Toyota Type T-IV ATF Equivalent

Toyota introduced T-IV Automatic Transmission Fluid to the market in 1998. Over the years, it continues proving to be a critical part of the transmission system.

Unfortunately, the fluid is not always possible. Sometimes it runs out of stock, or you have no way of accessing it. It is in such situations that the substitutes come in handy.

In this article, I will review 3 safe and effective alternatives to Toyota type T-IV ATF from Castrol, Mobil, and Idemitsu.

Let’s dive in!

Toyota Type T-IV ATF Equivalent

Note: There are many brands in the market that meet and even exceed the required T-IV ATF standards. It is safe to use them for your vehicle. However, it is advisable to do so only if your car is not under warranty. This means if your car is still under warranty, stick with OEM products. Most manufacturers will void the warranty if you use fluids that are not OEM.

Castrol Transmax Import Multi-Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid

Castrol Transmax Import ATF

Mobil 3309 Automatic Transmission Fluid

Mobil 3309 ATF

Idemitsu ATF Type TLS (T-IV) Automatic Transmission Fluid

Idemitsu ATF Type TLS (T-IV)

Comparison table of alternatives to Type T-IV automatic transmission fluid

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CASTROL Import Multi-Vehicle ATF

Castrol Transmax Import Multi-Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid

CASTROL Import Multi-Vehicle ATF

CASTROL Import Multi-Vehicle ATF is a high-performing fluid that exceeds most quality standards such as; JASO-1A, Ford MERCON V, and General Motors DEXRON-IIIH, among others. It is used in most Japanese cars that include Nissan, Honda, and Toyota. Among the key features of this fluid is the ability to protect the transmission system from effects of high temperature, flow well in cold temperatures and reduce friction, corrosion, and wear. 

  • Improved friction resistance for efficient transmission performance
  • Highly effective high-temperature resistance to prevent fluid oxidation
  • Thermal stability for lubrication of the system in extreme weather
  • Used in most Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and other imported vehicles
  • The packaging is prone to leak 

Mobil ATF 3309 (Mobil makes T-IV)

Mobil 3309 Automatic Transmission Fluid

Mobil ATF 3309

Mobil is known as the OEM supplier for Type T-IV transmission fluid. This is the reason why Mobil ATF 3309 is considered to class as Type T-IV ATF. 

Mobil ATF 3309 is a high-performing fluid that delivers outstanding benefits. It contains detergents to keep the transmission parts clean and protect against corrosion, foaming as wear. The high-quality base oils and additives make the fluid durable and provide protection in all conditions.

  • Keeps the transmission system operates quietly and smoothly
  • Provides excellent vehicle drivability
  • Helps control transmission shudder
  • Excellent wear control helps extend the transmission life
  • Protects against rusting and corrosion
  • Easily runs out of stocks
  • The packaging is prone to damage

Idemitsu TLS

Idemitsu ATF Type TLS (T-IV) Automatic Transmission Fluid

Idemitsu ATF Type TLS (T-IV)

Idemitsu TLS fluid has a balanced viscosity to lubricate the engine throughout any weather regardless of the extremity. For maximum protection, the fluid has added agents that prevent corrosion, wear, and oxidation. Detergents, on the other hand, keep your engine clean and prevent the formation of deposits. The above features make this ATF an excellent alternative for Type T-IV fluids.  

However, the lubricant is not compatible with some car models. In some cases, the fuel did not work at all, forcing the car owners to flush it. If you own a Mini Cooper, Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport V6, this is not your best pick. 

  • Engineered for Asian vehicles with Type T-IV transmission specs
  • Guarantees smooth shifting and outstanding anti-shudder performance by precisely engineered frictional characteristics
  • Prevents from dust and slugde to keep the tranmsission clean
  • Brings maximum protection to gears and bearings by advanced anti-wear technology
  • Helps prevent transmission leak
  • Sometimes it's hard to find at local stores
  • High price

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What is Transmission Fluid Type T-IV

Transmission Fluid Type T-IV Specs

T-IV is an ATF released by Toyota for their automobiles. To make it stand out, all their licensed ATF have the Toyota logo. The absence of the logo means that you have no guarantee of the oils’ quality or meeting the specifications. 

Before the T-IV automatic transmission fluid hit the market, there were other fluids. That is Type T, Type II, and Type T III. However, these oils could no longer fit into the newer transmission systems that needed specialized fluids for best performance. Type T-IV meets the needs of the Slip-Controlled Automatic Transmissions.

Also, the fluid can replace all the previous fluids, making it ideal even for older transmission systems. 

Toyota ATF Type T-IV

Toyota Type T-IV Automatic Transmission Fluid

Toyota Type T-IV ATF

Toyota Type T-IV ATF is a full synthetic transmission fluid with superior characteristics. It is fully engineered to meet the needs of the current transmission systems that are more complex. Because of the additional components in the newly manufactured transmission systems, Type T-IV ATF meets and exceeds the service fill requirement of the target vehicles. It is OEM approved; therefore, the warranty remains valid where applicable.

There are 3 key features found in this fluid, namely:

  • Thermal stability
    The current transmission systems are more complex but more prone to breakage as vehicles go through different terrains and conditions. Thermal stability ensures that the fuel does not break down under heat, as this would cause oxidation, thus damaging the system. The fluid also continues to flow when cold for continuous performance.
  • Cleanliness
    Additional detergents prevent the formation of dirt in fuel for optimum performance.
  • Optimized drain intervals
    When the fuel drains well, there is proper lubrication, thus reducing sludge, corrosion, varnish, and rust formation. As a result, you will enjoy maximum fluid life.

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Final Words

Ideally, it would be best if you use OEM fluids for your vehicle. After all, it is what the manufacturers recommend. However, the above fluids present a substitute that is equally good and functions well. In most cases, they are cheaper, hence an opportunity to save a buck or two.

If you have no choice but alternatives, I recommend picking Idemitsu TLS. This fluid is engineered for Asian vehicles with Type T-IV transmission specifications. You have no worries when using it.

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1/ Can I use Dexron 3 instead of T-IV? 

No. Dextron 3 and T-IV are not compatible; hence one cannot replace the other.

2/ What is the difference between ATF WS and ATF T-IV?

Both ATF WS and ATF Type T-IV are OEM fluids certified by Toyota. However, ATF WS is for the 2008 and newer cars and has been enhanced to last for long. According to the manufacturers, once installed, the fluid can serve you for the cars’ lifetime.

The ATF T-IV, on the other hand, is for the older models and needs replacement every 60K miles or thereabout.