Why Your Car's Automatic Transmission Fluid Is so Important


Your car's automatic transmission system is a very complex piece of engineering; probably the most complex part of the entire vehicle. So, when it comes to looking after this crucial part, what can you do to save money in the long run and promote longevity?

What Should You Expect?

It is important to remember that an automatic transmission system, despite its complexity, is still a mass-produced component. It is subject to assembly-line conditions and no two systems are necessarily going to last the same amount of time. But while this is the case, you as the owner can have a key role in looking after the equipment to best effect.

When the automatic transmission system was designed on the drawing board it was built to very close tolerances and engineered to function in a specific way. The engineers determined that a certain type of fluid was necessary in order to achieve their objectives. It therefore does not make any sense to second-guess the engineers and choose just any generic type of fluid while trying to save money. Always put the manufacturer's recommended fluid in when you take the vehicle to get a service.

How It Works

A transmission system works under considerable pressure, especially if it is automatic. There are a number of different "clutches" which are constantly in motion and under specific tolerances, in order to shift gears properly. The fluid itself is also very highly engineered, so that it does not break down and become less helpful under high temperatures. In short, it the fluid is not functioning properly it cannot create a sufficient amount of pressure within the system to hydraulically operate the clutches and change the gears. This is not like a manual transmission, where much of the work is done as the name implies, manually, using shifting forks and synchronisers.

Changing Intervals

If you use your vehicle a lot in urban traffic conditions, including going back and forth to work on a daily basis, then you are likely putting your automatic transmission system through a lot. It's likely that the internal temperatures are quite high as the system will be shifting frequently in short distances. In this case, it's a good idea to get the fluid and filter changed more than once per year.

Inspecting the Old Fluid

When the technician changes this fluid they will also be able to look at the condition of the fluid as it comes out. They will carefully inspect it for contaminants, such as grains of fibre from the clutch discs, or tiny metal filings that may indicate larger wear and tear.


22 November 2016

Getting an auto service for my racing car

I love to take my car down to the track on the weekend. Running a race car is an expensive exercise so I need to be smart about how I spend my limited car budget. I do some of my auto servicing myself, but I don't have the equipment to some of the more complex jobs. I have put a lot of time and energy into my car so it's quite a commitment to trust someone else with my car, even for a few days, so I've found a trustworthy car service centre with a lot of experience in high performance vehicles. This blog has some tips on finding car servicing for racing cars.