Automatic transmissions are complicated beasts and give rise to all sorts of motor vehicle problems. In this blog I want to discuss the role of automatic transmission fluids (ATF) in avoiding trouble, and how SOD-1 Plus can help.
A good summary of the role of ATF can be found on the website www.transmissionrepairguy.com:
“ ATF does a lot for your transmission. This includes responsibilities such as lubrication, fluid pressure, cooling, oxidation preventative, gasket conditioner, anti-rust measure, and more. Lubrication, fluid pressure, and cooling are its primary functions though, since an automatic transmission relies on lubrication to keep parts moving smoothly, fluid pressure to activate transmission bands and clutch plates in order to change gears, and cooling capacity to prevent the transmission from overheating, which causes the majority of transmission failures.”
- Lubrication (friction modification)
- Fluid pressure
- Cooling (thermal stability)
These are the key words when thinking about transmission performance. Overheating of an automatic transmission is the chief cause of problems such as slippage. What are the key causes of overheating? Try the following:
- towing heavy loads
- lots of stop-starts in bad traffic
- hot climate use
A Honda Odyssey transmission disassembled
Excessive heat in a machine or vehicle engine part can arise from excessive friction between metal surfaces. For example, as the Californian company Eyers Hitch says on its website:
“ When you tow, your transmission operates at its maximum level. Towing puts extra strain on your engine and transmission, causing them to run at a much hotter temperature.”
Towing a heavy load? Prepare your transmission for the excessive heat
Such excessive heat quickly degrades the molecular chains within a lubricant oil, thus leading to higher friction and even higher temperatures. To guard against such excessive friction SOD-1 Plus provides extra strength to the oil film on the metal surfaces because of its adsorption effect – the metallurgical makeup of the esters in SOD-1 Plus makes it stick to the metal surfaces within an engine or transmission. This adds an extra layer of micro-particles that sit between the asperities or peaks of the metal surface and reduces adhesion between those asperities. That’s what lowers friction and lowers heat.
The other problem with excessive transmission heat is the effect on the rubber seals – it degrades the quality of the seal and causes leaks.
Installing a transmission cooler solves the problem, but if you don’t want to go that far the triple-ester based SOD-1 Plus is the kind of additive that can help.