San Diego Auto Repair

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What is “Type A” Transmission Fluid?

This is a question often asked of one of our transmission experts in San Diego by a customer who is interested in buying or working on a vintage car. They may notice on the dipstick or in the owner's manual that the car requires an automatic transmission fluid, called Type A, that is no longer available.

That's because Type A Transmission fluid was put into older vehicles produced as far back as the 1950's to lubricate automatic transmissions in the car's engine. But since Type A fluid contained whale oil, which routinely broke down at high temperatures, newer model cars no longer contain it.

Beginning in the 1970's, manufacturers began building transmissions that required different versions of automatic transmission fluid that were more eco-friendly in terms of reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency. In today's day and age, if you're trying to restore a classic car, it's pretty difficult to come by an older version of ATF, like Type A.

The modern version

If you find yourself in this position, ask one of our transmission experts what type of transmission fluid you should use in place of the discontinued one. For example, it was discovered that the old Type A is nearly identical to a 50/50 mix of Type F (Ford) and Dexron (GM).

If you're unsure about the precise way to create this modern Type A transmission fluid, one of our knowledgeable technicians can help. Particularly if you're working with a vintage car, the more attention paid to details like this the better.

Regular transmission maintenance

Our mechanics are qualified and trained to work on all transmissions, both automatic and manual, in nearly all makes and models of cars. Whether you own a classic car or a brand new one, the best thing you can do to extend the running life of your engine is to make sure you meet the regular maintenance requirements.

Call or stop in at TransMasters today. We're here to keep your vehicle in perfect running condition.

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