Why Automatic Transmission Fluid Is Quite Special

Posted on: 5 November 2020


Most car owners today take advantage of an automatic transmission system to make life behind the wheel a lot easier. They may have previously owned a manual car or truck and know that the gearbox fitted to their new vehicle is completely different but, like everything else mechanical, will need care and attention. Yet why is the automatic transmission very different from the manual when it comes to upkeep and servicing?

Sophisticated Product

Within each gearbox are many moving parts that are engineered to work together under stress. A variety of different cogs, gears and bearings must engage with each other in order to work, and transmission fluid is essential to lubricate those parts. Without the fluid, the vehicle would suffer from an excessive amount of wear and tear, and you would need to replace those internal parts frequently.

Key Differences

Yet the automatic transmission is very different from the manual in many respects. It's not possible, therefore, to use a fluid that was designed for a manual transmission in an automatic variant.

Under Pressure

The automatic transmission fluid is also designed to be pressurised so it can activate the various clutches and other internal parts that change your gears automatically. It is typically synthesised so that it will work under high pressure and temperature situations, and is far less likely to break down or oxidise.

Passage of Time

Nevertheless, even though the fluid is quite sophisticated, there's only so much that it can do, and an element of wear and tear is inevitable. Tiny specks of metal will eventually grind away and will float within the fluid. Some of this debris will be caught by filters, but it'll nevertheless build up over time and affect the consistency of the fluid.

Service Schedule

As the months go by, the automatic transmission fluid will be less capable of protecting those internal parts. It may not perform so well when pressurised, either, and this could adversely affect vehicle performance. Manufacturers recommend, therefore, that you take the vehicle in for an automatic transmission service at predetermined intervals.

Change and Flush

When you arrive for your appointment, the mechanic will have a look at the fluid and determine if it needs to be changed. If this is the case, they will flush all of the old fluid out using tools designed for that purpose. They'll make sure that they remove any fluid stored within the coolers and converters as well.

Taking Action

It's very important to ensure that you only use fluid designed specifically for the automatic transmission system fitted to your vehicle. It is also important to service the system when recommended and to replace the fluid as needed.

For more information, contact an automatic transmission service in your area.