Ask most motorists and drivers what type of automatic transmission fluid their automobiles’ transmission takes and you will be met with a blank stare. You mean that there is more than one type of transmission fluid? Never mind that they should change their car, truck or vans’ automatic transmission fluid on a bi-yearly basis.
Simply put there is more than one type of auto transfer fluid. Next in line is that as an auto owner you have to change or top up the fluid with the exact and correct type. Servicing of an auto type ( as opposed to manual or standard ) transmissions which break down or need repair due to inadequate maintenance including the wrong type and specifications of tranny fluid as you hopefully have not experienced yet – is highly specialized, time consuming and costly.
What are the various types and variations of automotive automatic transmission fluids? Firstly there is type “A”. “Type A’ fluid was widely used in the past for the first and relatively simple, and none demanding early automatic transmissions models and setups. However, type “A’ fluid was replaced by Dexron. Dexron in turn was replaced by “Dexron II”. For the most part now Type “F” and “Dexron II” are the two most common types of automatic transmission fluids that most motorists and auto owners need know and will encounter throughout their driving careers. Most Ford transmissions should have the type F whereas other transmissions used Dexron II. How to tell. The fluid type should be clearly labeled on the container with a clear visible stamp or emblem on the exterior of the plastic bottle or case.
It is most important to be able to distinguish that Type F and Dexron II fluids are not the same by any manner, form or characteristics they employ in working transmissions. In theory Dexron Ii is much more “slippery” than type “F”.
Therefore in using Dexron II fluid a motorist will find that as their vehicle shifts that they will have a softer shift pattern. However during mechanical design and designing, the materials chosen for the friction elements, such as band facings and clutch-plate facings, are selected specifically in combination for the type of fluid to be used. For this very reason filling your device crankshaft with the wrong or incorrect type of fluid may cause your transmission over time to fail
Indeed Dexron II and type F fluid have similar flow characteristics and heat stability. However, each has a different friction set of characteristics. The automatic transmission fluid manufactured by the Ford Motor Company require a fast lockup with little slippage as the clutches engage. Therefore the Type F fluid is called for specifically in those Ford branded or manufactured automatic transmissions. It has a higher coefficient of friction than Dexron II.
On the other side of the highway to provide a smooth shift, transmissions built by local domestic manufacturers’ GM & Chrysler allow for slippage of the plates as their clutches engage. Therefore, the Dexron II product contains a friction modifier chemical compound to reduce the coefficient of friction. What this means in real world automatic transmission operation and driving that compared to Type F automatic transmission fluids, Dexron can be considered to be a more” slippery” fluid component type. The danger is that used accidentally or inadvertently in a Ford transmission or set of Ford automatic transmissions, rapid clutch-plate wear as sell as clutch-plate slippage could well occurs and result.
Using the wrong type fluid in a transmission can result in both serious and costly to repair damage and damages. In such conditions promptly have you mechanic or dealership tech service writer arrange to have the automatic transmission fluids drained and replaced with the proper mechanical materials and components?