Multi vehicle ATF

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I am not a chemical engineer, just an mechanical and electrical tradesman and therefore rely on manufactures data.

I have some questons to ask about ATF. Most multi vehicle ATF claim to meet a broad range of requirements.Example Hyundai service bulletin state the following.

AT-16-004: use only ATF meeting the SP-IV specification approved by Hyundai. DO NOT use SP-III, or other ATF which may result in degradation of shift quality or transaxle durability

20-AT-010H: SP-III, SP4-M and SP-IV-RR are not interchangeable.

SP4-M supersedes SPH-IV.

Hyundai clearly state that even some of their own fluids are not interchangerable, so how can a multi vehicle ATF be correct over such a broad specification range.
 
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Multi vehicle ATFs are suitable for use in a variety of applications but they are not licensed or approved by the mfg who manufactured the vehicle.
how can a multi vehicle ATF be correct over such a broad specification range.

Toyota also states this re: WS and T-IV;

My interpretation (as someone who has used Maxlife in a variety of apps) is the specifications between different ATFs aren't as wide as the mfg would like you to believe, or if they are different greatly, aren't as important as they'd like you to believe. Others will disagree.

Mfg specified fluids for warranty coverage, then maybe not afterward.
 

4329

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This is from MaxLife: Hyundai SP-II, SP-III, SP-IV#, SPH-IV#, SP4-M#, SP-IV-RR#



# Low viscosity fluid application, which is outside MaxLifeTM Multi-Vehicle ATF viscosity parameters.



So it appears that at least to me that MaxLife multi vehicle ATF can only be use as SP-II and SP-III.



Am I misunderstanding what MaxLife is saying, other brands of ATF appear to have similar information.
 
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The multi-vehicle ATFs claim to meet a wide variety of manufacturer specs that can conflict. Here's a generic made-up example to be easy to understand.

One car company says this one spec must be < 1.0 (whatever units). Another car company says the same spec must be > 2.0 (same units). No generic fluid can meet both specs at once. It can't be both < 1.0 and > 2.0. But the companies that make the multi-vehicle ATFs will essentially claim they do. How?

For recent vehicles with a new-spec ATF, I would be wary of substituting an aftermarket multi-vehicle ATF. Some of the car companies that say use only our ATF have a reputation for finicky transmissions that can easily fail with the wrong fluid.
 

CKN

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I am not a chemical engineer, just an mechanical and electrical tradesman and therefore rely on manufactures data.

I have some questons to ask about ATF. Most multi vehicle ATF claim to meet a broad range of requirements.Example Hyundai service bulletin state the following.

AT-16-004: use only ATF meeting the SP-IV specification approved by Hyundai. DO NOT use SP-III, or other ATF which may result in degradation of shift quality or transaxle durability

20-AT-010H: SP-III, SP4-M and SP-IV-RR are not interchangeable.

SP4-M supersedes SPH-IV.

Hyundai clearly state that even some of their own fluids are not interchangerable, so how can a multi vehicle ATF be correct over such a broad specification range.
I just installed Maxlife ATF in my wife's 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.3-/6 speed. It would appear in my are Hyundai dealers MAY use BG universal transmission fluid. The Maxlife fluid works fine.

There isn't any after market fluid "approved" by Hyundai. Valvoline says it's compatible-and it appears to be so. Seeing how at 43,000 miles the OEM fluid was burnt-it doesn't appear the OEM fluid is that long lasting-nor a spectacular fluid.
 
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Here is a good bit of information from @MolaKule, that I copied a while ago:

ATF if a special hydraulic oil for the following purposes: 1. Lubrication for gears. 2. Cooling and heat transfer. 3. Transmitting torque via the Torque Converter. 4. Friction modification for clutch packs, bands, Torque Converter Clutch. One of its more important duties of ATF is to make sure the fluid's coefficient of friction is matched to the friction materials inside the tranny. I.e., to ensure the proper dynamic coefficients of friction during engagement/disengagement. In the early days of AT's the clutch material was composed of cellulose material with cotton and other soft materials in a phenolic resin binder. Today, hybrid materials are used. Hybrid (or composite) materials are typically manufactured using a process similar to that used for paper-based materials, but using carbon fibers in combination with organic or synthetic fibers such as Kevlar and Aramid fibers. So Friction Materials may include cellulose, carbon fiber, Aramids, fiberglass, or a combination of materials (composites). Today, composites are the norm. Many of the clutch materials from various manufacturers are close in terms of static and dynamic friction coefficients. The clutch disc material of Automatic Transmissions, and other wet clutch applications, are made of porous friction materials which are bonded to steel core plates. Note: Sintered metal composites may be found in HDD applications. This material must exhibit: 1.) Mu(o), low speed dynamic coefficient; affected by friction material ingredients and ATF additives adsorption 2.) Mu(i), initial dynamic coefficient at high speed; affected by hydrodynamic effects/porosity/compression/roughness. When an additive company tests its ATF additive package, many transmissions are run through the SAE2 and other friction test machines (JASO M349-98, R-H Friction Apparatus, ZF GK Test Bench, Low Velocity Friction Apparatus, etc) to determine if the Friction Modifier set is appropriate. The friction characteristics, Mu verses Velocity, or Mu(v) of the clutch/fluid system are carefully monitored for each separate transmission and fluid formulation. Mu is coefficient of friction plotted on the vertical axis, V is the relative speed of rotating components plotted on the horizontal axis. Mu(v) then is the resulting curve of the frictional characteristics of the clutch/fluid system. The appropriate FM additive type and levels are then determined for the complete additive package.Remember, a Friction Modifier (FM) can be a friction reducer, a friction increaser, or one that controls friction in a specified manner. In an engine, we want to reduce kinetic friction to increase fuel mileage. In a CVT type AT we want a friction increaser so the chain/belt/pulley system can "get a grip." In an Automatic Transmission or Limited Slip (LS) Differential, we want a controlled and specific type of friction. The frictional characteristics we are discussing here is called Kinetic Friction, Dynamic Friction or Sliding Friction, a special kind of friction. Dynamic friction is a friction that changes its "coefficient of friction" as two surfaces that are in relative motion come into or are in contact as in an AT or in LS differential clutch plates. Recall that AT clutch plates have alternating layers of clutch friction material and steel plates. The friction material is splined on the inside, where it locks to one of the gears. The steel plate is splined on the outside, where it locks to the clutch housing. The pressure for the clutches is fed through passageways in the shafts. The hydraulic system controls which clutches are energized at any given moment. In AT's and LS Differentials, we want the fluid to create a specific dynamic friction coefficient (dependent upon the clutch materials used) such that we have smooth engagement and disengagement, so we don't have shudder or slippage. Shudder and slippage cause increased frictional material wear and increased heat. It is this complex package of frictional modifier chemical compounds found in ATFs and LS additives that is important for smooth operation. Again, in an engine, we primarily want friction reduction. In an AT or LS Differential, we want controlled friction modification called Mu(V) in the literature. Mu is the Coefficient of Friction and V is the relative velocity of rotating or sliding machine elements. In special friction test machines, the resulting curve of Mu(V) gives us the resulting Dynamic Friction Coefficient and it tells us how the friction coefficient value varies with the relative speeds of components. The fluid chemistry must assist in providing a specific friction versus velocity relationship for the AT or LS Differential. There is a phenomenon commonly called "stick-slip" or "dynamic frictional vibration" and manifests itself as "shudder" or low speed vibration in the vehicle. Using friction modifiers in the ATF or differential fluids prevents this shudder. A small sample of the ATF Friction Modifiers described shown below: fatty phosphites, fatty acid amides, fatty epoxides, borated fatty epoxides, fatty amines, glycerol esters, borated glycerol esters, alkoxylated fatty amines, and borated alkoxylated fatty amines, metal salts of fatty acids, sulfurized olefins, fatty imidazolines, non-hydroxyl fatty tertiary amines, and any mixtures of the above. The exact composition of and specific chemistry (molecular structure) of the Friction Modifier(s) are closely guarded secrets. With the many different chemistries and potential mixes available, I think one can now see why Mutli-Vehicle fluids can be manufactured. Ford Type "F" ATF is a fluid with very low levels of friction modification and has a Mu(V) curve separate and apart from either the Dexron Series or the Chrysler ATF+ series. Ford Type "F" ATF is often used today in racing transmissions such as the PowerGlide and TH400 Turbohydramatics because of the positive lockup, IE, little to no slip in the clutch packs during engagement. Chrysler ATF+ fluids are on the other end of the spectrum and exhibit a completely different Mu(V) characteristic. The ATF+ fluids are highly friction modified. For a more Technical Study on ATs and heat transfer one can go to: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/automatic-transmissions-study/ What I am saying is, friction modification for a specific ATF involves a very complicated and specific chemical matrix to obtain the needed Mu(v), and the ester type can affect friction coefficients and has to considered as to how it, the base oils, and other additives affect the overall friction properties.
 

MolaKule

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This is from MaxLife: Hyundai SP-II, SP-III, SP-IV#, SPH-IV#, SP4-M#, SP-IV-RR#

# Low viscosity fluid application, which is outside MaxLifeTM Multi-Vehicle ATF viscosity parameters.

So it appears that at least to me that MaxLife multi vehicle ATF can only be use as SP-II and SP-III.

Am I misunderstanding what MaxLife is saying, other brands of ATF appear to have similar information.
You seem to be basing your assumptions on viscosity alone, so here is some background information.

Older Dexron III/Mercon ATFs had a 100C starting viscosity of about 7.5 cSt, but sheared down to about 4.5 cSt around 30k miles.

When GM developed the Dexron VI fuel efficient ATF, the viscosity was dropped to about 5.9 [email protected], give or take a few tenths of a centistoke (cSt) and it became known as one of the Low Viscosity (LV) ATF's. At the same time the chemistry (DI package) and the VII was updated to be more stable in terms of oxidation, dynamic friction retention, and shear resistance. It was "back-speced" so that it could be used in older transmissions that had previously speced Dexron III/Mercons. To my knowledge, none of the older transmissions have failed due to using this new LV ATF alone.

Shortly after that, Lubrizol and other additive companies developed friction modification chemistry such that ATF's could be used over a wider spectrum of Step-Shift OEM transmission types. Since the trend was to lower ATF viscosity, Valvoline and others also lowered the viscosity.

The AT "coverage" in the Multi-Vehicle ATF literature is a result of the additive companies testing those ATF formulae in various transmission hardware.
 
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Just changed the ATF on my 2008 KIA with MaxLife Multi vehicle. Works fine. Did a lot of research also but Hyundai/KIA (SP-III) isn't very specific in the owners manual.

Other than that, I'm sure I could have purchased the OEM stuff. But why?
 
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This is from MaxLife: Hyundai SP-II, SP-III, SP-IV#, SPH-IV#, SP4-M#, SP-IV-RR#



# Low viscosity fluid application, which is outside MaxLifeTM Multi-Vehicle ATF viscosity parameters.



So it appears that at least to me that MaxLife multi vehicle ATF can only be use as SP-II and SP-III.



Am I misunderstanding what MaxLife is saying, other brands of ATF appear to have similar information.
Maxlife red bottle is the correct viscosity for SP-IV, Maxlife import blue bottle is correct for SP-III.
 
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I’m an OE fluid fan myself although I’d have no issue using Maxlife in DexIII applications.

If you own more than one make and model of vehicle, be prepared for many different fluids.
 
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I’m an OE fluid fan myself although I’d have no issue using Maxlife in DexIII applications.

If you own more than one make and model of vehicle, be prepared for many different fluids.
^this
I have Honda and Cadillac. They use different OEM fluids. Two different types of fluids take up valuable shelf space. Universal fluids save space for more motor oil. More motor oil makes me happy. :)


Maxlife ATF
Lucas universal PSF
Peak universal coolant
 
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It seems like Maxlife works very well, except in Hondas.
Maxlife performs well in my '12 Odyssey (5 spd trans), and other users report excellent performance in 4th generation Odysseys with the 6 spd trans. I can't speak to other models but haven't heard of any problems.
 

4WD

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I’m an OE fluid fan myself although I’d have no issue using Maxlife in DexIII applications.

If you own more than one make and model of vehicle, be prepared for many different fluids.
If I had an early Dex application … I’d be all over the Mobil 1 ATF … back in that era … we used to cook anything but that M1 pulling park trailers and big offshore boats …

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If I had an early Dex application … I’d be all over the Mobil 1 ATF … back in that era … we used to cook anything but that M1 pulling park trailers and big offshore boats …

View attachment 65395 View attachment 65396
What I think is weird, is that Mobil 1 has 2 Synthetic ATFs. One being Multi Vehicle, the other not. The MV one have similar recommendations like Maxlife, but the other synthetic looks like it is only recommended for Dex iii like applications.
 

4329

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Both Penrite and Nulon have one ATF for SP-II and SP-III. They both list a different ATF for SP-IV and SP4-M.

It would appear that some companies believe that there are in fact differences in ATF.
 
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so how can a multi vehicle ATF be correct over such a broad specification range.
You're going to hear "It's suitable" and "I've tried it and it worked and lots of other people have used it too". For transmissions, that's not good enough for me. Use OEM if you're the least bit hesitant. Remember, if you use an aftermarket and your trans goes :poop: up-face, you're on the hook, not the one that recommended Maxlife.
 
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Both Penrite and Nulon have one ATF for SP-II and SP-III. They both list a different ATF for SP-IV and SP4-M.

It would appear that some companies believe that there are in fact differences in ATF.
One of the Penrite is low viscosity, the other is not. Sp-iv is a low viscosity.
 
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