ATF formulations

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I know that motor oil formulations are different from company to company. Is it the case with the automatic transmission fluid? I've been using Pennzoil ATF Dexron-III most of the time. I want to try Dexron-III from Castrol, Valvoline, or SuperTech. I usually drain and refill once a year or every other oil change.
 
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I think the Valvoline Maxlife ATF is some really go stuff. I *think* it is synthetic, or at least a synthetic blend. What kind of vehicle is this for?
 

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Originally Posted By: Johnny248
I think the Valvoline Maxlife ATF is some really go stuff. I *think* it is synthetic, or at least a synthetic blend. What kind of vehicle is this for?
02 4runner and tacoma. I just want to keep the ATF fluid nice and clean. Also, 02 4runner has less than 70,000 miles, but tacoma has 140,000+ I want to keep these vehicles for a long time.
 
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I think 'Maxlife' is indeed a blend; it should say something on the bottle. But Dexron III is a specific formula or recipe, so it's pretty close to the same no matter who makes the stuff you try. I've changed with Mobil-1 synthetic ATF at 35,000 and figured I was good for at least another 50-60K. The newer Dexron VI is a 'blend' to start with.
 

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With Mobil1 synthetic ATF never on sale unlike Mobil1 motor oil, I have always been hesitant to use them at $8.99 per quart at Advance Auto Parts. I guess I should just get the cheapest Dexron III ATF.
 
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I was under the impression that you can yous the AAP discount coupons for ATF, but not motor oil. Cheapest DexronIII is pathetic. At least use a Mercon-V or multivehicle fluid. Maxlife is an easy choice. Amalie full synthetic ATF is another.
 
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Originally Posted By: dwendt44
But Dexron III is a specific formula or recipe, so it's pretty close to the same no matter who makes the stuff you try.
Not true. This is the case with DexVI where there is one approved add pack.
 
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ATF is not just ATF. There is a difference in high-performance lubes and the lubes that just meet the minimum industry requirements. In short, there are reasons some ATFs perform better than others. It’s all in the mix.
 
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The transmission maker sets the specs for the fluid. Dexron-III is now an obsolete spec, so none is licensed by GM. Any blender can buy the additive package for a fluid "recommended" for a transmission requiring Dex-III. (An exception...the Allison TES-389 spec IS Dexron-III under a new name and currently licensed by GM.) Most fluid blenders will buy a near-universal ATF additive package and put the whole laundry list of "recommended" transmissions on the label. So, yes, with obsolete specs like Dexron-III there is the opportunity for a sleazy blender to make a below-spec product. Stick with any top brand name fluid. Or, upgrade to the better spec of Dexron-VI.
 

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Is Pennzoil Dex III any good? It's only 4 dollars more expensive than Supertech and Walmart. Otherwise, I might just go with Valvoline or Mobil 1 synthetic.
 
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