Synthetic Trans Fluid


Old 01-14-04, 09:49 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Staten Island, New York
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Question Synthetic Trans Fluid

Has anyone had any experience using synthetic trans fluid? I was told that "normal" auto trans fluid is not an oil based product, that all ATF is "synthetic". Thanks.
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Old 01-15-04, 12:20 AM
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Someone told you normal ATF is not oil based? Wrong, it is oil based. Not all ATF's are Synthetics, Amsoil came out with the first synthetic ATF. It's great for newer cars, old transmissions may or may not slip when using synthetic ATF fluid.
Old 01-15-04, 10:23 PM
mike from nj
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atf is a petroleum based fluid, as is motor oil, gear oil and p/s fluid.

it's roughly a 5 weight oil (5W), and has a ton of additives to make it a hydraulic fluid. you can use (small amounts of) atf in an engine, but never motor oil in a trans

spending the money to use a synthetic---might spark off another debate. what you should use is what the owner's manual calls for. if you tow heavy things, you might want to add an extra trans fluid cooler.
Old 01-16-04, 07:33 PM
carguyinva's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 1,147
today's automatics...

...are best suited by the fluid recommended by the manufacturer. the only time I put anything different is if the manufacturer has released a newer fluid (dexron, dexronII, dexronIIE, dexronIII) and approved it for use in older models. I know of NO applications requiring synthetic that are retro to older models. Mixing synthetics with oil based is also a big no-no. Today's transmissions are VERY sensitive to the friction characteristics of can really destroy one fast by putting the wrong fluid in one.

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