The automatic transmission has been a pivotal innovation that took the modern automobile industry one step further. Fluid drive transmission had been introduced back in the 1930s, and it made driving easier and more accessible to people.
Automatic transmissions that you can find these days are highly intelligent, but still, they rely on automatic transmission fluid in order to get through the gears. If you want to get a satisfying performance from your car, you have to make sure that the fluid inside is clean and clear.
Why Automatic Transmission Fluid is so Important?
Indeed, transmission fluid plays a big part in making your car run efficiently. It lubricates your transmission, which allows it to run smoothly. Acting a lot like a coolant, the fluid also helps with the temperature range.
Modern ATF generally comes as a mix of base oil with an additive package that contains a wide range of chemical compounds. The mix helps to ensure the required properties in a particular ATF. The wide range of benefits that automatic transmission fluid offers to include the followings:
1. Improving Lubricating Qualities
The combination of additives existing in an automatic transmission fluid helps to improve its lubricating qualities. Such additives include anti-wear additives, detergents, rust and corrosion inhibitors, dispersants, surfactants, seal swell additives, anti-foam additives, anti-oxidation compounds, and more. All these together help to lubricate the gears in the gearbox.
2. Bringing Power to the Gearbox
ATF fills the torque converter or automatic clutch. Thus, it conveys power from the engine to the gearbox.
3. Conveying signal from the control unit valves to the internal clutches
ATF acts as a hydraulic medium, by conveying signals coming from the valves to the brakes that engage the gears.
4. Ensuring a smooth power take-off
Automatic transmission fuel ensures a rapid and effortless power take-off between the friction faces of oil-immersed clutches
5. Cooling down the transmission unit
ATF removes the heat generated from friction in the engine. Thus, it helps to keep the transmission cool.
Indeed, transmission fluid plays a vital role in ensuring a long lifetime for your cars and maintaining their optimum capacity.
What Damage is Caused by Not Changing Transmission Fluid?
It is important to change the transmission fluid on a regular basis. When your vehicle ages, the transmission also undergoes a lot of wear and tear. As a result, the fluid turns out thinner and contaminated over time. It can result in premature wear on the transmission.
As we know, irregular driving, hauling loads, trailers, and other kinds of hard uses can impact the fluid in a car negatively. Transmission fluid shows no exception to that characteristics. When you drive harder, your transmission’s operating temperature gets hotter. Eventually, your transmission and its fluid experience more strain too.
Metal shavings, along with some other contaminants, can affect the transmission fluid. If you fail to change the automatic transmission fluid on schedule, the lifespan of your transmission would eventually get shorter.
Also, if there is a leak, there’s a possibility of the amount of fluid running low. It can result in the transmission shifting poorly or stopping shifting at all.
What Kind of Maintenance is Required for your Automatic Transmission?
Before letting you know about the maintenance, let us start with a piece of good news. You do not need to change your automatic transmission fluid so frequently as you need to do for a typical oil. Depending on your car’s type, age, and condition, you need to change ATF from every 30,000 miles to up to up to 150,000 miles. However, this recommended distance can differ depending on your car’s owner’s manual.
As it’s been said already, the maintenance depends on the car’s performance, use, and condition. If you are someone who engages in plenty of hard driving, then you should check the fluid relatively often. As many of the cars do not come with a transmission fluid dipstick, you might not be able to monitor the level all by yourself. In such a case, you should take the vehicle to a reputable and trustable service center.
Compared to a manual transmission, it is a bit more difficult to change transmission fluid for an automatic transmission. Either way, doing such things is generally well above the expertise of most vehicle owners. If you feel the same, you can take help from a professional transmission repair service provider.
A transmission service provider can help you with different levels of transmission service. From filter to fluid exchange to filter and fluid flush, they can bring your transmission in great condition. Changing the transmission fluid effectively in time, you can ensure a smoother shifting, component failure reduction, improved performance, and a longer life span for your vehicle.
FAQs about the Importance of Automatic Transmission Fluid
What Is A Transmission Flush?
A transmission flush is one of the most critical maintenance processes for a vehicle. It involves extracting all the fluid from the inside of the transmission and then pouring a new fluid into the machine. This process helps to clean out all the impurities, and any sludges that exist.
Transmission flush helps to enhance a vehicle’s longevity. Also, it enhances the performance of your car as the days pass by. Removing the old and dirty fluids and replacing them with clean fluids, serves as one of the main steps of your vehicle servicing.
How Regularly Should I Change my ATF?
How Frequently one should change ATF, depends on a number of things including the car’s model, condition, age, and more. However, most commonly you would need to change your ATF for every 30000 miles to up to 150000 miles. However, to know better, you should follow the recommendation that’s provided in your car’s owner’s manual.
The Final Verdict
The health of your car’s automatic transmission fluid can work as a prerequisite for your car’s ultimate performance and efficiency. To ensure that your fluid is fully clean and clear, you should always get your automatic transmission serviced and automatic transmission fluid changed at the right time. To know the right interval to follow between each transmission fluid change, you should follow your owner’s manual.