news image

Automatic Transmission Fluid

METUCHEN, NJ - June 21, 2017 - The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) today announced the findings of a national survey (Automatic Transmission Fluid - Survey 2017) focused on the quality and integrity of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in the US market. to Thomas F. Glenn, President of PQIA, "The findings of the survey are eye-opening. They show that the lubricant industry and consumers recognize there are significant issues around the quality and integrity of automatic transmission fluid in the US market and that action can, and should be taken to address them." 

Key findings from PQIA's survey reveal that off-spec, potentially transmission damaging ATFs are a significant issue in the minds of buyers and sellers of ATF, and misleading ATF labeling is the leading reason why. With that, Glenn says," The survey reveals an interesting dichotomy between the high levels of concern around labeling but a fairly low concern about actual quality. This suggests that if the industry can get labeling in order, there may not necessarily be significant issues with the quality of ATF in the market."

For those unfamiliar with ATF, it's a vital lubricant that performs many functions enabling a transmission to operate. Without ATF, nearly all cars on the road would come to a halt. But as critical as ATF is to the

The Most Concerning Issues About ATFs in the Market

proper operation of a vehicle, The PQIA survey reveals there is considerable confusion among buyers and sellers of ATF about the products in the market. This is because where Dexron® III/Mercon® fluids used to be the leading types of automatic transmission fluids (ATF) in the US market, these ATFs are being replaced by a splintering number of newer OEM specific ATF requirements, including ATF+4, Mercon V, Mercon LV, Dexron VI, ATF DW-1, ATF T-IV, SP-IV, Matic S and Matic D and K, Toyota ATF-WS, Honda DW (ZF), Diamond SP-IV, and others. 

What used to be a fairly simple matter of selecting the right ATF for your car has become much more complicated. For these reasons, and others identified in PQIA's survey, the industry can and should do more to protect the interests of consumers, installers, and others buying and selling automatic transmission fluid. And from what the survey reveals, a good start is in educating buyers and sellers, and improving the labeling of ATFs in the market.


The PQIA says the next step is to turn the information and insights from the survey into action and it will do so by taking the lead to develop an ATF Quality Improvement Leadership Council comprising lubricant and additive manufacturers and distributors, OEMs, installers, consumers, industry associations, and the media. 

What is the difference between CK-4 and FA-4 oils?

Q. What is the difference between CK-4 and FA-4 oils?

A.  The primary difference in the two categories of PC-11 heavy duty oil is with backward compatibility. API CK-4 oils will support virtually all high-speed four stroke cycle diesel engines – including older engines that were using CJ-4, as well as new engines that are currently being developed. Use of API FA-4 oils will be OEM dependent and may not be suitable for use in older diesel engines. This category will focus on the next generation of diesel engines that are currently in development to deliver greater fuel efficiency. Other differences include:

  • PC-11A (Licenses as API CK-4)
  • Viscosity grades include both SAExW-40 and xW -30 engine oils with >3.5 cP HT/HS viscosity
  • Higher level of wear and oxidation protection versus API CJ-4 oils
  • Improved shear stability
  • PC-11B (Licenses as API FA-4)
  • Improved fuel economy performance versus API CJ-4 oils
  • Applies only to SAE 10W-30 and SAE 5W-30 viscosity grades that have are between HT/HS viscosity in the range of 2.9 to 3.2 cP

If you need further clarification please contact our Certified Lube Specialist, Jude Hupp, at 661-327-4900.

Wholesale Fuels, Inc.

2200 E. Brundage Lane             PO Box 82277

Bakersfield, CA 93307               Bakersfield, CA 93380

Office   661-327-4900

Hydraulic Oils

When hydraulic oil turns from that golden honey color of new oil to a dark brown, does that mean it must be changed immediately? Is the system suffering from lost lubricating properties or gross contamination when this occurs, or is this a normal aging characteristic to be dismissed so long as the oil analysis results are within acceptable parameters? 

These types of questions are often asked whenever hydraulic fluid maintenance is discussed. Many people compare the oil in their industrial hydraulic systems to that of their automobile, assuming if the oil has turned to a dark brown that it must be changed as soon as possible regardless of how long it has been in service. 

Continue Reading