Reviewed By: Joses Peter
Our cars are one of the most valuable assets to us and we all want them to provide a fine service for years. To ensure this splendid driving experience, it is necessary to take care of the vehicle properly.
When it comes to automobile maintenance, the engine must always have the top priority. A big part of taking care of a vehicle includes the protection of the internal parts like the transmission.
Cars generally come with one of three transmissions: manual, automatic, and continuously variable transmission. Manual transmission is the oldest type and is still used by a lot of automobile manufacturers and models.
The use of manual transmission fluids is necessary to make sure that the manual transmission is performing at its peak capacity. There are several brands available in the market that manufacture and supply manual transmission fluids. However, many car owners end up getting confused when it comes to choosing one for their vehicle.
Therefore, in this guide, I’ll discuss the 8 best manual transmission fluid options and other factors associated with it.
Comparison of Top 5 Manual Transmission Fluid
Royal Purple-ROY01512 Manual Transfluid
- Size: 1-Quart
- Type: Manual
- Compatibility: Most manual transmission synchronizers are available in the market.
- Country of Origin: USA
Genuine Honda Fluid 08798-9031 Manual Transmission Fluid
- Size: 1-Quart
- Type: Manual
- Compatibility: OEM Honda (Manual Transmission).
- Country of Origin: USA
Red Line (50305) Manual Transmission (MT) 90W Gear Oil
- Size: 1-Gallon
- Type: Manual
- Compatibility: Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, VW/Audi, Lotus Elise/Exige, Toyota, Mendeola transmissions & Atlas transfer cases for Off-Road.
- Country of Origin: USA
Genuine Ford Fluid XT-M5-QS Full Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid
- Size: 1-Quart
- Type: Manual
- Compatibility: 1995-2011 MTX-75 and IB5 transmissions, GL-3 and GL-4 type gear oils.
- Country of Origin: USA
Red Line (50304) MT-90 75W-90 GL-4 Manual Transmission and Transaxle Lubricant
- Size: 1-Quart
- Type: Manual
- Compatibility: Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, VW/Audi, Lotus Elise/Exige, Toyota, Mendeola transmissions and Atlas transfer cases for Off Road.
- Country of Origin: USA
8 Best Manual Transmission Fluid Review
Royal Purple Synchromax ROY01512 MTF
The first product that we are going to discuss today is the Royal Purple Synchromax. It is a fully synthetic fluid that has been specifically manufactured for manual transmissions. The purpose of using this item is to improve the performance of the manual transmission in a car and also prevent any further damage to the internal parts.
The feature that attracts several car owners to this fluid is its excellent performance. It contains several high-quality additives that allow this liquid to provide 100 percent wear protection to the gears, belts, and many more internal parts.
It also lubricates the shifting gear of the vehicle, allowing the driver to control the mechanism more easily. In addition to these, it also decreases the working temperature of the transmission and allows it to operate within a wide range of temperature readings.
Prevents Rust And Friction
In a manual transmission, there are several moving metal parts that often collide against each other and end up being damaged due to friction. The movable pieces in a transmission sometimes get rusted or corroded due to the presence of water or moisture. This liquid prevents both rusting and friction by lubricating or coating the parts with a protective layer.
One of the best features of this fluid is that it is highly compatible with almost each and every manual transmission. This means that it can be used in a wide range of car brands and models without any trouble.
- Strong performance
- Prevents rusting in the metal parts
- Reduces the possibilities of damage by friction
- Suitable with a wide range of motor vehicles
- It May seem a bit too thin for some vehicles
Genuine Honda Fluid 08798-9031
Honda is one of the top players in the automobile industry and has control over a significant part of the market. To meet the manual transmission requirements of the Honda vehicles, many car owners rely on the Genuine Honda 08798-9031 fluid. Even though it has been specifically designed for the Honda models, you can also use it in the manual transmission of several other car brands and models.
Improves Fuel Economy
In a motor vehicle, the fuel economy is crucial as it allows the owners and drivers to save money by reducing the trips to the gas station. This manual transmission fluid features elements and chemical compositions that slightly increase the fuel economy of the automobile.
Increases Transmission Longevity
As we know, the main purpose of a manual transmission liquid is to help in improving the overall vehicle performance. The performance improves when the internal parts and protected and running effortlessly. In cases like these, the gears and belts work for a longer time than usual, which in turn increases the longevity of the transmission.
Better Operating Temperatures
This transmission liquid reduces friction between the metal parts and protects the soft metals. Not only that but it also improves the heat stability of the components, allowing the manual transmission to perform efficiently within a better and wider temperature range.
- Better fuel economy
- Improves performance and transmission life
- Increases heat stability
- Reduces friction and noise
- Might not be very efficient for non-Honda models
Red Line MT-90W Gear Oil
The Red Line MT-90W Gear Oil is a fully synthetic manual transmission fluid and is one of the most popular in the world of automobiles. The company itself, Red Line, has been a place of trust for various car owners since the beginning of their journey in 1979.
When it comes to manual transmissions, protection of the internal parts is what results in better performance for the vehicle. This Red Line MT90 lubricates the metal parts perfectly, reducing the risks of damage caused by excessive wear or tear. Not only that, but it also boosts the lifespan of both the transmission and the engine. However, this liquid does not provide an efficient performance in places where the weather is cold.
Steadier Shifting Gears
This manual transmission liquid lubricates the shifting gears of the cars and severely reduces the noise produced by the transmission. Not only that, but it also makes it easier for the driver to change the gears and experience a fine drive.
One of the best features of this item is that it works effectively on a wide range of car brands and models. Some of these compatible vehicle brands are Nissan, Toyota, Audi, Mazda, and many more.
- Provides protection to the internal parts
- Outstanding performance
- Improves longevity of the engine and transmission
- Budget-friendly fluid for manual transmissions
- Not suitable for cold regions
Genuine Ford Fluid XT-M5-QS
As the Genuine Honda is suitable for Honda models, the Genuine Ford XT-M5-QS is specifically designed to suit the manual transmission of the Ford models. While experts typically recommend this product for Ford cars, it is still compatible with quite a few other brands and models.
One of the best parts of this fluid is that it successfully meets all the manual transmission requirements set by Ford. Not only does it improve the performance of the newer models, but also makes sure that the older models offer an outstanding driving experience.
Minimizes Noise And Friction
This liquid has the ability to coat the gears and other internal parts with a protective layer to reduce friction between them and also reduce the risks of wear or tear damage. In addition to that, this also lubricates the metal pieces inside the transmission and reduces the noise produced within the engine.
Increases The Range Of Operating Temperature
Once this Ford fluid starts setting in, it increases the thermal stability of the transmission components, which results in an improvement in the longevity of the vehicle. On top of that, it also allows the automobile to perform properly within a wide range of operating temperatures.
- Improved thermal stability
- Prevents damage and reduces noise
- Provides splendid transmission performance
- Suitable for almost all of the Ford models
- Might not be 100 percent effective on other car brands
Red Line MT-90 Manual Transaxle Lubricant
We are now going to talk about another great transmission fluid by Red Line. As we discussed earlier, Red Line has been a trusted company in the automobile industry for decades now. Similar to all the products mentioned above, this Red Line MT-90 also offers great performance and service to the cars.
This Red Line MTL is usually less slippery compared to the majority of transmission liquids available in the market. It reduces the chances of clutch breakdown while driving by protecting the internal parts from damage. It increases the efficiency of the gears and belts, causing an improvement in the components. This improvement allows the transmission and engine to function for a longer period of time without any trouble.
The use of this liquid reduces the noise generated by the engine by a significant amount. The noise mainly occurs due to damage or friction inside the manual transmission. The noise decrease when the fluid lubricates the parts and prevents them from rubbing against each other.
Better Operating Temperature And Pressure
Not all cars run at the same temperature as the weather or location plays a major role in it. To make sure that the cars can travel at almost any temperature reading, this Red Line MTL improves the thermal stability of the transmission. This improvement allows the engine of an automobile to run without any trouble in almost any weather condition.
- Efficiently prevents clutch breakdowns
- Perfectly lubricates the gears and belt
- Reduces the transmission noise
- Allows the vehicle to operate in a wide range of temperatures and pressure
- Inconvenient design of the bottle
Amsoil Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid
The Amsoil Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid is fully synthetic and is manufactured using several premium quality additives. It is one of the few fluids that meet all the transmission requirements and is one of the most preferred liquids by car owners. It is very well-known for its tremendous ability to improve the driving experience by a notch.
Enhances Transmission Performance
This fluid covers the gears and other internal parts with a protective layer and prevents the breakdown of the clutch and the metal pieces inside the transmission. Not only that, but it also enhances the performance of the car by protecting the transmission from wear or tear damage. The improvement in performance allows the drivers and the passengers to enjoy a smoother driving experience.
It improves the heat stability of the car, allowing it to provide superb performance from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and resists oxidation in the engine. On top of that, it makes it easier to shift the gears during the cold weather.
Noise and Friction Reduction
Damage in the shifting gears and internal metal parts due to friction causes a constant noise while driving. This noise does not only ruin the experience, but it also promotes further damage in the transmission. The use of this liquid prevents that noise by reducing the friction and coating the components to reduce grime formation.
This product works perfectly with a wide range of car brands and models including Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Chryslers, and many more.
- Enhances thermal stability
- Reduces noise, friction, and wear and tear
- Suitable for various car models
- Prevents grime and acid buildup
- A bit pricey compared to the average transmission fluid options
Motul 105777 Gear 300 Manual Transmission Fluid
If you are in search of high-quality manual transmission fluid, then the Motul Gear 300 is one of the best options out there. Similar to the Amsoil synchromesh discussed above, this Motul Gear fluid also comes with a fully synthetic base and premium quality ingredients.
High Quality Additives
One of the best parts of this product is that it features some of the most premium quality additives in the market. It comes with anti-wear, anti-shaking, and anti-foaming agents that improve shaking, provide protection against wear and tear and also decrease the noise in the transmission.
Wide Range Of Functioning Temperature
As we discussed above, it comes with several quality additives and these also allow the transmission to perform smoothly over a wide range of temperatures. This fluid helps the driver to smooth shifts gears easily even when the gearbox is cold. In addition to that, it also helps the clutch from breaking down for a longer period of time.
This Motul Gear 300 works in almost each and every vehicle model and this means that it is suitable for all sorts of manual transmissions including both synchronized and unsynchronized gearboxes.
- Awesome performance
- Features top-quality additives and agents
- Prevents noise, shaking, friction, and wear or tear damage
- Adequate pricing
- Not certified for use in a few automobile models
RAVENOL J1C1003 SAE 75W
Last but not the least, we are now going to talk about the Ravenol J1C1003 SAE 75W manual transmission liquid. Using this fluid will make sure that you get an amazing result with your transmission health.
This fluid offers a protective and top-quality lubrication to the gears, belts, and internal parts, protecting them from damage caused by wear and tear. On top of that, it also prevents decaying due to friction between the components. The protective coating also allows the passengers to enjoy a smooth drive on the roads.
It is one of the best transmission fluids in the automobile industry and is compatible with some of the industry-leading car brands. The liquid meets the transmission requirements of vehicle manufacturers such as BMW, Nissan, Volkswagen, and so on.
Excellent Additive Quality
One of the reasons why this fluid is compatible with the top brands and meets their transmission requirements is because it comes with some of the best additives present in the market. These agents reduce shaking, noise, and friction in the transmission, allowing the car owners to drive their vehicles for a longer period.
- Compatible with several top-tier car brands
- Excellent manufacturing quality
- Outstanding additives and agents
- Very budget-friendly
- Not suitable for the majority of small car brands and models
Types Of Manual Transmission Fluid
In the world of automobiles, there are mainly two manual transmission oil types. These are:
Traditional Manual Transmission Fluid
When it comes to traditional manual transmission fluids, they cover a wide range of oils, starting from regular engine oil to the high viscosity gear oil. In cases of manual transmissions, you have to choose a fluid depending on the requirements, conditions, and model of your car. These conventional fluids come with chemical compositions that protect the parts of the transmission and increase the longevity of the vehicles.
Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid
This manual transmission fluid type is manufactured with a 100 percent synthetic base and several chemical additives along with quality oils. The reason why synthetic transmission fluids rose to fame is that they allow a better and longer performance compared to traditional liquids.
4 Facts To Choose The Best Manual Transmission Fluid
Choosing the best fluid for your manual transmission is crucial to make sure that the car performs smoothly and for a longer period. There are quite a few factors that require proper attention and consideration when it comes to choosing the best manual transmission liquid. These factors are:
The first factor you must consider while choosing a manual transmission liquid is the types of fluids. However, this is not something you can select randomly or based on your own will. You will have to make a choice depending on the requirements of the vehicle and the transmission. If you are confused about the type, take a look at the manual of the automobile or have a discussion with your mechanic.
Before making a final decision on the fluid, it is essential to understand what your car needs. It’s better if you have a talk with your mechanic to know which fluid to choose and how that will help your vehicle. Make sure to choose a transmission liquid that will meet the requirements. The most common ones include noise reduction, reducing friction and chances of wear or tear, and many more.
The price of the manual transmission fluid is an important factor to consider as automobile maintenance tends to put a hole in the wallet. Some of the top-tier liquids come with a budget-friendly price tag while the majority of them come with a high price tag. Research the market well and look around for options before settling for a high-end transmission fluid that provides the nice performance level as any average fluid.
Last but not least, it is important to make sure that the transmission fluid is compatible with the brand and model of the vehicle. There are a few fluids that work only on a few selected models from a specific brand, while there are a few that are compatible with a wide range of vehicles. Properly check the certification of the product before purchasing or using it in your automobile.
Most Popular Brands Of Manual Transmission Fluid
There are hundreds of brands manufacturing and selling their manual transmission fluids in the world of motor vehicles. However, not all of these are worth investing money on and there are a few brands who sell the best manual transmission liquids. The most popular brands are:
- Red Line
- Royal Purple
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Is It Necessary To Use Manual Transmission Fluid?
Yes, a vehicle with manual transmission requires manual transmission fluid to operate smoothly and provide a consistent driving experience. It also increases the lifespan of the car and the internal parts by protecting them from damage. Avoiding the use of transmission liquid will severely affect the health of your automobile, turning it into a junk car sooner than usual.
Do We Have To Change The Transmission Fluid?
Yes, transmission fluid needs to be changed regularly depending on the use of the vehicle. This is because the liquid burns over time and loses its effectiveness. Changing the fluid is essential to make sure that the car is operating at its peak capacity and without any problem.
When Should We Change The Manual Transmission Fluid?
In all honesty, there is no fixed period for changing the manual transmission fluid. This solely depends on how often or how much you use the vehicle. However, transmission fluid manufacturers suggest all car owners get the liquid replaced once every 30,000 to 60,000 miles of distance traveled by automobile.
How To Check If The Transmission Fluid Needs To Be Changed?
You can easily check whether you need to change the fluid in the manual transmission or not. Turn on the engine and let it run for 5 to 10 minutes. Open the car and take out the dipstick from the transmission and wipe off the fluid on a clean cloth. Dip the stick into the fluid again and take it out to check the color and smell of the fluid. If the color of the fluid is black or emits a burning smell, this is a clear indication that the fluid has to be changed.
Are All Manual Transmission Fluids the Same?
No, all manual transmission fluids are not the same. There are many different types of manual transmission fluids, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Some manual transmission fluids are designed for specific types of transmissions, while others can be used in a variety of transmissions. It is important to check your vehicle owner’s manual or a qualified mechanic to determine which type of manual transmission fluid is best for your vehicle.
Is It OK To Put ATF In a Manual Transmission?
Yes, it is fine to put ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) in a manual transmission. In fact, many people believe it can improve the transmission’s performance.
Manual transmission fluids are an essential part when it comes to car maintenance as they ensure the overall improved performance of the car. Many car owners get confused while choosing from hundreds of different transmission liquids; thus, we shortlisted and discussed some of the best manual transmission fluid options available right now.
No matter which one of these liquids you choose, make sure that it provides an exceptional overall driving experience. Do not forget to carefully consider the buying factors before purchasing a manual transmission fluid.