Oil Manufacturer Data Sheets - compliance codes means safe to use??

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If an oil manufacturer data sheet displays a manufacturer code for a lubricated component, does the display of that manufacturer code in the oil data sheet mean that the manufacturer of the component approves of the use of that particular oil that is displaying the compliance code? So, in other words, is it safe to use this data sheet published code compliant oil if the code specification is required? Lets pick on ZF and AMSOIL. Two manufacturers. ZF manufactures an 8 speed transmission. Owner's manual says "use only ZF Mopar 8/9 speed ATF or equivalent". ZF also has an oil code for that transmission. AMSOIL has a data sheet. It displays that oil code and says 'use this oil if code specifications are required'.

Should ZF agree with the oil lab findings that the equivalent oil is actually "equivalent"? What if ZF does not agree nor approve? Is it right for AMSOIL to sell their oil as code compliant to ZF Mopar 8/9 Speed ATF? Is it right to display codes in their data sheet if the manufacturer doesn't approve and what if, in the very rare off chance your warranty is restricted because you used an equivalent oil and code clearly displayed in the data sheet?
 
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I'm certainly not well versed in this aspect of law but I can only guess that the company that makes the claim of compliance or applicability is also absorbing the responsibility for their own recommendation. Zahnradfabrik has allowed the use of lubricants other than their own by making the statement "or equivalent" in their literature. Amsoil has absorbed the responsibility for their product by making the recommendation and claim that it meets or exceeds the requirements of the ZF fluid.

One thing I can guarantee is that more lawyers have crawled over the compliance documents than did chemists, engineers or tribologists.
 

TorqueIt

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I'm certainly not well versed in this aspect of law but I can only guess that the company that makes the claim of compliance or applicability is also absorbing the responsibility for their own recommendation. Zahnradfabrik has allowed the use of lubricants other than their own by making the statement "or equivalent" in their literature. Amsoil has absorbed the responsibility for their product by making the recommendation and claim that it meets or exceeds the requirements of the ZF fluid.

One thing I can guarantee is that more lawyers have crawled over the compliance documents than did chemists, engineers or tribologists.
Wouldn’t you think, if the oil manufacturer is going to produce the Chrysler/Mopar (ZF) code and also say ‘if you require this code, use our oil’ they should also say in the next line some sort of disclaimer that “however, CAUTION Chrysler/Mopar (ZF) DOES NOT APPROVE THE USE OF THIS OIL AND DOING SO WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY!’

Would that be so hard to put a disclaimer in there? If they don’t give that warning, doesn’t the consumer feel confident the oil can be used?

I think it isn’t providing full disclosure and the consumer is to jump through other hoops they normally wouldn’t to find out the oil isn’t actually “equivalent” to the manufacturer
 
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Wouldn’t you think, if the oil manufacturer is going to produce the Chrysler/Mopar (ZF) code and also say ‘if you require this code, use our oil’ they should also say in the next line some sort of disclaimer that “however, CAUTION Chrysler/Mopar (ZF) DOES NOT APPROVE THE USE OF THIS OIL AND DOING SO WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY!’

Would that be so hard to put a disclaimer in there? If they don’t give that warning, doesn’t the consumer feel confident the oil can be used?
I'm a bit unsure what a "compliance code" is, generally there are either licenses, specifications or approvals.

Nevertheless in some instances the wording "meets or exceeds" is entirely appropriate, for instance in relation to a material specification such as those that Chrysler typically states. It is also somewhat appropriate for many licenses but in those cases you can typically verify the licensing through the organization. "Meets or exceeds" is also appropriate for ACEA sequences as well.

The one place where it isn't appropriate is for manufacturer approvals, either the product is approved or it is not. In the case of some approvals (Mercedes-Benz) there is specific wording required by the manufacturer. Now this doesn't mean that all blenders word things appropriately but with approvals you can check against the manufacturer approval listings.

Some automobile manufacturers do not license their requirements such as most Asian automakers. For example you cannot buy actual Honda ATF DW-1 from anyone from Honda as they do not license that specification.
 
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Here are a few existing threads on that fluid:

 
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If an oil manufacturer data sheet displays a manufacturer code for a lubricated component, does the display of that manufacturer code in the oil data sheet mean that the manufacturer of the component approves of the use of that particular oil that is displaying the compliance code? So, in other words, is it safe to use this data sheet published code compliant oil if the code specification is required? Lets pick on ZF and AMSOIL. Two manufacturers. ZF manufactures an 8 speed transmission. Owner's manual says "use only ZF Mopar 8/9 speed ATF or equivalent". ZF also has an oil code for that transmission. AMSOIL has a data sheet. It displays that oil code and says 'use this oil if code specifications are required'.

Should ZF agree with the oil lab findings that the equivalent oil is actually "equivalent"? What if ZF does not agree nor approve? Is it right for AMSOIL to sell their oil as code compliant to ZF Mopar 8/9 Speed ATF? Is it right to display codes in their data sheet if the manufacturer doesn't approve and what if, in the very rare off chance your warranty is restricted because you used an equivalent oil and code clearly displayed in the data sheet?
No.

The seller of the lubricant is making the performance claim. ZF doesn't license fluid so it's irrelevant as far as they're concerned.

Now some manufacturers (ex, Mercedes) require specific wording which notates an official approval.
 
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The seller of the lubricant is making the performance claim. ZF doesn't license fluid so it's irrelevant as far as they're concerned.
Actually there can be multiple blenders that ZF lists as acceptable depending on the specific requirement. Whether that's a license or not I don't know but they include Castrol, Fuchs and ExxonMobil.
 

TorqueIt

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Out of curiosity, are you trying to find a different fluid for Mopar 8+9 ATF?
Partly, yes, a full synthetic but one ZF approves of besides the Mopar 8/9 oil.
Chrysler has already told me ZF does not approve of AMSOIL’s published specifications (Chrysler/Mopar codes) on their data sheet that meet or exceed the Mopar 8/9 oil
 
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Partly, yes, a full synthetic but one ZF approves of besides the Mopar 8/9 oil.
Chrysler has already told me ZF does not approve of AMSOIL’s published specifications (Chrysler/Mopar codes) on their data sheet that meet or exceed the Mopar 8/9 oil
ZF Lifeguard 8 is a direct replacement for Mopar 8+9 ATF and is far cheaper to boot--I bought some in quantity on ebay and it was less than $20 a QT to the door versus nearly $40 at a dealer. I have a ZF8 in my Wrangler and just changed the filter and fluid at 50K using that. ZF Lifeguard 8 is semi-synthetic and truth be told is more of a light gear oil versus an ATF (man, does it smell--even out of the bottle). I would be very hesitant to use a "one size fits all" fluid in a ZF transmission

Here is a sheet from ZF that shows the direct exchange:

Page 4 - https://aftermarket.zf.com/remotemedia/lol-lubricants/lol-en/lol-te-ml-11-en.pdf
 
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Actually there can be multiple blenders that ZF lists as acceptable depending on the specific requirement. Whether that's a license or not I don't know but they include Castrol, Fuchs and ExxonMobil.
No. ZF doesn't license their ATF fluid. There are no equivalent ATF's in their list of approved fluids for the 6HP and up (i.e. 8HP, 9HP etc).
Now in reality these AT's all use their own Shell specific fluid. So I suspect blenders are blending to the performance requirements of the Shell cert rather than ZF.

Mercon SP and LG6 are Shell M-1375.4
LG8 is Shell M-L12108


In the past ZF did list by alternatives for some of the older units.
 
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TorqueIt

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AMSOIL said to not use their oil if I have warranty with the manufacturer. After warranty expires, it’s is safe to use. Would be nice to see that statement on their data sheet. Wouldn’t that be full disclosure.
 
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AMSOIL said to not use their oil if I have warranty with the manufacturer. After warranty expires, it’s is safe to use. Would be nice to see that statement on their data sheet. Wouldn’t that be full disclosure.
I’d think that if it’s safe after the warranty then it’s safe before the warranty expires. I’m not sure why you’re picking on Amsoil here since there are many blenders that essentially state the same thing.
 
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AMSOIL said to not use their oil if I have warranty with the manufacturer. After warranty expires, it’s is safe to use. Would be nice to see that statement on their data sheet. Wouldn’t that be full disclosure.
Guess I am curious why the Mopar or ZF fluid is not "good enough". You seem to want to use Amsoil, but are put off by the lack of approvals or warranty concerns.

Given the cost of a ZF transmission and the fact the repairs would be on you if it fails using unapproved fluid, why not just use ZF or Mopar fluid and call it a day. It's not like the fluid in the transmission has to be changed with such frequency that it is cost prohibitive or that you would be gaining anything by using Amsoil.
 
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AMSOIL said to not use their oil if I have warranty with the manufacturer. After warranty expires, it’s is safe to use. Would be nice to see that statement on their data sheet. Wouldn’t that be full disclosure.
No. The automaker sets the terms of their warranty not the sellers if aftermarket fluid.
 
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I’d think that if it’s safe after the warranty then it’s safe before the warranty expires. I’m not sure why you’re picking on Amsoil here since there are many blenders that essentially state the same thing.
Did you read the thread they had about the legal dispute, and issues between Amsoil and ZF? I doubt this is "hypothetical."
 

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...Is it right for AMSOIL to sell their oil as code compliant to ZF Mopar 8/9 Speed ATF? Is it right to display codes in their data sheet if the manufacturer doesn't approve and what if, in the very rare off chance your warranty is restricted because you used an equivalent oil and code clearly displayed in the data sheet?
Here is the language used by AMSOIL. "Signature Series Fuel-Efficient Synthetic ATF in transmissions and other applications that require any of the following specifications...; Chrysler MOPAR* 68157995AA, SP-IV, 68218925AB..."

What are you defining as a code or where are you seeing these "codes?"

Lubricants meet specifications. There is a manf. specification number for each fluid used in a vehicle, such as 68157995AA, SP-IV, 68218925AB, etc...
 
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