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Motor oil and transmission fluid are two of the most important automotive lubricants because they keep your drivetrain functioning correctly. It's important to regularly check these fluids and stay on top of changing them when it is time. While both a drivetrain lubricants, they are not the same or even all that similar. They are exposed to very different shear conditions and temperatures, owing to their different locations. In fact, contaminants and wear from combustion is the primary cause of why motor oil needs to be replaced more frequently than transmission fluid does.

Motor oil consists of a base oil that is fortified with additives. These additives sometimes include:
- Friction Modifiers: Reduce engine wear while maintaining fuel economy
- Active Cleaning Agents: Control sludge formation and clean key engine components
- Corrosion Inhibitors: Protect against the harmful effects of rust and corrosion
- Anti-Wear Additives: Help provide a layer of protection for engine parts
- Turbo Protection: Maintains cleanliness of critical turbo components
- Ethanol/Water Guard: Helps prevent the negative effects of ethanol/water in oil that can lead to engine failure

While similar additive component types are used to make both motor oil and transmission fluid, these components are used in different levels and different chemistries to perform better in each fluid's respective application.