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AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID (ATF)

Definition: A special kind of oil for use in automatic transmissions. There are several types: Dexron II, Dexron III, Type F, Mercon, Mercon V, Chrysler 7176 and several varieties of Chrysler ATF-Plus. All are "friction-modified" lubricants except Type F. Dexron II and Mercon have similar additive packages as do Dexron III and Mercon V. Even so, use only the type of ATF specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Using the wrong type of ATF can cause transmission problems. If you do not know what type of fluid the transmission takes, READ THE OWNER'S MANUAL! Some dipsticks are also marked as to the type of ATF required. "Universal" ATF fluids are available that supposedly meet the OEM requirements for many friction-modified applications, but make sure the label says it meets the specific vehicle requirements before using. The newer ATFs such as Dexron III and Mercon V are longer lived than earlier ATFs, but can still oxidize if the transmission runs too hot. Trailer towing is especially hard on ATF unless the transmission is equipped with an auxiliary oil cooler. Recommended change interval for older vehicles is every 24,000 to 30,000 miles. For newer vehicles, see the owners manual.

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