What Type Of ATF Belongs In My Car?
A few years back ATF or Automatic Transmission Fluid came in two types A or F. Conventional wisdom said that Type F was for Fords and Type A was for everything else. Today there are four main types of automatic transmission fluid with dozens of brands or styles to choose from.
1) TYPE F... mostly for older antique transmissions with bronze clutches. Rarely needed but still available as a walk through any local Auto Parts Store will confirm.
2) Dextron III/ Mercon... is the most common used in most GM and Ford units as well as any Imports calling for Dextron or Mercon specification fluid.
3) HFM-Style Fluids... HFM stands for Highly Friction Modified; provides different friction characteristics than Dextron or Mercon. This fluid appears under a number of names, including Chrysler ATF+ or 7176 as well as Honda/Acura, Toyota/ Lexus Type T, Saturn, Jeep/Eagle and Mitsubishi/ Hyundai brand fluids.
4) Synthetic Fluids... A number of Manufacturers have begun to discontinue the use of Organically-Based fluids in favor of Synthetic fluids. Preliminary tests have shown that most Synthetics have similar friction modification characteristics to Dextron or Mercon, but with IMPROVED resistance to Heat, Cold, Oxidation and Sheer. In simple terms, Synthetics Last Longer. BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Late Model GM Ford and Chrysler and many more vehicle types are using Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid from birth, so it is CRITICAL TO KNOW exactly which fluid is recommended for your vehicle, prior to servicing your automatic or manual transmission.
5) Be Careful.... Using the wrong ATF fluid in your new car or truck transmission may cause damage or shift malfunctions. At the very least you could invalidate your New Car Warranty. Do not take any chances... Contact your Local Transmission Technician now or call a Capital Transmission Service Tech toll free at (800) 889-8459 for assistance.