Motul All About Lubes: Choosing the right Automatic Transmission Fluid, Steering and Gear Oil

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In this extensive educational series about lubes, we have covered a wide variety of topics, including mineral, synthetic, two-wheeler, four-wheeler, petrol & diesel engine oils and more. Here’s the complete list of the articles we have covered under this series to help you choose the lube for your two-wheeler of four-wheeler better.

In this concluding instalment of this much loved Motul All About Lubes series, we will touch upon the auto transmission fluids, power steering oil and gear oil. We hope that we can put together some useful bits here to help you choose better the next time you are buying these products

Automatic Transmission Fluid and Steering Oil

Like an engine oil helps the components inside an engine well lubricated and performing on an optimum level, Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is the fluid used to protect the components inside automatic transmissions, specifically on four wheelers. An ATF is specifically optimized to suite the requirements of an automated transmission system, which are different from that of an engine in most cases. A transmission system has other requirements such as valve operation and protection for components like torque converter – ATFs address that.


To meet the demanding conditions inside an auto gearbox, ATFs use additives for enhanced lubricating qualities. They are more resistant to wear, and enhance the rust and corrosion resistance of the metal surrounding them. They are also fortified with detergents and other compounds which protect and clean metal surfaces. They also get stable viscosity across a wide temperature range and other compounds which extend the lives of seals.

Most of the damage that a gearbox suffers happens during gear shifts, high speed operations and start-up. The transmission starts taking damage from the very first second the engine is cranked up. As the lubricating fluid rests in the sump, and the gears start turning, the friction is much higher. Low-grade oils won’t be able to prevent damage to the transmission during these crucial moments, though a high quality, preferably synthetic oil, can protect the mechanism at both low and high temperatures. Also, with increased temperatures, transmission lube tends to turn higher in viscosity, turning denser than required, which puts the components under stress. High quality lubricants don’t turn dense even at high temperature and offer good lubrication


Since both ATFs and Power Steering Oils are hydraulic fluids, ATFs can be used as power steering oil too in most cases. While you generally can use an automatic transmission fluid as steering oil without much concern, it’s recommendable that you check your car’s user manual and use a product which complies with the specified parameters.

An interesting fact about automatic transmission fluid is that it has to be seldom replaced. In fact, for some of the automatic transmissions, you may not need to change it for 100,000 km, and in some cases, even 250,000 kilometers.

For automatic transmissions, Motul has its range of ATFs which is designed to offer exceptional performance in extreme conditions. Motul’s Multi ATF is a high tech lubricant suitable for both modern and somewhat older auto transmission cars.


The Multi ATF reduced epicyclical gears friction, thus enhancing efficiency and life. It also works towards facilitating anti-shudder performance, preventing vibrations on engine fly wheel, offering a smooth shift feel and reducing shift time lag. It also extends the transmission life with its better shear stability at hot temperature and fantastic oxidation resistance. The Motul ATF can be used for torque converters, power steering, hydrostatic transmissions, mechanical as well as hydraulic systems. It’s approved by a wide range of manufacturers from Honda, Suzuki and Ford to premium brands like Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes and BMW.

Motul also offers another fully synthetic product namely ATF VI, which is a low viscosity lubricant for automatic transmissions, transmission boxes and power steering.


Also, for CVT transmissions in modern cars, Motul offers its CVT specific transmission oil – the Motul CVTF2.


Choosing the right Gear Oil For Your Car

So while ATFs are for automatic transmissions, for manual transmission systems, transfer cases and differentials. Most of the standard transmissions make use of gear oil, and not automatic transmission fluid. Gear oil is of a higher viscosity to provide better protection to gears. It’s made dense on purpose to stick to even the remotest, smallest gears and provide lubrication throughout the gear train. The extra thickness of the oil, however, can sometimes lead to additional drag which is not very desirable for the most efficient vehicle operation. In addition to being thick, gear oil is also designed to endure very high heat and pressure before burning off. Gear oil typically belongs to the hypoid gear oils class – meant to be able to take extreme pressure and be able to take the stress that hypoid bevel gears bring along.

The Motul MotylGear300 75W-90 is semi synthetic, quality gear oil for all mechanical transmissions, from everyday to high performances and racing cars. It can be used for synchronised or unsynchronised gearboxes, differentials, transfer gearboxes and hypoid differentials without limited slip system operating under heavy loads. Its operation range is extremely wide, and it could be used under heavy loads and low revolution speed or moderate loads and high revolution speed. It boasts 0% shear loss with an un-shearable oil film in extreme conditions.


Unlike some other similar oils, this oil can remain fluid even at low temperatures to allow comfortable gear shifting even at start-ups and during cold starts. This gearbox oil can be used for all new generation cars from Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Honda, Mahindra, Toyota etc.


For less taxing, everyday conditions, Motul offers its All Gear EP 80W90 Gear Oil for Cars. The key highlights of this oil are its excellent thermal and chemical stability. It comes with Extreme Pressure (EP) additives which prevent friction caused by metal to metal contact. The Allgear EP 80W90 also delivers great protection against rust and corrosion, which ensures longer and trouble free operation while complying with the API GL-4 standards.

If you have any questions about ATFs, steering oil or gear oil, do give us a shout-out in our comments section or on one of our special channels. We’d be happy to have your questions answered by our lube experts at Motul.

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