ATF fluid is special gear oil, which has a liquid consistency and has a mineral or synthetic base. It is intended for automobiles operating on “automation”. ATF gear fluid is responsible for many functions, such as the smooth operation of the gearbox – its control and management, cooling and proper lubrication of parts that are subject to friction, the transmission of torque, which passes through the torque converter from the motor to the gearbox, ensuring the operation of friction discs. Many equate oil to the mixture for ATF, but ATF properties differ in many respects. To get the right composition, mineral oils are used, to which special substances are added. If you use foreign fluids for “automatics”, it will surely provoke breakage of the gearbox or its complete failure.
The manufacturer of the first specification of oil was the automobile concern General Motors. The new mixture entered the mass market in 1949. It was due to the fact that in 1938 the same company developed the first automatic gearbox. Subsequently, the car concern began to improve the specifications of transmission mixtures and set the strictest requirements for the composition. Since there were no competitors in this market, GM became the legislator of specifications for ATF.
At present, other well-known automobile brands – Chrysler, Hyundai, Mitsubishi Ford, and Toyota – compete with specifications from General Motors.
ATF fluid should be changed periodically because it will increase the service life not only of the unit but of the car as a whole. Consequently, it is necessary to make systematic measurements of the oil level. The change period is affected by mileage of the vehicle; operating conditions; driving style.
What color is transmission fluid when it leaks?
Car problems can be frustrating and expensive. Before you spend time and money going to a mechanic, take a look at your car and see whether you can identify the problem. Sometimes, in any car, due to the breakage or wear of some part, various liquids may leak. Any car enthusiast with sufficient experience has experienced the leakage of engine oil or other car substances. Many of us, if a leak is found, try to determine what kind of substance is leaking by inspecting the car to locate where the leak is. But unfortunately, this visual inspection is somewhat difficult, because if the leak was not detected at the initial stage, the original location of the leak can be hidden because the substance has left traces everywhere, making it difficult to detect the breakage.
How, then, can the location of the leak be determined in order to determine which liquid is leaking? There is an easy way to find out which liquid is leaking out of the car because some part of the car is sealed. There are three things to consider in order to determine the exact location of oil and other liquids leaks – the color, consistency, and location of the leak (back of the car, front of the car or center).
You should look at the color of the leaking substance. A fluid leak is usually red. If it’s about time for the fluid to be changed, it may be brownish. Be aware that other car fluids, such as antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid, are also red. You’ll be able to differentiate between those fluids and ATF by the consistency and smell.
What does it mean when your transmission fluid is brown?
According to the transmission fluid color chart, brown means that ATF is old, dirty, and contaminated and doesn’t provide adequate lubrication. Poor lubrication causes excessive wear and damage to internal parts. Dark brown ATF also increases the heat inside the unit, which can quickly lead to the system failure. You should act immediately before this fluid condition causes serious problems or even unit failure.
What are the symptoms of low transmission fluid?
Transmission fluid is vital to the health and proper operation of the vehicle transmission. Low substance levels can seriously interfere with normal transmission operation and lead to significant, costly repairs over time unless urgent action is taken. The following is a brief list of the most common signs of low fluid levels.
Units with low ATF content will not have enough hydraulic power to adequately shift and maintain the gear position. ATF provides the fluid power needed to maintain the transmission in all gears.
Transmission does not work.
In many cases, transmissions with low ATF content will not work at all. Regardless of which gear is selected, the system will not engage and will instead act as if it were stuck in neutral. This is the result of a lack of ATF force.
In order for a gearbox to shift quickly and accurately, there must be enough ATF to give the force required to change gears. A low level of ATF can have a negative effect on shifting, causing slow and/or slow shifts.
Enlarged operating temperature in the transmission
Just as a car engine requires an adequate level of engine oil to maintain normal operating temperature, the unitrequires an adequate level of ATF to maintain the normal operating temperature in the transmission. A low level of ATF increases friction and heat, which increases the operating temperature of the unit.
Can transmission fluid be green?
The truth is transmission substance can be a variety of colors. Nowadays, transmission fluid can be found in different colors such as green, yellow, or blue — although it’s not quite as common. However, the overwhelming majority of ATFs is a bright translucent pinkish red, and that is what you will see most commonly. That’s only if it’s new though, colors can vary depending on age and condition as well. As fluid begins to age, it will start to collect contaminants and other unwanted materials which leads to a darker color. ATF could range anywhere from a bright red to dark red to brown to black. The darker the substance looks, the more it’s warning you that it needs to be changed.