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What is ATF and why should I change it

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        <p>Automatic Transmission Fluid referred to as ATF is the fluid
used in an automatic transmission. It is usually tinted red or green so
that it does not get mixed up with other automobile fluids. It is usually
checked with a dipstick while the engine is running. This special fluid
meets all the requirements for gear lubrication, band friction, and valve
operation. The automatic transmission depends on fluid to force friction
plates to apply metal plates which will engage a series of gears to
turn,</p>
<p>ATF may also be used as a lubricant for power steering pumps, manual
transmissions, and transfer cases. Make sure you check your owner's
manual to see what type of fluids you use in all applications.</p>
<p>ATF contains rust preventatives, ant-wear additives, detergents, anti-
foam additives, and conditioners.</p>
<p>There are different types of ATF that come standard in different motor
vehicles and should not be interchanged or mixed. Again check the owner's
manual to see if what type of fluids your vehicle uses.</p>
<p>For example, General Motors uses a fluid called DEXRON. Â In newer
built vehicles, 2006 and up, transmissions require that you use DEX VI,
where older vehicles use DEX III. You may use DEX VI in older vehicles,
but do <strong>NOT</strong> use DEX III in place of DEX VI.</p>
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<p>OEM formulas are based on synthetic stocks. Each vehicle maker has
specific requirements and incorrect transmission fluid may result in
severe damage or poor performance.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>Current fluids types</p>
<p>ATF+4 - Most Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler [1]</p>
<p>Mercon V - Most Ford, Mercury, Lincoln</p>
<p>Dexron VI - Most GM products, some Ford applications</p>
<p>ATF-Z1 - All Honda and Acura (except CVT)</p>
<p>Synthetic ATF is also available on the aftermarket if you require
better performance for certain heavy duty applications such as
towing.</p>
<p>You should check your transmission fluid with the engine running and a
clean rag to wipe down the dipstick. (check your owner's manual for your
specific instructions) If the fluid is dark brown or black, it may
indicate that the fluid should be changed or that your transmission has a
problem. If the transmission fluid is not changed, it will not provide
intended lubrication properties and will generally reduce the life of the
transmission.</p>
<p>When the first automatic transmission appeared it used an ATF which
contained whale oil. Whale oil would break down at higher temperatures
plus a moratorium on using whale oil prevented production. The vehicle
manufacturers had to replace the fluid with new versions. General Motors,
for example, switched to Dexron then moved to Dexron II, etc.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>Whether you use the conventional fluid and filter change or the
transmission flush which changes all the fluid instead of the few quarts
that sit in the pan, this service should be done at least once a year or
whatever your owner's manual suggests.</p>
<p>To purchase OEÂ transmission filters at aftermarker prices, Â try <a
rel="nofollow" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackPageview',
'/outgoing/article_exit_link/3874814']);"
href="http://www.sawnetwork.net/index.html">Saw Autmotive Parts
Network</a>.</p>
<p>Â </p>
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