3 things to keep in mind when changing oil for automatic transmission cars

Updated Feb 19, 2021 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

AT is popularly used in new auto models but changing oil tips for this engine remains unknown to many car drivers.

Though automatic gearboxes are widely used today and changing oil is not an unfamiliar task, many drivers have still done it all wrong. Applying improper techniques may pose threats to both cars and owners. Philkotse.com highly recommend that Flipino car owners should check 3 must-have tips below to replace oil for AT in the right way.

1. Change AT fluid with appropriate frequency

Manufacturers have different recommendations on oil change schedule for automatic transmission. However, with a gearbox equipped with an oil ruler, you should change oil every 40,000 km. For those without, you can top up when the oil level is too low, but the interval should not exceed 150,000 km every time you change.

checking fluid container of a car

Check the oil ruler to change fluid on time

How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter (COMPLETE Guide)

>>> Related: Transmission fluid guide: What color is it supposed to be?

2. Apply the right techniques

Most car users will assign changing oil task for service shops. However, more than 90% of repair shops (including the original factory) use the same oil to both automatic gearbox and manual transmission. In normal process, the remaining oil will be discharged then replaced by pouring in new one. However, following this way, the oil level only reaches about 30 - 50% of the full volume. This amount of oil only ensures that the car runs safely within 20,000 km, rather than 40,000 km as many people presume.

To replace the oil for AT gear properly, you need to use specialized equipment. Without proper set of equipment, AT gearbox oil replacement should be done by experts or someone understanding AT only. However, not many people in the Philippines have sufficient knowledge of AT operation and maintenance. Therefore, it is recommended to follow the distance that the seller advise to replace the oil in advance, to ensure the engine safety and its long-lasting.

new oil vs old oil

Comparison between new and used oil

>>> Related: 5 signs to decide if your car needs an oil change

3. Choose suitable oil for AT gearboxes

Two most popular oils on the present market are SP3 and SP4. However, most cars with oil exploration will use SP3 and change after every 40,000 km. PS4 oil is often used for engines without oil exploration. In fact, there have been a lot of car users replacing the PS3 oil for PS4 gearboxes and vice versa. Actually, this is not harmful, except that oil changing frequency must be adjusted accordingly.

It is truly difficult to distinguish between these two types of oils just by human eye. However, based on the oil replacing bill, users can know if it is the right type or not, as SP4 costs 5 times higher than SP3. Also, most oils used for automatic transmission are labeled ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) on their names. You just need to pay closer attention to details.

Hopefully we have helped you to gain better understanding of car maintenance. If you are driving an automatic car, here are some useful tips suggested for you: