Best Transmission Fluid

9 Best Transmission Fluids in 2019: Choose What Suits You Best

Last Updated: 28 Dec 2018

Transmission, like a car engine, needs regular maintenance, regardless of its type (mechanical, robot, automatic or CVT). Such maintenance should be understood as regular replacement of best transmission fluid, oil filter, cleaning of transmission pallet from dirt, replacement of gaskets, etc.

In this case, an important point is the selection of the best transmission fluid, which is carried out taking into account a number of conditions and features. In the meantime, best transmission fluid interferes with its protective properties. Replacing best transmission fluid is a routine procedure that should be performed at a specific time. Read the manufacturer's recommendations to understand when you need to pour new oil in a gearbox. In severe climatic conditions, the this fluid loses its properties faster. Sudden temperature drops, severe frosts, and high humidity significantly reduce the life of the oil.

The life period of best transmission fluid is also affected by driving style. With an aggressive style with sharp pulling away, slipping and sudden braking, transmission experiences increased loads, and oil becomes unusable quicker. Many car owners, after reading best recommendations, come to the conclusion that fluid in transmission does not need to be changed and is designed for an entire life of a car. But all recommendations apply only to the warranty period, which on average is 2-3 years. During this period, with a calm driving style, the oil retains all its lubricating properties. That is why it is important to know everything about transmission fluid for sale and how to choose it right.

How Often Do You Need to Change Transmission Fluid?

It depends on a type of transmission. For example, if you have a manual gearbox, it is recommended to change a TF every 30,000 – 60,000 miles. There are even cases when manufacturers advice to do this procedure one in 15,000 miles.

If we are talking about AT, everything is a bit simpler here. It means that there are car brands that recommend changing the best transmission fluid in their vehicles once in 30,000 miles and those that do not recommend doing this at all. Usually, a service life of this oil is up to 100,000 miles. But if you do this earlier, it won’t damage your auto.

What Are the Symptoms of Low Transmission Fluid?

First of all, you need to check TF from time to time. It is possible to recognize symptoms of low transmission fluid by sounds and features, which, unfortunately, are familiar to many drivers:

  • noise during operation and when shifting gears;
  • inability to switch any program or all programs;
  • difficulties while switching gear;
  • when gear spontaneously goes off.

What Happens If Your Transmission Fluid Is Too High?

Checking the level of best transmission fluid in the gearbox and its replacement are important procedures. You should carefully and responsibly approach these processes. The most innocuous that could happen is squeezing of grease through breather, dipstick, and glands; with the result that box will be covered with fluid. Also, AT starts to blunt. Some of the speeds can be lost, and the gearbox will not switch at all to a certain position. These signs are accompanied by displaying error codes, and even at this stage, nothing terrible happens – the main thing is to pay attention to such symptoms and to take urgent measures. Further ignoring overflow can soon lead to overheating of individual components of the transmission. Lubrication may occur on the air flow sensor, which contributes to an increase in fuel consumption. As you see, it’s better to avoid such situations.

TOP 9 Best Transmission Fluids Compared and Reviewed

1. Best Overall: Honda Transmission Fluid

1. Best Overall: Honda Transmission Fluid

Honda Automatic Transmission Fluid is synthetic oil that has high performance and properties. It is exclusively made with the use of improved base oils and additives, which guarantees good softness of gearshift, excellent low-temperature resistance, and high viscosity resistance to high temperatures. Thanks to the use of this best Honda transmission fluid, the running time of transmission is increased. Also, there is a decrease in operating costs. Period of seals operation increases and intervals of technological service are longer.

Pros
  • Complies with Honda quality standards
  • Smooth switching at different temperatures
  • Ideal to protect seals
  • Excellent antioxidant properties
  • Low viscosity formula
Cons
  • Is a bit pricey

2. Best Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid: Red Line Automatic Transmission Fluid

2. Best Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid: Red Line Automatic Transmission Fluid

Red Line 30504 is the best fully synthetic type A transmission fluid that surpasses Dexron III in low-temperature properties and has improved shear resistance that meets Mercon V specifications. It also provides GL-4 gear protection, making it an excellent choice for gearboxes and transmissions. According to transmission fluid reviews, balanced performance ensures extended service intervals. Offers top-level temperature stability, compared to mineral ATF. It is also recommended in the redline transmission fluid review for several mechanical transmissions and for BMW of the latest models.

Pros
  • Universal ATF
  • All-synthetic product
  • GL-4 protection
  • Extended service intervals
  • Perfect temperature stability
Cons
  • Some car owners state that it is not perfect for BMW

3. Best ATF for General Motors: Valvoline

3. Best ATF for General Motors: Valvoline

This is another best transmission fluid for sale, which deserves your attention. Valvoline DEXRON-VI is designed primarily for use in engines of GM group. This top-quality fluid is resistant to oxidation and destruction at high operating temperatures. It always ensures the stability of properties in extreme vehicle operating conditions. Moreover, it contains modern additives that protect against corrosion, oxidation, foaming. Smooth gear shifting is also guaranteed.

Pros
  • Stable viscosity
  • Smooth shifting
  • Top-quality additives
  • Protects from corrosions
  • Perfect for harsh conditions
Cons
  • Expensive

4. Best High-Performance Transmission Fluid: Royal Purple

4. Best High-Performance Transmission Fluid: Royal Purple

High-performance transmission fluid Royal Purple 01320 Max AT is also great. It forms a high-strength film on inner parts of the gearbox reducing heat loss and wear intensity. It fits most of the automatic gearboxes. Royal Purple recommends switching to this oil after passing the first servicing of your car. Moreover, these oils are compatible with other synthetic and mineral engine fluids. Reinforced additive package prevents metal parts from contacting with each other. Also, the use of this product leads to reduced fuel consumption.

Pros
  • Great for fuel economy
  • Made with top-quality additives
  • Compatible with mineral fluids
  • Able to reduce heat loss
  • Can be used for cars and trucks
Cons
  • Fuel economy is visible on cars with 70,000+ mileage

5. Best ATF for Low Temperatures: Mobil 1

5. Best ATF for Low Temperatures: Mobil 1

Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF is a synthetic fluid that meets requirements for modern cars, ensuring excellent performance even in the harshest conditions. This product provides reliable gear shifting and power transmission. Due to its high viscosity index and stability properties compared with conventional ATF fluids, Mobil 1 transmission fluid protects against breakdowns associated with driving in high-temperature regions and provides high-quality performance down to -54 ° C.

Pros
  • High friction qualities
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Ideal for super-low temperatures
  • Compatible with mineral ATF
  • Able to prolong the service life of the gearbox
Cons
  • High price

6. Best Manual Transmission Fluid: Ford

6. Best Manual Transmission Fluid: Ford

Among the leaders of best transmission fluids, produced under the brand of well-known manufacturers, is Genuine Ford manual transmission fluid. This synthetic-based fluid for manual transmission comes with the addition of special additives that are able to increase the efficiency of gear shifting, regardless of air temperature. This transmission fluid for sale provides optimum lubrication, prolonging the life of synchronizers. In addition, it is applicable to transmissions previously released, including rear wheel drive vehicles. Best working stability due to high viscosity index is also guaranteed

Pros
  • Prolongs the life of bearings
  • Best choice for a manual gearbox
  • Soft gear shifting
  • Developed by well-known manufacturer
  • High viscosity
Cons
  • Expensive

7. Best Budget: Mopar

7. Best Budget: Mopar

This is another best type A automatic transmission fluid on a synthetic basis. It was developed and tested by Chrysler specifically for use in Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep cars equipped with corresponding AT. This product features excellent lubricating properties that protect gearbox from premature wear. This is obtained by means of oil film on gearbox working elements, which reduces friction losses between metal surfaces and provides a softer and smoother gear shifting. Other positive characteristics of this best transmission fluid include the absence of jerking, increased power, and reduced fuel consumption.

Pros
  • High level of protection from corrosion
  • Prolongs service life of the gearbox
  • Reduces fuel assumption
  • Reduces noise and vibrations
  • Excellent price for 5 liters
Cons
  • Fits limited vehicles

8. Best Reliability: Castrol

8. Best Reliability: Castrol

Castrol is another best transmission fluid for gearboxes from various vehicle manufacturers. It was created taking into account advanced technologies for lubricants production. Low viscosity composition of this best synthetic automatic transmission fluid is specifically invented to achieve efficient operation of modern AT and maximum fuel economy of cars. Castrol transmission fluid is made from a blend of high-quality base oils with a balanced additive package, fully approved by Ford and GM for use in vehicles to meet their latest specifications.

Pros
  • High-quality additives
  • Excellent heat and oxidation resistance
  • Top-notch fluidity at low temperatures
  • Reliable operation
  • Helps to reduce fuel assumption
Cons
  • Is not compatible with car models that need Dex VI, MERCON V, or MERCON SP

9. Best for Lifetime Application: Pentosin

9. Best for Lifetime Application: Pentosin

Pentosin ATF-1 is based on best hard hydrocracking base oils and PAO, as well as a package of special additives that provide high performance. High viscosity stability, combined with a modern package of additives able to protect against wear and friction, ensures the long-term excellent performance of modern automatic transmissions with the adjustable shiftable clutch. Moreover, this best synthetic automatic transmission fluid significantly exceeds the requirements of DEXRON III.

Pros
  • High-performance ATF
  • Corresponds to maximum productivity
  • Developed on the basis of hydrocracking base oils
  • Can be used on a lifetime basis
  • Suitable for various cars
Cons
  • Manufacturer recommends only complete replacement


Types of Best Transmission Fluid

Type is determined by the composition of the oil. Today it is possible to distinguish three main types of transmission fluid:

Mineral

Such best transmission fluids are made from oil distillation products. Compounds are less tolerant of temperature extremes than the best synthetic ones, which require more frequent replacement and are poorly suited for extreme conditions and high-quality transmissions.

Synthetic

Such best best transmission fluids are made from components obtained by artificial means. They are considered to be more advanced than mineral. In this category, there are oils for expensive cars that are demanding on quality of fuels and lubricants. In addition, the synthetics do not pollute the system.

Semi-Synthetic

It is a tradeoff between the two types described above. Such liquids consist of both mineral and synthetic components. Such compositions have more advanced characteristics than mineral, while they are much cheaper than synthetic.

Best Transmission Fluid Buying Guide – What to Look At?

Choice of best transmission fluid on modern fuel and lubricants market is huge. It is obvious that many drivers in the selection of lubricants are wondering which transmission oil is better. Let’s distinguish what are the main criteria to consider.

Viscosity

Most important characteristics of best transmission fluid are indicated on a bottle. API designation indicates viscosity grade. This indicator can be equal to 75W; 80W; 90W or 110W. Manufacturers emphasize that the higher is figure indicated, the lower is temperature regime maintained by this composition. The best option is oil with an index of 100W, which is considered suitable for most modern cars.

Type of Transmission

When choosing best transmission fluid, you should first pay attention to which gearbox it is intended. Automatic transmission fluid will be ATF-labeled and have a red or green color. Colors are used to distinguish between oil for manual and automatic transmissions since ATF is less viscous and has additives that prevent from foaming.

Seasonality

Also, best transmission fluid can vary in seasonality. There are fluids for hot climates and for operation at constant negative temperatures. Most modern gear oils are all-season. They operate in the range of -50 ° C to +50 ° C; do not lose their properties in cold and in heat.

Quality Class

Don’t forget to consider a quality class. It is marked with letters GL and numbers from 1 to 5. In modern cars, oils of a class not lower than GL 4 are used. They have high requirements for anti-seize and anti-wear properties.

Capacity

The best capacity of a package in which fluid is delivered is actually the amount of oil in the scope of supply. For a full refueling, usually, about 3-4 liters are required. In trucks, this value is noticeably higher (up to several dozen liters). Accordingly, choice in terms of volume depends on for which car oil is bought and for what purpose. This can be either topping up or full replacement. Remember that every car has own requirements and needs. So, you should not feed it with the wrong best transmission fluid, because it can lead to bad consequences.

The Best Transmission Fluid. Final Advice

Now you should be able to make the right choice as for the best transmission fluid. Based on our research and product reviews above, Honda auto transmission fluid is the winner. It is chosen to be the best transmission fluid 2019 due to numerous positive characteristics. If you like your vehicle, choose this best transmission fluid to avoid problems with the gearbox in the future. You will notice smooth shifting at various temperatures thanks to a proper low oxidation rate. Moreover, best transmission fluid fully corresponds to Honda quality standards and has no negative ratings from drivers. In addition, this best transmission fluid by Honda complies with international API standard specifications. Nothing can provide optimal performance and durability of your Honda better than using genuine best transmission fluid. Now it’s up to you to make a final choice!

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