Transmission fluid compatibility chart

Transmission fluid compatibility chart: You may be puzzled about which transmission fluid to choose for your car from the many stock and aftermarket options. The fluid type, license and clearance of the fluid for your transmission play a big role in getting the finest transmission fluid.

Hetransmission fluid compatibility chartIt will help you decide when choosing a transmission fluid for your vehicle. This is because not all commercially available transmission fluids are standard for all cars.

Because of this, before making a purchase, you should be aware of the effects of various transmission fluids. If you’re new to all of this, don’t worry. Read to the end to learn more about transmission fluid compatibility.

Transmission Fluid Compatibility Chart

You cannot use just any transmission fluid on the market for your transmission. This can degrade performance due to lack of compatibility.

It is important to use only manufacturer specific transmission fluid for best performance and to increase the longevity of the gears within the transmission system.

Of many transition fluids, Dexron VI (General Motors), Mercon V (Ford) and ATF+4 (Chrysler) are the standard formulations for ATF. Many aftermarket ATF manufacturing companies use these licenses to release products of similar formulations.

Dexron automatic transmission fluid

General Motors originally patented Dexron ATF. Most GM vehicles can use Dexron transmission fluid. There have been ten successions of Dexron fluid from Dexron (B) and they currently reside in Dexron ULV.

Aftermarket companies like Valvoline, Mopar, Mobil, Castrol, Thrive, Tiger’s Head, etc., use the GM license to make Dexron VI ATF.

Dexron upgrades have been made based on changes in formulation, transmission type, clutch plate, components used, number of gears inside the box, transfer case, etc.

With new fluids, transmission performance will improve both immediately and over time. The primary goals in developing the fluids were to increase clutch plate longevity and shift time retention.

Mercon automatic transmission fluid

Mercon transmission fluid is patented and owned by Ford. Ford used to provide the license to produce fluids to other aftermarket companies. But his license ceased in 2007.

After that, the upgraded version of Mercon, which is Mercon V, was released on the market. It came as a replacement for all Mercon ATF and was suggested for use in most Ford vehicles manufactured since the early 90s.

Although some companies, such as Valvoline, use the Mercon brand for their marketing promotions, since it is compatible with Dexron II.

ATF+ transmission fluid

ATF+4 is an improved, fully synthetic version of the transmission fluid recommended for all Chrysler model cars and trucks. Chrysler holds the patent for the formulation.

Many aftermarket companies such as Mopar, Valvoline, etc. are licensed and authorized by Chrysler to manufacture and sell ATF+4. ATF+4 is now used in newer Chrysler, Jeep, RAM and Dodge cars and is also cleared for use in older gearboxes.

It is recommended that ATF+4 be used instead of the older MOPAR ATF+3 formulation, which was discontinued in 2005. All transmission applications requiring ATF+, ATF+2, or ATF+3 fluids remain fully compatible with ATF+4.

The use of automatic transmission fluids other than ATF+4, including those advertised as similar to ATF+4, can reduce performance, jeopardize transmission life, and void warranties.

Compatibility chart for vehicles of different car brands

transmission fluid model Compatible Vehicles
Dexron, Dexron II, IID and Dexron IIIE Chevrolet, GMC, Toyota (up to 2002), MAZDA (up to 2002), NISSAN (up to 2004), SUBARU (All models except 5-speed up to 2008) HOLDEN (up to 2006)
Dexron III and IIIH GM based vehicles only
dexron saturn For some specific Saturn Automobile models.
Dexron VI Most modern model (2006+) Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn or GMC cars and trucks. Not recommended for 1991–2002 Chevy Aveo, Pontiac wave, Pontiac Vibe, Chevy Epica, Chevy Equinox, Saturn ION, Saturn Vue and Saturn S-series.
Ford tipo F, H y CJ Pre-1977 Ford models. Also compatible with Ford vehicles made after 1980, and imports such as Jaguar, Mercury Capri, Volvo, Toyota, Mazda and Saab.
Fireworks Except for the F series, it is compatible with all previous models of Ford vehicles.
Mercon V (similar to Dexron III) Compatible with newer model Ford cars and trucks.
Mercon BT, SP Compatible with newer model Ford cars and trucks. (Not to be mixed with other Mercon or other fluids).
ATF+2, ATF+3, ATF+4 Chrysler minivans were manufactured before 1999. They are not compatible with other fluids and should not be mixed.
ATF+5 (fully synthetic) Newer Chrysler vehicles produced after 2000
ATF the Audi Specifically used for Audi cars and some BMW models.
honda cvt Compatible only with Honda variable transmissions.
Jaguar JLM 20238 Suitable for Jaguar, BMW and Audi.
Kia SP-II and SP-III Compatible with Kia vehicles only. (Not to be mixed with other ATFs).
Mazda Tipo MFA, M5V For Mazda automatic transmissions only.
Mercedes-Benz ATF n. Un 001 989 2203 Specifically used for Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Audi and Volkswagen transmissions.
Mitsubishi Diamante SP-II y SP-III I only specify for some Mitsubishi models (For example Eclipse).
Nissan Matic C,D Equivalent to Dexron II, III formulation for Nissan vehicles.
Nissan Matic J, K It should only be used for certain Nissan models.
Toyota T-I, II, III, IV, V For Toyota and Lexus cars only.
ATF VOLVO Compatible with Volvo cars and trucks only.

Aftermarket companies like Valvoline, Mopar, Mobil, Castrol, Allison, etc. they use license from Dexron, Mercon or ATF+4 (Chrysler) to make their versions of ATF.

To confirm which fluid is suitable for your gearbox, it is highly recommended to consult the owner’s manual. However, you can also refer to theValvoline Transmission Fluid Compatibility Chart to ensure suitable vehicles and models.

Dexron 2 Transmission Fluid Equivalent is the Nissan Matic C. On the other hand, Dexron 3 transmission fluid compatibility It goes with the Nissan Matic D ATF. These fluids are interchangeable but must be used with great care.

Most imported vehicles, such as Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda, use their own brand of ATF. Better to use them than the aftermarket all-purpose and equivalent ATF.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are all transmission fluids compatible?

All commercially available transmission fluids are not compatible. Dexron has maximum compatibility with the most used trucks and cars from brands like GMC, Chevy, Nissan, Buick, Cadillac, Saturn, Dodge, RAM, etc. Mercon is specified for Ford and the ATF+ series is compatible with Chrysler vehicles.

Are all transmission fluids interchangeable?

Some transmission fluids are interchangeable. It depends on the chemical formulation and physical parameters such as viscosity and thermal resistivity of the fluids. For example, Nissan Matic C and D are compatible and therefore interchangeable with Dexron II and III ATF.

How do you know which transmission fluid to use?

You can read your vehicle’s owner’s manual carefully to make sure which transmission fluid you should use. However, you can also refer to the transmission manufacturer’s description. If General Motors makes your transmission, you can use Dexron transmission fluids.

What transmission fluid is compatible with DEXRON VI?

Mercon LV is compatible with Dexron VI as these transmission fluids are suitable for reverse use. Also, both transmission fluids have similar formulations along with a low viscosity.

What happens if you put in the wrong transmission fluid?

Putting in the wrong transmission fluid can be devastating to your vehicle’s gearbox. If your vehicle requires a manufacturer-specific transmission fluid, using the wrong one can damage gears, cause slow shifting, and damage the clutch plate.

Can synthetic ATF be mixed with normal ATF?

It is possible to mix fully synthetic ATF with regular fluids, as long as both have similar formulations. Modern transmission systems are developed to be compatible with most types of fluids. Hence, you can mix synthetic fluids with conventional ones, although it is not recommended.


One of the fundamental steps in car maintenance is to periodically change the transmission fluids. To keep your transmission smooth and healthy for a long time, you need to know what type of fluid is right for your transmission.

The transmission system will be damaged if the wrong fluid is used and the official dealer warranty will be voided. The expense of solving the problem from a workshop will be very high.

That’s why we believe thistransmission fluid compatibility chart will make it easy for you to choose the ideal fluid for your transmission system.

Car transmissions are delicate mechanisms.

Each car has its own manufacturer’s recommendations for what transmission fluid your car needs.

Some transmission fluids are very incompatible with different types of transmissions as they use different additives in the fluids. Yourcar transmission You need the correct fluid, as specified by your car manufacturer, to function properly and for its entire life.

While it’s not uncommon for someone to mix up the fluids that are meant to go in your car, putting the wrong transmission fluid in your car could quickly send your vehicles to an early grave.

Transmission Fluid Types

There are several different variables to consider when it comes to transmission fluid. You first need to know if your car requires automatic or manual transmission fluid. Then determine if your car is an automatic transmission if it has a continuously variable transmission. You should always follow your manufacturer’s specifications for which fluid is right for your car.

automatic transmission fluid vs. Continuously Variable Transmission Fluid

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)

Automatic transmission fluid is a fluid used in automobiles that have automatic (automatic shift) transmissions. This fluid is optimized for use in automatic gearboxes consisting of a hydraulic pump, gears, discs and bands.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) fluid

A continuously variable transmission is a type of automatic transmission vehicle. This type of transmission can shift smoothly through a continuous range of gears. It is capable of doing this by running on a series of pulleys connected with a steel band, rather than a fixed set of gears. CVT transmissions require CVT fluid. This fluid has friction modifiers that allow the belts to grip the pulleys.

What Happens If You Use The Wrong Transmission Fluid

The most common situation where the wrong transmission liquid is used is in the case of using automatic transmission fluid instead of variable transmission fluid and vice versa. Adding ATF to a CVT will eventually result in the death of your transmission.

Warning signs

There are some warning signs to look for to indicate that you have used the wrong fluid in your transmission, including:

  • Strange engine sounds, such as clicking
  • Stalls after changing gear
  • Gears that won’t change
  • abrupt change
  • slipping gears
  • clutch lockup

So how much time do I have?

If you accidentally put ATF in a CTV, the rate at which you will die is directly related to the fluid ratio. In a CVT transmission, it is impossible to drain all of the CVT fluid. If you accidentally added ATF, your transmission would contain a mix of ATF and CVT fluids. Your CVT transmission will still work for a period of time since it is a mixture of both fluids and there will still be enough friction to keep the CVT transmission running for a while. Eventually, however, permanent damage will occur and you will have to rebuild your transmission.

What to do if you used the wrong transmission fluid

If you have used the wrong transmission fluid, you will need to remove that fluid as soon as possible to try to minimize the amount of damage to your transmission. If your car has already been driving with the wrong fluid for many miles, your transmission may need to be replaced entirely as it has already been damaged too much.

Transmission Flush vs Transmission Swap

transmission shift

In a transmission change (sometimes known as a transmission service) the transmission fluid pan is drained and the filter is replaced. Transmission changes do NOT remove all of the transmission fluid from the car and often up to half of the fluid can remain. If you have contaminated your transmission fluid with the wrong fluid, this will not be the right choice for your car, as the new fluid will simply become contaminated with the remaining old fluid.

Stream Download

A transmission flush is where all of the old fluid from your transmission is removed through a cooler line flush machine or pump inlet flush machine. Once all of the old fluid has been removed, brand new transmission fluid is added. In the situation where you have put the wrong transmission fluid in your car, a transmission flush will be a better option than a transmission change.

What happens if you use the wrong fluids in your car?

The story appears in the November issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale Oct. 5. It is also available to subscribers Updated daily, is the go-to site for the latest car reviews, product news, breaking news blogs and car buying information.

Here’s what could happen if you use the wrong fluids:

  1. Engine oil slips. The brand of motor oil matters little, but its viscosity grade (10W-30, for example) is important. Use only what is specified in the owner’s manual. Using the wrong oil can result in reduced lubrication and shorter engine life. If the manual says to use synthetic oil, do so. Contrary to what some believe, adding synthetic oil to regular oil will not harm the engine, but there is also no benefit to doing so.
  2. battery fluid. Some car batteries have accessible individual cells that may need to be recharged with a little water to cover the lead plates. Use only distilled water, which does not contain salts or minerals. If tap water is added to a battery’s electrolytic fluid, it can allow minerals in the water to build up on the battery’s internal lead plates, which will reduce battery power and shorten battery life.
  3. Be cool with the water.A car’s cooling system uses a mixture of water and antifreeze; appropriately named coolant, in concentrations (typically 50/50) designed to keep you from freezing on a cold day and boiling over on a hot one. Adding too much water to the mixture can make it more susceptible to freezing and boiling. That can prevent the car from starting when it’s very cold and cause it to overheat in warmer weather. Tap water could also cause mineral buildup in the cooling system, reducing its effectiveness.
  4. Adding diesel fuel to the tank of a gasoline-powered car. This will cause the motor to stumble and knock, if it runs at all. Fortunately, diesel pumps have oversized nozzles, so it’s hard to make that mistake. Depending on how much gasoline is added to a diesel vehicle’s tank, it could cause little or no damage to the fuel pump, injectors, and other parts. If the mix-up is caught early enough, a technician can limit the damage by draining the contaminated fuel. Meanwhile, do not run the engine.
  5. Special sauce for your brakes.Brake systems use hydraulic fluid that is specially formulated for that purpose. Replacing transmission or power steering fluid, which are similar to each other, can affect the seals, damage the system, and possibly cause brake failure. Keep in mind that if your brake fluid is low, your vehicle probably needs brake system service anyway. Either the brakes are worn or there is a leak.
  6. Stuck gears.Automatic transmissions should only use fluid specified by the car manufacturer, such as General Motors’ Dexron series or Toyota’s T-type. Using the wrong fluid can cause poor lubrication, overheating, and possibly transmission failure. A mechanic may not be able to reverse the damage, even by flushing the transmission. Adding motor oil or brake fluid by mistake can also destroy your transmission.
  7. Plus no-nos of washer fluid.In addition to creating the perfect environment for deadly bacteria, water doesn’t clean as well as windshield washer fluid and is subject to freezing. The use of household glass cleaners or ammonia can leave foam on the windshield, damage the car’s finish, and enter the air intake system and create a potentially harmful environment in the cabin.

If you find this post about transmission fluid compatibility charts helpful to you and you want to know more about car fluid knowledge, please check more on our website Auto Oil And Fluid. Thank you for your interest!



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