Discover what transmission oil is, what it does, what transmissions use transmission oil, and learn what you need to know about transmission oil changes.
There’s a good chance that you’re familiar with engine oil, or motor oil. And there’s a good chance that you’re familiar with automatic transmission fluid. Well, transmission oil is the same, except it’s used for manual transmissions. There are some important caveats to this, but it’s a good way to think about transmission oil.
Transmission oil, also called gear oil, lubricates, cleans, and cools manual transmissions. It cleans out particulate matter from within your transmission and helps to keep it from overheating. Old or degraded transmission oil doesn’t do this as well, so as your oil gets old, it needs to be changed. Transmission oil has a peculiar smell because it contains sulfur-bearing anti-wear compounds. These compounds help to minimize high-sliding friction by the helical gear cut of the teeth. Many motorcycles have clutches bathed in transmission oil because there’s often no separation of the lower engine and the transmission, so the same oil lubricates both the engine and transmission.
Automatic transmission fluid typically needs to be changed every 48,000-95,000 kilometres. A manual transmission’s oil needs to be changed at similar intervals, but, speaking generally, transmission oil changes are needed less frequently. Some automakers claim that the original transmission oil never needs to be changed, because their transmission functions as a closed circuit. However, the transmission oil might still need to be changed because of transmission problems, repairs, or leaks. As a result, such claims ought to be treated with some skepticism. The technicians at Mister Transmission can provide you with a more specific transmission oil change interval depending on the type of vehicle you drive, where you drive, and how you use your vehicle.
First, it’s important to state that not all manual transmissions use transmission oil. Some use transmission fluid just as automatic transmissions use. Some auto manufacturers suggest using only synthetic transmission fluid. Other manual transmissions use motor oil just as your engine might. But other manual transmissions use transmission oil.
Transmissions can be designed differently with different parts located in different areas. Because of these, each manufacturer has their own recommendations about which oils or fluids are best. It’s important to check your vehicle owner’s manual to see what your auto’s manufacturer recommends. And, once again, you can ask the helpful technicians at Mister Transmission on their advice for what’s best for your transmission.
Please contact us to schedule a transmission oil or fluid change.