car it uses.
Generally speaking, the new transmission fluid is brown or red in color. It should be replaced if it has a burnt smell or color changes. You should always check the transmission fluid when the car is driven a lot or undergoes hard-core or extreme driving. Changing the transmission fluid is important because it can lead to further damages or failure of the entire transmission. In the worst case scenario, you may need to replace the entire transmission.
General Motors released a specification for automatic transmission fluids in the 1950s. The fluid was designed to be sold in service garages and retail outlets. GM Type “A” transmission fluids were used in every automatic transmission produced from 1949 until 1958. And since then, Ford, General Motors, and other car manufacturers all used this fluid. These fluids are all made to meet the specifications for the transmissions on their vehicles. This article provides an introduction to the different types of transmission fluids and how they differ.
If you own a manual transmission, you can find out the recommended ATF in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. A dipstick can also tell you how much transmission fluid you need. Checking your vehicle’s ATF level regularly is essential for your vehicle’s health. When it is low, your transmission will be less responsive and shifting will be harder. And a low transmission fluid can accelerate the wear and tear of the components in your transmission.