4L60E fluid change and upgrade (June 2019)

Messages
109
Location
Arizona
I have an 03 Suburban I recently purchased. I'd like to change the trans fluid and put in Dex 6 (Dexron VI) The fluid in there now is redish/brownish color. 155k miles. Walmart seems to have discontinued their Supertech Decron VI. So I'm not finding a cheap Dex 6. So should I exchange with Dex 3, as sort of a rinse (pulling pan, replacing filter, removing return line method,,, dive for a week on fresh dex 3 then pull return line and switch to Dex 6? or just use the afore mentioned method and go straight to DeX 6. Got it stuck in my head I should have a rinse cycle in there, but don't want to pay DeX 6 prices for the rinse. Thoughts on a rinse cycle? Transmission works fine, no issues. The 5.3l has had lots of work done (PO was determined to get a small leak fixed, so it has receipts from local shop with new oil pan and gasket, new front & rear main seals, knock sensor, intake gasket, new TB assy, and more! Thanks for helping me overcome some minor OCD and alleviating the "Wrapped around the axle" phenomenon. C.
 
Messages
13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
The you want a cost effective ATF just use Valvoline Maxlife ATF I use it in DEXRON, MERCON, and ZF applications and it works just as well as the OEM fluid.
 
Messages
67
Location
FL
I have 2 silverados with the 4l60E. A 2002 and a 2006. Both have well over 200k and I have never touched the trannys. If it works fine, I say just drive it. Unless you tow every single day, they are good trannys. If you must change it, Dex 3 should be fine for a rinse. If I recall correctly, Dex 6 wasn't introduced until after 2005, so Dex 3 was likely the original fill. However, Dex 6 is definitely the superior fluid.
 
Messages
849
Location
Alaska and Wisconsin
Twelve quarts of ACDelco Full Syn Dexron VI can be had for $48.96 plus shipping: https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/chevrolet,2003,silverado+1500,5.3l+v8,1412086,transmission-automatic,transmission+fluid,11387 If a Prime member, twelve quarts of Amalie Dexron VI can be delivered to your door on Amazon for $75.10: https://www.amazon.com/Amalie-160-7...d=1559435166&s=automotive&sr=1-8 You might want to change the ATF fluid filter and pan gasget as well. That'll run you about an additional $10 to $12. In total, it's about a $90 job and your time. Good luck.
 
Last edited:

Cmobile

Thread starter
Messages
109
Location
Arizona
Wow, great price. Thanks for the tip Steve. Yep, definitely a new filter & pan gasket. Dave, Thanks for the Maxlife tip. Initially, I wrongly thought it would be similar viscosity as DeX III, and was looking to reap (however minor) the potential MPG benefits of the thinner Dex VI. After reading your post, I looked, and it has a thinner vis similar to the DeX VI. Used it with great success replacing SP III in a Hyundai. <$18 a gallon to boot! Thanks All
 
Messages
11,733
Location
USA
If your transmission doesn't have a drain plug, get an aftermarket pan that has one smile Maxlife ATF is good stuff available at a great price
 
Messages
64
Location
Dallas, TX
I've been doing 30-50k pan drop and filter changes for years on my 2004 4L60E. I'm currently at 190k with zero issues. Probably over-kill I know but that's just me. I've only used DEX-VI, either Valvoline full synthetic or Supertech. Regardless, I would use any licensed DEX-VI product with full confidence. I'm sure Maxlife is fine as well but I have no experience with it.
 
Messages
13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
Originally Posted by Cmobile
Wow, great price. Thanks for the tip Steve. Yep, definitely a new filter & pan gasket. Dave, Thanks for the Maxlife tip. Initially, I wrongly thought it would be similar viscosity as DeX III, and was looking to reap (however minor) the potential MPG benefits of the thinner Dex VI. After reading your post, I looked, and it has a thinner vis similar to the DeX VI. Used it with great success replacing SP III in a Hyundai. <$18 a gallon to boot! Thanks All
Your welcome there is SuperTech ATF available for less than $13 at Walmart it's likely a DEX III clone. Then Walmart has this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Tech-Full-Synthetic-Automatic-Transmission-Fluid-1-Quart/52626198?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=4430&adid=22222222228043376276&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=86993507329&wl4=aud-566049426705:pla-193467115489&wl5=9030019&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=52626198&wl13=4430&veh=sem&gclid=Cj0KCQjwxMjnBRCtARIsAGwWnBNd2TRlCWeHMhpYmKX5hsxcYOBlCmMmwUJ9JPXXJMJoadi8NppKFEcaAsMuEALw_wcB
 

Cmobile

Thread starter
Messages
109
Location
Arizona
I saw that Dave, but further searches on WM site says it is Discontinued. So I wonder if Supertech is no longer making Dexron VI. Thanks Again, C
 
Messages
13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
Originally Posted by Cmobile
I saw that Dave, but further searches on WM site says it is Discontinued. So I wonder if Supertech is no longer making Dexron VI. Thanks Again, C
The DEXRON VI is being discontinued and being replaced by a dual licensed DEXRON VI/MERCON LV. Likely the same ATF just a new label.
 
Messages
647
Location
ohio
Use Dex III OR use Dex VI. The mane thing is to get out the old fluid and get in new fluid. My observations with my vehicles that use Dexron ATF Fluid is with the Dex III fluid you feel the shift points. With Dex VI the shift points are very smooth. Use either fluid and you will not have a problem. I have not noticed any change in fuel milage between the two fluids.
 
Messages
2,704
Location
PA
Going out of your way to put thinner dex 6 in an old trans doesn't make sense. I run Max Life HM and Lubegard in my 02 Yukon.
 
Messages
13,092
Location
Indiana
Originally Posted by Gasbuggy
Going out of your way to put thinner dex 6 in an old trans doesn't make sense. I run Max Life HM and Lubegard in my 02 Yukon.
Valvoline Maxlife and Valvoline DexIV are basically the same thicknesses. I can't think of any other alternatives aside from house brand multi vehicle ATF's. I've heard the Delvac 1 ATF being recommended as well.. While it is thicker, it's also 2x more a gallon than Maxlife.
 

4WD

Messages
17,049
Location
Texas
Mobil 1 Synthetic MV ATF works in pre Dex VI applications Castrol MV ATF has Dex VI and Mercon LV approvals I have used both along with Maxlife … all of them 👌
 
Messages
13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
Originally Posted by Gasbuggy
Going out of your way to put thinner dex 6 in an old trans doesn't make sense. I run Max Life HM and Lubegard in my 02 Yukon.
It's not thinner after useage it is thicker due to shearing and the Maxlife is a LV just like DEXRON VI.
 
Messages
4,651
Location
The Garden State
Auto Zone is running another special with Castrol ATF's, 2qts/$11. Castrol has a dedicated Dexron VI ATF. I saw this late last week when I was in Auto Zone. Whimsey
 
Messages
2,584
Location
wv
2003 Suburban Z71 here.. Maxlife ATF is happy in my 4L60E (my suburban is a dedicated towpig for my SidebySide) and also towing a trailer for farm needs. 265K on mine. $18/Gal at Walmart.
 
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