Driveline Additives

Automatic Transmission Fluid

The most proven and extensive ATF capability worldwide

Automatic transmission fluids are used in the transmissions of passenger cars, commercial vehicles, off-road trucks, mobile equipment and in non-transmission applications, such as power steering, small hydraulic pumps and farm applications.

Changing ATF needs

Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)For passenger cars and commercial vehicles, OEMs are demanding longer drain intervals and fill- for-life capability. Automatic transmissions are changing in design from 5 to 6 speed and now even 7 speed capability, improving drivability and performance. To improve fuel economy, transmission components are lighter, despite increased engine horsepower. And new fuel-efficient transmissions exhibit higher torque and higher operating temperatures. All these factors are stressing the ATF severely. Problems such as transmission shudder, poor shift feel and accelerated wear are becoming more common as drain intervals are increased. ATFs must provide fill-for-life capability, improved fuel economy, antishudder friction durability, shear stability, low-temperature fluidity and improved oxidation stability.

New fuel-efficient transmission designs, such as the Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) and the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), are entering the market. These new transmission designs are calling for different fluid technologies to meet increasing performance requirements

Meeting the needs

ATF is the most complex of all lubricating fluids. Not only does it have to reduce friction to prevent wear like all lubricants, but it also has to allow a certain level of friction so clutch materials can engage. Since most OEMs use proprietary frictional materials, virtually every ATF is OEM-specific. In some cases, they're transmission-specific. In addition, ATFs must be compatible with all transmission components, operate at both low and high temperature extremes, and maintain constant performance for extended periods.

To accomplish these complex tasks, ATF typically contains the following components:

 

Dispersants Sludge & varnish control
Antioxidants Prohibit oxidation
Antiwear Planetary gear, bushing, thrust washer protection
Friction modifier Modify clutch plate and band friction
Corrosion inhibitor Prevent corrosion and rust
Seal swell agent Prevent loss of fluid via seals
Viscosity Improver Reduce rate of change of viscosity
Pour Point Depressant Improve low temperature fluidity
Foam inhibitor Foam control
Red dye Identification

The technology innovator

Lubrizol has played a leading role in developing fluid technology for ATF applications. ATF research has been the key to maintaining our dominant position in the global market. Inventiveness is documented in a number of industry firsts:

1940s

  • Type A automatic transmission fluid additives

1950s

  • Type A - Suffix A automatic transmission fluid additives

1960s

  • DEXRON automatic transmission fluid additives

1980s

  • Multifunctional power transmission fluid additives for automatic transmission fluid and non-ATF applications
  • Ford MERCON additives

1990s

  • DEXRON III automatic transmission fluid additive
  • Powershift transmission and drivetrain oil additives

2000s

  • Continuously variable transmission oil additives

We are the only additive company that covers all on- and off-road applications worldwide. With our unparalleled breadth and depth of people, knowledge and technical facilities, we continue to introduce innovative ATF technologies that further reduce shudder, improve shift feel and increase fluid and transmission durability despite severe operating conditions. We work closely with OEMs to solve their fluid problems as they advance transmission technology.

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