Manual transmission oil requirements.

elr

Messages
3
Location
Washington, USA
I have a 1989 4 cylinder 5-speed Toyoya Camry wagon with 290,000 miles. I took it in to a "Pit Stop" for a motor oil change which they did. They said that the transmission oil did not look good and recommended a change which I agreed to. They said that their computer called for 90W GL-5 oil in this car. I said that my Chilton's called for Dexron ATF in the manual transmission of this car. I thought that I might have been mistaken, so I agreed to the 90W GL-5 which they did. When I got home I double checked my Chilton's and it indeed called for Dexron ATF. My questions are 1) Will this harm the transmission if I leave the 90W GL-5 in? 2) Assuming the correct oil is ATF, why is ATF used in a manual transmission? Thanks.
 
Messages
3,402
Location
Iowa
Don't leave it in if it's the wrong fluid. Either the Chilton's or their computer could be wrong. Do you still have the owner's manual? That will tell.
 
Messages
2,374
Location
Pennsylvania
Anyone wh drained this trans should have been able to tell what was in there. If it was ATF and they used the gear oil, shame on them.
 
Messages
47,533
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Per the Amsoil Guide:
 Quote:
Manual Transmission,2WD to 4/90.....AF3 All TEMPS...... Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) Torque-Drive™ Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATD)
It is a 2WD, correct?
 
Messages
2,098
Location
The Rocky Mountains
Take it back to the idiots and tell them that they are accountable for flushing your MT and installing the correct fluid. I'd also ask them how they determined that the 90W GL5 was the correct fluid (should be a fun story). Furthermore they are accountable for any damage that may manifest itself later. I hate iffy lube shops! Keep good records because if your MT fails later you have an excellent small claims court case against these guys.
 

elr

Thread starter
Messages
3
Location
Washington, USA
Yes, it is 2WD. Both the dealer and "Pit Stop" are saying that either ATF or GL-5 would work but the safe way to go is ATF. Why is ATF used in manual transmissions? I think of ATF as primarily a hydraulic fluid (as in the hydraulics in an automatic trans). GL-5 would be my guess at the most appropriate choiuce for the gears in a manual transmission.
 
Messages
47,533
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
 Originally Posted By: elr
Yes, it is 2WD. Both the dealer and "Pit Stop" are saying that either ATF or GL-5 would work but the safe way to go is ATF. Why is ATF used in manual transmissions? I think of ATF as primarily a hydraulic fluid (as in the hydraulics in an automatic trans). GL-5 would be my guess at the most appropriate choiuce for the gears in a manual transmission.
I hear you. But the quick answer is that GL-5 in that gear box might protect the gears just fine, but may not provide the best shifts. Some synchros need more of a "bite" than a truly additized GL-5 gear oil provides. All the EP and AW additives are simply not ideal for some modern MT's. OTOH, a light ATF does not provide the wear protection. There is something better than both. That would be a MT oil. Either an MTF which is what I recommend (since yours calls for an ATF) or a GL-4 75W-90, such as Amsoil MTG. I just noticed you are in WA as well. Unless you live on the east side of the mountains, you know it doesn't get so hot. So what I recommend is a 9.5-11 [email protected]°C Manual Transmission Fluid, such as Amsoil MTF.
 
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
Seems that ATF or gear oil depended on whether the vehicle was 4wd or 2wd, 4cyl or 6cyl. So, if you are 4cyl/2wd, ATF is what was recommended(light vehicle/weak engine). As soon as you put some stress on the tranny(weight of 4wd or power of v6), 90wt was required. If shift quality is ok, if MPG didn't nose dive, if HP is ok.... then keep the gear oil in for 30k miles. If not, you can swap it out for ATF or any MTF/MTL for better protection. Exactly what gear oil did pit stop use?
 
Messages
463
Location
California
If your tranny calls for ATF, use ATF. Alternately, use Royal Purple Synchromax. Synchromax is a gear oil specially made for manual trannys that call for ATF.
 
Messages
5,917
Location
Waterloo, ON
 Originally Posted By: unDummy
Seems that ATF or gear oil depended on whether the vehicle was 4wd or 2wd, 4cyl or 6cyl. So, if you are 4cyl/2wd, ATF is what was recommended(light vehicle/weak engine). As soon as you put some stress on the tranny(weight of 4wd or power of v6), 90wt was required. If shift quality is ok, if MPG didn't nose dive, if HP is ok.... then keep the gear oil in for 30k miles. If not, you can swap it out for ATF or any MTF/MTL for better protection. Exactly what gear oil did pit stop use?
Undummy is right on with this recommendation. Given the high miles you have and the MFG recommends a GL5 for same car with V6 I would stay with what you have over a "watery" ATF
 
Messages
19,479
Location
Chicago Area
^^ Pablo has this covered well^^. You probably will not like the heavy gear oil the shop put in when in cold weather. Protection for parts is great, shifting will most likely be not so good .
 

elr

Thread starter
Messages
3
Location
Washington, USA
So, I took your advice and went with Amsoil MTF. "Pit Stop" did the flush and refill at no charge. Before the GL-5 (with ATF of some sort) and during the GL-5, I had a grind primarily when downshifting into 2nd. I have assumed that it is caused by worn synchros. From about day 2 on I have noticed a difference for the better. The grind when downshifting is much less frequent and less severe when it does occur. I have not changed anything else, so I have to conclude that the MTF has made the difference.
 
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
Pit stop gets a pat on the back for changing it the 2nd time for free. Amsoil makes top quality fluids. The MTF will serve you well.
 
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