Transmission fluid heads-up

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Richard Steinfeld, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. I just had a chat with Castrol about transmission fluid that
    meets Hyundai spec for SP-IIM. Because this fluid is also used by
    one or more additional brands of auto, I figured that it was only
    a matter of time before it appeared on the open market.

    The Castrol rep said that they've just introduced a product named
    "Castrol Multi-Vehicle ATF." It's being distributed to their
    affiliated oil change companies now, and they expect to have it
    on the shelves of auto parts stores shortly.

    I'm never clear that one fluid can be all things for all cars,
    since there is a compatibility issue between the fluid and the
    design of the transmission. For example, do we want to retain a
    certain amount of friction within the fluid or not? As an example
    of this, my Toyota required standard ATF in its power steering,
    but the newer Ford Aerostar uses the older Ford "Type F" fluid --
    a fluid that's virtually obsolete in its intended application to

    I asked, "Do you swear on a stack of bibles that this my car will
    perform as intended with this fluid and that there'll be no
    damage to the transmission?" She replied with some words that
    amounted to "yes."

    The reason that I called Castrol is that I trust their products;
    they don't seem to play games. I believe that their crankcase oil
    is better than any other natural-base oil, and also has a higher
    flash point -- it's less likely to burn in the cylinders of a
    worn engine, for example. I have other reasons for trusting this
    brand that I won't get into. The brand was acquired by British
    Petroleum around 1999-2000, so that gets me concerned that the
    new owner might drop the quality of the products. The rep said
    that at least that the manufacturing has not changed -- it's
    still made at the same factories. She also said that even though
    there are no "lubritoriums" in my region that are affiliated with
    Castrol, that any BP gas stations that work on cars should be
    able to fill my crankcase with Castrol oil and perhaps even swap
    out my transmission fluid with theirs.

    Why this matters to me is that I bought a used Hyundai, and I
    have no idea what kind of fluid is in the transmission. All I
    know is that it looks pink and that it's very clean. But what if
    it's nice and clean, and it's the wrong fluid?

    Richard Steinfeld, Mar 15, 2005
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  2. Richard Steinfeld

    S25 Guest

    If it's no longer under warranty, you can put ANYTHING you want
    in the tranny.

    S25, Mar 18, 2005
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  3. That's right!

    It provides a never ending source of amusement for the regulars here.
    screwtape iii, Mar 19, 2005
  4. | S25 wrote:
    | > On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 13:32:38 -0800, "Richard Steinfeld"
    | >
    | <snip>
    | > > ===============================
    | >
    | > If it's no longer under warranty, you can put ANYTHING
    you want
    | > in the tranny.
    | >
    | > S25
    | That's right!
    | It provides a never ending source of amusement for the regulars
    | <G>

    Oh, you all jest.
    Man, I hope you're jesting!
    Transmissions are real expensive when they've been ruined with
    the wrong fluid!

    Ford Aerostar transmissions are famous for self-destructing under
    load or hard driving. I've noticed that Ford has addressed this
    issue with continual advances in fluids -- in fact, Ford has
    seemed to lead the field with the introduction of stringent
    standards for transmission fluids.

    I took my Aerostar in for a real transmission oil change -- not
    the usual sissified way: dropping the cover, dumping out the
    fluid, and changing the filter. This leaves all the old fluid in
    the torque converter (from which car makers no longer provide us
    with a 50-cent drain plug -- clever corporate bastards). I had
    the entire system pumped out with an expensive machine, and all
    the fluid replaced with Castrol ATF. This service has become more
    common recently. If you're really crafty, you can do it without a
    special machine by using the car's torque converter itself to
    pump the old fluid out and the new fluid in.

    The difference in the car's performance was amazing. Shifts were
    smoother and more timely. There was a very marked improvement in
    power (which translates into an improvement in gas mileage). I
    attribute this not only to the fluid change, but also to the
    superior quality and reduced friction of the fluid.

    When it comes to recent Hyundais, a specific fluid is
    indicated -- a fluid that's not yet commonly-found. I don't think
    that it's ever wise to substitute an older standard fluid in a
    case such as this. If it were OK, the manufacturer would
    certainly have gone with the cheaper fill at the factory! What
    we're dealing with here is a contraption made with greater
    precision than heretofore. It requires the appropriate liquid for
    its characteristics.

    Transmission fluid provides a precise match in characteristics of
    both lubrication as well as a desired amount of friction. The
    good news is that Hyundai isn't alone in using the special stuff,
    so it is only a matter of time before we find the specified fluid
    on the shelves of our friendly neighborhood auto parts stores,
    and at a more reasonable price, too. That's where Ford's latest
    fluid can now be found, and it's become standard for other cars,
    too. And that's where we're going to find our Hyundai-spec fluid,
    too. Just wait a little longer.

    Richard Steinfeld, Mar 19, 2005
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