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Manual vs. Automatic Transmission Fluid

Last updated 5 years ago

Both annual and automatic transmissions require fluids to function efficiently, but they don’t necessarily have the same maintenance requirements. Manual and automatic transmissions are mechanically dissimilar, with the latter typically being more complex. As a result, their maintenance needs and fluid requirements vary as well.

Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) cools, lubricates, and protects mechanical parts from wear. Over time, ATF breaks down and it cannot perform any of these tasks as well. While transmission service requirements differ by make and model, most automatic cars have a scheduled service interval between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.

Manual transmissions may use ATF or heavyweight gear oil (which is considerably thicker than ATF). In most cases, these fluids are not interchangeable. Manual transmissions typically have shorter maintenance intervals between 30,000 and 60,000 miles since they are more prone to contaminate the fluid with metal particles.

You can keep your transmission running smoothly by following the recommended service schedule with a reliable auto mechanic. A1 Auto Tech has been serving residents of the Mountain View, CA for over 25 years. Contact us online or at (888) 722-1970 today for a free estimate.


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