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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
Your car's transmission, whether automatic or manual, needs lubrication to reduce friction and disperse heat. For an automatic, there are three types of transmission fluid: type F, type H, and dextron two. The shifting characteristics can be affected by the type of transmission fluid you use. The correct type for your car can be found in the owner's manual or written on the transmission fluid dipstick. To check the automatic transmission fluid, make sure the engine is running and warmed up. With the transmission in park, remove the dipstick and wipe it off. Reinsert it, remove it and check the level. If it's low, add fluid through the dipstick tube. Manual transmissions use a variety of oils. American Petroleum Institute or API has established oil ranges from GL-1 to GL-5. Using a higher grade than necessary can harm transmission parts. Some manual transmissions use automatic transmission fluid while still others operate on engine oil. Make sure you're using the correct transmission fluid for your car.

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