[High Performance] Best Transmission Fluid For 4l60e

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Best Transmission Fluid For 4l60e

The 4L60E transmission remains quite popular years after it was discontinued. Today, there are still many vehicle models that use this strong automatic transmission. Old transmissions like the 4L60E require much more care and maintenance and one of the most important requirements is regular changing of the transmission fluid.

Trying to choose the best fluid for an older transmission can be a bit of a task, especially for vehicle owners that don’t know much about automotive care. Today we have reviewed some of the best transmission fluid for 4l60e.

5 Best Transmission Fluid For 4l60e

Last update on 2021-10-06 at 19:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Valvoline Automatic Transmission Fluid

Key Features

  • Advanced Additive Technology
  • Enhanced Anti-Shudder Protection
  • Premium Base Stock

This Valvoline Transmission Fluid is formulated with premium base stocks that are supplemented by a special advanced additive technology that helps it meet up to the diverse, challenging demands of automatic transmission. It is arguably the most recommended by automotive professionals for 4L60E transmission for a number of reasons. The fluid is engineered with a proprietary blend of base oils and special additives that make for improved fluid flow at low temperatures and decent film protection at high temperatures.

One of its special features is the anti-wear technology that helps to improve the lifespan of the transmission. Another interesting effect it has is its anti-shudder protective effect that ensures easy shifting and effective power transfer. If you have a  4L60E transmission, this is one of the best fluids you can buy to ensure that the bearings and all other metal parts get the best lubrication.

Pros

  • Temperature consistency
  • Anti-shudder protection for a smoother transition
  • It reduces wear in the transition

Cons

  • Fluid is on the thin side

2. Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF

Key Features

  • High Temperature Protection
  • Improved Oxidation Resistance
  • Smooth Transmission

The Castrol brand is one of the well-known automotive oil brands, and the Castrol 03520C was formulated for use in different automatic GM and Ford transmissions. It stands out for its enhanced friction durability that makes for smoother shifting in transmissions. Quite impressively, it meets several standard requirements, ranging from DEXRON-III to MERCON and more. Like you would expect from any decent transmission fluid, it protects against friction and long-term engine wear.

Furthermore, it boasts good temperature performance. However, while it performs really well at high temperatures, it is not particularly the best option for cold weather conditions. We also love that the Castrol 03520C comes with an incredible level of oxidation resistance. This prevents increases in viscosity levels. If you want to enhance the durability of your 4L60E transmission, this Castrol oil will help you do just that.

Pros

  • Perfect for warm conditions
  • Improves transmission durability
  • It is reasonably resistant to thickening

Cons

  • It is not the best transmission fluid for cold climates

3. Motul 105776 Dexron III

Key Features

  • Thickening Resistance
  • Good Film Stability
  • Satisfies DEXRON & MERCON Standards

The Motul 105776 fluid is the perfect formulation for systems that require MERCON & DEXRON standards. It is a very versatile fluid used in automatic transmissions, power steerings, boat reversing gears, and many more. This fluid option has a lot to offer in the area of oxidation resistance in transmissions, thereby making for increased lifespan. Another interesting highlight is that it performs exceptionally well when at low temperatures and resists thickening well.

Although it is fairly decent at high temperatures, it may not be your best-performing transmission fluid in hot conditions. In addition to its high resistance to thickening, it makes for smooth and improved gear changing and effective power transfer. With a transmission like the 4L60E, the high film strength imbued in the Motul 105776 is needed for extended lubrication, stability, and wear protection. The only thing we can complain about is the small container in which it is sold.

Pros

  • It performs excellently well in cold weather
  • Good film strength
  • Increased transmission lifespan

Cons

  • The fluid container is quite small

4. ACDelco GM Original Automatic Transmission Fluid

Key Features

  • Smooth Gear Transition
  • Improved Fuel Economy
  • Longer Transmission Life

The ACDelco 10-9395 boasts of an improved level of performance over previous DEXRON transmission fluids. It is characterized by improved friction durability, oxidation resistance, and foam control. Excitingly, it is compatible with previous DEXRON transmission fluid and can be applied to systems that have used older DEXRON formulations. Thanks to its superior performance, your 4L60E transmission mechanism is guaranteed protection against metal deterioration when you use the ACDelco 10-9395.

Furthermore, there are indications that the transmission fluid enables better fuel economy and longer transmission life. Thanks to its concentrated molecules, it is able to remain fluid and active at low temperatures while still performing well at higher temperatures. Furthermore, the fluid ensures a more consistent shift performance and prevents slippage. In the long run, it is a cost-effective formulation because it has a better burning efficiency than most.

Pros

  • Extended draining intervals
  • Excellent backwards compatibility
  • Low degradation rate

Cons

  • It changes color quickly

5. Triax Multi-Purpose ATF DEX III Cold Flow

Key Features

  • SureShift Technology
  • Excellent Additive System
  • Complete Seal Protection

The Triax Multi-purpose is another reliable 4l60e transmission fluid. The formulation is highlighted by a unique SureShift technology that encourages slippage control, smooth shifting, and zero foamings. Also, it features an excellent state-of-the-art additive system that offers improved protection to gears and synchronous. Another interesting thing about the Triax Multi-Purpose is that it is versatile for different heavy-duty applications. It is also one of the transmission fluids that can perform well at different temperature levels.

Additionally, the formulation also provides complete seal protection for both natural and synthetic rubber seals while ensuring superior yellow metal protection for the copper and brass components. Also, it is not an overwhelmingly expensive transmission fluid, so this could be a great choice for you if you need a budget option.

Pros

  • Low oxidation
  • It protects inner gears
  • Great chemical stability

Cons

  • Not a fully synthetic formulation

Choosing the Right Performance Transmission Fluid

The basic function that transmission fluids have is the lubrication of mechanical transmission parts, but only a good quality formulation can perform this function effectively. As there are so many transmission fluid products on the market today, choosing the best performance transmission fluid can be a bit challenging. If you hope to make the best possible transmission fluid choice, use the following features and factors, and criteria:

Natural/Synthetic Transmission Fluid

Usually, this is the first choice you have to make when buying a transmission fluid. While many manufacturers offer both synthetic and natural versions, synthetic versions have become more popular in recent times. Synthetic formulations have better temperature performance compared to natural options, as well as improved oxidations and wear resistance.

Transmission Type

The vehicle transmission type is another important factor that will influence your choice in transmission fluid. Automatic transmissions need a different transmission fluid than a manual transmission. Automatic transmission fluids dominate the market, as automatic automobiles are more prevalent on the contemporary scene. Information about transmission type can typically be found in the owner’s manual.

Additives

Just like motor engine oils feature additives for improved functionality, transmission fluids popularly contain additives also. You want to stay safe when choosing an additive package. Additives should only improve the functionality of the fluid and not compromise the basic lubrication effect. Too many additives can affect transmission fluid functionality.

How To Know When My Transmission Fluid is Low?

Just like motor oil, transmission fluid will get low with time, so it should be replaced duly. When the fluid degrades past a certain point, you’ll start to notice some signs.

Burning Smell

Although several different things could result in a burning smell in your car, it is often a sign of overheated transmission fluid caused by a low fluid level in the transmission. Nevertheless, any burning smell from your vehicle is an indication to get it to a qualified professional for an immediate checkup.

Transmission Noises

A perfectly functioning transmission should operate quietly and not make disturbing noise when you transition. However, it is not totally uncommon to hear unusual sounds from the transmission. When you hear noises from the transmission, it could be a sign of a low fluid level.

Slipping Gears

When the transmission fluid is low, it can lead to slippage when trying to shift between gears. When gears miss, the driver feels a grinding sensation when trying to complete the gear shifting. This is often a sure sign that transmission fluid has depleted. It would be best if you had the transmission looked at as soon as you start noticing a sign like this.

4L60E Transmission Fluid Change Process

We always recommend that you get in touch with a qualified professional for your transmission fluid changing. As you will likely need the services of an automotive professional to diagnose low fluid levels in your transmission, it is only normal that you use some professional assistance in changing the fluid.

However, if you’re handy enough and familiar with the inner workings of vehicle transmissions, we’ll take a look at the different steps of the fluid change process. 

1. Transmission fluids have an improved drain rate at operating temperatures, so you might want to warm your vehicle engine for about 10 minutes. Next, raise the vehicle with a jack and secure it with a jack stand, such that you can access the oil sump.

2. Spread some paper towels or old newspapers on the ground below the oil reservoir and position a container to collect the fluid. Locate the drain plug on the oil reservoir and unscrew with a socket spanner. Allow the oil to drain out totally.

3. After draining the reservoir, look for the converter and turn until the drain plug appears. You may need to consult your vehicle’s service manual to find a hatch that connects the gearbox to the engine. If there’s a grill separating both elements, dismantle it. Drain out the oil and clean the converter thoroughly. Replace the plugs and assemble the grill.

4. You can now fill your gearbox with the new fluid. After filling in the new fluid, run the engine for some minutes and check for leaks.

How To Remove the Transfer Case From a 4L60E Transmission?

If you ever need to remove a transfer case from 4L60E transmission, here’s how to go about it:

  • Locate and remove the front and rear driveshafts. If the rear one seems stuck, apply a bit of penetrating oil and pop the u-joint from the yoke with a long tool like a screwdriver. If there’s a boot attaching the front driveshaft to transfer case, undo the band, pry it off and unbolt the shaft.
  • Remove the built-in drain plug and drain the fluid in transfer case.
  • Remove the sensors by disconnecting the snap-in connectors.
  • Unscrew the bolts securing transfer case to the back of the transmission with a wrench.

What Transmission Fluid Type for 4L60E?

Interestingly, 4L60E transmission fluid types are not so scarce. The 4L60E is an automatic form of transmission, and as such, you’ll need to buy automatic transfer fluid. Manual transmission fluid will not do. Commonly, the 4L60E transmission uses DEXRON Merc., DEXRON III, and DEXRON VI formulations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the 4L60E fluid change interval?

When your 4L60E fluid gets to a low level and requires changing, you will notice some telling signs. A burning smell, gear slippage, and transmission noises are common telling signs that you need to change the transmission fluid. On average, you’ll have to change the transmission fluid at any point between 30,000 and 50,000 miles.

2. Is synthetic fluid better than natural transmission fluid?

Just like synthetic motor oil is recommended as better than natural motor oils, synthetic transmission fluid is also better than natural fluids. The ability to perform well at extreme temperatures and their improved wear resistance set them apart.

Conclusion

Without functioning transmission fluid in your vehicle’s transmission system, gear shifting will get progressively worse, and the whole transmission system left compromised. These are some of the best quality transmission fluids you can use if you have a 4L60E transmission. The 4L60E transmission uses DEXRON III, IV, or MERCON fluids, and our selected options all fall under these categories. Additionally, we talked about some of the things to consider when picking a fluid for 4L60E transmission. 

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