Best Transmission Fluid for Older Transmissions

It doesn't matter whether you have an automatic or a manual gearbox in your vehicle, it is going to need oil or transmission fluid. In case of manual transmission, fluid is important, but not as much as is in automatic transmissions where it's crucial for proper functioning of the whole transmission system. The ATF (automatic transmission fluid) is very important since it is practically an integral part of a gearbox. Not only it lubricates all moving parts, it is also a coolant, oxidation preventative, and gasket conditioner. Practically, all transmission problems come from the condition or lack of fluid thereof.

That is why fluid change is recommended according to manufacturer's specifications. You should always use the ATF which is recommended by the manufacturer and is appropriate for your make and model year. However, what to do if your transmission is old and it's done over 200.000 miles since new? Despite the fact that you may have changed the ATF a couple of times, after all those miles, your transmission needs a little more.

The wear and tear of all moving parts inside is significant after so many miles, and regular ATF just won't be enough. That is why you need an ATF suited exactly for that purpose. This is why we are reviewing a few of the best transmission fluids on the market, and you can choose the one which suits your needs the best.

    1. ACDelco Dexron VI Automatic Transmission Fluid

ACDelco is one of the best-known manufacturers of OEM equipment for various companies, and their parts can be found in various models, mostly from General Motors. So it is natural that their ATF is also OEM for numerous cars. This specific product is a Dexron VI, compatible with any Dexron-based fluids which is a good thing to know.

The chemical formula is designed not only to improve friction, durability and viscosity but for cooling as well, which is very important. Another selling point is the price, and this ATF comes at an affordable one. So, if you are looking for cheap and good ATF oil change for your old automatic transmission and you have a GM-made a vehicle, this is the fluid for you.

    1. Red Line Automatic Transmission Fluid

Many experts speak highly about Red Line's ATF and this fluid can be used with Dexron II, III, VI, or Mercon fluids which make it very usable and compatible. The important thing to know is that this is a fully synthetic fluid, and that gives it perfect viscosity and cooling capacity. Using new technology, Red Line improved shifting in cold weather and made this fluid more stable which is important for preserving your valves and clutches under difficult conditions and changing temperatures.

If you use this AFT in older transmission or transmission with many miles on it, you will certainly feel the difference that synthetic ATF makes, as this will help you prolong the life of your gearbox. However, quality comes at a price and Red Line's ATF is a bit more expensive than competitors, but you are getting a premium product and one of the best choices for your car.

    1. Royal Purple Max ATF High-Performance Multi-Spec Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid

Royal Purple is another well-known name on ATF and car care market. In fact, Royal Purple's Max ATF has some features that make it a fantastic proposition for anyone who wants to revive an old transmission. First, it is a synthetic formula which guarantees low coefficient of friction and high cooling capacity, since heat is transmission's worst enemy. Second, this ATF is compatible with all other transmission fluids and you don't even have to do a full transmission flush and change oil, you can simply add this ATF and you can expect improvements.

However, for the best results, we recommend you do a full oil change to be sure that your transmission will work properly.  So, if you are looking for the most versatile ATF, this is the fluid for you.

    1. Castrol 06818 Transmax Mercon V Automatic Transmission Fluid

Castrol's Transmax ATF is a solid product for an affordable price, which is somewhat limited to cars and trucks that require MERCON or MERCON V, but not recommended for models that are using MERCON SP, MERCON LV or Type F. However, it has an advanced and improved chemical formula and almost perfect heat resistance and viscosity, and it has been proven in real life conditions. In fact, this ATF is recommended by Ford for use in their vehicle lineup.

So if you want a cheap and quality alternative to other ATFs on the market, and you have a Ford product, Castrol Transmax is the ATF for you.


Using the right ATF could add a few more years to your older ride. But if you feel that no type nor amount of fluids can make your car roadworthy once again, call the Junk Car Medics.  We pay cash for cars and junk cars, even ones with transmission issues. Get an instant offer from our site today.