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Automatic Transmission Fluid

METUCHEN, NJ - June 21, 2017 - The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) today announced the findings of a national survey (Automatic Transmission Fluid - Survey 2017) focused on the quality and integrity of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in the US market. to Thomas F. Glenn, President of PQIA, "The findings of the survey are eye-opening. They show that the lubricant industry and consumers recognize there are significant issues around the quality and integrity of automatic transmission fluid in the US market and that action can, and should be taken to address them." 

Key findings from PQIA's survey reveal that off-spec, potentially transmission damaging ATFs are a significant issue in the minds of buyers and sellers of ATF, and misleading ATF labeling is the leading reason why. With that, Glenn says," The survey reveals an interesting dichotomy between the high levels of concern around labeling but a fairly low concern about actual quality. This suggests that if the industry can get labeling in order, there may not necessarily be significant issues with the quality of ATF in the market."

For those unfamiliar with ATF, it's a vital lubricant that performs many functions enabling a transmission to operate. Without ATF, nearly all cars on the road would come to a halt. But as critical as ATF is to the

The Most Concerning Issues About ATFs in the Market

proper operation of a vehicle, The PQIA survey reveals there is considerable confusion among buyers and sellers of ATF about the products in the market. This is because where Dexron® III/Mercon® fluids used to be the leading types of automatic transmission fluids (ATF) in the US market, these ATFs are being replaced by a splintering number of newer OEM specific ATF requirements, including ATF+4, Mercon V, Mercon LV, Dexron VI, ATF DW-1, ATF T-IV, SP-IV, Matic S and Matic D and K, Toyota ATF-WS, Honda DW (ZF), Diamond SP-IV, and others. 

What used to be a fairly simple matter of selecting the right ATF for your car has become much more complicated. For these reasons, and others identified in PQIA's survey, the industry can and should do more to protect the interests of consumers, installers, and others buying and selling automatic transmission fluid. And from what the survey reveals, a good start is in educating buyers and sellers, and improving the labeling of ATFs in the market.


The PQIA says the next step is to turn the information and insights from the survey into action and it will do so by taking the lead to develop an ATF Quality Improvement Leadership Council comprising lubricant and additive manufacturers and distributors, OEMs, installers, consumers, industry associations, and the media.