DEXRON VI - what is the difference between brands?

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25
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Upstate NY
I was looking at getting GM brand Dexron VI for my car but I see brands like Valvoline, Castrol, ACDelco and Walmart brand (supertech) are cheaper.. Is there a greater advantage in using GM brand? Thanks!
 
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6,388
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Washington St.
We don't know who has the contract to make the GM-labeled product this year, nor GM's ACDelco labeled product (and maybe not the same blender). If there is any difference, it may be in the consistency of product blend from one batch to the next. GM's spec for the fluid is high, but each batch is not tested to see if it meets the spec. A list of authorized ingredients is used, and if blended right will meet the spec.
 
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3,023
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USA-Michigan
The MSDS says the maker is Petro-Canada for the GM brand and most likely also the AC Delco. With products like this GM usually sticks with one maker for a long time to save on costs. Seems most of their chemicals are produced in Canada likely due to all the regulation hurdles in the USA. MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheets
 

dnewton3

Staff member
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8,459
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Indianapolis, IN
If you choose a licensed product, you can rest assured it's fairly good stuff. The specs for DEX VI are pretty stout, and they are chemistry based, and not just performance based. Any fluid that is licensed, including the SuperTech stuff, should suffice quite well.
 
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14,729
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Santa Barbara, CA
 Originally Posted By: dnewton3
If you choose a licensed product, you can rest assured it's fairly good stuff. The specs for DEX VI are pretty stout, and they are chemistry based, and not just performance based. Any fluid that is licensed, including the SuperTech stuff, should suffice quite well.
pfft, we all know licensing is just a way for the OEMs to take money from the consumer...
 
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2,912
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MI, USA
 Originally Posted By: gtpimp
I was looking at getting GM brand Dexron VI for my car but I see brands like Valvoline, Castrol, ACDelco and Walmart brand (supertech) are cheaper.. Is there a greater advantage in using GM brand? Thanks!
The spec is so tight that there is no real difference. That was one of the original objectives. As long as you are looking at a licensed product and not one of the 'counterfeit' fluids.
 
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2,912
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MI, USA
 Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
 Originally Posted By: dnewton3
If you choose a licensed product, you can rest assured it's fairly good stuff. The specs for DEX VI are pretty stout, and they are chemistry based, and not just performance based. Any fluid that is licensed, including the SuperTech stuff, should suffice quite well.
pfft, we all know licensing is just a way for the OEMs to take money from the consumer...
What is the license fee for DEXRON-VI?
 
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1,335
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Arizona
Counterfeit fluids huh! I wonder which ones you are reffering to? You make me laugh. I better put some licensed Super Tech Dex VI in my tacoma asap!
 
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2,912
Location
MI, USA
 Originally Posted By: AzFireGuy79
Counterfeit fluids huh! I wonder which ones you are reffering to? You make me laugh. I better put some licensed Super Tech Dex VI in my tacoma asap!
I'm pleased to provide you with some entertainment.
 
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8,756
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RI
My counterfeit fluids have served me, along with hundreds that I've install 'em in, plenty well for 30 years.
 
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2,269
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SD
 Originally Posted By: AzFireGuy79
Counterfeit fluids huh! I wonder which ones you are reffering to? You make me laugh. I better put some licensed Super Tech Dex VI in my tacoma asap!
Why? Does Toyota call for Dex VI?
 

dnewton3

Staff member
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Indianapolis, IN
There is a huge difference between being "licensed" and being "recommend for use in ..." or "suggested for use where ..." That being said, in no way does that mean the unlicensed fluids are bad, nor applicable. It simply means they are not guaranteed because they are untested (or tested and failed) by the licensor. Unlicesned fluids can meet/exceed specs, or they could flounder miserably. Licensing is a way to provide assured performance and/or chemisty criteria are met. If you choose a licensed product, you are guaranteed a minimum level of spec being met. Unlicensed fluids can certainly meet/exceed specs, but they are not typically guaranteed by the equipment OEM, but (most often) by the aftermarket manufacturer. I have used both licensed and non-licensed fluids. Each has their place for particular reasons. Everyone has a threshold that they prefer not to cross. It's not that one is perfect and one is evil, but rather that each fits a perceived "need" of the customer for particular applications. An example we're all familar with is the whole DEX III/Mercon issue. "Dexron III" and "Mercon" are no longer licensed by their respective OEM licensors GM and Ford. Now, because they were w-i-d-e-l-y used in the whole automotive market, even by some Japaneese products, they are still called for in the marketplace; there is still a huge demand for these basic fluids. So many lubricant manufactures make "DEX/Merc" or "D/M" or "D3/M" or some other product that uses a familiar moniker, but they cannot use "Dexron III(h)" or "Mercon" because those fluid licenses are not issued any longer. The aftermarket lube makers can choose to continue make the products as though they would have met those former specs, as if they were still active. But they also could choose to skirt around those specs or otherwise cheapen the products, because they no longer have to live up to a "standard" set by the license. Unlicensed fluids can either be bad or good, but licensed fluids are assured to meet a certain minimum standard set by the licensor. For unlicesned fluids, it's caveot emptor! So, how does this pertain to the DEX VI issue? Well, unless I misunderstand, DEX VI is not only performance based, but also chemistry based in it's licensing. As I've often touted, to be DEX VI you can't just walk or talk like a duck, you have to be a duck at the genetic level. So any licensed DEX VI product will suffice to the standard GM set. To meet the performance criteria, it's pretty much a given that the fluid will be at least, in part, a group III type blended product. Some companies, such as Valvoline, may choose to go to a "full syntheitc" base stock like all group III to "exceed" the spec, while others might use a semi-syn blend to meet/exceed the spec. The chemistry is also very important for DEX VI licensing. If it's DEX VI licensed, it's a fine fluid for any application that would officially call for it.
 
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8,756
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Problem is the license police are too incompetent. You CAN'T be assured of anything these days. Haven't we had enough fluids recalled(when they are caught for cheating on formulas)? License is useless money maker for automaker. Produce a "performance spec" and let the blender meet that spec any way they want. The forced 'formula' license spec doesn't leave room for improvement. You are stuck with their 'formula' requirements regardless to improvements in base stocks or additives, or ANY technology changes, until the automaker comes out with a 'new' license with a marginal improvement that should've existed a decade or 2 ago.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
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unDummy, I don't disagree with you fundmentally at some level. There will always be cheating. In every way of life, if someone sets a standard, then someone will want to "cheat" to win. Be it fluid licenses, steroids in an athelete, grades for a scholar, testimony in a trial, etc. But without standards, there is no bar set to show some level of competence. It's not a problem with the license; it's a problem with the accredication of the posers.
 
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3,023
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USA-Michigan
And there will always be companies who make better products than the commodity brands that a license tends to produce. The fact that a company does not seek a license is not in and of itself proof their product is inferior.
 
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Mizzou-land
Well, if licensing is just a money maker and there is no fee for licensing, then I can understand why the automakers are in financial trouble.
 
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228
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Happy Valley, PA
If it says Dexron VI on the bottle would that mean it is liscenced? Surely GM wouldn't allow someone to use the DexVI name on a unliscensed product correct? And on the other hand one could bottle cat urine and label it DexIII, because that spec means nothing correct?
 
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