What are the Types of Transmission Fluid?
Different transmission fluids are used for different types of transmissions. Automatic transmissions use Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF), while manual transmissions can use a variety of fluids, such as motor oil, hypoid gear oil, and sometimes automatic transmission fluid. You should always consult the owner’s manual to know which transmission fluid is right for your car.
The image on this page gives an idea of a cutaway of a transmission and shows why you need to regularly change the fluid to maintain viscosity and remove dirt from a complex system.
Manual Transmission Service
In manual transmission cars, the main problem is that the transmission fluid can be easily contaminated over time because the metal bearings and gears inside the transmission begin to wear down. Most manufacturers recommend transmission service be performed every 30,000 to 60,000k miles.
Automatic Transmission Service
In an automatic transmission, it generates more heat, which can lead the transmission fluid to break down and degrade over time. Transmission service for most automatic cars is recommended every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.