What transmission fluid do i need?

What transmission fluid do i need?


When it comes to maintaining your vehicle’s transmission, one crucial aspect is choosing the right transmission fluid. The type of transmission fluid you need depends on various factors, including the type of transmission in your vehicle, the manufacturer’s recommendations, and the specific requirements of your vehicle. In this article, we will dive deeper into the topic of transmission fluid and help you understand what transmission fluid you need for your vehicle.

Types of Transmission Fluid

There are different types of transmission fluid available in the market, and each is designed for specific types of transmissions. The most common types include:

1. Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF): ATF is primarily used in vehicles with automatic transmissions. It is formulated to provide smooth shifting, lubrication, and cooling properties for automatic transmissions. There are different types of ATF, such as Dexron, Mercon, and ATF+4, each designed for specific vehicle makes and models.

2. Manual Transmission Fluid (MTF): MTF is used in vehicles with manual transmissions. It is thicker than ATF and provides lubrication and cooling properties for manual transmissions. MTF is available in different viscosities, so it is essential to consult your vehicle’s manual to determine the correct viscosity for your specific transmission.

3. Continuously Variable Transmission Fluid (CVT): CVT fluid is specifically designed for vehicles equipped with continuously variable transmissions. CVT fluid provides the necessary lubrication and cooling properties for smooth operation of the CVT system. It is crucial to use the recommended CVT fluid specified by the vehicle manufacturer.

4. Dual-Clutch Transmission Fluid (DCTF): DCTF is used in vehicles equipped with dual-clutch transmissions. It provides the necessary lubrication and cooling properties for the intricate components of dual-clutch transmissions. DCTF is typically specific to the vehicle manufacturer and should be used as recommended.

Manufacturer Recommendations

To determine the specific type of transmission fluid your vehicle requires, it is essential to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations. The vehicle’s owner’s manual will provide detailed information about the recommended transmission fluid type, viscosity, and any specific requirements. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations ensures optimal performance and longevity of your vehicle’s transmission.

It is important to note that using the wrong type of transmission fluid can lead to transmission damage, poor shifting performance, and potential warranty issues. Therefore, it is crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations when selecting transmission fluid for your vehicle.

Checking and Changing Transmission Fluid

Regularly checking and changing your vehicle’s transmission fluid is vital for maintaining its performance and longevity. The frequency of fluid changes varies depending on the vehicle make, model, and driving conditions. Again, consulting the owner’s manual will provide specific guidelines on when to check and change the transmission fluid.

To check the transmission fluid, locate the transmission dipstick under the hood of your vehicle. With the engine running and the transmission warmed up, pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it, and then pull it out again. The fluid should be within the recommended range indicated on the dipstick. If the fluid is low or discolored, it may be time for a fluid change.

When changing the transmission fluid, it is advisable to have it done by a professional or follow the instructions provided in the owner’s manual. The process typically involves draining the old fluid, replacing the filter (if applicable), and refilling with the recommended transmission fluid. Proper disposal of the old fluid is essential, as it is considered hazardous waste.


Selecting the right transmission fluid for your vehicle is crucial for maintaining optimal transmission performance and longevity. It is essential to consider the type of transmission in your vehicle, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, and adhere to proper fluid checking and changing procedures. By doing so, you can ensure smooth shifting, proper lubrication, and cooling for your vehicle’s transmission.


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