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Why "One-Fits-All” Transmission Fluids Put your Car at Risk

 

The transmission is an indispensable part of every passenger car. It is responsible for converting the power produced by the engine into torque (rotational force) and for conveying the torque to the wheels to move the car.

What is a Transmission?

The transmission is an indispensable part of every passenger car. It is responsible for converting the power produced by the engine into torque (rotational force) and for conveying the torque to the wheels to move the car. The challenge for the transmission arises as different driving situations pose different demands for the conversion of power: While a lot of torque is needed when starting and accelerating the car, for example, less torque is required when the car goes at high speeds. To adjust to the different requirements and to manage the trade-off between torque and speed, the transmission uses multiple gears.

 

Which Transmission Types Exist?

Transmissions differ in how many gears and what kind of gears they use, how the gears are arranged and how they are shifted. In general, four main types of transmissions are differentiated:

  • Manual transmissions
  • Automatic transmissions
  • Continuously variable transmissions
  • Dual-clutch transmissions

Which Transmission Fluid Types Exist?

Depending on the transmission type, the transmission fluid needs to satisfy very different requirements. While for manual transmissions, wear and synchronizer protection is crucial, automatic transmission fluids (ATFs) need to show excellent friction and anti-foam characteristics. Oftentimes, these performance requirements cannot be optimized simultaneously. Instead, one needs to be optimized at the expense of another. Transmission fluids therefore must be formulated for the specific needs of the transmission type and even the transmission model they are intended to be used in. While a multi-vehicle ATF serves a purpose by satisfying general automatic transmission requirements across a mixed-fleet of vehicles, it will truly not deliver the same level of performance as a dedicated, OEM approved, automatic (DCT and/or CVT) transmission fluid.

What Happens if I Use the Wrong Transmission Fluid?

Using the wrong transmission fluid will lead to the fluid not fulfilling the tasks necessary to ensure optimal transmission performance and longevity. These tasks include the cooling of the transmission, its lubrication, its protection against wear, synchronizer and solenoids as well as managing friction during gear shifts and the prevention of shuddering. If one or even several of these tasks are not performed properly, the transmission will take damage. This can lead to difficulties in gear shifting, to shuddering and a loss of acceleration and – in the worst-case scenario – to a premature failure of the transmission. Such failures are especially likely when putting in a conventional automatic transmission fluid into a manual or a dual-clutch transmission as used in many AUDI, BMW and VW models. This is due to a lack of wear protection and incompatibility with materials used in dual-clutch transmissions.

How Does FUCHS Help Customers to Use the Right Transmission Fluids?

As one of the biggest OEM first-fill suppliers for transmission fluids, FUCHS offers the most comprehensive portfolio of transmission and gear oils in the market, covering the whole range of automatic, manual, dual-clutch and continuously variable transmissions. We provide any repair shop with the perfect solution for their customer base and ensure they can maximize the lifetime of their customers’ vehicles. In addition, our Gear+ Flushing Devices make transmission fluid changes more convenient then they have ever been!

 

To find the right transmission fluid for your car visit our Online Oil Chooser.

To learn more about the Gear+ Program, visit our website.

 

Your FUCHS representative can assist with selection considering all of your unique requirements. Feel free to contact us at any time.

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