Mobil 1 Logo with trademark
Mobil 1 RacingTM
Car Care for a Better Ride

My Mobil
Discover the Benefits of Membership
Forgot your username or password?

Newsfeedsfacebook
YouTubeMobil 1 Merchandise
Mobil 1 Rewards
Ask MobilAsk Mobil
Difference Between Motor Oil and Transmission Fluid
 
Ask Your Stickiest Question. . . Or ask us something you’ve always wanted to know about using our products. We’ll sort through all the submissions and present the best questions to our automotive experts. We'll share the questions and their answers here.
Question:
Difference Between Motor Oil and Transmission Fluid
I work at an auto parts store and customers ask the difference between motor oil and transmission fluid. What would your explanation be? Quick and simple - to the point.
-- Tim McIlhenny, Bremerton, WA
Answer:
Motor oil is for your vehicle's engine.  Transmission fluid is used by your steering system to keep its parts moving smoothly.  A couple of differences are the following:  1) an engine is designed to deal with the products of combustion, whereas an automatic transmission fluid (ATF) does not see contaminants from fuel burning.  An ATF is basically a closed system and the lubricant must last for a long period of time.  An engine oil must be drained to remove contaminants after a relatively short time/or mileage compared to an ATF.  Similar additive component types are used, but at different levels and different chemistries.  In an ATF, clutch friction is a very important consideration.
Ask a QuestionAsk Mobil
Copyright 2005-2014 Exxon Mobil Corporation. All Rights Reserved. ExxonMobil Home | Site Map | Contact Us | Privacy | Legal