One of the most significant fluids in your car is automatic transmission fluid. Things would come to a complete halt – literally – without it. By changing your fluid on schedule and following the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can avoid costly transmission issues.
The difficulty is determining which of the many vehicle-imperative supplies is appropriate for the job. How do you determine what type of automatic transmission fluid is ideal for your automobile?
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What Kind of Transmission Fluid Do I Need?
You can’t mix and match different types of traditional and synthetic ATFs because they come from the same category. You can’t swap grades, either. There are at least 20 distinct types of automatic transmission fluids; each has its own label. Nissan Matic D, K, J, and S are some examples of brand-specific variants. Multi-Vehicle AT Fluid HPX and AT Fluid HPX are two names used by aftermarket companies.
For cars manufactured before 2006, you’ll have a restricted selection. For automobiles post-2006, conventional or synthetic automatic transmission fluids are generally available. You can get the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended brand from a local dealer (usually the more expensive choice), or you can get an aftermarket brand online or from a local automobile parts store.
We can’t make specific suggestions since there are too many car types to address. However, if you’re looking for the utmost assurance, stick with the manufacturer’s recommended brand. The choice of whether you want conventional or synthetic automatic transmission fluid is up to you. Synthetic ATF is often a bit less expensive, but it has better resistance to heat and friction than traditional automotive fluids do. Synthetic AT Fluid
Transmission fluids come in two varieties: automatic and manual. Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is utilized in all vehicles with automated transmissions, as well as certain modern manual transmission automobiles. Manual gear oil is the material used in some manual cars; it is never used in automatic transmission cars. Gear oil may be used within manual transmissions at times.
Manual Transmission Fluid
Some older manual transmission cars, like Saab 900s and Elantras, require special 75W to 140W manual transmission fluid. This heavier 75W to 140W fluid is never used in automatics, and even if your car is a manual transmission, it won’t use this sort of manual transmission fluid. In most late-model vehicles with manual transmissions, the automatic fluid will be used in the master controls.
The golden rule is that you always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. You don’t have to stick with a single brand if you wish. The SAE weight and the GL number are two important figures to consider.
SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)
The SAE viscosity grade (SAE) is the thickness of the oil, which is measured in centistokes or cSt. The SAE weight (usually 20W50) indicates how thick the oil is. Because oils are thicker when they’re colder, the W stands for winter in this case. As a result, the manual transmission fluid has a summer weight of 20 and a winter weight of 50. In the days before auto transmissions, can of transmission fluid would be marked with a number similar to that. Today’s more sophisticated formulations may take the place of five or six different weights, but it’s still crucial to ensure that what your transmission requires is within the range provided.
The GL number is a system devised by the American Petroleum Institute (API), and it assesses transmission fluids according to how they react with the various metals used in a gearbox. The grades range from GL-1 to GL-5, with the most common grade being GL-4. Don’t look at GL numbers as implying improved fluids. In other words, while GL-2 is not superior to GL-1, it is distinct in its own right. For example, some gearboxes can actually be harmed by GL-5, which is why it’s considered a hazardous material. Brass components are known to be sensitive to GL-5, which may potentially harm some gearboxes.
What is the difference between a manual and an automatic transmission fluid? The SAE system has been in operation for longer, and it’s accepted worldwide. GL codes are exclusively used on cars manufactured outside of the United States.
Traditional Manual Transmission Fluid
Manual transmissions may utilize a wide range of transmission fluids, ranging from common motor oil to heavy hypoid gear oil. Several makers even recommend using automatic transmission fluid. It all boils down to the vehicle, tolerances, engineering, and the sort of driving you do most often. The most significant issue with manual transmissions is contamination from oxidation or friction between moving components that shear tiny metal shards into the fluid. This is why a manual transmission requires more fluid changes than an automatic transmission. The viscosity, or lubricating ability, of the transmission fluid degrades and thins with time.
Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid
Synthetic fluids, on the other hand, are synthetic mixtures of refined oils treated with chemical additives. The first to be developed was polyalphaolefin (PAO), which the American Petroleum Institute (API) classified as a Group IV oil. For non-PAO syntheses prepared from diesters, polyolesters, alklylated napthlenes, and alkyklated benzenes, API classifies diesters, polyolesters, alklylated napthlenes, and alkyklated benzenes as Group V oils. Synthetic transmission fluids produced from feedstock via a catalysis conversion procedure and hydrocracked/hydroisomerized oils, which are defined by API as a Group III transmission fluid or motor oil, have also been created. Synthetic automatic transmission fluids have been found to maintain viscosity for longer than ordinary transmission fluids, so they don’t need to be replaced as often. The disadvantage is that synthetic automatic transmission fluids are more expensive than standard transmissions. You can get the information you need in your vehicle’s owner’s handbook regarding which group is appropriate for your gearbox.
Manual transmission fluid is not a cut-and-dried issue, with no clear winner among drivers, mechanics, or engineers. If you drive an Oldsmobile to the grocery store and library twice a week in an urban environment and service the vehicle on a regular basis, normal weight traditional transmission fluid will be enough. Synthetic transmission fluid may be superior if you drive a high-performance car under stressful circumstances on a frequent basis. It’s usually a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s usage instructions for transmission fluid and weight recommendations. No matter how cautious or demanding your driving style is, transmission fluids will deteriorate eventually, so the most important thing to remember is that routine maintenance and replacement of the transmission fluid are required.
Automatic Transmission Fluid
This is a form of fluid used in automatic gearboxes. It’s also utilized in some modern manual transmission vehicles, although it isn’t designed specifically for them. Automatic transmission fluid meets the demands of automatic transmissions and performs a variety of services.
The ATF for automobiles and trucks has various requirements. The type you need depends on the specifications of your car or truck. Synthetic ATFs generally allow a vehicle to shift more easily and smoothly, which extends the transmission’s life.
Types of automatic transmission fluids by car
- Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, or GMC cars and trucks
After 1968, when General Motors (GM) began production of cars with Dexron ATF, the fluid became known as Dexron. GM has improved and updated the Dexron fluid requirements over time. The newer versions are usually (but not always) backwards compatible. This implies that if your truck requires Dexron-II, you can use a later version without difficulty.
- Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, and some Mazda cars and trucks
Ford used Mercon in its vehicles and trucks from 1957 until 1977. In 1977, Ford started using Mercon instead. Newer Mercon ATFs are generally backwards compatible with older ones, much as GM’s Dexron is. Do not use Type F in any car other than a pre-1977 Ford. Type F lacks some of the important additives that help new transmissions perform better.
- Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Mopar, and Fiat cars and trucks
It’s critical that you only use ATF +3 or +4 in vehicles from Chrysler. The original Dexron and Mercon fluids are synthetic, whereas ATF +4 is a synthetic fluid for finely-tuned transmissions. You could damage the transmission if you utilize a non-synthetic ATF instead of ATF +4 in a car or truck with an automatic transmission. Most applications that call for earlier Dexron and Mercon fluids can be handled by using ATF+ 4.
- Honda and Acura vehicles
Honda and Acura owners should use Z-1 and DW-1 in their transmissions. The original Z-1 is known as Z-1, while the synthetic variant is called DW-1. You can use a mix of 100 parts Z and 100 parts W to make up 25% MTL for good flavor without getting harsh burnt tastes or steeping your aromas too long.
- Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Kia cars and trucks
SP ATFs are required for all Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Kia vehicles. For these cars, it is critical to use Mitsubishi-brand fluids in newer models from these manufacturers because they include special additives that help the transmission operate smoothly and last longer.
- Subaru and Nissan cars and trucks
The majority of modern automobiles are fueled by Matic S, K, D, or J automotive antifreeze (ATF) and/or Subaru automobile antifreeze (ATF) or ATF-HP fluid. Prior to 2005, most Subaru cars utilized Dexron-III while the majority of Nissan vehicles used Dexron-II.
- Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks
Toyota and Lexus vehicles built since 2005 require Toyota Type-IV (T4) synthetic ATF, which is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Dexron-III ATF was formerly required by nearly all Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks before 2005. Even if you’re purchasing a Toyota factory part, any high-quality Dexron-III will do.
Types of automatic transmission fluids
The fluids used in automatic transmissions are divided into two categories: traditional (or regular) automatic transmission fluids, which are composed of natural oils blended with antioxidants and corrosion preventives, and synchromesh fluids. Synthetic automatic transmission fluids are manufactured chemical polymers that serve the same purposes as natural animal-based fluids.
In today’s automatic transmissions, synthetic ATFs are more durable and heat-resistant than conventional manual transmission fluids. Because almost all synthetic ATFs are compatible with standard ATFs (you may mix the two together as long as the synthetic ATF is of the same grade), they are beginning to take over. Older vehicles, however, still remain on the road, and several fluids are needed for them.
- Type F
Type A and Type F are two common ATFs that haven’t been used in new automobiles since the 1970s. There is, however, a vibrant classic and collectors market for these automatic transmission fluids, so finding suitable qualities shouldn’t be difficult.
Type F is the specification most often seen in automobiles from the 1970s. Type F wasn’t as popular lately, but it was formerly used extensively and did not include friction modifiers (which help to reduce friction in lubricated components). This type is no longer utilized for vintage transmissions.
- Dexron and Mercon
The most popular traditional ATFs are Dexron and Mercon. Both are quite similar, and they’re employed on both American and foreign cars. The addition of friction modifiers to Types A and F, which act as lubricants by coating surfaces with molecules that reduce friction and heat buildup, is the main difference between them. Many other types of ATFs are based on Dexron or Mercon.
Today’s vehicles are all designed to withstand up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Most automobile manufacturers utilize this technology now. There are other types of ATF, such as oil-based and synthetic, that have varying qualities including improved longevity and performance in high heat. ATF fluids are not measured in terms of weight, like motor oil. It is defined by a standard, certification, or application rather than a weight.
Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler have created their own set of standards for automatic transmission fluids. The GM DEXRON series of specifications is used by mainstream vehicles with the DEXRON VI standard being used in newer GM cars. Older DEXRON standards would be acceptable for older GM cars. For Ford, the MERCON specification is critical, with the most recent version being MERCON LV. For Chrysler, the latest specification is ATF +4.
It is preferable to use the most up-to-date ATF for transmissions built after 2000. This is since automatics produced in the twenty-first century are intended to utilize fluids that include friction modifiers additives to make the clutch engagement easier. It’s also better to settle for a less modern fluid if you’re using a transmission designed prior to 2000.
The fluid that is best for most older transmissions is Ford Type F. There is the original Ford Type F fluid, which was designed with a reduced friction modifier kit in mind. This design was intended to improve clutch engagement and minimize clutcheslip. Even though these automobiles are not the greatest option, it is still possible to employ the DEXRON VI fluid, which means you can opt for the DEXRON-III solution.
- Highly Friction Modified (HFM) Fluids
Fluids that have been altered in some way are called modified (HFM) fluids. They’re typically utilized in high-performance vehicles on the European market. The most common HFMs are ATF+ and 7670, which stand for Highly Friction Modified. There’s not much need for an introduction here.
- Synthetic ATFs
The characteristics of synthetic ATFs are comparable to those of Dexron and Mercon. In fact, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Mercon V. Although the name implies it’s a conventional ATF, it’s synthetic. This demonstrates how critical it is to get the correct type of automatic transmission fluid for your car.
Aftermarket companies now offer synthetic fluids, which are identical to Dexron and Mercon specifications. Synthetic fluids have greater performance and service, with improved resistance to heat, cold, oxidation, friction, and shearing. Many businesses are switching to synthetic fluids because they are simply superior; nevertheless, they often cost more.
- Multi-Vehicle ATF
Multi-vehicle transmission fluids are receiving more and more popularity in the market. These fluids are not only suited for gasoline engines, but also for a wide range of automatic transmissions. While they aren’t designed by any single automobile manufacturer, they do provide better performance and protection. They’re made with the most up-to-date additive methods and have shown to perform effectively in extensive field testing. Synthetic base oils are used in the majority of multi-vehicle transmission fluids.
Multi-vehicle transmission fluids are becoming more common, and they may be GM, Ford, or Chrysler certified.
Synthetic ATF is becoming increasingly popular. Synthetic auto transmission fluid is typically more expensive, but it offers several advantages over normal ATF. It has a superior ability to resist heat damage as well as an improved resistance to oxidation and rust. Drivability and smooth shifting are also improved due to these features. Due to its capacity to extend gearbox life, these characteristics may save you money in the long run.
Once you’ve decided which fluid is appropriate for your car, you may finish your maintenance check and add more if necessary. To do so, insert a long funnel into the ATF dipstick hole. Add the fluid in tiny amounts and recheck the level each time until the fluid level reaches the “warm” line. Keep in mind not to overfill or spill ATF on hot engine components. Make sure to fully reinsert the dipstick before moving on.
Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs)
The majority of new car models are now being offered with continuously variable transmissions (CVT) to improve fuel efficiency, with about 20% of all new vehicles utilizing this technology. CVT transmissions require distinct fluids than conventional stepped gear transmissions. CVT fluid is tailored to a specific transmission; nevertheless, oil marketers have been able to show good performance with a single CVT oil in many different transmission types. Synthetic base oils are used in the majority of CVT transmission fluids.
CVT technology is expanding in use to improve fuel efficiency. Hybrids and non-hybrids both employ these transmissions. In contrast to traditional automatic transmissions, known as “step transmissions,” CVT gear changes are constantly changing speed ratios. This application requires a CVT fluid for optimal performance and protection, especially with the CVT push belt on wear prevention.
Universal Transmission Fluid
There are two ways to deconstruct the notion of a universal transmission fluid. CVT fluid, which is used in all continuously variable transmissions, is the most prevalent. You can anticipate it to function with either a pulley or hydrolock system if it’s advertised as a worldwide model. High-end formulations that have been developed specifically for those new to car maintenance may be found. Another technique for broad transmission fluid is to claim it works with both ATF and CVT transmissions. Some firms have had good success with these synthetic formulations, but unless the product has been tested on the market, you should avoid this type. If you end up using a solution intended for an ATF gearbox, you risk causing significant (and irreparable) damage to your car. Make sure it’s a CVT-specific universal application if you’re searching for general use.
Best Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid
Synthetic transmission fluid, unlike conventional oils, is formulated to endure longer between changes. You can go longer between oil changes without sacrificing quality lubrication since it’s more durable than typical fluids. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is more expensive and should be taken into consideration during the calculation of which type of transmission fluid would save you money over time.
Best ATF +4
The ATF+4 synthetic fluid is meant for finely-tuned transmissions, so if you use a non-synthetic ATF instead of ATF+4 in a car or truck that requires it, the transmission could be damaged. The effectiveness of ATF +4 is similar to that of Dexron and Mercon fluids. It has a characteristic smell, however it’s less powerful and lasts longer than the previous formulations. Because it’s compatible with these fluids, you can use it in most applications that require older Dexron and Mercon fluids.
The term “synthetic” is not a binary yes or no question in ATF+4. The key consideration isn’t so much how firms choose to label their lubricants as “synthetic,” but rather that ATF+4 has been designed to fulfill the stringent demands of FCA (formerly known as Chrysler) transmissions.
Furthermore, this Valvoline ATF is a variant of the old Dexron III and Mercon ATFs. Since 1998, Chrysler has used a synthetic ATF in one of two varieties: ATF+4 or ATFE+5, which it claims are not compatible with any versions of Dexron or Mercon.
Best DEXRON VI Transmission Fluid
DEXRON-VI may be used in place of DEXRON-III in any amount in previous model vehicles with an automatic gearbox (for example, topping up the fluid after a repair or fluid replacement). DEXRON-VI is also compatible with earlier versions of DEXRON for use in automatic transmissions. General Motors has licensed Dexron, but Ford owns Mercon.
The use of the Dexron series is going to be universal among GM vehicles like Cadillac, Pontiac, and GMC. On the other side, if you drive a Ford automobile such as a Mercury, Ford, or Lincoln, Mercon is very likely your required option.
Best Transmission Fluid for High Mileage
Is Synthetic Transmission Fluid Better
Synthetic fluids have superior engineering and are better at lubricating your transmission, allowing them to keep their viscosity over a wide range of temperatures. As a result, you can anticipate your car to shift more easily when you use synthetic fluid.
In today’s automobiles, synthetic ATFs are more durable and resistant to heat damage than their predecessors. Synthetic ATFs have already begun to dominate owing to the fact that most synthetic ATFs are compatible with traditional ATFs (you may mix the two together as long as the synthetic ATF is of equal quality), thus they are becoming increasingly popular. However, there are still a lot of older vehicles on the road, and specific fluids must be used for them.
Synthetic fluid is more effective at lubricating your transmission and maintaining viscosity across a wider temperature range than conventional fluids. As a result, you can expect your car to shift more smoothly when you use synthetic fluid. Even small changes in temperatures are not expected to have a significant impact.
Transmission fluid is now available in a variety of colors, including green, yellow, and blue. However, it isn’t quite as popular as it was in the past. The overwhelming majority of transmission fluid is a bright translucent pinkish red color, which is what you will see most often.
Synthetic vs. Natural
Synthetic and natural fluids are available in a variety of transmission fluid types, with synthetics holding a tiny edge over naturals on the market. Many producers have already ditched organic-based chemicals in favor of synthetics because of their improved resistance to heat and cold as well as oxidation. Synthetic automatic transmission fluids also tend to survive longer, making them the preferred option.
Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid contains a complete, synthetic solution with special additives that will help your transmission last longer. It’s designed for Mercon LV, Dex/Mers, and other specs. To guarantee superior performance in a wide range of transmissions, the Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid was extensively tested.
The Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid is an ATF with a complete synthetic formulation that also includes advanced additives. These ingredients assist to prevent the main causes of a transmission’s failure, allowing it to last longer. The Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid can help you get the most out of your automobile’s transmission and keep it in top working condition.
The base of the Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid is paraffinic oil. This oil is intended for high-performance maintenance and repair of automatic transmissions. It also includes improved additives, making it suitable for almost all current automatic transmission applications. It takes longer to drain since it is a synthetic fluid.
Aside from being compatible with transmission seals, this product includes unique additives such as a seal conditioning agent that prevents leaks. It also contains cleaning agents that can remove deposits from friction-prone components. Some of the additives even prevent deposit accumulation to keep your transmission clean.
This top-notch transmission fluid exceeds the requirements of its manufacturer and those of its competitors by a wide margin. It’s compatible with Mercon V, Mercon LV, Dexron VI, and other types. It also works with a variety of European cars including BMW, Saab, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. It’s formulated with fully synthetic base oils to provide better thermal qualities than conventional oils.
Specs and Feature
- Fully synthetic formula.
- This is the original fluid used in most Dexron/Mercon and Mercon LV engines.
- The high-tech vinyl lining in the alloy wheels enhances friction, resulting in more power and better oil flow at extreme temperatures.
- Contains cleaning additives.
- This product is composed of completely synthetic base oils to give you superior thermal properties.
- It’s designed with a full synthetic mix including high-tech additives that may help your transmission last longer.Along with its additives, it also contains cleaning agents.
- It’s ideal for Mercon LV, Dex/Merc, and a lot of other specs.
The Red Line (50304) MT-90 75W-90 GL-4 Manual Transmission Fluid has a low-sulfur composition that makes it less slippery and more compatible with brass synchronizers. When used in high-performance applications, the Red Line (50304) MT-90 75W-90 GL-4 Manual Transmission Fluid remains stable even at very high temperatures. It meets the motor and gear oil viscosity requirements. It’s also available in a thinner viscosity.
The Red Line (50304) MT-90 75W-90 GL-4 Manual Transmission Fluid is a versatile fluid with several advantages. This may help your car make faster shifts, provide better gear protection, and improve the coefficient of friction. It’s also beneficial for low- and high-mileage cars. Mazda, Toyota, VW Audi, and Nissan vehicles are among its most common users.
The Fluid Blue 50/50 is one of the most efficient transmission fluids on the market today owing to its outstanding efficiency. It continues to perform effectively even when exposed to high temperatures and cheaper, lower-quality fluids fail.
The Red Line (50304) MT-90 75W-90 GL-4 Manual Transmission Fluid has a unique formulation that is low in sulfur, making it suitable for synchronizers constructed of brass. It’s particularly useful in performance situations and improves the freezing function of cars. All these characteristics make it one of the most popular goods on the market today.
When you use the Red Line (50304) MT-90 75W-90 GL-4 Manual Transmission Fluid, you can anticipate improved vehicle movement. It’s a safe product that has gotten excellent reviews from multiple automobile manufacturers. This transmission fluid should enable your manual transmission to perform faster shifts and more efficient movements.
Specs and Feature
- It’s made of a low-sulfur composition, making it safe for use with synchronizers constructed of brass.
- It may be used in a wide range of applications without losing its stability when the temperature is high.
The Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF is an excellent choice for your car’s transmission and works with a wide range of vehicles. It meets all the requirements of the DEXRON-III H and all the criteria of DEXRON, DEXRON II, DEXRON IIE, and DEXRON III. It also works with MERCON-required power steering systems. One of the greatest qualities of this automatic transmission fluid is its broad compatibility. The Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF can be used on all Ford models from 1983 to 1996, as well as General Motors vehicles dating from 2005 and earlier.
This is a high-quality ATF from one of the most reputable and recognized manufacturers in the business. Despite this, the Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF happens to be a budget-friendly option that automobile owners like. It fully meets all of the requirements for DEXRON III H as well as those for DEXRON I, II, IIE, and III.
Since it is a high-temperature fluid, it will increase the friction durability. You’ll have a more smooth ride when you change gears with this ATF. You may also use this Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF for many power steering applications that need MERCON. It’s designed to boost your transmission performance while also extending its lifespan. This is a highly rated product that can be used on a variety of vehicle types. You may also use this for power steering. It’s one of the finest transmission fluids available for the price because it delivers superior value per gallon than its competitors.
Specs and Feature
- 1 gallon (128 ounces) (pack of 3).
- Synthetic automatic.
- Meets or exceeds DEXRON-IIIIH, MERCON V and JASO-1A.
- Suitable for passenger cars and light trucks.
- Recommended for imported vehicles, such as Toyota and Nissan.
- Excellent protection at high temperatures.
This is the one to get if you’re looking for a high-performance automatic transmission fluid. The Royal Purple 01320 Max Automatic Transmission Fluid has a stronger film, which can significantly decrease friction and heat. It also has good compatibility, as it may be mixed with other ATFs. You may extend the life of your car’s transmission using this ATF.
This is a superior synthetic ATF that outperforms the competition. It has a low friction coefficient and a high film strength, which can help to reduce wear and heat. This is significant because it may extend the life of your car’s transmission. Royal Purple Max Automatic Transmission Fluid has enhanced oxidation stability when compared to other fluids, giving it an extended fluid life.
This synthetic transmission fluid is designed to extend the life of your vehicle’s automatic gearbox by reducing wear and heat in the transmission system. They create a lot of heat, which necessitates a superior transmission fluid for protection and cooling in automatic transmissions.
This Royal Purple 01320 Max Automatic Transmission Fluid is the most effective at what it does, so if you use it on a regular basis, it can greatly extend the life of your transmission. One of this product’s greatest features is its wide compatibility. You may also mix it with other ATF fluids. However, to get the most out of this synthetic fluid, first drain all of your car’s existing transmission fluid.
This is a costly fluid that has better oxidation stability than other ATFs on the market. This implies you’ll be able to wait longer before having to change the fluid again. Using this solution will aid in the long-term maintenance of your transmission’s smooth functioning.
Specs and Feature
- It’s a high-performance and high-quality automatic transmission fluid.
- The superior film strength reduces wear and heat dramatically.
- Has good compatibility and you can even mix it with other ATF products.
- It may extend the life of your vehicle’s transmission.
Because the selection of the right transmission fluid is important to obtaining the best performance and fuel economy from your automobile, it’s critical to get this information correct. Always check your owner’s handbook for the type of fluid recommended by the manufacturer for your car. Transmission fluids are typically made with synthetic base oils to enhance performance and resistance to heat, cold, oxidation, friction, and shearing.