• To ALL forum users - As of late I have been getting quite a few private messages with questions about build ups here on the forum, or tech questions about your personal project. While I appreciate the interest, sending me a private message about these topics distracts from, and undermines the purpose of having a forum here. During the day I wear many hats as a small business owner-operator and I work tirelessly to provide the absolute best service possible to you, our valued customer. When I created this forum I rounded up some of the best minds I knew so that any tech question you might have could be asked and answered by either myself or one of my highly experienced moderators, this way the next time this same question is asked the answer can be easily found and utilized by the next IH enthusiast having the same question. This allows me the freedom to run the day to day operations of the business and minimize the impact to shipments and shop activities that these distractions can cause. It is of the up most importance for me to complete the daily tasks in order to best take care of you our customer, all the while providing you a forum to get the level advice and input you have come to expect and deserve from the premier IH shop in the country.

    So with that I ask that anyone with a question about one of our build ups or a general tech question to please use the forum as it was intended. I am absolutely available by telephone to answer your questions as well but at times may direct you back to our website to better field your question or questions. Most other private messages I will be glad to answer for you.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Jeff Ismail

Keeping up with ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluids)

DF Sales&Marketing

Oil Tech Moderator
Misleading labels are one of several factors interfering with the proper use of adequately performing automatic transmission fluids, according to the results of a survey released by the Petroleum Quality Institute of America.

Among the problems it cited was the frequent use of terms such as universal and multi-purpose, leading fluids to be used in transmissions for which they do not provide adequate performance. PQIA said it’s survey found strong sentiment that the ATF market in the United States is also hampered by the plethora of ATF specifications, insufficient knowledge of ATFs on the part of consumers and even installers, and the presence of off-spec products.

Prior to 2000, about 80% of the ATF market was covered by General Motors Dexron III, Ford’s Mercon or Chrysler’s ATF +4 standards and specifications. It was easy for an installer, mechanic, or do-it-yourself person to figure out which fluid to use for make-up or replacement fluid. Lubricant marketers only had to carry a couple of aftermarket fluids to meet a majority of the demands. Today Dexron III/Mercon fluids account for less than 40% of the aftermarket use and falling. OEM specific fluids with special requirement are in place and growing.

Products such as Mercon V, Mercon LV, Dexron VI, ATF T-IV, SP-IV, Matic -S, and Matic-D, Toyota ATF-WS, Honda DW, Diamond SP-IV and others are all designed for specific transmission requirements and unique configurations. Even Eaton has specific fluids for their bus and truck automatic transmissions.

So why are there so many ATF’s now? Blame it all on the Clean Air Act, all the different transmissions and corresponding fluids are a result of an effort to improve fuel economy and comply with the government regulations. Now there are a number of new transmission configurations and each has their own fluid requirements. Designs such as Dual Clutch, Continuously Variable, Semi-Automatic, Clutch Free and others, all require different fluid formulations to work properly. Most of these new transmissions are on cars, small trucks, and hybrids.

There are several marketers that claim to have a Universal ATF that will work in any transmission. These fluids may not provide adequate protection and could do more harm than good. Additionally, different transmissions have different viscosity and shear stability specifications, one fluid cannot meet them all. For example, Dexron VI has a 6.4 cSt at 100C max., while ATF +4 has a 7.3 to 7.8 cSt at 100C range and Mercon V has a 6.8 cSt at 100C min. ergo one fluid cannot work in all three of these applications.

There is also a concern that fast lube and independent repair shops may not have current knowledge as to the needs and requirements of modern equipment. The SWEPCO Sales Brochure for 711 and 712 indicate what application it can be used in, specifications it meets or exceeds, and what fluids it can replace. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that different transmission fluids are not mixed as the additives may not be compatible, ergo may cause more harm than good, and always follow label directions. SWEPCO 714 can be used in vehicles older than 2000 (except where Ford type “F” fluid is required) and in current off-highway equipment.