What Kind of Transmission Fluid Do I Need?

Not sure about the differences between manual and automatic transmission fluid? You’re not alone. But the truth is, these fluids aren’t as unique as you might think. In fact, they’re even interchangeable in some cases.

In this post, we’ll help drivers from across the Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Newport Beach area understand the differences between these two types of transmission fluid.  

This free resource has been provided by our team at Norm Reeves Volkswagen Superstore in Irvine.

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Understanding Manual Transmission Fluid

It doesn’t take an automotive expert to tell you that manual transmission systems are in small numbers compared to their automatic counterparts on the road today. The main reason for this shift is that an automatic transmission is just easier for drivers to operate.

Manual transmission fluid was traditionally very thick, which made it more difficult to shift in and out of gear, especially in colder climates. As a result, a growing number of manual transmission systems use automatic transmission fluid. However, an automatic transmission has never required manual transmission fluid.

What Makes Automatic Transmission Fluid Different?


There are many types of transmission systems available, with each requiring their own special blend of transmission fluid. When dealing with an automatic transmission, it’s important that you use the correct fluid recommended by the manufacturer. Unlike manual transmission fluid, automatic fluid is thinner and usually red or green in color.

The transmission fluid is this color for two reasons. The first reason is so it’s easy to spot should there be any leaks. Chances are you won’t miss a large green pool of liquid in your driveway. The second reason is to avoid using the wrong type of transmission fluid by accident. If you’re not 

fluid change

sure what blend of transmission fluid your manufacturer recommends, contact your local certified service center.

Using the Preferred Transmission Fluid

Whether your vehicle calls for manual or automatic transmission fluid, it’s important to make sure that you use the right type. Otherwise, your transmission system could have trouble functioning properly.

The best way to find out what kind of transmission fluid you need is to refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If you don’t have a copy of the owner’s manual, you may be able to find a digital version online.

Remember that you can always contact our team at Norm Reeves Volkswagen Superstore in Irvine for expert transmission care. With years of experience and industry-level training, we’ll help you to determine the right type of transmission fluid for your car.

Schedule an appointment today and see what we can do for you. Our service department proudly serves drivers from across the Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Newport Beach area.

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