New Valvoline MaxLife ATF- Mercon LV vs. Mercon V

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140
Location
Virginia
I'm sure this is old news, but I just picked up a gallon of Valvoline Maxlife ATF which apparently is now spec'd to Mercon LV, which I know is not interchangeable with Mercon V. However, I specifically remember it used to being compatible with Mercon III-V which is why I always used it. So how big of a change is this? Is Valvoline Maxlife still safe for the original Mercon III transmissions? This has been our standard ATF supply for most vehicles coming into our shop and now I am starting to wonder... -Techniker
 
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13,388
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Lots of good things mentioned here at Bob's about Valvoline MaxLife ATF, which is DexornIII/Mercon. I don't know what Valvoline is calling their brand new ML on the bottles. Does it still say "DexronIII/Mercon? There is no such ATF as MerconIII although I have heard of many people calling it so. With all of the good reporting on Valvoline MaxLife ATF and Valvoline printing that VML ATF now meets MerconLV, I would use it with confidence.
 

Techniker

Thread starter
Messages
140
Location
Virginia
This is the Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc bottle. Its listed compatabilities are for Dex II, III, and VI and Mercon LV. It appears that Valvoline MaxLife has done away with being Mercon compatible. Glad to see they give such good warning on a bottle specifically labeled Dex/Merc on the front... mad -Techniker
 

Techniker

Thread starter
Messages
140
Location
Virginia
Update: Strange, the website for Valvoline still lists it as being Mercon and Mercon V compatible yet the bottle does not...I've heard things about Valvoline not always updating their website. I'm really starting to lose faith in them.
 
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13,388
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Well, don't loose faith in Valvoline. The people running their web page don't have anything to do with the products and Valvoline doesn't have anything to do with the web page except the information the marketing div. provide. Completely different dept's. Most companies outsource the web site to another web page company as many companies outsource their payroll to another payroll company. I'm sure that the lube guys are doing their job! The materials mgt. folks need to get the the artwork designers for the labeling on the bottles so that the company that is making/printing the bottles can get it right! It's just a bunch of dept's trying to stay on the same page. There might be an issue with the lack of communication between departments. I find this to be everywhere!
 
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127
Location
Texas
Valvoline lowered the viscosity of MaxLife to match Dexron VI specs two or three years ago. MaxLife is not Dexron VI certified because it does not use the mandated Afton additive package, but Valvoline claims that MaxLife meets all the physical specifications for Dexron VI. The viscosity specifications for Dexron VI and Dex/Merc are incompatible. GM claims that the lower viscosity Dexron VI works in essentially all applications that originally specified Dexron II/III. GM withdrew the final Dexron II/III specification (Dexron III(H)) when Dexron VI was introduced in 2005 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEXRON). Prior to Dexron VI, each Dexron specification was backward compatible with the preceding specification, so a fluid certified as Dexron III(H) met all prior Dexron specifications. Dexron VI does not. Neither does Valvoline MaxLife. But Dexron VI and Valvoline MaxLife reportedly work well in most Dex/Merc applications, largely confirming GM's recommendations.
 
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60
Location
East Tennessee
Got this email today:
Quote:
Notification of Incident Change Workspace:Valvoline Product Support Incident:Valvoline.com New User Registration Incident Number: 3775 Status:Closed Date:10/12/2011 Time:08:04:39 Creation Date:10/11/2011 Creation Time:20:12:08 Created By:[email protected] Description: Thank you for contacting Valvoline with your application question. For your 2004 Ford Focus application, we recommend the use of our Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc ATF product to meet the Ford Mercon V specifications recommended by your manufacturer, as this product is 100% compatible.
 
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2,543
Location
Rochester, MI, US, World
Originally Posted By: TN Tracker
Got this email today:
Quote:
Notification of Incident Change Workspace:Valvoline Product Support Incident:Valvoline.com New User Registration Incident Number: 3775 Status:Closed Date:10/12/2011 Time:08:04:39 Creation Date:10/11/2011 Creation Time:20:12:08 Created By:[email protected] Description: Thank you for contacting Valvoline with your application question. For your 2004 Ford Focus application, we recommend the use of our Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc ATF product to meet the Ford Mercon V specifications recommended by your manufacturer, as this product is 100% compatible.
I used Maxlife earlier in the year in my '07 Focus, which also requires a Mercon V fluid. I know for a FACT that the back of the Maxlife bottle said 'Mercon V'. However, as stated, Valvoline's website does not list Mercon V on the PDS for Maxlife ATF. As further proof, when it was time for me to change out the trans fluid, I had access to Maxlife ATF and Valvoline's actual/specific Mercon V fluid for the same price. I went with the Maxlife not only because it is a synthetic fluid, but also because it meets the Mercon V spec as well. I wouldn't have used it if it didn't. It gets even more confusing, because the FAQs page on Valvoline's website specifically says that Maxlife ATF meets the Mercon V specs. It also says that the actual/specific Mercon V ATF fluid that they sell is a synthetic, which it used to be... but no longer is. This was confirmed in an email sent to a customer from Valvonine themselves. The Mercon V bottles used to say 'synthetic' on them, but no longer do. It seems like Valvoline's printing, website, and technical departments are all on a different page.
 
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13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
Originally Posted by engineer20
So is it compatible for my 09 taurus which calls for mercon v?
Only if you don't live or travel in or to California once you cross the state line it no longer works.
 
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109
Location
The Barbary Coast, CA
That's what the website says. In every other state, they can recommend Mercon V. California is the only state which says, "no". Why? "Viscometrics" do not match OEM spec. You decide for yourself. Valvoline recommends it, despite the fact that the fluid does not meet spec. Valvoline Multi-Vehicle ATF is not a licensed product for anything. Some brands will claim that their product is compatible with certain specs. Other brands are licensed. Lots of controversy regarding the "license". Some people believe that it's the only way to tell if that product is to spec. Others believe that it's simply a way for OEMs to make more money, by making money off someone else's product. Sure, an unlicensed product could be just as good, if not better, than Mercon V, and that bottler just does not want to pay GM or Ford for their Dexron & Mercon licenses. No way for you to know, other than to trust whomever is selling you the product. From my memory, Royal Purple, Red Line, Lucas Oil......all sell ATF, without a Mercon license. All the nationwide lube shops use multi-vehicle ATF, and somehow, those cars are not blowing up transmissions. 49 states don't care; because the old rule of thumb is "let the buyer beware". California is a "nanny state". California thinks that the consumer is too stupid to research the product themselves, see on the label where it says "recommends", but there is nothing to indicate licensing, or to even be smart enough to read the label since the current retail bottle label makes no mention of Mercon V at all. You decide for yourself, when you go to the store, and see which formulation or bottling batch is on the shelf. I just picked up a bottle. It no longer says Mercon V on the bottle label. [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
 
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3,858
Location
Cape Cod, MA
To add fuel to this fire, Valvoline does not sell a "Mercon V" specific product. Their product is called "ATF for Mercon V Applications" and the web site even states that it is neither licensed nor approved by Ford. I'll continue to use Motorcraft, Castrol, or SuperTech, all of which ARE licensed and approved by Ford.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,954
Location
Iowegia - USA
Except for GM, I have never seen any OEM fluid that has better longevity than many of the aftermarket fluids.
 
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600
Location
Earth
Shhhh poor multinational conglomerates are trying to huck their WS and Smatic at insanly inflated prices for the quality of the fluid.
 
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17,929
Location
Silicon Valley
Licensing is one, and the statistic of them blowing up transmission before you retire your car and the amount they have to pay is low. Let's say 1 out of 100000 of them blew up, they will just rebuild your transmission and send you away, there's not much to lose. The risk is much lower than OEM buying a batch of bad ATF and destroy 50000 brand new transmissions, causing customers to panic, asking them to buy them back, lawyers starting class action cases, etc. Remember, most drivers who change their own ATF will likely drive gently, and live in moderate climate (outside of Arctic circle or Death Valley), not towing a trailer 90% of the time, not having a plugged cat that overheat the ATF, etc.
 
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Messages
1,487
Location
Indiana
Originally Posted by MolaKule
Except for GM, I have never seen any OEM fluid that has better longevity than many of the aftermarket fluids.
I agree. Back in the old days of Dex III the GM supplier was Petro Canada, it was excellent stuff. Not sure where the Dex VI is sourced currently. For those who are unhappy with TES-295 at 10 bucks a quart, the Valvoline at 4 bucks combined with 50,000 or 75,000 mile changes would effective, especially if you are pulling the pan to swap out the filter and need to drain anyway.
 
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13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
Originally Posted by RF Overlord
To add fuel to this fire, Valvoline does not sell a "Mercon V" specific product. Their product is called "ATF for Mercon V Applications" and the web site even states that it is neither licensed nor approved by Ford. I'll continue to use Motorcraft, Castrol, or SuperTech, all of which ARE licensed and approved by Ford.
Valvoline has a better reputation than Ford and has deeper pockets for R&D.
 
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