Automatic Transmission Fluid
Why "all-fits-on" products are no alternative
As the drive to increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions continues, automatic transmissions continue to evolve each having their own specific and unique set of performance needs. Due to the technical requirements each transmission needs to achieve, it is essential the correct Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is specified in order to ensure the transmission performs to its potential, providing efficient and reliable operation throughout its lifetime. This applies to automatic transmissions of all ages, whether straight off the product line or those which have been in operation for several years.
The requirements for an ATF
Automatic transmissions are being developed with more speeds, ever increasing torque levels and using alternative and often lighter materials. Therefore, the requirements for the ATF are changing and increasing:
- Transmission of force and pressure
- Wear protection
- Fill-for-life capability
- Improved friction control providing excellent shifting performance
- Strong anti-shudder properties
- High durability, oxidation and shear stability
- Low-temperature fluidity
Due to the variety of performance requirements for the ATF and the variety of hardware used, there can not be a universal solution for ATFs.
The importance of dedicated automatic transmission fluids
The implication of using fluids which have not been designed and tested for the specific automatic transmission can lead to problems such as
- loss of acceleration,
- difficulties in gear shifting,
- excessive component wear and
in worst-case scenarios total (and very costly) transmission failure.
Some damages are not noticeable immediately after an oil change, but only become noticeable in the long term.
The right transmission fluid contains a balanced formulation of base oil, performance additives and viscosity modifiers, each performing very specific and vital functions. OEM specific and industry standard tests must be conducted to validate ATF performance prior to final proof of testing in long-term durability transmission and vehicle tests.
Benefits of the correct dedicated ATF
- Lower total cost of ownership
- Reduced service and maintenance costs
- Improved reliability
- Increased fuel efficiency
- Improved driving experience.
New in our portfolio:
FUCHS has developed three specially optimized ATFs for ZF, a major supplier of driveline and chassis technology, with its automatic transmissions being used by a significant number of OEMs across the globe.
These ATFs are designed to meet the specific demands of latest and older generation ZF automatic transmissions:
TITAN ATF 6009, TITAN ATF 6008 and TITAN ATF 6006.
The automatic transmission
Automatic transmissions comprise many components with varying materials needing to work together to provide a smooth and reliable performance. Such components include the torque converter, planetary gear sets, vane oil pump, seals, as well as clutch packs and brake assemblies.
Key performance additives
The most important additives used in ATFs are:
- friction modifiers,
- foam inhibitors,
- oxidation inhibitors,
- corrosion inhibitors,
- pour point depressants,
- seal swell agents,
- anti-wear agents.