Transmission fluid in the gas?

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Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum, but I searched for this and couldn't find it anywhere.

I heard about this the other day, from a friend of a friend who said he did it as a prank, and I just want to know if it's even possible and what damage, if any, it would do to a car's engine.

Apparently, according to this guy, if you put transmission fluid into someone's gas tank, it will cause the area under the hood to smoke profusely, but won't do any real damage to the car. Does this make any sense to you guys?

I would assume that it would either stall out the car, or severely damage some of the engine parts.

Can someone let me know?

Personally, I think the guy was full of it, but if this is true, then I can see countless prank opportunities in my future...I just don't want to mess up anybody's car. That, and the wife, are two things of a friend's you simply don't mess around with!

Thanks, guys!

posted by  intraining

well, from what i understand, using ATF (automatic transmission fluid to you newbies) in the fuel will really clean out carbon deposits and gunk of that sort. its like taking Seafoam (god bless that stuff) and sucking it through your intake manifold vac port. really cleans her out. im not certain on the specifics of doing that ATF trick, but maybe theres someone who does know. and the only damage i could possibly see this doing by putting ATF in someones gas tank, is possibly damaging the oxygent sensor and/or the catalytic converter.

posted by  metallikat

i would think it would foul the spark plugs and cause misfires??

posted by  jackal2000

....no.

posted by  metallikat

Wouldn't it depend on how much ATF was put in?

posted by  thefonz

atf is 1)not as thick as oil 2)made up completely different than oil and 3)...of course it depends on how much atf you use. but who in their right mind would put more than 1 quart in the tank, and even that is kinda overkill. half a quart for every 10 gallons should suffice, if one chose to use this trick.

so i suppose yeah, it would depend on how much atf was put in...but thats like saying "A dose of red wine everyday is healthy for you" then some ninny comes along and asks "well wouldnt it depend on how much red wine you drank?" that really was a stupid question dude...

posted by  metallikat

Your friend is a moron

posted by  newyorker

...because newyorker knows his own...:laughing:

posted by  dodger65

Lol @ ninny

posted by  Bronxie

that doesnt make sense

posted by  newyorker

...not to you, no...:rolleyes:

posted by  dodger65

It was said more out of humor but I don't think it was stupid. If you got some dumbass trying to do this cause they heard about it from someone and think, 'hey i'll try that'. So the car has maybe 3 gallons of gas left in it, and the D.A. thinks 'hey, more atf, more smoke.... let's put in like a gallon dude, this will be funny as crap'.
We have no idea of knowing their thought process. So your response saying no it won't foul out plugs or cause a misfire is correct? Not exactly, but I know what you mean.Your quote "but who in their right mind would put more than 1 quart in the tank, and even that is kinda overkill. half a quart for every 10 gallons should suffice, if one chose to use this trick." Exactly my point!

posted by  thefonz

Strange, isn't it? Someone who would pass along misinformation such as this crap, calling others newbies. Well newb, the bullsh*t that you're passing along as knowledge, while not 100% incorrect, is nowhere near correct.

Once upon a long time ago it was semi-common practice to slowly pour ATF down the carburetor while running the engine at about 2500-3000 rpm. All this did was super heat the combustion chamber for a short time which would help to break up carbon deposits and potentially lubricate the intake valve guides. While it was never the right thing to do, it was used by shadetrees and occasionally professionals alike to get a bit more life out of an engine before it had to be disassembled and decoked.

Running ATF in any amount in a modern cars gas tank is not only idiotic, it is also unnecessary and counter productive. Due to modern engine management and unleaded gas, even most poorly maintained engines will have near zero carbon deposits at well over 150k miles. In addition to that, continually running ATF through the engine will cause the PCM to flag potentially several DTC's along with rapidly destroying the O2 sensors and the catalytic converter(s).

Finally, your comment about ATF not being as thick as engine oil is in a word, ignorant. Surprise. Dexron III, inarguably the most common ATF worldwide, has a viscosity of approximately 5w20. The same viscosity engine oil that many (most?) manufacturers are going to as engine tolerances become closer.

Just think, all you had to do was say nothing at all instead of speaking up and removing all doubt. Think about it.

posted by  vwhobo

welcome back hobo!! lol

posted by  jackal2000

Would this work the same way seafoam does or no?

posted by  Pythias

Seafoam is nothing more than a solvent... Primarily mineral spirits with some perfume and dye. It does however work the same way in that both substantially increase combustion temperature when poured into the carburetor, throttle body or siphoned through a vacuum source. However, mineral spirits will cause less harm to the O2 and cat. Here's the good part. You can buy a quart of Seafoam for about $6 or a five gallon bucket of spirits for about $18. How much is the perfume and dye worth to you?

posted by  vwhobo

Doesn't it foul up your plugs though? Thats what I heard from someone off RPS forum

posted by  99integra

That all depends upon what the definition of "it" is. Asking a complete question makes it so much easier to answer. :wink2:

posted by  vwhobo

I see, so mineral spirits will cause less harm to your O2's and cats, and is much more cost worthy, and basically does the same thing as Seafoam correct? And you run it through your system the same way as Seafoam? If so they yes, Seafoam is a waste of money, but I remember when I ran it through my old Firebird I had, only had 79k miles but using either 1 or 2 bottles of it we got a ton of shit out of the engine, that was was just a total piece all together though.

posted by  Pythias

Mk then, won't using Seafoam to clear up your injectors and what have you, foul up your plugs at the same time?

posted by  99integra

Didn't for my firebird.

posted by  Pythias

Mineral spirits will accomplish essentially the same thing as Seafoam at a much lower cost. Don't forget to add some Brut to make it smell pretty.

posted by  vwhobo

Thanks for the info, I will deinfitely keep that in mind.

posted by  Pythias

Seafoam will have approximately the same effect on your injectors as it will your plugs. Nil. If you actually read my previous post you'd know I never talked about using it as an additive, only as a top end cleaner. I'm not sure how that would affect the injectors in any way, but I'm always willing to learn. Teach me.

posted by  vwhobo

Alright thank ya

posted by  99integra

LMAO :clap:

posted by  jackal2000

you know, in my first post, i even said "im not certain on the specifics of doing that ATF trick, but maybe theres someone who does know." which essentially means "im not 100% certain, so find out from someone who DOES claim to be 100% certain so as not to make an error and screw something up. my admittal of not being completely knowledgable, and your callous remarks prove to me youre just one of these a**holes that like to go around on posts trying to make everyone feel stupid, and in reality, youre probably this sick pathetic slob with no life and THIS is how you get satisfaction.

so before YOU go to your next post, why dont you think about what youre doing. and when you read something, fully comprehend EVERYTHING that was written before replying with your unnecessarily off-color comments. its assholes like you that make it dreadful to come and try to help people as best they can.

oh yeah, and i didnt directly call someone a newbie. if you read and comprehended correctly, which clearly an ape like you is incapable of, it was a very generalized FYI. not everyone knows what ATF is, and i was just clarifying what it was. since newbies are generally the ones who dont always know what acronyms are what (and being a newbie is not a bad thing, we all were at one point), i was, again, just trying to be helpful so someone didnt have to post "what is ATF?" and then have you come along and belittle them mercilessly just because they dont know. now, kindly drinkbleachkthanks. :fu:

posted by  metallikat

So essentially what you're saying is that it's okay to type pages of mindless drivel even though you don't know what is is you speak of, but... When someone calls you on it, they're the ones at fault. I have no problem comprehending what is said on this forum. I'm sure the word "others" holds little meaning to you, but to those of us with a post second grade education know that it's a general and not specific term. But then let's not let the facts cloud your ignorant opinion and confuse you further. You sir are a class A douche bag. May you crawl back under your rock and never again see the light of day.

Bottom line, if you aren't at least 99.9% sure that the "advice" you're giving is correct, then STFU newb.

P.S. Your use of the FU smiley underscore your mediocre intellect. Every time you use it you lose 5 IQ points. You only have two uses left before you become a houseplant.

posted by  vwhobo

Which is why some substitute a couple of pints of the engine oil for tranny fluid, to give the engine a cleanup...... usually because they have been slack in regular oil/filter changes.

posted by  Wally

Of course doing an engine "flush" like that, or really of any kind, will generally bring with it it's own set of problems. It's easier and cheaper to just change your oil as scheduled.

posted by  vwhobo

listen and learn. i was saying, very simply, that what i type is what i have heard and have believed to be true. i even post a disclaimer essentially, saying to clarify this information before putting it to work. you are at fault for your unnecessary remarks. if someone came along to clarify and RESPECTFULLY correct what i have posted, i have no reason to complain or get upset. but this is something youre, again, incapable of.

and if everyone didnt post just b/c they werent 99.9% certain of what they were posting, there would be alot less posts here. im not going to continue arguing on here, because arguing over the internet is like competing in the special olympics...even if you win, youre still retarded. and somehow, i expect that you will still reply...surprise surprise..:screwy:

you had more insults than corrections in this last post, which indicates to me it truly is what you prefer to do on this forum, and god knows on how many others.

posted by  metallikat

OK, so I hate to even ask this, given some of the insults posted here, but my actual question hasn't really been answered. I already knew that a little bit of tranny fluid in the gas tank can help to clean out certain parts of the engine.

My dad's a mechanic, but I don't want to ask him, because if this will work, I'd love to pull this prank on him. However, I certainly don't want to mess up his car.

If you consider me a newb, just because I'm a recent member of this site, then so be it...I have a legitimate question, and it's got nothing to do with cleaning out engine parts...I thought it was pretty straight-forward, but I have yet to receive a definitive answer.

Can anyone please help me out?

If it will help, he has a 72 Mustang Boss that he'll stop using within a month, when the weather turns, and he also has a couple "modern" cars that he uses year-round. An '05 Honda Civic and a 99 Chev truck.

posted by  intraining

Newsflash for you Twinkie. If you weren't a genuine newb, you'd already know the answer AND know that your question HAS been answered. Maybe not directly to you, but answered none the less. :banghead:

Why do people like you need to come on a forum and pretend to be what you're not?

posted by  vwhobo

No, it hasn't. Nowhere in these three pages of back and forth insults has anyone said a simple, "yes, this will cause a lot of smoke," or "no it won't." Furthermore, I don't see a definitive answer as to whether or not it will cause any long-term damage to an engine.

I already know that ATF, in moderation can be used to clean out certain engine parts...that's not what I was asking.

I came here with a simple question. I know how forums like this work, and I've expected a certain amount of e-insults, but this is just ridiculous.

If you don't want to answer me, and are simply posting insults to boost your post count and make yourself superior to "the newb" then, well...I feel sorry for you.

Good luck on grade ten...they say 8th time's the charm.

Oh, and by the way; I just noticed you've got well over 8,000 posts on an internet forum...damn man, your parents must be SO proud

posted by  intraining

Look you stupid little motherf*cker. If you even the slightest idea as to how cars and their engines work as you claim, and it's painfully obvious you don't, you would already know the answer to your question. Explain to us all in great detail exactly where the engine exhaust is released under the hood of the car. After all, it it YOU that said;


If you had even the remotest hint of a clue about cars, you would have known BEFORE you typed the post that the exhaust DOES NOT enter the underhood area, therefore what you (he) said was bogus. But then that would take a modicum of effort on your part coupled with enough brains to know whether you should sh*t or wipe first. It's quite apparent to me that you are totally incapable of the former and are totally deficient on the latter.

posted by  vwhobo

Um, where exactly did I claim to have your extensive knowledge of cars? Can you quote that for me? Maybe I'm missing something your obviously-superior intellect picked up on. Again, MY FATHER is the mechanic, not me, Einstein.

Nice job, assuming I'm some "stupid little mother****er"...internet tough guys are always amusing.



Where did I say that this trick had ANYTHING to do with the exhaust. I said that this theoretically causes smoke in the engine compartment, which is not necessarily exhaust. My assumption on this is that the ATF would travel into the engine eventually, which is where the smoking would occur.

Thanks for being polite about it, though...you're a real ****ing role model.

You know, forums like this are set up to help people who have questions, not to let guys like you prove that they have huge penises by flaming newbs...or should I say trying to flame newbs. If you want to insult somebody, at least do so intelligently, and without resorting to cursing...but, I guess, when your mental capacity is that of a 9-year-old, you do what comes naturally.

Is there anyone out there who will actually answert the question, or am I just wasting my time here?

posted by  intraining

You, my fine feathered friend, are a dumbass. You have been repeatedly given very good and logical answers, but refuse to think about them. Let me try now, you want to put ATF in the fuel tank as a prank ...you believe this will make copious amounts of smoke under the hood (is this right?)...you know that the fuel goes to the pump, through the carb/injector system, to the intake manifold and then to the individual cylenders(sp) right? After the fuel is spent it travels out of the cylender through the exhaust port and out of the exhaust away from the engine compartment (hopefully)....Where EXACTLY is the ATF going to make smoke appear?

Please read carefully and think about the system before reposting saying that the answer was not given.

posted by  davsmitty

you mean his kids right

posted by  newyorker

Thank you...no, I did not know these things. I've repeatedly stated that I don't have an in-depth knowledge of cars.

My problem is when people take the route of continuously insulting someone instead of trying to be pleasant about it. I wasn't rude at all until provoked.

You're the first to actually explain in detail what would happen, and for that, I am appreciative. I didn't know these things...but now I do, thanks to you.

And newyorker - no, I meant his parents. It's an expression.

posted by  intraining

I hate to put a wrinkle in your argument, but I think you did know:

http://prank.org/pranks/image-vp269421.html?sid=0dcea4cadb74423370f83a6c43a c5df4

posted by  Wally

Ouch! So I guess stupid litle motherf*cker stands. I wonder if he's man enough to come and appologise... Or better yet. He can come back and try to make us believe it isn't the same person. That should be fun to read.

posted by  vwhobo

That sucks, the guy's from Ontario lol...Now, just making sure--this prank does not work? :laughing: JP

posted by  chris_knows

OK, so what exactly did I know for a fact?

If you read the post on the PI, it says I wasn't sure if it would work or not. The reason I came here was because I figured you guys would be the ones to tell me for sure.

I've no reason to apologize.

That final post by Damian was the only one that definitively answered my question, and I hadn't read it yet.

Thanks guys, for flaming the new guy. Much appreciated.

posted by  intraining

no problem

posted by  glagon1979

Once again I doubt is the sincere reason you came here looking for a finite answer...not unless you heard that Wally (aka God's own gift to women and motorspot legend) was in residence.:wink2:

And secondly I for one did not flame you.... almost singularly it was our resident old fart Mr Hobo esq.

posted by  Wally

Why would you doubt that was my real reason for coming here?

I was looking for a definite answer to my question, strictly so I could let the guys on the other site know if it would work or not. It's a prank site, and the last thing I wanted was to be an inadvertant advocate of vandalism. I don't believe in messing with someone's car if you don't know exactly what you're doing, so I wanted the facts before replying to my thread on the PI. Honestly, why else would I come here? I obviously have very little knowledge on the subject of cars, and will contribute very little to the site. I signed up simply to ask this advice. I'm no expert on cars, and since this is a car forum, I DID figure that someone here would help me...which you did.

As far as Mr.Hobo goes, I don't hold any grudges...we treat n00bs in a similar way of the other forums I post on, so I was expecting it, just not to that degree.

Oh, and yeah, I heard somewhere about a guy named Wally was THE man to ask regarding the finer workings of automobiles and women, so thanks!

posted by  intraining

It's not just the n00bs that get flamed.....sometimes :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

yes, it actually does work! my dad did it for years but dont get it mistaken! you dont put a quart just use about 4 to 6 oz!

jhon   24 Jan 2013 00:21

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