3 Best Transmission Fluid for Towing

Reviewed By: Joses Peter

Every car owner knows that quality transmission or gear fluid is crucial for maintaining the performance of your vehicle. But using a heavy-duty transmission fluid is a must if you are towing frequently.

Towing puts an insane amount of pressure on the car’s transmission system. Therefore, if you don’t use a transmission fluid that can handle such pressure, your vehicle can face serious performance issues and even end up in an entire engine failure.

Best Transmission Fluid for Towing

There are over 20 variations of transmission oil in the market. On top of that, different vehicle manufacturers require distinct features of fluid in their automobiles. So, how do you choose the best transmission fluid for towing from the endless options?

Don’t worry. We’ve picked out the top transmission liquid for towing and described their most promising features in this article. You’ll also get to know everything you need to keep in mind while choosing the right gear oil for your towing vehicle.

What Type Transmission Fluids Are Best for Towing

Towing heavy cargoes such as trailers, boats, and other commercial loads overstress the vehicle’s drivetrain system, especially the transmission. This stress diminishes the lubricating effects of the transmission oil which results in increased friction and growing temperature.

Therefore, the best oil for towing would be one that provides high lubricating protection even at elevated temperatures. Synthetic transmission fluids are best known for holding onto lubricating properties and preventing thermal breakdown.

As towing puts additional stress on the system, synthetic fluids featuring anti-wear technology are great for protecting your transmission from premature wear.

Moreover, gear oils that include heat transfer additives will be helpful. Because increased temperature is the main cause of transmission damage.

Quick Comparison of Top 3 Transmission Fluids for Tow

Valvoline Multi-Vehicle ATF
★ OUR #1 PICK! ★
  • Size: 1-Gallon
  • Type: Full Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Compatibility: Suitable for use in a broad range of ATF applications including most Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, VW & Audi.
  • Country of Origin: USA
Amsoil Singature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil
  • Size: 1-Gallon
  • Type: 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil
  • Compatibility: Share Chrysler M2 Degree C929 a MS 6395, FORD WSS, FORD WSS M2 Degree C946 a, GM dexos1.
  • Country of Origin: USA
Mobil 1 Extended Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil 10W-30
  • Size: 5-Quarts
  • Type: Full Synthetic
  • Compatibility: Recommended for all types of modern vehicles, including high-performance turbo-charged, and supercharged gasoline and diesel multi-valve fuel-injected engines found in passenger cars, SUVs, light vans, and light trucks.
  • Country of Origin: USA

Best Transmission Fluid for Towing Reviews

Valvoline Multi-Vehicle (ATF) Full Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid

Do you frequently use your vehicle for towing heavy cargo? Then you need a transmission fluid that will protect your engine in extreme conditions. Check out the Valvoline Multi-Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid which is the best transmission fluid for towing.

Valvoline Multi-Vehicle (ATF)

Enhanced Transmission Protection

Towing puts extreme pressure on the transmission. Therefore, it needs increased protection against wear.

The full-synthetic formulation of this transmission fluid provides heightened lubricating properties that protect from wear and tear. As a result, the transmission lifespan expands.

Moreover, the high-quality seal conditioners preserve seal elasticity. So, there is no risk of leaks even during high mileage towing.

Highly Stable Viscosity

An excellent blend of top-quality base oils and additives results in winter viscosity grade 5w30. This means you get to drive effectively in high temperatures as well as colder temperatures. The stable viscosity ensures better film protection and oil flow at different temperatures.

Exceptional Breakdown Resistance

The highly advanced additives allow the transmission fluid to work effectively even under high pressure. These additives help prevent leaks, maintain performance, minimize wear, and ultimately provide transmission breakdown resistance. That’s not all, you’ll get to enjoy smooth shifting for a longer period.

What We Like

  • Improved lubricating property
  • Prevents leaks during high mileage
  • Excellent thermal stability
  • Includes advanced additives
  • Ensures smooth shifting

What We Don’t Like

  • Slight vibration problem

Amsoil Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil

Next, we have a manufacturer that is undoubtedly one of the most well-known performers in terms of providing heavy-duty transmission fluid. Yes, it’s none other than the Amsoil Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil.

Amsoil ATF Signature Series

Excellent Quality Additives

Towing vehicles need extra protection during hauling heavy loads. The addition of various additives is what makes a transmission fluid capable of protecting the engine.

Amsoil blends the most advanced additives with their superior synthetic base to provide you with the best service. Moreover, it will keep your car at peak performance even under high pressure.

Extends Fuel Economy

Oils that break under pressure require frequent replacement. As a result, you have to spend tons of money on transmission fluid. But not with Amsoil. This high-quality fluid holds its ground during heavy-duty towing.

What’s more, it doesn’t lose essential properties for an extended period. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about oil replacement.

Apart from these, the seal conditioners prevent the gaskets and seals from cracking. Hence, the chances of fuel leaks are eliminated meaning no more fuel wastage.

Exceptional Friction Durability

Another excellent feature is the top-notch friction durability. It comes with friction-modifying additives. These agents provide you with remarkable clutch-holding and torque-transfer capabilities that help to reduce both static and dynamic friction.

As a result, you get to experience smooth, reliable shifts even while towing hundreds of kilograms of weight.

What We Like

  • Outstanding engine protection
  • Suitable for gasoline engines
  • Reduces maintenance cost
  • Compatible with a variety of models
  • Available for bulk purchase

What We Don’t Like

  • More expensive than similar oils

Mobil 1 Extended Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Mobil 1 Extended Performance 120767-1 premium fluid will provide you with top-notch performance during blistering heat and freezing cold. Let’s discover some of the amazing features it comes with.

Mobil 1 Extended Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Improved Thermal Stability

This 10w-30 grade synthetic oil has outstanding thermal stability that allows the engine to run at all temperatures without facing premature wear. The uniform oil molecules ensure internal heat protection up to 500° Fahrenheit. Therefore, the engine stays protected even during high heat towing.

Moreover, you get exceptional fluid flow up to -20° Fahrenheit. As a result, when you enter cold weather the fluid doesn’t freeze up but provides ultra-fast protection. Furthermore, the thick lubricating film provided by this oil won’t break under extreme temperatures.

Elevated Engine Protection

If you want to provide the ultimate protection for your engine, there’s no better option than this Mobil 1 ATF. It will protect the engine from five damaging factors for up to 20,000 miles or one year.

This controls and minimizes oxidation and reduces oil breakdown. Lubricates the critical elements and shields them from over friction during towing.

Outstanding Cleansing Property

When the transmission fluid stays clean, it can work effectively for longer.

That’s what this Mobil 1 ATF does best. It prevents sludge and pollution buildup. As a result, the fluid stays fresh for longer and oil needs to be changed less frequently.

The clean advanced formulation also meets the ILSAC GF-6 standards. This means that your engine will get low-speed pre-ignition protection along with timing-chain protection.

What We Like

  • Keeps the transmission clean
  • Prevents oil breakdown
  • Can withstand high temperature
  • Provides protection for up to 20,000 mile
  • Extreme wear resistance

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for passenger cars

Amsoil Severe Gear Lube

Last but not least we have another outstanding transmission fluid from Amsoil. If you’re someone who tows under extreme pressure frequently, then Amsoil Severe Gear Lube will be perfect for you.

Unparalleled Cold Weather Performance

Starting the car in the morning when you live in a colder climate can be a daily struggle. But using the Amsoil severe gear lube in your transmission will eliminate this struggle forever.

The 75w90 viscosity grade makes sure your transmission fluid stays flowable up to -40°C. This exception oil resists fluid thickening and allows reliable shifting even during the lowest temperatures.

Not only in cold weather, but this oil will give you peak performance at high temperatures too.

Elevated Load Bearing Capability

This transmission oil has high shear stability. That’s why it can handle extreme pressure by towing hefty loads. After putting this oil in the transmission you can tow without worrying about it breaking under extreme pressure.

Moreover, the low and high-temperature fluidity enhances the fuel economy by improving energy efficiency, shift response, and warm-up times.

User-friendly Design

The innovative packaging prevents fuel wastage and allows you to fill the tank effortlessly. It is especially helpful for the fill ports that are difficult to access.

What We Like

  • Outstanding power delivery
  • User-friendly packaging
  • Superior thermal stability
  • Fully synthetic gear oil
  • Ensures incredible heat tolerance

What We Don’t Like

  • Not available for bulk purchase

How to Choose The Best Transmission Fluid for Towing?

While different vehicles call for different transmission fluids, there are some primary factors you must keep in mind before choosing one. To help you, we have discussed those principal aspects here.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to choose the best gear oil for towing.

1.  Compatibility

Compatibility is the most significant thing to consider because using the wrong fluid can result in transmission failure.

Always make sure to check your vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommendation for transmission fluid. It’s important since some cars call for specific brands’ fluid.

However, some transmission oils have universal compatibility. These are great if you have multiple vehicles and don’t want to buy separate oil for each one.

2. Mineral Or Synthetic

Synthetic transmission oils possess higher heat withstanding capability. Therefore, you can use them at high temperatures for a longer period without losing the lubricating effects. And this is crucial for towing vehicles as they produce extreme heat.

However, synthetic oils are more expensive than mineral ones. Mineral oils do break down faster in high temperatures but they are pretty inexpensive. Also, many older vehicles do not support synthetic transmission fluid.

Hence, if you are on a budget or you’re driving an older car, mineral oils might be more suitable for you.

3. Additives

Protective additives are what enable the transmission to fight corrosion, foaming, and oxidation. As towing vehicles face these problems on a larger scale, having additives in the transmission fluid is a must.

High-quality fluids often come with anti-oxidation and anti-foaming additives. These prevent oil breakdown and protect your transmission system for longer.

4. Weather

Yes, the weather you’ll be driving in is also something to consider while choosing a transmission fluid. Because some fluids break down faster in extreme heat others lose working capability in cold weather.

If you want to experience optimum performance in all weather conditions, choose a transmission fluid that has the all-weather withstanding capability.

However, if you live in an extremely cold or hot climate, go for one that suits your area’s weather best.


Question: Why Should I Change Transmission Oil?

Answer: Like other engine oils, transmission oil breaks down with usage and loses its lubricating property. If you don’t change the oil when required, your transmission system will face increased friction and temperature. Therefore, you should change transmission oil to keep the transmission system running smoothly.

Question: What Are The Symptoms Of Low Transmission Fluid?

Answer: You can check the level of transmission fluid using the dipstick. But when your transmission is low on fluid you may notice one or more of the following symptoms: grinding or whining noise, leaking fluid, burning smell, and slipping gears.

Question: How Often Should I Change The Transmission Fluid?

Answer: Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to find out the exact time interval of changing the fluid. In general, you need to change the transmission oil after driving 30,000 to 60,000 miles. But in towing vehicles, you’ll need to change the oil more frequently.

Question: Should I Perform Transmission Fluid Flush Or Change?

Answer: This depends on the condition of your vehicle and the outcome you expect. Transmission fluid flush is recommended if your vehicle has been running on the same fluid for more than 70,000 miles or if you want to start using a new type of ATF.

But if your cars on good condition and you only require regular maintenance, transmission fluid change is fine.

Question: What Is The Maximum Temperature Transmission Fluid Can Handle While Towing?

Answer: You should not run the transmission at higher than 210 degrees. The transmission fluid will lose its lubricating features and break down after 260 degrees.

Final Words

Choosing the right transmission fluid is critical for towing vehicles. Because using wrong or substandard fluids can cause transmission failure and lead to disastrous consequences on the road.

We understand how confusing it can be to choose the most suitable fluid from hundreds of different variants available in the market right now.

To help you, we have analyzed and presented you with the best transmission fluid for towing you can use.

Moreover, the understanding you’ve received from our buying guide regarding the factors to consider while choosing transmission fluid would also prove vital in terms of finding out a quality transmission fluid for your automobile.

If you have further queries, check out our FAQ section to resolve them. Always remember to check the manufacturer’s recommendation before making the final decision.

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