All secrets and rules for dealing with automatic transmission – Page 2
How to determine what is filled in the automatic transmission, and which oil to fill when changing it?
Gear oils are distinguished by both color and smell. There are light yellow oils, and there are red shades (from light CASTROL to saturated red ELF). It should immediately be said that the color of the oil is determined only by the dye that is added to it so that it is possible to distinguish automatic transmission oil from other oils used in the car. The color of the oil does not determine anything else. In addition, after a short period of time, any oil acquires a transparent brown color. Considering that when changing the oil, far from its entire volume is updated, as well as the fact that the color and smell of the oil change during operation, it is practically impossible to determine its brand, even if it has changed recently. At least a single, and preferably a double, oil change is necessary (in the absence of serious problems in the operation of the automatic transmission). Use the oil specified in the vehicle’s operating instructions. It happens that the type of recommended oil is also indicated on the dipstick. In addition, oil manufacturers issue posters and albums (they can be found in specialized stores) with a list of car brands and recommended oils, both motor and transmission. Typically, the instruction manual recommends the use of a very specific type of oil. There is probably not only a technical, but also a commercial justification for this. For example, Chrysler and front-wheel drive Mitsubishi (Hyundai) use the Mopar ATF 7176, and the instructions state that this oil has enhanced frictional properties compared to Dexron or Mercon. But on the probe with Dodge RAM and Jeep Grand Chrokee, you can find recommendations to fill in the Mopar ATF 7176 or Dexron II. So all the same it is possible. Another example: Mobil does not recommend mixing different types of oils, even its own production. And here is a quote from the Mobil Synthetic ATF bottle: “Compatible with conventional ATF fluids” (Compatible with conventional automatic transmission oils). If it comes to replacing the engine oil, the algorithm is simple. We are going to a reputable store, choosing an oil producer (according to one known criterion). From the whole assortment we choose oil for gasoline or diesel engines, we select the oil class according to API (so that it is not lower than in the instruction manual) and the desired viscosity according to SAE. All. Why, if it comes to transmission, do we begin to spare the time and money to look for green oil? Is it because the automatic transmission is more exotic than the engine? The experience of repairing several thousand automatic transmissions suggests that the causes of breakdowns are more prosaic than mixing different types of oils when changing it. The transmission operating conditions are of paramount importance, and even the most expensive synthetics will not help if they are violated.
How often should I change the oil in the automatic transmission?
The oil change period depends on the type of automatic transmission, and, under normal operating conditions, it is recommended to change it after 70 thousand kilometers (or after 2 years), and after 25 thousand kilometers (or after 1 year) if the operating conditions are different from normal (hot climate, cold climate, operation in a metropolis, the constant operation of the machine with a full load, etc.). Some expensive models (e.g. BMW 750) do not provide for oil change according to the instructions. But no matter what, regularly (1 time per week) check the quality of the oil in the automatic transmission of your car. It is necessary to adhere to the established terms of replacement if during operation there is no significant change in the quality of the oil or you do not end up in difficult driving conditions (stuck, towed another car for a long time, etc.). In case of darkening of the oil and or the acquisition of a burning smell by it, it is necessary to replace it, without waiting for the planned replacement date. But not always replacing the burnt oil can save the situation. Most often in these cases, an overhaul of the automatic transmission is required. When changing the oil in the automatic transmission, it is also necessary to change the pan gasket and filter. In some types of automatic transmission, filter replacement during oil changes is not provided, as the filter is not available without removing and disassembling the automatic transmission (for example, Daewoo Espero, Nissan Maxima (with RE4F02A box), SAAB 900 and 95, Volvo 850, front-wheel drive Opel models with four-speed automatic transmission). How to evaluate the quality of oil in automatic transmission? Different types of oils differ in both color and smell. If your box has recently been repaired, remove the dipstick and remember the color and smell of the ATF. If during operation, the color or smell has changed dramatically, then, therefore, there is reason to contact the service to check the status of the automatic transmission. When buying a machine with an “automatic”, the oil should be transparent and not have a dark brown shade or a burning smell. Put the oil from the dipstick on a white paper towel and make sure that the oil is easily absorbed and free of impurities. If the oil changed several times in a row before a sale in a faulty automatic transmission, all the same, with a careful analysis of an oil drop, it is possible to distinguish small black particles that are not in harmony with a clear and bright oil. Often you can see a black coating on the probe. In this case, it is necessary to wipe the dipstick well and re-analyze the condition of the oil. If the raid did not reappear, then the previous one was due to the fact that the probe was not used for a long time. It does not hurt to look into the engine cooling system and make sure that the antifreeze is transparent and does not contain a water-oil emulsion. Keep in mind that you can find red antifreeze, which at first glance resembles automatic transmission oil.
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