Skip links

Important Facts About Automatic Transmission Fluid

Technology is taking a new shape and shine every year. Gone are the days, when the only option available to motor lovers was a manual transmission.

Today, we have various different transmission fluids available that run throughout your car.

Every vital part of your vehicle runs on some kind of fluid whether it is engine, gear, radiator fluid or air conditioning refrigerant, it becomes important to keep these fluids in check to ensure smooth functioning of your vehicle.

One of the most critical and rather essential fluids for your car is transmission fluid.

While everyone knows about the importance of renewing engine oil, not many are aware of transmission fluid.

There are still a number of people who often get confused when it comes to understanding the role of transmission fluid and how often they should change it.

Don’t worry! If you are also someone who is looking for more information about it, then you are absolutely at the right place and at the right time.

We are here to help you understand more about crucial aspects of Automatic Transmission Fluid. So without any further ado, let’s have a look!

What is transmission fluid?

There are two main types of transmission fluids used currently: automatic transmission fluid and manual transmission fluid. In short, it is the transmission fluid that runs your vehicle.

There are other types of fluids available too, mainly synthetic transmission fluid and some specialty fluids meant for CVT and dual -clutch models.

In order to keep your car running smoothly and to increase its longevity, it’s important to know what type of transmission your car runs on and then understand the requirements.

Automatic Transmission Fluid – Automatic transmission fluid is a type of transmission fluid often used for automatic vehicles which run on self-shifting gears or simply called automatic transmissions.

It is generally red colored or greenish so you can easily distinguish it from other types of motor oil and fluids frequently used in the vehicle.

Automatic transmission not only lubricates the parts, but also adds hydraulic pressure and provides much needed friction to make the internal parts work efficiently.

It is the transmission fluid in both manual and automatic transmissions that helps keep the transmission system cool.

What is a Transmission Flush?

A transmission flush is a critical maintenance process for your vehicle which involves removing all the fluid from the transmission, and pouring in new fluid for the machine to clean out the impurities and any form of sludge.

This procedure significantly cleans the entire transmission and hence is a proven way to enhance the longevity of your vehicle and also improve its performance in the long run.

In brief, A transmission flush is a procedure where all the fluid in the transmission system is entirely removed and replaced with the new one.

It typically removes old, dirty fluids and replaces them with clean fluids. It is one of the main steps of servicing your vehicle.

Which Type of Transmission Fluid Should I Use?

Automatic transmission fluid is perhaps the most commonly used in vehicles that have automatic or manual transmissions.

There are different types of ATFs or Automatic Transmission Fluids available depending upon their grading and quality.

Which one you should decide on really depends upon your vehicle and its model. It is recommended to consult with a transmission expert or in your nearby service centre.

No matter what transmission fluid you opt for, you should not compromise with the quality.

If you have an advanced vehicle such as an SUV or the latest model then you might also consider using CVT fluid for the transmission as it is an advanced version of transmission oil crafted to work with advanced cars, SUVs and trucks.

When Should I Change the Transmission Fluid?

Most experts recommend replacing the transmission fluid every 35,000 to 60,000 miles for manual cars depending upon your use.

For automatic you can wait up to 60,000 to 80,000 miles but the sooner the better as there is absolutely no problem in changing the fluid early.

Not doing so may cause some performance issues. Performance and drivability will not be as effective as they used to be.

Fluid will get dirty and might not work as an effective lubricant and it would also not disperse heat very well.

This can result in damage and cause wear and tear on the clutch and gears and other parts of the transmission.

How do I know my Transmission Fluid is low?

There are tell-tale signs that you should follow. It is an indication that you need to change the Transmission Fluid. Let’s find out what these signs are!

  • Roaring sounds when you accelerate or take sharp turns around the corners.
  • A slight burning smells
  • Difficulty shifting gears if it is manual.
  • Engine revving when accelerating at the time of pick-up.
  • A chattering noise as soon as you start the drive.
  • And most important of all the warning light.

How often do you need to add transmission fluid?

It solely depends upon your use and the model of the vehicle. While some cars require transmission fluid change within 40000 miles whereas few can last as much as 100000 miles. It is recommended to check with your nearest service centre.

Can low transmission fluid cause jerking?

Yes, it will start giving you noticeable signs which should be taken as an indication for low transmission fluid.

You should maintain the health service and maintenance routine of your vehicle to improve the performance and life of your vehicle.

What does low transmission fluid sound like?

When the transmission of your vehicle runs low, the engine starts revving and producing chattering noise when accelerating at the time of pick-up.

You can also notice some noise as soon as you start the drive or when taking turns around the corners.

What are the early signs of transmission failure?

Some early signs that you should look for in your vehicle are as follows:

For a manual transmission-based car, shifting gears is crucial and transmission fluid lets it flow seamlessly and with utmost ease without wearing down its parts.

When you face problems with shifting gears then it could be a potential sign of some problem with the transmission.

Some other signs are:

  • Burning Smell and smoke
  • Neutral and chattering Noises
  • Slipping of Gears and problems with Clutch
  • Leaking Fluid from the smoke pipe.
  • Shaking of the vehicle.
  • Engine Light blinking or illuminating.

Leave a comment

  1. Hey Dude

    the best ever reading content in this articles about the oil industry , highly useful information , please share more unique details

  2. Nice post. Thank you for the info. Looking forward to your next post.

  3. This morning, I drove my wife to work and noticed that our car smelled weird, like burnt, so I’m very worried about what’s going on. I’m glad you talked about failing transmissions and how to identify one before it’s too late, so I’ll start looking for an auto repair shop right now. Thanks for describing what it’d mean if your car struggles when shifting gears.