Automatic Transmission Fluids Testing
The automatic transmission fluids (ATFs) used in today's cars are highly specialized products largely responsible for the shift quality and mechanical durability of automatic transmissions.
ATFs function as gear and bearing surface lubricants, power transmission media, hydraulic control fluids, and heat transfer media. With so much required of ATFs, the need for comprehensive fluid quality testing is critical. Qualification testing involves approximately 20 specialized procedures, including chemical benchwork, oxidation resistance, friction durability, simulated vehicular cycle, and in-car performance testing.
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been the leading independent test facility for ATFs and other hydraulic power transfer fluids since the 1950s. The SwRI Fuels and Luricants Research Division conducts qualification tests for General Motors DEXRONŽ-III, Ford MERCONŽ and MERCONŽ V, Allison C-4, TES-295, and CaterpillarŽ TO-4 fluids. SwRI is also actively involved in test development for the next generation for service fill ATFs of GM and Ford vehicles. The Institute's involvement in automatic transmission fluids is not limited to evaluation, but also includes development of new test procedures.
SwRI provides an independent, unbiased site where auto manufacturers and additive companies can share information beneficial to both.
This brochure was published in November 1999. For more information about automatic transmission fluids testing, contact Matt Jackson, Manager, Phone (210) 522-6981, Fuels and Lubricants Research Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510.