Can you use an automated manual transmission oil in an automatic gearbox?

Joris Leyers 12 June 2019 Automotive, Passenger Cars
automated manual transmission oil

The popularity of manual transmission versus automatic transmission varies from country to country. Semi-automatic transmissions were developed as a cheaper and more fuel-efficient version of automatic transmissions. Many automatic car owners wonder if they can use an automated manual transmission oil in an automatic gearbox. Discover the answer in this article.

Semi-automatic transmissions (SAT) or automated manual transmissions (AMT) use the same clutch and gear setup as manual transmission systems, but the switching and the operating of the clutch is automated. The complete process of opening the clutch, switching to another gear, and closing the clutch is electronically controlled.

AMT’s were originally developed as a more affordable and fuel-efficient alternative for automatic gearboxes. Their fuel efficiency evens top that of manual transmissions. Because the design and technology is rather simple, they are also fairly inexpensive to repair.

The purpose of manual transmission fluid

Manual transmission are used to limit the internal temperature, protecting the car from overheating. Secondly, it is used for lubrication purposes, avoiding wear and tear of the gears.

Over time, manual transmission fluids get contaminated with scrapes of metal and other debris as the transmission components such as the gears and bearings slowly deteriorate. This will affect the quality of the fluid and in time even damage your engine. That is why it is important to regularly check your car fluid. Since the fluid in manual transmissions is rather difficult to check, we advise you to have it done by a qualified car mechanic.

The purpose of automatic transmission fluid

Similar to manual transmission fluids, automatic transmission fluids are used to lubricate and clean your car’s gearbox. On top of that, they also power your transmission by bringing in power from your vehicle’s engine to the tyres.

Automatic transmission fluids is more prone to heating up and breaking down than manual transmission fluids. And as with manual transmission fluid, metal debris from engine parts can contaminate the fluid, causing potential damage to your engine.

Make sure to regularly check the fluid quality by using a transmission dipstick. Although automatic transmission fluid is easier to check than manual transmission fluid, we advise you to check your manual or contact your trusted car mechanic.

Automatic transmission fluid in a manual transmission?

Originally, manual transmission fluid had a very low viscosity. This made it more difficult to change gear, particularly in environments with low temperatures. To avoid this, more and more manual and automated manual transmissions have switched over to automatic transmission fluid.

Manual transmissions can accept a variety of fluids: regular motor oil, automatic transmission fluid or heavyweight hypoid gear oil.

(Automated) manual transmission fluid in an automatic transmission?

Automatic transmissions use a special kind of transmission fluid with a double purpose: lubricating moving parts, just like a motor oil, and avoiding the transmission from overheating like a coolant. Unlike manual transmissions it is crucial for automatic transmissions to use the recommended automatic transmission fluid. It is not possible to use (automated) manual transmission fluid in an automatic transmission.

From our expert Joris Leyers

Joris is expert in Hydraulic Oils, Industrial Gear Oils, Greases, and Circulating Oils. He has knowlegde of the paper mill industry and an interest in vintage Vespa scooters. Joris has been working for Q8Oils since 2003.

Ask Suggest a topic