A lot of people—including some professional general repair mechanics—do not realize that there are many different types of transmission fluid (also known as transmission oil) out there. You have different brands with different mixtures and additives designed for specific types of transmissions. Using the wrong kind of transmission fluid in your car can lead to major damage over time. Therefore, it is obviously very important to use the right type of fluid, but how do you know what is right for your vehicle?

The first thing you can look at is your owner’s manual. It should specify the transmission fluid used in your particular vehicle. If your transmission fluid level is low and you are just looking to top it off, this will help you purchase the right type of fluid.

Otherwise, this is one of the advantages of trusting your vehicle with a transmission repair and service specialist like Ralph’s Transmission in Modesto, CA. A knowledgeable transmission technician will understand which fluid is best for your vehicle’s transmission and will make sure to put the right kind in when performing a fluid change or full fluid flush.

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)

Automatic transmission fluid is most commonly used in vehicles with either automatic or manual transmissions. However, there are many different types of ATFs available from Mercon V and Mercon LV to Dexron VI and Matic S, K or D. It can be extremely confusing and the right fluid will depend completely on your vehicle’s specific make and model. Again, this is when consulting with a transmission repair expert or your dealership will be extremely beneficial to ensure the proper transmission fluid is used. And just like regular engine oil, there are also synthetic blends available that have pros and cons worth knowing.

Continuously Variable Transmission Fluid (CVT Fluid)

More and more modern vehicles with highly advanced technology are requiring the use of CVT fluid in the transmission. It is a more advanced fluid designed to work in more advanced cars, trucks and SUVs. If your vehicle requires continuously variable transmission fluid and regular automatic transmission fluid is put in (or vice versa), it will ultimately cause problems. Your vehicle will run and you may not notice anything right away, but eventually the issues will develop.

Your Central Valley Transmission Specialist

At Ralph’s Transmission, we see it all the time. Cars come into our shop with the wrong type of transmission fluid having been put in by another shop or a DIY mechanic. The good news is that major damage can be prevented if a fluid change or flush is performed early on. If not, it may lead to significant repairs or a full rebuild recommendation.

The important thing to remember is that you want the job done right. When it comes to your vehicle’s transmission and its fluid, put your trust in a local transmission specialist who will make sure the proper fluid and other parts are used. This will keep your transmission running smoother and lasting longer.

Call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 for your transmission service, inspection or repairs. Or, use our convenient online appointment scheduler to set up your next service visit.