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Trans fluid in your pump

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by RICHIE K, Jan 4, 2010.


    RICHIE K Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 35

    I was at out local gas staion and the owner of same said that he only uses trans fluid in his pumps anyone else know of this
  2. lewdo

    lewdo Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I had to once in a pinch. Busted a hose and lost my plow oil. The local Walmart didn't have plow oil so I used transmission oil. It was towards the end of winter and I didn't have any problems with it, but have been told that if it gets real cold out the plow will run real slow.
  3. GPS

    GPS Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 268

    ATF is a hydraulic fluid, but with multiple additives that make it suitable for the clutches and seals in an automatic transmission. Back when many plow pumps and reservoirs were underhood, ATF was the fluid of choice. The warmth of the engine kept it flowing well. Pumps mounted to the plow light tower/headgear don't get exposed to engine heat, so the fluid can be too viscous to flow through the tiny ports in the hydraulics (the older engine driven systems used simple valves that had much larger ports, making them very forgiving). Actual low-temp plow fluid doesn't thicken as much as ATF in cold temps, making it the recommended choice by the manufacturers.

    Personally, I stick with plow fluid, and try not to mix brands.
  4. I know a lot of guys that run it and swear that they have no problems. As for me, nothing but blue plow oil.:nod:
  5. leeddog65

    leeddog65 Member
    Messages: 85

    Ive run atf in the past, it DOES freeze when it gets below 0....even the below 0 windchill effects it...in a pinch its fine, maybe add some HEET if its freezing, it'll get you by
  6. Joesno

    Joesno Senior Member
    Messages: 152

    i use it. never had a problem.

    i use the koi atf
  7. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Used to run it years ago in an old western. worked ok but would freeze if it had even a drop of water in it
  8. robertpkerrsr@h

    robertpkerrsr@h Member
    Messages: 40

    I went back to the Fisher dealer that sold/installed my plow to get new fluid. He said "why don't you go to Walmart and get automatic transmission fluid? It's the same stuff only cheaper." I bought three quarts of Fisher fluid from him, payed alot of $$$ Went home changed the fluid and never gave it a thought....... Until now
  9. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    I can tell you for a fact that fisher oil is not atf. Plow oils are low temp hydraulic fluid like is used in aircraft hydraulics. Some of them specify the MIL (military) spec for low temp hydraulic oil. That MIL spec requires the min viscosity at 0 and -40 degrees to be about 10 times less than what run of the mill ATF is, its much thinner in the cold.
  10. highclimber604

    highclimber604 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    I also like many of you said have used it in a pinch the last storm and havent had a problem with it yet. if i get bored, i might change it out but as for now after plowing for 40 hours over the weekend, its staying in there.
  11. ohiogreenworks

    ohiogreenworks Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    our western dealer here in dayton sell automatic trans fluid for westerns.....I have always used it with no problems
  12. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

  13. dellwas

    dellwas Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    My plow pump is old school, under the hood. I've been running ATF, usually synthetic going on 4 years now. Never had it freeze up, or even slow down no matter how cold it gets, yet.

  14. ajman21

    ajman21 Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    i use atf in my e-47 never had any issues its never even slowed down.
  15. 2low

    2low Member
    Messages: 56

    i have 2 meyers pumps on the shelf that have blown apart from tranny fluid being in them and cracking the case. the only time you use atf fluid is if you have a under hood pump
  16. ben@g2g

    ben@g2g Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Even the Western mechanics guide you can download from there site lists Dexron III ATF suitable for down to 0F, and Western Plow Fluid down to -25F. I have no experience with other brands though.
  17. Pushin 2 Please

    Pushin 2 Please PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,582

    Used ATF for over 30 years. Worked with my all my Westerns, Boss, Hiniker, and even my $h!tty Meyer.
  18. mikelawtown

    mikelawtown Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 429

    My K5 had the pump under hood and used ATF for 4 years, never once did that fisher give me a prob, had the 2 handle controls and valve on the outside, wish i took pics of it after some ice storms..WD 40 lived on that thing.
  19. Tom Rigg

    Tom Rigg Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Blue Plow oil (aircraft hyd. oil) will absorb up to 10% moisture (condensation) AtF will not, the problems will always start when it gets below Zero and you have other worries...use plow oil and change it every year and clean the filter....then plow snow when it snows instead of work on the plow!
  20. Moonlighter

    Moonlighter Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    I have used atf for 14 years and no issues yet.