All various forms of transmission, be it manual or automatic, have provided automotive enthusiasts with many happy memories. Unfortunately, the days of the manual transmission seem to be coming to an end. No more power shifting, no more double clutching. All those memories of your high performance 4 and 5 speed gear boxes are quickly becoming a thing of the past. The vast majority of cars and trucks now come equipped with automatic transmissions.

To drive home the point how automatic transmissions have taken over, it can almost be said that sacrilegiously, sports cars have forsaken manual transmissions for paddle shifters and automatic transmissions. The purest sports car community has given up the exhilarating feeling of taking the foot off the gas, pushing the clutch pedal in, and engaging the next gear in perfect synchronicity. Instead, a simple quick flick of your finger replaces all the long lost fun. Automotive engineers needed to come up with strategies on how to improve automatic transmission performance. One company, AMSOIL, offers the perfect solution, which is AMSOIL ATF.

The Shift from Manual to Automatic Transmissions

The reason for this tectonic shift away from manual transmissions to automatic transmissions is for fuel and engine efficiency. You may be losing some of your pleasure and excitement while driving a manual transmission gear box, but instead you’ll be gaining a smoother running, more efficiency, better fuel economy vehicle.

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These modern automatic transmissions are designed with more gears and complex computerized controls, which provide optimally planned shifts that allow the engine to operate in that perfect zone. That perfect zone, or sweet spot, is basically an engine speed measured in RPMs whereby the engine has been calculated to burn the least amount of fuel while providing maximum efficiency. The majority of trucks and cars operate the most efficiently between 1,500 – 2,000 RPMs.

Automotive engineers have figured out that by adding more gears, this reduces the amount of time engines need to spend at higher or lower RPMs. Again, all this is in the name of efficiency and fuel economy. The goal has always been to improve fuel efficiency that helps car manufacturers meet the very strict fuel economy (CAFE) requirements. More and more, vehicles are being released by the major car companies designed with 9 speed and 10 speed transmissions.

Ferrari steering wheel.

Paddle shifting has replaced manual gear shifting for many sports cars. Modern transmission systems are designed in a complex way and knowing how to improve automatic transmission performance is a must. AMSOIL ATF can help.

With transmissions becoming more and more technologically advanced, this means that transmissions will require tender, loving care. If your vehicle is used to tow a trailer, a camper, or a boat, then even greater care needs to be planned to keep all the vast array of components and gears within these new transmissions running perfectly. Only the best possible transmission fluids should be used when considering how to improve automatic transmission performance.

Transmission fluids are now placed with huge demands on what they must accomplish. Not only does a transmission oil have to lubricate, which is a given, but it also is called on to perform as a hydraulic fluid that enables the actual shifting of the gears. What you want to avoid at all costs is allowing your transmission fluid to oxidize. If this oxidation were to take place and go unchecked, then expect sludge to form.

This sludge is very damaging to a transmission because it will clog the tiny passages within the gear box, resulting in extremely poor performance. Because of the added number of gears designed into new transmissions, the chance of high levels of shearing to take place has greatly increased. Gears form a mesh between their teeth which naturally creates shearing action. This shearing action can quickly tear apart a low quality transmission fluid, leading to a vast loss of viscosity and a loss in wear protection for critical components.

Strategies for How to Improve Automatic Transmission Performance with AMSOIL ATF

The number one enemy for automatic transmissions would be heat. There are various factors that can cause temperatures to rise within a transmission. One potential cause can be foaming. Foam acts as an insulator and is a poor lubricant. If foaming continues, temperatures will soar, and the oil and additive chemistry will start to break down under extreme heat. This downward spiral of the degradation of the lubricant caused by heat will lead to damaging sludge and the thinning of the fluid.

Shifting problems will begin to arise. Sensitive and critical parts within the transmission will start to wear. The cost of rebuilding a modern transmission can go into the thousands of dollars. The wisest solution to guard against heat and providing maximum protection to the complex transmissions found in today’s vehicles would be to choose a high-performance, 100% synthetic transmission fluid such as AMSOIL ATF. Utilizing a high quality synthetic transmission fluid is a good strategy on how to improve automatic transmission performance.

Please note, some original equipment manufacturers state in their manual that the transmissions for that vehicle are “fill for life transmissions.” What they actually are saying is it is a “fill for life of the warranty.” Once this warranty period has expired, consider replacing this “fill for life” fluid with top-of-the-line, 100% pure synthetic transmission fluid.

AMSOIL offers some of the finest synthetic transmission fluids on the market. One particular oil is the AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid. AMSOIL ATF is formulated utilizing the finest pure synthetic base oils along with generous volumes of anti-wear and anti-foam additives. AMSOIL ATF is extremely thermal resistant and engineered to withstand extreme heat.

Ring gear.

The ring gear contains only trace wear.

Valve body.

Virtually sludge-free automatic transmission valve body.

We’ve included some images of a transmission taken from a taxi cab that was driven in the extreme heat conditions of Las Vegas during a torturous 180,000 mile test of stop-and-go operation. Notice that the ring gear in the photo shows only a small wear mark. Next, the valve body, which sends transmission fluid for actuating the clutch packs used in the shifting of the transmission, is almost completely sludge and deposit free.

By utilizing the finest automatic transmission fluid, AMSOIL ATF, you’ve reached the goal on how to improve automatic transmission performance. By investing in a superior high quality synthetic transmission fluid, you will keep your automobile performing at peak efficiency and minimizing the potential for any costly breakdowns.