Mercon LV - RP Max ATF

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2,770
Location
San Rafael, CA
The bottle says it's only recommended for Mercon or Mercon V... Obviously it's not a low viscosity ATF like Mercon LV/Dexron VI. You can tell by shaking the bottle that it's much thicker. I contacted Royal Purple and their tech support folks said that it was no problem to use it the bottle just says "not for Mercon LV" for warranty reasons. Anyway, the Motorcrsft Mercon LV turns black instantly in the Escape, which is why I was thinking of using the RP Max ATF... Alternately I could use Maxlife of course, it's cheaper smile
 
Messages
14,854
Location
Illinois
I'm using MC Mercon LV in my 2017 Fusion and all seems fine to date. I do 30K OC and as you can see it's due soon. Wish M1 would come out with a Mercon LV.
 
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Messages
25,050
Location
ON, Canada eh?
I have used Amsoil ATF in the past and just used their Low Viscosity fluid yesterday. I can't tell the difference when pouring them out but there must be a difference or they wouldn't stock more than one product. For what it's worth they only have 3 fluids. Regular ATF that covers almost all requirements (Red Cap), their low viscosity fluid (Blue Cap) for vehicles like my Highlander, and their CVT forumla. They manage to cover all the specs with these 3 fluids. Their fluids always comes out red when changed at 60,000 miles (100,000km) no matter where I use it. So if the one fluid you mentioned turns black right away I would be scared about excessive clutch wear or overheating or a combination beating up the fluid too quickly. Proper transmissions fluid changes changed on time should always be just a darker red than new fluid. If it's really dark or brown this is a good indication the fluid isn't up to the task for the application either because of heat affecting it or excessive clutch wear going on that the fluid isn't protecting against adequately. Now there are some transmissions out there that are poorly designed and will beat the snot out of a properly rated fluid in a hurry and not much can be done other than changing the fluid earlier to keep it always in the "Red" state. Thankfully these units are far and few today.
 
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Messages
1,490
Location
Sask, Canada
I like to point out that PetroCanada Duradrive multi vehicle ATF, which is a thicker viscosity says it is suitable for use with LV fluids and state in small print that it will work just fine but you may not see the fuel economy savings as the LV fluid. I believe we over think viscosity. Look at Dex or WS, backwards compatible with thicker viscosity. You would have Dex 3 shearing down to Dex 6 viscosity without causing much at all for issues.
 

dogememe

Thread starter
Messages
2,770
Location
San Rafael, CA
Update, after the last renter gave it back (well, that involved me driving for 15 hours straight to get it out of impound) I noticed the transmission was shifting awfully - I thought it was broken. Checked the fluid (it was totally black), did 2x drain and fills with Valvoline Maxlife because I honestly couldn't get myself to spend the money on Royal Purple right now when I'm not even sure how I'll pay the rent... it's SO MUCH BETTER. The 6F35 is still a weird transmission with unpredictable and inconsistent shifting but in my mind that's a normal characteristic - I've driven a Fusion with the same transmission a few times and it behaved similarly (I'm used to old-fashioned 4-speed automatics)... I think moving forward I'm going to use Maxlife, not going to waste the money and take the gamble on the thicker Royal Purple Max ATF (though I happily run that in my Vic). The lessons learned: -Don't rent your car out. Well, actually the next rental is in two days and I still have to wash the car because it's filthy. -Crown Vics are comfortable to drive for 1000 miles in one day. -Valvoline Maxlife ATF is wonderful for the 6F35. -The 6F35 (as long as you have an older one like me that has the dipstick) is an easy, no-mess, 10-minute transmission fluid service. Exactly 4 quarts come out, so just pour in a gallon and be happy.
 
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4,660
Location
The Garden State
Our 2017 2.3 EB Explorer has the 6F35 transmission and it does turn the Mercon LV black/dark grey within a short period of time. There is no dipstick with this model 6F35. I did a drain & fill at 12,000 miles and it was black. 10,000 miles later I did another d & f and it was dark grey this time. They must have worked out the quirks with the shifting because it shifts nicely. We got the Ford ESP for 7 yrs/125,000 miles so I'll just stick with the Mercon LV. I get it from RA for $60/12 qts delivered, $5/qt. That is very reasonable and d & f are real easy to do with this transmission, 4 qts out 4 quarts in, I do it "cold". Whimsey
 
Messages
4,660
Location
The Garden State
I also find it interesting that Ford says the Mercon LV is good for 150,000 miles in the Explorer crzy! I can't see that being good for the longevity of the transmission. Of course that's 90,000 miles longer than the power train warranty smirk. Whimsey
 
Messages
1,022
Location
South Carolina
My $.02 Lifetime ATF, 150k ATF, 180k ATF, or whatever, all produce the same results: The ATF lasts the same # of miles as the transmission. In other words, ATF mileage = transmission mileage. Changing the ATF earlier (every 30k miles, or long before the transmission dies) messes up this equation. Now it is more like transmission mileage = ATF mileage x 10 This only works if the ATF is changed frequently enough, like every 30k.
 
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Messages
13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
Members on here tend to change ATF well too early much like PCMO. 60-80K mile complete fluid exchanges unless towing at WOT would be more than sufficent for the majority of American vehicles.
 
Messages
824
Location
Vancouver, BC Canada
You can't convince me that keeping the fluid in there (with the typical non-bypass, coarse media ATF filter) has merit. Each shift event puts wear material, i.e. "swarf" into the ATF - and said swarf is an abrasive for the spools / pistons / seals inside of the aluminum valve body, serving to wear it out sooner as a result. Further, the anti-friction (i.e. rolling element) bearings, are running then in their races... with part-ways abrasive fluid as a lubricant, again serving to wear them out sooner. I do not hold this out to fact, to be absolute... but even if I am partially-right, the cost of dropping the fluid (or dropping the fluid 2x in succession) every 30,000 miles or 40,000 doesn't even register on the radar, by way of cost, compared to losing and A/T - and the car then being written off due to the high A/T repair cost. Some of the Japanese 6 or 8 speed A/T's are prohibitively expensive to rebuild (if you can find someone to actually rebuild them). For me, tight-media bypass filtration, 30, or 40 thousand mile changeout intervals (2 drops in succession), an auxiliary ATF cooler (downstream of the rad-tank cooler) - plumbed/valved so i) ATF can be shunted around it in, nominally, wintertime; and ii) rigged so that a pan-mounted bung / temperature switch controlling the rad fans can be used. For me, that's the ultimate setup.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
22,112
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT
You can't convince me that keeping the fluid in there (with the typical non-bypass, coarse media ATF filter) has merit. Each shift event puts wear material, i.e. "swarf" into the ATF - and said swarf is an abrasive for the spools / pistons / seals inside of the aluminum valve body, serving to wear it out sooner as a result. Further, the anti-friction (i.e. rolling element) bearings, are running then in their races... with part-ways abrasive fluid as a lubricant, again serving to wear them out sooner. I do not hold this out to fact, to be absolute... but even if I am partially-right, the cost of dropping the fluid (or dropping the fluid 2x in succession) every 30,000 miles or 40,000 doesn't even register on the radar, by way of cost, compared to losing and A/T - and the car then being written off due to the high A/T repair cost. Some of the Japanese 6 or 8 speed A/T's are prohibitively expensive to rebuild (if you can find someone to actually rebuild them)... .
You are so right. People who want to keep their cars past warranty are wise to change ATF every 30k or so. Have your Factory Fill fluid analyzed at 30k to 35k and you will be surprised how degraded it has become. Today's ATF Formulations are good but not for 100,000 miles. MaxLife is a good all around LV fluid for the price.
 
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