Castrol Domestic Multi-Vehicle ATF

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Greetings, everyone: My dad's '92 Toyota Previa with 86k is due for a 90,000 mile service. As part of today's inspection to determine what work will be needed, I checked the condition of the transmission fluid. The fluid looked like motor oil. Not used motor oil, but somewhere between new and used. This did not surprise me as the only services the transmission has seen are partial drain and refills at the 44k and 68k marks. Therefore, either a cooler line flush or three back-to-back refills are in order, right? I checked the manual for the recommended fluid type. As an older Toyota, the manual said Dexron II is recommended. Since this is an older van, I'm not interested in spending serious $$$ on transmission fluid. What fluid would you folks recommend? I was thinking about using an unlicensed Dexron/Mercon type product. At Walmart, I saw one-gallon jugs of Castrol Domestic Multi-Vehicle for about $12. The specs for this fluid look identical if not a bit better than the Castrol Dexron-III(H) data sheet that I still have. Has anyone tried the Castrol Domestic Multi-Vehicle ATF? Any positive or negative experiences to report? Thanks!
 
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Since you don't want to spend money, any generic dex/merc store brand ATF can be used.
 
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(visions of rhetorical cliche mandatory - redundant even- remarks) Critic- How can you put a price on a transmission's life? \:\( The trans you save may be your own ...someday.
 

PT1

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I bought some on closeout at WM for my boat which is speced for DexIII which it says on the label it meets the DexIII-H spec. It is even listed as an approved fluid in my ZF owners manual. So for $1/qt. I'm using it. \:\!
 

The Critic

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 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
(visions of rhetorical cliche mandatory - redundant even- remarks) Critic- How can you put a price on a transmission's life? \:\( The trans you save may be your own ...someday.
It ain't mine, it's my dad's! The Saturn gets SuperTech DEXRON-VI.
 
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I've used Castrol domestic multi-vehicle ATF for my dad's 03 Nissan Sentra for the past two years. Nissan says Dexon 3 can be used in the owners manual if J-matic fluid can't be bought. Well, when dexron 3 was not licensed anymore. It was either Castrol Domestic MTV fluid for dexron users or Castrol MTV Import ATF for Japanese vehicles. So I had a Japanese vehicle that can use Dexron 3. I bought the cheapest: Castrol MTV Domestic ATF, no problems at all!
 
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I'm very happy with the Castrol HM ATF in the CRV. Two little issues it had went away, clunking and slipping. It shifts like butta now.
 

The Critic

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Just purchased two gallons today. $12.77/gallon + tax. I'll flush the transmission next weekend and report back on how it performs. Considering how badly my father abuses this transmission (lots of manual downshifting), I'm sure any new fluid will be an improvement over the mud looking stuff that is currently in there.
 

PT1

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 Originally Posted By: The Critic
I'm sure any new fluid will be an improvement over the mud looking stuff that is currently in there.
Mud? Better change the filter if it has one...
 

The Critic

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So I did the flush today. It was a realtively quick, but rather messy process that resulted in a slight worry at the end. While the ATF appeared reddish purple on the dipstick, I later learned that the appearance of the fluid on the dipstick really doesn't tell you the entire story. When I drained the pan, the fluid appeared dark red. While it smelled nasty, the fluid looked pretty good. In fact, it looked better than the stuff on the dipstick. After draining the pan, I refilled with 2.5 quarts, yanked a cooler line and started the van. The first two quarts that exited the torque converter had the appearance of Coca-Cola! I refilled, then allowed another 2.5 quarts to pump out. Towards the end of the second pump out, the fluid suddenly changed from brown to red. Just to be sure, I refilled again and allowed another 3/4 quart to pump out to ensure that all of the fluid was replaced. So I used exactly 8 quarts to flush the transmission-- 2.5 quarts to refill the pan, 5.25 quarts to flush and the remainder for top-off. Since the unit only holds 6 quarts, I am quite certain that nearly all of the old fluid has been replaced. When I went for a brief test drive after the flush, the shifts seem smoother and less harsh than before, but it isn't a day and night difference. The shifts still aren't as seamless as the Saturn's transmission. Anyway, here's the concern. When I removed the cooler line, the rubber was fused to the radiator. I had to twist the hose to remove it. After the flush, I installed the hose back onto the radiator outlet. Obviously, the hose and the connection were oily and there wasn't much that I could do about that since the hose kept dripping. However, now even with the clamp on the hose connection, I can twist and move the hose slightly if I tried. Is this a concern? I'm afraid that the hose might back off. Then again, I'm sure all of the hoses and connections are oily and wet when the quick lubes reinstall them so perhaps I'm worried over nothing?
 
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I would use cheap stuff during the first flush, but you are really better off using the most modern transmission fluid. They are made to be backwards compatible, and if you had any need you could always add some Lucas transmission fix to thicken it.
 
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I wouldnt sweat it. Most of the nipples have a barb at the end or a collar mid shaft that retains the hose after the clamp is placed properly. I have see this many times and have worried only to have zero issues after thousands of miles in many cars/trucks. Good to hear the flush went well.
 
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