Transmission Fluid Specifications: Can you trust the Labels?

From WeberAuto.

There are laws in the USA to prevent mislabeled and misleading labeling of automatic transmission fluid and many other products. That does not stop some producers from pushing the limits of ethical packaging labels. Learn the difference between an officially licensed fluid and one that claims to be "suitable for use" in your vehicle. Learn what to look for when making a decision of which transmission fluid to purchase.

TIMELINE:
0:00 Start
0:30 How I discovered the NIST
3:00 Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) history project
6:50 The first ATF Specification
10:00 Worldwide availability of ATF
11:10 All 17 GM ATF specifications chronology
11:56 An actual GM ATF specification (DEXRON HP)
13:45 HiTEC 3491 "B" Additive package requirement from Afton Chemical for Polyalpholfein (PAO) Base Oil
15:27 Afton Chemical product data sheets
16:50 36 Test requirements of Licensed GM Dexron HP fluid
19:16 Aftermarket Non-Licensed Multi-Purpose, Multi-Vehicle, Universal ATF
21:28 Counterfeit ATF example
22:42 Modern potentially counterfeit ATF or ATF with misleading labels on a bottle
24:40 MUST SEE: Example of Castrol ATF with misleading label on the bottle
30:00 MUST SEE: Example of Valvoline ATF with misleading label on the bottle
34:10 Example ATF Product Information sheet
38:30 Another Example ATF Product Information sheet
40:42 "Suitable for use," "Meets Requirements," "Recommended for Use," and other terminology
41:14 MUST SEE: Example of O’Reilly ATF with misleading label on the bottle
42:54 MUST-SEE: "Suitable for Use" Terminology example
43:30 Example additive data sheet with Suitable for Use" explanation
50:30 The ATF and NIST relationship
51:40 The California laws in relation to ATF
1:01:30 NIST Handbook 130
1:03:20 NIST Website and "About NIAT" video
1:06:35 NIST State compliance
1:08:50 NIST Fuel and Lubricants inspection law
1:09:25 NIST uniform Fuels and Automotive Lubricants Regulation
1:11:23 NIST ATF container and labeling requirements
1:14:20 NIST Documentation of claims made upon product label
1:16:00 Video summary

ABOUT US:
Weber State University (WSU) – Department of Automotive Technology – Ardell Brown Technology Wing – Transmission Lab. This video is part 12 of a 13 part video series for students of online college class ATTC 4860 Automotive Standards, Laws, and Regulations at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. It is also used as part of the AUSV 2520 Automatic Transmissions class.

This video was created and edited by Professor John D. Kelly at WSU. For a full biography, see http://www.weber.edu/automotive/J_Kelly.html

QUESTIONS FOR TEACHERS:
1. Which vehicle manufacturer produced the world’s first automatic transmission fluid specification?
2. What were people using for automatic transmission fluid instead of the specified fluid in the early days of the automatic transmission?
3. How many different automatic transmission fluid specifications have been developed by General Motors? (As documented on the Dexron ATF Wikipedia page)
4. How many actual test requirements are shown on the Dexron HP fluid specification sheet in the video
5. What potentially misleading terminology is used on the front label of the Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle automatic transmission fluid
6. What is the only officially licensed ATF listed on the rear label of Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle automatic transmission fluid container
7. When ATF is "Recommended for Use" in transmission requiring certain fluid specifications, does it mean that it has been approved by the vehicle manufacturer and licensed to meet all of their specifications?
8. When the label on the container of ATF asserts that the fluid is "Suitable for use" in transmissions requiring certain fluid specifications, does it mean that it has been approved by the vehicle manufacturer and licensed to meet all of their specifications?
9. When the label on the container of ATF asserts that the fluid "Meets or Exceeds the Requirements" of certain transmission fluid specifications, does it mean that it has been approved by the vehicle manufacturer and licensed to meet all of their specifications?
10. At time stamp 43.30 in the video when discussing the Afton Chemical additive packages available, what does "Suitable for Use" indicate on their data sheet?
11. True or False: NIST not only makes regulations about accurate labeling and documentation of claims on the labels, but it also enforces the accurate measurements of the volume of fluid in a container.

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