What Is The Best Automatic Transmission Fluid?

Reviewed By: Joses Peter

Do you ever wonder what helps your car to run on the road without any breakdown? Many people think that it is the engine but that is only one of the reasons.

One of the most important factors that allow automobiles to run smoothly is the transmission fluid. Now, transmissions come in mainly two types (automatic and manual transmissions) and so do their required liquids.

In today’s date, the most common type in motor vehicles is the automatic transmission and the fluid helps to make sure that the internal parts of the car are safe and serviced for a longer period.

Best Automatic Transmission Fluid

When it comes to using automatic transmission fluids, there are hundreds of options to choose from and a lot of brands operating in the industry. However, if you are asking the question, what is the best automatic transmission fluid, then I have an answer for that.

In this guide, I’ll discuss some of the top automatic transmission fluids in the market and other factors associated with them.

Quick Overview of Top 5 Automatic Transmission Fluids

Valvoline MaxLife Full Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid
★ OUR #1 PICK! ★
Valvoline Multi-Vehicle (ATF) Full Synthetic ATF
  • Size: 1-Gallon
  • Type: Automatic
  • Compatibility: Ford, GM, Toyota & Honda models as well as Dex/Merc, Mercon LV and many more applications.
  • Country of Origin: USA
ACDelco GM DEXRON VI Automatic Transmission Fluid
ACDelco GM Original Equipment 10-9395 Dexron VI
  • Size: 1-Gallon
  • Type: Automatic
  • Compatibility: GM transmission model years 2006 and newer calling for DEXRON-VI ATF (replaces DEXRON-III and DEXRON-II(E).
  • Country of Origin: USA
Valvoline Dexron VI/Mercon LV Automatic Transmission Fluid
Valvoline DEXRON VI/MERCON LV (ATF) Full Synthetic
  • Size: 1-Quart
  • Type: Automatic
  • Compatibility: New and old GM automatic transmissions. It is fully back serviceable and can be used wherever DEXRON -II and/or DEXRON -III are recommended.
  • Country of Origin: USA
Genuine Toyota Lexus Automatic Transmission Fluid
Genuine Toyota Lexus ATF
  • Size: 1-Quart
  • Type: Automatic
  • Compatibility: Toyota transmission (OEM).
  • Country of Origin: USA
Genuine Ford Mercon LV Automatic Transmission Fluid
Genuine Ford Fluid XT-10-QLVC MERCON-LV ATF
  • Size: 1-Quart
  • Type: Automatic
  • Compatibility: Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles that require MERCON LV type fluid.
  • Country of Origin: USA

Top 9 Best ATF Fluids Reviews

Valvoline MaxLife Full Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid

One of the top choices when it comes to automatic transmission fluids is the Valvoline MaxLife Full Synthetic. It is a high quality transmission liquid that comes with several premium additives, allowing it to provide excellent performance to the automobile.

Valvoline Multi-Vehicle (ATF)

Extraordinary Performance

This fluid comes with a 100 percent synthetic oil base and this helps it to improve automobile performance by a notch. It reduces the possibility of clutch breakdowns on the road by reducing the damage caused by friction, wear or tear, and so on.

If you are worried about the well-being of the gears and belts of your car, choosing the best synthetic automatic transmission fluid is a great choice. In addition to that, this fluid improves the operating temperature of the vehicle and allows the car to last longer than usual.

Impressive Compatibility

One of the top factors that come with this top-notch transmission liquid is that it is compatible with some of the top automobile brands in the industry. But it is typically more suitable for the majority of Dexron/Mercon cars, including the Mercon LV vehicles. However, this fluid is not very suitable for vehicles that come with CVT transmissions.

High-Grade Additives

This Valvoline automatic transmission fluid comes with some of the most industry-leading transmission fluid additives including cleaning and anti-foaming agents. These agents prevent the buildup of grime, acid, and other substances, and also improve the transition of the shifting gears.


  • Fully synthetic transmission oil
  • Prevents the chances of clutch breakdown
  • Improves the operating temperature levels
  • Reduces noise and vibration
  • Will increase the transmission service interval


  • It does not work well with CVT transmissions

ACDelco GM DEXRON VI Automatic Transmission Fluid

ACDelco is one of the top transmission fluid manufacturers in the market and the best part is that their products never disappoint. The GM Dexron VI automatic transmission fluid is an exceptionally effective liquid by the manufacturer. This product leads in almost every aspect like performance, compatibility, and many more.

ACDelco GM Original Equipment 10-9395 Dexron VI

Outstanding Effectiveness

This Dexron VI fluid has the ability to protect your transmission and make it last for a longer time. It does this by coating the gears and belts along with every other internal part with a protective layer. This prevents the damage caused to the transmission components due to friction, wear and tear, and overheating.

This product also works to reduce the formation of substances such as grime on the gears, belts, and so on, allowing them to work more efficiently. The protection of these components will allow you to enjoy driving your car on the road for a long time.

Remarkable Fit

Similar to the transmission liquid mentioned above, this fluid is also compatible with a lot of automobile models. It is a certified product by General Motors and is a perfect fit for the majority of General Motors models starting from the year 2006. This transmission fluid is one of the very few ones available in the market that come with backward compatibility. This means that the formula works on a lot of old transmission models.

However, similar to the product above, this is not suitable for vehicles that come with CVT transmissions.

Improved Fuel Economy

As discussed above, this fluid is best for enhanced friction durability in the transmission and improves the overall performance of the vehicle. Not only that, but it reduces the oxidation in the internal parts as well. These protective layers improve the fuel efficiency of the automobile, allowing owners to save money by minimizing trips to the fuel station.


  • Protection against friction, overheating, and wear or tear
  • Backward compatibility
  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Smoother on road experience


  • Not fit for CVT transmissions

Valvoline Dexron VI/Mercon LV Automatic Transmission Fluid

The Valvoline Dexron VI/Mercon LV is one of the top ATF available in the market right now. This product promises extraordinary performance, good compatibility, better protection, and many more.


Excellent Performance

Similar to the Valvoline transmission fluid discussed earlier, this fluid also provides excellent performance, increasing the longevity of the engine and the vehicle. It works by applying a protective layer over the gears, belts, and so on, preventing these components from getting damaged.

With the use of this fluid, the metal parts in the transmission do not collide with each other and this reduces the possibility of damage due to friction and wear or tear.  Not only that, but it makes it easier for the driver to shift the gears on the road as well as reduces transmission maintenance costs.

Improves Operating Temperatures

This transmission fluid comes with cooling agents that allow the gears and internal components to cool down. In addition to that, it improves the thermal stability of the engine. This causes the range of operating temperatures to increase, allowing the transmission of the vehicle to work efficiently in both low and high temperatures and pressure. It also increases the lifespan of the engine by reducing damage due to overheating.

Fine Compatibility

Understanding the compatibility of this product is confusing for quite a few car owners. If I discuss it in simple terms, this product is highly suitable for the majority of Dexron and Mercon automobiles. However, it does not react well with Mercon IV vehicles along with cars that come with CVT transmissions.


  • Compatible with several Dexron and Mercon cars
  • Excellent protection to the gears, belts, etc.
  • Improves heat stability
  • Smoother performance in both low and high temperatures


  • Not compatible with CVT transmissions and Mercon IV vehicles

Genuine Toyota Lexus Automatic Transmission Fluid

Every person who has the slightest idea about cars is undoubtedly familiar with Toyota. This car manufacturer rules a major section of the world of automobiles. The Genuine Toyota Lexus automatic transmission fluid is an excellent liquid designed by Toyota itself to ensure a better performance of their vehicles.

Genuine Toyota Lexus Automatic Transmission Fluid

Topnotch Agents

The main factors that cause damage to transmission are friction, wear or tear, and overheating. To prevent these aspects from damaging the internal parts, this fluid comes with premium quality additives which provide anti-shaking, cooling, anti-noise capabilities and many more. These agents not only reduce the possibilities of the damage but also reduce the noise and shuddering in the transmission.

Smooth Performance

When it comes to transmissions, it is essential to take care of them properly to ensure a fine performance of the car on the road. As discussed above, this transmission liquid decreases the chance of damage and this increases the longevity of the car.

In addition to that, the product provides better protection to the metallic parts, allowing the driver to shift the gears while driving without any trouble. The fluid also decreases the risks of clutch slippage by layering the gears with a protective coating and improves overall transmission efficiency.

Remarkable Compatibility

This Toyota automatic transmission fluid is one of the top liquids in the market right now. It is a perfect fit for almost each and every Toyota model and improves their performance and longevity without any issue. However, it is also compatible and works efficiently with several other car models in the industry.


  • Impressive performance enhancement
  • Reduces transmission damage to a minimum
  • Suitable for several other car manufacturers, including Toyota
  • Top quality transmission service


  • It does not contain synthetic base

Genuine Ford Mercon LV Automatic Transmission Fluid

Similar to Toyota, Ford covers a significant part of the motor vehicle industry. The Genuine Ford Mercon LV transmission fluid is formulated by Ford to improve the health of their engine and car. This product promises to provide awesome performance and protection to the transmission of the vehicle.

Genuine Ford Fluid XT-10-QLVC MERCON-LV Automatic Transmission Fluid

Notable Additives

This product comes with a hydro-processed base along with several great working agents. These additives include anti-shuddering, anti-noise, and lubricating agents. These work to make sure that the performance of the vehicle improves significantly, making it easier for the driver to experience a much smoother drive on the road.

Improved Transmission Operation

As discussed above, the additives present in the transmission fluid improve the performance of the car. It coats all the metallic parts including gears and belts in the transmission with a protective layer which reduces friction and wear or tear, preventing damage to the internal parts. Not only that, but it also increases the heat stability of the transmission, allowing it to operate more smoothly.

Marvelous Compatibility

As this product has been formulated specifically for the Ford vehicles, it is suitable for the majority of the car models by the manufacturer. It is an OEM transmission fluid and is suitable for most modern vehicles that use Mercon LV liquids. However, it does fit well in models that require Mercon ULV, Mercon V, and Mercon SP.


  • Better heat stability
  • Reduces noise and shaking
  • Offers exceptional shift quality
  • Highly compatible with several models


  • Not suitable for CVT transmission and Mercon ULV, V, and SP

Motorcraft Mercon V ATF

Similar to the Motorcraft Mercon LV mentioned above, this product has also been formulated by Ford. The Motorcraft Mercon V will provide extraordinary performance if your car features a modern transmission.

Motorcraft Mercon V ATF

Outstanding Performance

This oil works by protecting the gears, belts, and other metallic parts present in the transmission by reducing friction and hydraulic strain in these components.

Not only that, but it also reduces the noise made by the shifting gears and reduces the chances of the gear slipping, clutch breakdown, and keep the transmission safe from damage.

Operates At Low Temperature

This fluid improves the thermal stability of transmission and allows it to operate without any hassle within a wide range of temperatures. This is essential as the transmissions or the components present inside it sometimes experience a failure during cold weather. Allowing the transmission to operate at a low temperature reduces the risks of breakdown, making the driving offers a steady driving experience

Notable Compatibility

This transmission oil is highly compatible with almost each and every Ford model in the market. However, it is not compatible with the continuously variable transmissions or those car models that require Mercon ULV, Mercon LV, and Mercon SP.


  • Top quality performance
  • Operates at low temperatures
  • Prevents damage in the transmission
  • Reduces the risks of gear failure and clutch breakdown


  • It does not fit the CVT transmissions

Genuine Honda Automatic Transmission Fluid

If you drive a Honda car and are in search of the best automatic transmission fluid for Honda, then the Genuine Honda might be the one you are looking for. It is a transmission oil specifically manufactured by Honda to make sure that their cars provide a secure, smooth, and long service.

Genuine Honda Automatic Transmission Fluid

Damage Prevention

This is one of the best transmission oils on the market when it comes to preventing damage to the engine of the vehicle. The main reason behind transmission damage is the collision between the metal parts like gears. This oil lubricates these components and prevents them from causing damage by reducing breakage due to collisions.

In addition to that, this fluid reduces the oxidation rate in the transmission and comes with additives that prevent leakage in the system without causing swelling.

Smooth Gear Shifting

As discussed above, this oil lubricates the internal parts in the transmission and reduces the risks of breakdowns and gear failures. It also works to reduce damage in the belts of the transmission and allows the drivers to transition the shifting gear more easily while driving on the road. Not only that, but it also reduces the noise made by the gears and belts while accelerating or turning corners.

Improved Fuel Efficiency

Due to the decrease in oxidation rate and other sources of damage, the fuel efficiency of the car increases. Better fuel efficiency means that the car uses less fuel to travel a mile, indicating better engine health. This allows the vehicle owner to save money on fuel by reducing fuel station trips to a minimum.


  • Lubricates the gears and belts
  • Great performance at low temperatures
  • Prevents leakage in the transmission
  • Increases fuel economy


  • Not suitable for brands other than Honda

Castrol Transmax Dex/Merc ATF

In the world of transmission fluids, Castrol is one of the major manufacturers and is well-known for its highly efficient service. The Castrol Transmax Dex/Merc is one of the top-rated ATF available in the market and offers smooth performance to vehicles.


Enhanced Transmission Performance

The performance of a transmission degrades significantly when the internal parts such as belts and gears get damaged. This fluid prevents this damage by applying a protective coating to the internal metallic parts in the transmission. This does not only reduce the damage, but it also decreases the chances of clutch slippage and noise during acceleration.

Checks Out Transmission Requirements

There are several transmission fluids available in the market, but not all of them meet the requirements. This oil works with several car manufacturers and models in the industry and meets all of the transmission requirements of some of the top vehicle brands in the market.

Functions At Extreme Temperatures

This fluid reduces friction between the metal parts and improves the thermal stability of the transmission, increasing the durability of both the engine and the vehicle. With improved thermal stability, the car can function well in high and low-temperature conditions.


  • Suitable for several car brands and models
  • Improves thermal stability
  • Provides improved friction durability
  • Prevents gear breakdown or failure


  • Not compatible with a few American car manufacturers

Red Line D4 Automatic Transmission Fluid

Last, but not the least, I’ll talk about the Red Line D4 automatic transmission fluid. This fluid is one of the favorite transmission oil options for BMW and other top-tier cars.

Red Line D4 Automatic Transmission Fluid

High Quality Additives

This oil comes with some of the best additives in the market that prevent transmission from getting damaged. It comes with agents such as anti-foaming, anti-noise, and cleaning additives. These ingredients allow the transmission to work more efficiently by providing protection. The cleaning additives prevent the buildup of harmful substances such as grime, acid, and many more.

Enhanced Performance

This transmission fluid increases the performance level of the car by a notch. This improvement takes place due to the protection offered by the fluid to the gears and belts inside the transmission. It increases the heat stability of the engine, allowing it to operate smoothly in colder regions. Not only that, but it also prevents the gears from colliding with each other and improves the durability of the vehicle.


  • Features top-quality additives
  • Reduces friction between the metal parts
  • Improves transmission performance
  • Prevents damage due to wear or tear and overheating


  • Not certified for use in a few car brands

Check Our Recommended Manual Transmission Fluid Here

How To Choose The Best Automatic Transmission Fluid?

There are hundreds of automatic transmission fluids available on the market, but not all of them are worth using. Therefore, it is essential to consider a few factors properly before making a final decision on the automatic transmission fluid of your car. These factors are:

Compatibility With The Vehicle

The first factor you must consider when it comes to choosing an ATF is whether it is compatible with your car or not. Before purchasing the fluid, make sure that it is a perfect fit for the transmission of your vehicle. In case you are confused about which fluid is compatible with the automatic transmission of your automobile, have a discussion with your mechanic and ask for recommendations.


In an automatic transmission fluid, the additives play a major role in protecting and improving the performance of the transmission. Each and every transmission comes with a few requirements that the fluids have to meet before being suitable for that particular make and model of the vehicle. It is essential to choose an ATF that comes with protective additives such as anti-foaming, anti-shuddering, anti-noise, cleaning, and many more.


Automatic transmission fluids are typically available in two types: conventional and synthetic. When it comes to choosing fluids for the transmission of your vehicle, it is essential to select the right type of oil. Typically, conventional transmission oil is for older automobile models, while synthetic oil is for new ones. Discuss it with your car mechanic if you are unsure about which type to pick.


Automobile maintenance is quite an expensive factor and not many people are interested in paying a significant amount of money on ATF. When it comes to transmission fluids, you will find several similar fluids that come with a big difference in price. However, it is important to take the brand of the fluid into consideration as well. Make sure that you research the market well before making a purchase.

Types Of Automatic Transmission Fluid

Conventional Transmission Fluid

Conventional transmission fluid is typically the oldest type available in the industry. It is manufactured using a natural oil base mixed with several powerful and protective additives. Conventional transmission fluids are usually used in the old car models.

Synthetic Transmission Fluid

This type of transmission fluid is formulated with a 100 percent synthetic base and combined with man-made chemical compositions. While both of these types have the same function, synthetic fluids are more durable and last for a longer period. In addition to that, synthetic transmission oil offers better performance and prevents overheating efficiently.

Benefits Of Using Automatic Transmission Fluid

Reduces Transmission Issues

One of the top benefits of using automatic transmission fluid is that it works to keep the transmission safe and serving. The additives present in the fluid keep the transmission clean and prevent damage caused by wear or tear, friction, and so on, allowing it to offer decent performance for a longer period. Not only that, but it also helps to cool down the components, preventing damage due to overheating.

Better Fuel Efficiency

The cost of fuel is on the rise for the past few years and it continues to increase with each passing day. The use of ATF improves fuel efficiency, allowing the user to drive smoothly on the road without using more fuel than required. This gives the car owners a great opportunity to cut the extra cost and also saves them from the hassle of making trips to the fuel station.


Replacing a transmission or repairing it often costs more than a couple of hundred dollars. Not only that, but a damaged transmission can also result in a clutch breakdown and so on, causing you to spend more than you wanted to. The use of automatic transmission fluid allows you to be more cost-efficient y by making sure that your car runs effortlessly for a long time.

Smooth Driving Experience

No one likes to drive a bumpy or noisy car on the road, and this sound and shaking specifically increase during acceleration and while turning corners. However, this noise and shuddering reduce to a minimum with the help of automatic transmission fluid, allowing the drivers to experience a noiseless and effortless ride on the road.

People Also Ask

Which Automatic Transmission Fluid Should I Use?

When it comes to choosing a specific automatic transmission fluid for your vehicle, you will have to understand the requirements of your car. These requirements will tell you what your transmission needs and which fluid will be compatible with the make and model of your automobile. However, if you are still confused, contact your car mechanic and they will provide you with the required help.

How Often Should I Replace My Automatic Transmission Fluid?

How often you need to replace your automatic transmission fluid depends on quite a few factors. You will have to take the make and model of your car into consideration and pay attention to the recommendations of the manufacturer. Typically, older vehicles require a transmission fluid change once every 30,000 miles, while the newer models do not usually need a replacement before 60,000 miles.

Are All Automatic Transmission Fluids Same?

No, each transmission fluid comes with a different base, additives, viscosity, and so on. You will have to choose one that is compatible with the brand and model of your automobile.

What Will Happen If I Use The Wrong Automatic Transmission Fluid?

If you use the wrong ATF in your car, it will not fit perfectly with the gears, belts, and other metal components. It will not be able to provide the required protection to the internal parts of the transmission and will not be able to prevent damage. This increases the chances of clutch breakdown and gear failure, and you will have to get the fluid replaced with the right one as soon as possible.

Does It Matter What Automatic Transmission Fluid You Use?

If you have an automatic transmission, it’s important to use the right type of fluid specified by your car manufacturer.
The automatic transmission fluid acts as a lubricant for the transmission components and also helps to cool the transmission.

Over time, the fluid can break down and become less effective. This can lead to transmission problems such as slipping, hard shifting, and even transmission failure.

If you’re unsure what type of fluid to use, consult your car’s owner’s manual or a qualified mechanic.

Should You Use OEM Transmission Fluid?

Yes, If you are looking for the best transmission fluid for your car, you should use OEM transmission fluid. OEM fluids are designed specifically for your car and will help keep your transmission running smoothly. Aftermarket fluids may not be compatible with your car and could cause damage to your transmission.

Can I Use CVT Fluid for Automatic Transmission?

No, You can’t use CVT fluid for automatic transmission as they are completely different types of fluid. CVT fluid is specially formulated for CVT transmissions while ATF fluid is formulated for automatic transmissions.

Final Words

Now you know how important it is to use the best automatic transmission fluid to make sure that our cars are well-protected and run efficiently for a longer period. The fluids I have reviewed above are some of the top automatic transmission liquids available on the market right now.

However, do not forget to consider the buying factors before purchasing a transmission oil and make sure that you choose the right liquid suitable for the make and model of your car.

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