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Basic Maintenance

Transmission Fluids

Automatic Transmission Fluid Overview - ATF

Automatic transmissions use a special type of oil, called automatic transmission fluid, or ATF. This fluid has a number of duties in the transmission, including lubrication, cooling and clutch application.

ATF even provides the connection between the engine’s power and the transmission, through a hydraulic coupling called a torque converter. When squeezed between the clutches ATF acts as “glue” providing additional friction and holding capacity to drive or move the vehicle.


ATF is a very versatile fluid and that is why maintaining that fluid can be so critical to the life of your transmission. Over time and distance, your vehicle’s automatic transmission fluid begins to break down as additives are depleted; it oxidizes and loses its ability to cool and lubricate; its ability to protect the transmission from wear and possible mechanical failure is also diminished. The filter’s purpose is to keep contaminates in the fluid from entering the working components.


The next time your transmission lets you down or perhaps you realize the virtues of preventive maintenance to help eliminate that possibility, try the services of National Transmission.

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