Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF

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Well I finally finished droping the pan, cleaning,draining and replacing the filter. First thoughts on Maxlife....shifts smoother,just nicer....the thing that strikes me the most is the odor. smells different then the regular dexron III, where the dexron III smells slightly sweet with not much of a smell, this Maxlife smells much stronger, almost like I cannot describe the smell of it.You really don't want to keep smelling it cause it does not smell very good . Would that be because of the synthetic base or the additives in it? CURIOUS IF ANYONE ELSE NOTICED ??? Also the person who was helping me and has been an mechanic for over 20 years, told me to put 80-90W synthetic gear oil in my differential(which we did) instead of the Maxlife ATF as suggested on here. He said it's better to do it. This is on a 2002 chevy prizm, with the A131L transmission and 3sd 1.6 auto.
 
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I'm considering putting Maxlife in mine, but I wasn't sure if it would help the shifting.. Guess a good synthetic can't hurt it one way or the other.
 
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At 39K I put Val Dex/Merc in the GF's V-6 Mercury Mariner. Might have been the placebo effect, but it seemed to shift a bit crisper. At 46K it still Shifts real nice. Smooth, quick and precise. This was just a drain and fill. About 3.5 qts went in. Planning to do it again at 50K, and every 20K from now on. Cheap insurance at $15. I would recommend it. Her tranny has a drain plug, there should be a law that all AT's should have one IMO.
 
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I think I'd get that gear oil out of the differential as soon as possible! And put the right fluid in! Trans shop did the same thing on a 90 Prism and the oil was too thick. It climbed the speedo cable and started dripping out the back of the speedo head. And it smells so good! Like a car full of dead fish on a hot day. Plus some of the drips made the brake pedal mighty slick. GF was not happy... I realize you might not have a speedometer cable on the newer Prism, but I think you should put the correct fluid in it anyway.
 

lucerne06

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I'm sort of confused on the ATF vs 80w-90 oil in a differential. It my understanding that 90w gear oil is like 40w motor oil...so what weight is ATF if the 80-90 is too thick?
 
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ATF is ~7cst. 90wt is usually around 15cst. If you search for SAE J300 and SAEJ306, you'll see the 'range' for each weight. To prevent not so smart owners from adding gear oil to engines, and motor oil to gearboxes, a different numbering scheme was used. As long as the gear oil isn't overfilled, and isn't so cheap that it foams up, you shouldn't have a problem. The northeast has short summers and thick gear oil isn't needed especially if you require ATF. The Toyota diffs that I service that require ATF have absolutely NO wear on the magnets after 30k-50k intervals using synthetic ATF or MTF/MTLs. You don't need to go 90wt thick.
 
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I know this will probably draw some heat, but I can describe the fluids in a "Shade tree mechanic" way. Trans fluid - like Dexron/Mercon pours from the bottle nearly like water. I would estimate it to be about like an SAE 10 weight. You probably know how the 40 weight oil you mentioned pours from the bottle, thicker than water. 80 weight gear oil, on the other hand, pours very slowly out of the bottle. In cold weather you have to squeeze the bottle to get it out. I see you live in the Northeast, so that thick oil is inappropriate for your area. Of course synthetics flow far easier as they are far more stable at temperature extremes. I suppose the real message here is even though your friend has 20 years experience spinning wrenches, he's not an automotive engineer. If he wants to think he's "Smarter" than the GM (or Toyota, in this case) engineers he's sadly mistaken. I admit your differential is a bit of an oddity, but you really should use what is specified and change it by the maintenance schedule. You will be happier in the long run, I gar-un-tee! (Weak Cajun imitation.)
 

lucerne06

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 Originally Posted By: robshelton
I think I'd get that gear oil out of the differential as soon as possible! And put the right fluid in! Trans shop did the same thing on a 90 Prism and the oil was too thick. It climbed the speedo cable and started dripping out the back of the speedo head. And it smells so good! Like a car full of dead fish on a hot day. Plus some of the drips made the brake pedal mighty slick. GF was not happy... I realize you might not have a speedometer cable on the newer Prism, but I think you should put the correct fluid in it anyway.
I asked this of a few tran shop I called, they all told me that you had a bad seal on the housing, that is why it happened, not from the thicker oil, ..if anything a thinner oil would climb faster , hence the seal..
 
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