TES 295 transmission fluid

TES 295 transmission fluid: Performance Plus Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Transmission Fluid (TES-295® and TES-389®).

A fully synthetic fluid formulated to protect transmissions against corrosion, oxidation and deposits, providing smooth shifting and preventing wear. Not only does it exceed the demanding requirements of the latest heavy-duty automatic transmissions, but it is also suitable for applications where performance capability comparable to the Allison TES-295® and TES-389™ is specified. It provides exceptional gear shifting and power transfer performance, is made to protect against thermal breakdown at high and sub-zero temperatures, offers excellent shear stability and provides exceptional performance under severe operating conditions.

Service Category Specification: Allison TES-295® and TES-389™ (Good for Use).

Available Grades: Not Applicable


Features and Benefits:


Superior friction traits to ensure smooth shifting efficient power transfer and reduced vibration

Excellent protection against lacquer formation sludge and other harmful deposits

Exceptional shear stability to ensure level stay Viscosity under adverse driving conditions and high operating temperatures

extended drain intervals to reduce downtime

Excellent thermal and oxidation stability to guarantee transmission. cleanliness for long life and performance in severe conditions

Approvals/Met Specifications:

Allison 295® and 389™ (Suitable for use.) MAN 339 Tipo V2

MAN Tipo Z1, Z2, V1 Voith 55.6335 (G607), G1363

Volvo 97340, 97341, 97342 ZF TE-ML 03D, 04D, 05L, 09, 11B, 14A, 14B, 16L, 17C



Suitable for applications where Allison TES-295® and TES-389™ oils are recommended in the following:


commercial vehicles and trucks Emergency vehicles On and off-road road vehicles

Municipal fleets, vans and school buses Garbage vehicles Recreational Vehicles/Motorhomes Tour Coaches

Additional configurations available


55 gallon drum

Shell develops transmission fluid to meet Allison TES 295 specification

In a joint effort with Allison Transmission to meet the growing global demand for heavy-duty automatic transmissions, Shell Lubricants introduced Shell Spirax S6 ATF A295 synthetic automatic transmission fluid, which is approved to Allison’s stringent TES-295 specification for extended warranty and extended drain. intervals

In a joint effort with Allison Transmission to meet the growing global demand for heavy-duty automatic transmissions, Shell Lubricants has introduced Shell Spirax S6 ATF A295 synthetic automatic transmission fluid. The new lubricant is approved to Allison’s stringent TES-295 specification for extended warranty and extended drain intervals, Shell said.


According to the company, Shell Spirax S6 ATF A295 can be trusted to last up to 300,000 miles under normal conditions or 150,000 miles under severe conditions with no risk to drivetrain components or warranty. Allows vehicles to achieve Allison’s maximum allowable oil drain intervals with the confidence that transmission components are protected.


“Shell Lubricants worked extensively with Allison on the development of Shell Spirax S6 ATF A295,” said Stede Granger, Shell Lubricants OEM technical manager. “Through this process, it became clear that Spirax S6 ATF A295 is more than just a lubricant, it is also a key component of the transmission.”


The product far outperforms conventional type automatic transmission fluids in Allison transmissions, according to Shell, adding that the transmission fluid underwent extra-long duration testing by Allison engineers and was approved for the recommendations of Allison Extended Oil Drain for up to 300,000 miles.


Shell Spirax S6 ATF A295 will provide Allison owner-operator and fleet customers with protection for their automatic transmissions against wear, pitting and corrosion. Helps extend vehicle service time and lowers cost per mile of operation through lower maintenance costs. Additional features include:


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  • Exceptional wear protection for longer transmission life
  • Excellent resistance to viscosity and thermal breakdown for longer oil life
  • Superior friction and friction retention characteristics
  • Excellent low temperature capability
  • Improved reliability in older Allison transmissions
  • Works with Allison Prognostics maintenance reminder system


Shell Spirax S6 ATF A295 will be available in gallon drums, pails and jugs in global markets in 2013. The manufacturer added that it is ideal for use in trucks, buses, motor homes, vocational vehicles, dump trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks, concrete, off-road trucks and emergency vehicles.

Compliance with Allison TES 668™ standard for automatic transmission fluids

If you’re familiar with truck components, you’re no doubt familiar with Allison Transmissions. Allison is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, including highway trucks and buses. In 2020, Allison announced a significant update to its performance fluid standards with the launch of TES 668™, heralded as the “next generation” in transmission fluids. TES 668 is specified for all Allison 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 series automatic transmissions.




To enable our fleet customers to keep pace with this change, Chevron has introduced Delo® Syn ATF 668, a fully synthetic automatic transmission fluid designed to the TES 668™ specification for Allison transmissions. Delo Syn ATF 668 is officially approved and licensed by Allison for automatic transmissions requiring a TES 668 fluid. It is also backward compatible with Allison approved TES 295®, TES 389® and TES 468® fluids, making the transition easy .

In keeping with Allison’s goal in developing this new specification, Delo Syn ATF 668 is formulated with state-of-the-art synthetic base stocks and additives that offer significant advantages over non-synthetic mineral-based fluids, including improved friction control and clutch wear. protection. In testing, Delo Syn ATF 668 was shown to offer improved transmission performance and clutch operation compared to TES 295 fluids, resulting in smoother shifting at lower speeds and over a wider temperature range. large. It also helps prevent deposit buildup and the formation of sludge, varnish and foam. Its advanced anti-vibration durability reduces noise and vibration, even under severe operating conditions. And its improved anti-wear and anti-rust formulation allows for extended drain intervals and longer life, which should translate to lower maintenance costs.

Although Allison does not require customers to upgrade to the TES 668 specification, the company recommends that current users of TES 295, 389 and 468 fluids begin the transition. The good news is that your transmission will still be covered by the OEM (in this case, Allison) warranty when you use an Allison-approved, authorized ATF. The new fluid also allows for the same drain intervals as previous products.

The use of licensed and authorized TES 668 fluid can optimize the performance and durability of Allison transmissions. Municipal and commercial fleet operators who rely on Allison transmissions can confidently transition to Delo Syn ATF 668.

Select the Right Transmission Fluid for Heavy Trucks


All transmission suppliers list the approved oil specifications for their products. But there are several other factors that can influence the final choice.


“The first thing to keep in mind is that operators should always follow the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommendations when choosing a transmission fluid,” says Darryl Purificati, OEM technical liaison, Petro-Canada Lubricants. “These recommendations should be the first point of reference for any decision regarding fluids or lubricants.”


Next, the severity of the application and the expected oil change intervals must be considered. “When comparing different transmission fluids for the same application, criteria should be based on the specification and available supporting material, such as tests or field trials to verify performance and formal OEM validation/approval,” says Purificati. “There are still differences even for those fluids that meet manufacturer specifications.”


He adds: “Any heavy-duty transmission OEM will publish a specification that outlines the minimum performance and chemical requirements for a fluid. Some transmission fluids are formulated to exceed some specific performance goals. Some of the more common features that can exceed OEM requirements are low temperature properties, wear protection, and oxidation resistance.”


Understand the application

Vocational truck applications place unique demands on heavy-duty truck transmission fluids compared to line haul applications. Even the way you keep track of maintenance intervals can be different, depending on the application.


“Any time you’re operating off-road, you may want to look at hours rather than miles,” says Stede Granger, Shell Oil. “You could really be using the engine and transmission, but getting very little mileage.” Manufacturers often list mileage and equivalent hours of operation in their maintenance recommendations.


The app will help determine what product is needed and how often it should be serviced. “Depending on what you’re doing with the transmission, how much terrain you’re doing, you could be exposing the fluids to higher temperatures,” says Granger. “If that is the case, that could lead to further oxidation of the oil. You don’t want to operate severely oxidized oil. In an off-road application, you definitely don’t want to go past the recommended intervals.”


The other problem with off-road applications is the potential for contamination. “Dirt and water would be more likely to get in when you have off-road or over-road applications,” says Brad Jordan, Shell Oil.


Currently, there are three distinctive transmissions that dominate the heavy-duty truck market: manual, automated manual (AMT), and automatic. Regardless of the type of transmission a heavy-duty truck uses, it is critical to use the manufacturer-approved fluid for that particular make and model of transmission.


“These three types of transmissions have different hardware architecture that will require, for example, different friction modifiers, different levels and types of anti-wear additives, and corrosion protection additives for soft yellow metals,” says Purificati. “It is always very important to make sure that you are using the correct fluid in the correct transmission and for that application. Operators should also always follow OEM recommendations and advice from qualified lubrication specialists.”


Owners must use an approved fluid to maintain the OEM warranty. “Equipment that is out of warranty should still use products that are recommended or suitable for use in the transmission,” says Penney Do, Chevron transmission specialist. “Severe applications (high loads, steep climbs) would benefit from synthetic-based products. The higher viscosity index provides better film build at elevated temperatures compared to conventional. In addition, it offers better protection during cold starts.”


Check for test data. “An approved fluid has met the rigors of tests defined by the OEM,” says Do. “Some fluids may have supporting field testing (as opposed to a test kit) that may offer added assurance.”

Transmission Matching Oils

Automatic and AMT transmissions now account for the vast majority of those sold in new trucks as fleets seek greater efficiency and the ability to appeal to a broader potential pool of drivers to address the growing driver shortage. But at one point, manual transmissions were the dominant option in the Class 8 truck market.


Gear oils and motor oils were among the first fluids used in these transmissions. While some early manual transmission manufacturers recommended the use of API GL-5 gear oils, such as SAE 80W-90, Eaton was the dominant manufacturer and originally recommended motor oils. “That’s where the recommendation for SAE 50 motor oils comes from,” explains Granger.


But fluids were quickly developed that are better suited to the specific needs of manual and AMT transmissions. “They may still look a bit like motor oils, but they are really focused, specific transmission oils,” says Granger.


The changes address key differences between engine oil requirements and transmission fluids. “Transmissions have long drain intervals and therefore require more robust shear stability compared to motor oils,” says Do. “In addition, there is a focus on the protection of gears and friction materials. Motor oils have short drain intervals and combustion byproducts to deal with. This places more emphasis on soot dispersion and acid neutralization for motor oils. Otherwise, the two fluids have similar key performance needs that are addressed with similar chemistries used at different levels: low temperature performance, foam control, wear protection, antioxidants, etc.


In 2017, Eaton introduced its current transmission oil specification, PS-386 Synthetic Transmission Fluid. According to Eaton, synthetic lubricants have proven to be superior to petroleum products and present opportunities to promote better maintenance and better operating performance while significantly extending component life and reliability.


Synthetic extended drain lubricants offer increased thermal and oxidative stability for increased product performance and reliability. The performance characteristics of these lubricants allow component manufacturers to offer extended drain intervals and extended warranties. Additional benefits include a more efficient powertrain that translates into proven fuel economy savings compared to mineral-based lubricants. Synthetic extended drain lubricants are advantageous in all applications and Eaton strongly recommends their use for severe duty and cold weather applications.

AMTs are the newer players

An aging driver population and the addition of profession-specific features have resulted in increased popularity of AMTs. The AMT is a derivative of a manual transmission. It works internally like a manual but changes with computer controlled actuators. There is no heavy clutch to fatigue the driver.


Eaton started and dominated the AMT market early in the product’s infancy, then many of the OEMs began developing their own proprietary designs, including the Daimler DT12, Volvo I-Shift, and Mack mDRIVE.

“While the technology for automated manual and manual transmissions is similar, the fluids they require can be different and are typically a certain make or model as specified by an OEM,” says Purificati.


“As far as the difference between AMTs and manuals, it really depends on whether there is a wet clutch,” says Jordan. “For AMTs with a wet clutch, the transmission fluid must also provide those particular friction characteristics for that clutch to function properly.”


There are examples where the same fluid can often be used. “If it’s an Eaton manual vs. an AMT, they pretty much use the same PS-386 fluid,” Granger notes. “Eaton also allows the use of other fluids on the manual side that they don’t allow on the AMT side.”


Automatic transmissions offer off-road benefits

Allison dominates the automatic transmission market. These are torque converter transmissions that offer the benefits of continuous, seamless power changes and torque multiplication. Professional truck users have turned to automatic transmissions for their ease of use, reliability, uninterrupted power transfer efficiency, and the torque multiplier effect afforded by the ability to start loads on grades and in poor underfoot conditions.


“Especially with a vocational-type vehicle, nothing jumpstarts a vehicle like a torque converter-style transmission,” says Granger. “One of the negative parts of a torque converter transmission is that when the torque converter stalls, you’re actually taking some of the power from that engine and turning it into waste heat in the transmission. It can actually increase fluid temperature quite significantly, depending on how much stalling you’re doing in the torque converter.”


Automatic transmissions place unique demands on the oil beyond lubricity and corrosion protection. “A crucial consideration for automatic transmissions is the friction of the clutch packs,” says Do. “The fluid must provide the proper frictional properties to ensure proper engagement of the gears. It also needs to work well for the torque converter lockup clutch to avoid bouncing. In both cases, the fluid must be compatible with the friction material, so that it does not wear out prematurely”.


Allison has traditionally offered a few options for transmission fluid, including TES 295, TES 468, and TES 389. There are performance and cost differences to consider with these fluids. “TES 389 is more of a mineral-based fluid with shorter drain intervals,” says Jordan. “Option two is the synthetic TES 295, which will have much longer oil drain intervals and will require less maintenance by the maintenance shop.”

High temperature environments generally favor synthetic oils. “In that application, you’d be much better off with Allison TES 295 fluid,” says Granger. “Most of our customers choose to have the TES 295 for that reason and for much longer drain intervals.”


There is a significant price difference between the TES 295 and the TES 389, but that can be offset by the longer drain interval on the synthetic. “The drain interval really depends on the application, but it could be a longer drain interval of 5:1 or 8:1 for the synthetic product,” Granger notes.


The big news is that Allison has introduced a new spec, TES 668, which replaces TES 295. “The TES 295 spec came out in the late 1990s, so it’s getting old,” says Granger.

“When comparing TES 668, Allison Transmission’s latest automatic transmission fluid, to its predecessor, TES 295, the latest specification shows clear benefits in terms of oxidation stability, wear protection, durability and transmission performance.” says Purificati. “Automatic transmission fluid manufacturers have generally reduced viscosity to improve efficiency and increase fluid life, which is reflected in extended oil change intervals.”


TES 668 builds on the proven 20-year track record of TES 295 fluids by offering the same performance with a modern additive package, according to Allison. TES 668 also provides a simplified approach to aftermarket approvals, allowing for greater availability of approved fluids to end users. Due to the high level of quality, TES 668 meets the needs to be used in combination with Allison’s Extended Transmission Coverages (ETC).


According to Allison, TES 668 improves upon the previous TES 295 transmission fluid specification in oxidative stability, anti-wear performance, and friction modifier durability. These factors improve shift quality and reduce noise, vibration and harshness experienced as the fluid ages. Better friction performance provides a more consistent clutch application, even with variations in temperature and load sizes.


TES 668 meets the most demanding specifications related to fluid stability, lubrication and cold running. This allows Allison to support long drain intervals, even when operating with heavy loads. This next generation transmission fluid is specified for all Allison 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 series automatic transmissions. There are a variety of durability issues that result from the use of an unapproved fluid in an Allison product, including friction and sealing issues.


If you are currently using TES 295, you can switch to TES 668 when it becomes widely available. “TES 668 is back in stock and interchangeable with TES 295 products,” Granger notes.


“Allison will really push everyone to move to TES 668,” says Jordan. “That should happen pretty quickly.”

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