You might be puzzled about which transmission fluid to choose for your automobile among the many aftermarket and stock options. The type of fluid, license and authorization of the fluid for your transmission all play a role in getting the finest transmission fluid.
The transmission fluid compatibility chart will help you to decide when choosing a transmission fluid for your vehicle. It is because not all transmission fluids available in the marketplace are standard for every automobile.
Because of this, before making a purchase, you must be aware of the effects of various transmission fluids. If you are new to all of these, don’t worry. Read through to the end to learn more about transmission fluids compatibility.
Transmission Fluid Compatibility Chart
You cannot use just any transmission fluid from the market for your transmission. This may degrade the performance due to a lack of compatibility.
It is important to use only the manufacturer-specific transmission fluid for better performance and to enhance the longevity of the gears inside the transmission system.
Out of many transition fluids, the Dexron VI (General Motors), Mercon V (Ford), and ATF+4 (Chrysler) are the standard formulations for ATF. Many aftermarket ATF manufacturing companies use these licenses to release products of similar formulations.
Dexron Automatic Transmission Fluid
General Motors originally patented the Dexron ATF. Most vehicles under GM can use the Dexron transmission fluid. There have been ten successions of the Dexron fluid starting from the Dexron(B) and currently residing at Dexron ULV.
Aftermarket companies such as Valvoline, Mopar, Mobil, Castrol, Thrive, Tiger’s head, etc., use GM’s license to manufacture Dexron VI ATF.
The upgrades of Dexron have been done based upon changes in the formulation, transmission type, clutch plate, components used, number of gears inside the box, transfer case, etc.
With the new fluids, transmission performance will be enhanced both immediately and over time. The main goals in developing the fluids were to increase clutch plate longevity and shift time retention.
Mercon Automatic Transmission Fluid
The Mercon transmission fluid is patented and owned by Ford. Ford used to provide the license for producing fluid under other aftermarket companies. But it ceased its license back in 2007.
After that, the upgraded version of Mercon, which is Mercon V, was released on the market. It came as the replacement for all Mercon ATF and was suggested to use in most Ford vehicles manufactured since the early 90s.
Although some companies, such as Valvoline, use the Mercon trademark for their marketing promotions as it is compatible with Dexron II.
ATF+ Transmission Fluid
The ATF+4 is an upgraded and fully synthetic version of transmission fluid recommended for all models of trucks and cars, Chrysler. Chrysler owns the patent of the formulation.
Many aftermarket companies, such as Mopar, Valvoline, etc., get the license and authorization from Chrysler to manufacture and sell ATF+4. ATF+4 is now used in more recent Chrysler, Jeep, RAM, and Dodge cars and is also authorized for use in earlier gearboxes.
It is advised to use ATF+4 in place of the older MOPAR ATF+3 formulation, which was discontinued in 2005. All transmission applications that call for ATF+, ATF+2, or ATF+3 fluids remain entirely compatible with ATF+4.
The use of fluids for automatic transmissions apart from ATF+4, including those advertised as similar to ATF+4, may reduce performance, endanger transmission life, and void warranties.
Compatibility Chart For Vehicles Of Different Automobile Brands
Aftermarket companies such Valvoline, Mopar, Mobil, Castrol, Allison, etc. use the license from Dexron, Mercon, or ATF+4 (Chrysler) to make their versions of ATF.
To confirm which fluid is suitable for your gearbox, it is highly recommended to go through the user’s manual. However, you can also check out the Valvoline transmission fluid compatibility chart to ensure suitable vehicles and models.
Dexron 2 transmission fluid equivalent is the Nissan Matic C. On the other hand, Dexron 3 transmission fluid compatibility goes with the Nissan Matic D ATF. Such fluids are interchangeable but should be used very carefully.
Most imported vehicles, such as Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda, use their own branded ATFs. It is better to use those than all-purpose aftermarket and equivalent ATF.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are all transmission fluids compatible?
All transmission fluids available in the marketplace are not compatible. Dexron has the maximum compatibility with the most widely used trucks and cars from brands such as GMC, Chevy, Nissan, Buick, Cadillac, Saturn, Dodge, RAM, etc. Mercon is specified for Ford, and the ATF+ series are compatible with Chrysler vehicles.
Are all transmission fluids interchangeable?
Some transmission fluids are interchangeable. It depends upon the chemical formulation and physical parameters such as viscosity and heat resistivity of the fluids. For example, Nissan Matic C and D are compatible and thus interchangeable with Dexron II and III ATF.
How do you know what transmission fluid to use?
You can carefully read through the owner’s handbook of the vehicle to be sure what transmission fluid you should use. However, you can also check the transmission manufacturer’s description. If General Motors make your transmission, you can use the Dexron transmission fluids.
What transmission fluid is compatible with DEXRON VI?
Mercon LV is compatible with Dexron VI since these transmission fluids are suitable for backward usage. Besides, both transmission fluids have similar formulations along with low viscosity.
What happens if you put the wrong transmission fluid?
Putting the wrong transmission fluid can be devastating for your vehicle’s gearbox. If your vehicle demands a manufacturer-specific transmission fluid, using an incorrect one can damage the gears, slow gear shifting, and damage the clutch plate.
Can you mix synthetic ATF with regular ATF?
It is possible to mix the fully synthetic ATF with regular fluids, provided both have similar formulations. Modern transmission systems are developed to be compatible with most fluid types. Hence, you can mix synthetic fluids with conventional ones, although it is not recommended.
One of the fundamental steps in automobile maintenance is changing the transmission fluids regularly. To keep your transmission smooth and healthy for a long time, you need to know what type of fluid is suitable for your transmission.
The transmission system will be damaged if the wrong fluid is used, and the dealer’s official warranty will be nullified. The expense of resolving the problem from a workshop will be very high.
That is why we believe this transmission fluid compatibility chart will make it simple for you to choose the ideal fluid for your transmission system.
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