Best Transmission Fluids for Manual and Automatic Cars
To keep your manual or automatic transmission car running smoothly and without hiccups throughout its life, you need to regularly change your transmission fluids. This is, in essence, the blood of your car. For this reason, you can see just how important it is to select the best transmission fluids for your car.
As its main responsibilities, transmission fluids are used for cooling and lubrication to prevent cars from overheating.
But besides these main responsibilities, transmission fluids also provide fluid pressure to activate transmission bands and clutch plates for changing gears, prevent oxidation and rusting of parts, and more.
If you go manual transmission, you’re in luck. Selecting the best transmission fluids for your car simply means looking at the recommendations of the car manual, and finding branded fluids with the same ingredients. But selecting refills for automatic transmission cars outside the factory recommendation is not that easy.
Automatic transmission fluids, or ATFs, require a great deal more research, care, and attention, if only for the fact that automatic transmissions work at higher temperatures than manual transmissions. They simply lose performance faster even with normal use.
For the best transmission fluids, you need to search for the correct formulation required for your car’s specific transmission model. The factory recommendation can be found on your car’s manual, and you can base your selection on it.
You also need to make sure the fluid is in the right condition, because these fluids have lifespans outside the typical use, and also might have additives that affect shelf life.
You can use synthetic fluids with additives for better oxidation stabilization, which will help increase the performance of your engine, give longer fluid life, and help with fluid economy. Other high performance fluids are also recommended on moderately-used cars.
These fluids can operate at a higher pressure and temperature, and can last longer without needing an oil change, having been designed for heavy duty trucks and vans.
These long-life, high-quality fluids, are more expensive, but are usually worth it in the long run. Some fluids can be mixed with different brands, but for the best results, you should always flush your previous oil before refilling.
Conveniently, most repair shops have data on hand about the best transmission fluids for your car’s particular model, and you can do your own research starting with the helpful recommendations of your car manual, and from other car enthusiasts everywhere and online.