To keep your car running smoothly, it is essential you change your transmission fluid regularly. This article will enlighten you on the Best Transmission Fluid for your Automatic Car Transmission, the Benefits of Transmission Fluid Change, Transmission Fluid Pricing, and so on. You can check also the types of transmission and the Cost of transmission fluids.
Best Transmission Fluid
Castrol Transmax Dex/Merc ATF
This transmission fluid is our most recommended choice. It has improved friction stamina for smooth movement and has displayed high-performance results when it is consumer tested. Transmax meets and satisfies the requirements of Dexron, Dexron III, Dexron-III H, IIE, and II, as well as Mercon requirements. This enables it to work for you, depending on your exact make and model.
If you own a Mercon-requiring vehicle, this ATF is also useful in your power steering. Therefore, if you wish to top off your transmission and power steering fluids with one product, it is your ideal choice. It saves you from plastic waste as the large bottle size is of benefit since you’ll need just one.
Remember to check your owner’s manual to confirm compatibility. The confusing labeling is the only dislike we have for this particular fluid. It is because this type of fluid works in imports as well, so long as they require Dex/Merc fluid. However, the label specifies that it’s for Domestic cars, which is incorrect.
ACDelco Dexron VI Synthetic ATF
Regular refining and re-releasing of formulas for their automatic transmission fluid occur in companies like ACDelco. The sixth implementation of the Dexron formula is the Dexron VI. For usability, it has been made backward-compatible with every formula going back to Dexron III. You can therefore use VI without any detrimental effect if you have used III, IV, or V in your transmission before.
The Dexron VI is quite affordable and very efficient. Its enhancements to friction tolerance and viscosity make drive shifting much smoother. It reduces rust and corrosion too. To extend the life of your transmission, this is a great budget choice.
The only discouraging factor about this transmission fluid is that is sold in bottle sizes lesser than one quart. This causes a lot of hassles for buyers and needless plastic waste in the environment.
Red Line GL-4 Manual Transmission Lubricant
A manual transmission will require a different type of transmission fluid from an automatic one. For your manual car, our most recommended is the Red Line’s GL-4 transmission lubricant. It is compatible with brass synchronizers as the formulation is less slippery and low in sulfur. The requirements of 70W, 75W, 80W, SAE 30, 5W30, and 10W30 motor oil are met and satisfied by this transmission fluid. It’s also functional in a higher viscosity formulation (MT-85 and MT-90).
This transmission lubricant performs well in older muscle cars, sporty Hondas, Dodges, and Acuras. This is due to its optimal stability in high-temperature and performance applications. It solves third-gear issues in some cars and enhances the general glide of the transmission for smooth shifting. You must plan accordingly because most manual transmission cars require about two quarts of fluid.
Altogether, it tends to be a remarkable quality product with encouraging performance results. Though it seems to act up a bit in very cold temperatures and this serves as a shortcoming.
Royal Purple Synchromax
Drivers with manual transmission have the Royal purple synchro max as an alternative option. Those manual-shifting vehicles whose owner’s manual recommends that they be filled with automatic transmission fluid have this as an ideal choice. That recommendation applies to manual vehicles from Hondas to Ford trucks to Jeeps. So if it applies to you, Royal Purple Synchromax is the perfect product.
One of the benefits of this transmission fluid is that it is engineered to reduce parasitic power loss. It does not simply boost horsepower but also smoother shifting, especially compared to OEM transmission fluid.
It has the disadvantage of containing an ingredient classified as unsafe under California Proposition 65. Use it in a well-ventilated space and ensure you wear a dust mask and gloves while working. Asides from health interests, the main flaw is that this fluid doesn’t offer the same benefits to everyone. There’s a possibility that you might not notice any difference after adding it to your transmission.
Ravenol DTF-1 Transfer Case Fluid
This transfer case fluid works most effectively in German cars since Ravenol is a German company. It meets and satisfies the OEM requirements for Volkswagens and BMWs, Land Rovers, Nissans, and others. If your vehicle has a modern electric system, you’ll get the best results as this fluid is designed for electronic active transfer cases.
It is a powerful lubricant with a low friction coefficient that cuts down on both immediate power loss and long-term wear. This serves practically as an identical product for a fraction of the cost of a BMW-branded fluid. The product is excellent at reversing transfer case slippage and causing smoother shifting.
Before you use it, have it in mind that it works on a lesser range of cars than some other products on this list. It also comprises potentially harmful chemicals. The cap assembly, which has an inner cylinder you need to deploy before inserting the bottle into the transfer case might be a difficulty for Non-European users.
Mobil ATF 3309
It can be assumed that Mobil would be a powerful contender for the title of best automatic transmission fluid. This is a result of it being one of the world’s most recognizable oil companies. A cheap, strong way to quiet your transmission down and make your car seem brand new is this ATF 3309 formula.
For the benefits, it works with a wide range of vehicles – mainly Toyota, Lexus, and Volvo models but others as well. With 12 quarts available for bulk purchase, it’s also affordable on a budget. It is similar to factory ATF but works way better for smoother shifting and extended transmission lifespan. For treatment of a transmission that is starting to shudder, this is one of our best fluids.
Be warned that the bulk deal is a double-edged sword. You will be paying twice as much for them even when you simply need a few quarts. Also, if you have discovered that synthetic works better in your transmission, it is not recommended that you switch to Mobil.
Benefits of Transmission Fluid Change
Better fuel economy for your car:
Lubricating and viscosity standards can easily be met by fresh transmission fluids. They also possess better resistance to oxidation. These characteristics provide better fuel economy for your car.
It facilitates smooth motion:
There will be smoother movement for your gears if you constantly check and service your car’s transmission fluid. It safeguards your gearbox and this keeps you from a costly repair.
It is less expensive and time-consuming when you change your transmission fluid by yourself. Making use of a synthetic transmission fluid can lessen the cost. This is because it lasts longer as it has an extended lifespan and some other qualities.
A longer transmission lifespan:
If your car is well-maintained and gets constant transmission fluid changes, it will have a longer lifespan.
Reduced rust and corrosion:
Factors like moisture, and chemicals, can wreak havoc on your transmission. The possibility of this potential problem of rust and corrosion can be reduced by constant change of transmission fluid.
Types of Transmission Fluid
Type F fluid
This fluid doesn’t get much use anymore as it was initially created for Fords that have bronze clutches. Your vehicle likely has another type of transmission fluid because bronze clutches have not been used since the 1970s.
Dexron/Mercon formulations work with most GMs, Fords, and imports, this makes it one of the most common transmission fluids out there. It is vital that before you conclude that it is the fluid you need, study your owner’s manual for an official recommendation.
This fluid is on the market under varieties of names and is used by a number of imports. It has similarities with the Dexron/Mercon transmission fluid. Though, the HFM fluid provides few distinct friction features which are better suited to some type of transmission.
Transmission Fluid Pricing
Below $10: There are varieties of choices at this price point. You can discover quality options even at this meager price point but you should know that some formulations are better than others.
$10 – $20: If you own a newer or more expensive car, it’s advisable you invest a little extra sometimes. In this mid-range, you will find a considerable amount of good-quality types and options.
Above $20: This price range doesn’t have many formulations of transmission fluid. The quality is about equal to the mid-range, barring a few limited exceptions. For the higher price, you will get a bigger container.
Features of Transmission Fluid
Synthetic and Natural
There is both synthetic and natural form of most transmission fluid types, with synthetics being a slightly more recommended choice. This is a result of their improved resistance to heat and cold, as well as oxidation. They also have a longer lifespan. These features have made manufacturers favor synthetic over organic-based compounds.
The type of transmission fluid you need can be ascertained by studying your owner’s manual. This prepares you to select the best from that category.
You’ll need a different transmission fluid than an automatic car if you have a manual transmission. Since most cars are automatic, Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is more prevalent in the market. Due to its closeness to motor oil than transmission fluid, it can be a little tricky to find the Manual Transmission Fluid. However, your owner’s manual will guide you to select the appropriate fluid type.
Why do I have to change my car’s transmission fluid?
A: Just like all the other fluids in your car, the transmission fluid also deteriorates in quality as time goes by. The rate of deterioration is increased by the constant use of your car. You should change your transmission fluid to ensure the smooth running of your car and avoid an expensive box transmission repair.
Is there a way to check if my transmission fluid needs changing?
A: Of course, it’s actually easy to do so. Power on your car for five minutes, then pull out the transmission fluid dipstick and wipe off this specimen on a neat rag. After doing this, re-insert the dipstick and pull it out again. Examine the appearance of the transmission fluid on the dipstick. You will know it needs to be changed if it appears extremely dark or smells burnt.
How constantly do I have to change my transmission fluid?
A: There are no precise answers regarding this. There will be a recommendation of when to do so on your car’s owner’s manual. Though, a good rule of thumb is somewhere between 30,000 and 60,000 miles. A change will be needed depending on how rough you drive your car.
Can the transmission fluid be changed by me?
A: Indeed, you can. Though it can be complicated a bit it is achievable if you have the necessary tools and a bit of car knowledge. It’s a task that can be achieved within the duration of an hour or two.
Is there a difference between transmission fluid and motor oil?
A: It is possible to get them mixed up due to the various fluids out there but they are not the same thing. Transmission fluid is used to keep your car’s transmission running smoothly while motor oil ensures the motor functions well.