Transmission fluid shelf life?

Messages
16
Location
Midwest US
Is there any kind of shelf life to fluids such as ATF after they have been siting a while? I have a few bottles of ATF that I have had for quite a while, almost 2 years, and was wondering if they are still good.
 
Messages
25,045
Location
ON, Canada eh?
I'm not sure on how long they can sit, but 2 years is fine IMO. I have used fluid this old before without any ill effects! You can call the manufacturer of the fluid if it would make you feel better, but I wouldn't worry! \:\!
 
Messages
1,339
Location
USA
Since some people leave the fluid in use for 5+ years, I can't imagine the shelf life being anything less than 10-15 years.
 
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1,574
Location
Ca, US
Use it... if your tranny doesn't shift right then get some fresh ATF. At least you get a tranny flush out of it.
 
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25,191
Location
Upstate NY
I am sure 2 year old ATF will be fine. But ATF technology has changed quickly so you are using older technology. I would get the latest ATF and use what is on the shelf for your PS.
 
Messages
1,574
Location
Ca, US
 Originally Posted By: Donald
I am sure 2 year old ATF will be fine. But ATF technology has changed quickly so you are using older technology. I would get the latest ATF and use what is on the shelf for your PS.
+1 ATFs have a more complex additive package than motor oil. So ATFs should be more susceptible to fallout.
 
Messages
1,645
Location
SF Bay Area
I found a few old bottles of Dexron IIe, I know I bought them back in early 90's. I used them to flush the power steering rack & pump on an older civic, like 93 I think it is.. no problems for the past 2 years!
 
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
 Originally Posted By: EricF
I found a few old bottles of Dexron IIe, I know I bought them back in early 90's. I used them to flush the power steering rack & pump on an older civic, like 93 I think it is.. no problems for the past 2 years!
Honda cars NEED that Honda-only PSF, other fluids are not compatible with seals. I'd never use anything but Honda PSF in a Honda, or some special PSF that says it is okay to use in a Honda.
 
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8,756
Location
RI
Has nothing to do with the seals. Honda PSF has a better dose of additives to make up for cost cutting components that wear out prematurely with normal PSF. Just like their transmissions...... Powdered metal parts need all the help they can get.
 
Messages
5,917
Location
Waterloo, ON
I was at a local oil distributer recently and saw Castrol Dexron III G on the shelf. This stuff has not been made since 2003-2004. The white bottles were turning red from age and contact with the fluid.
 
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
PM parts are soft and porous. And, a 'snake oil' that treats the metal is needed. The additive package plates/absorbs into the metal(porosity) and the part self lubricates, that is if it was a perfect world. Boron/Zinc work well with their PM formula. PM=cheap
 
Messages
712
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Does the wise sage have an opinion on Toyota transmissions and PS? I almost went with Honda, but glad I opted for Toyota. (All that rust near the rear wheel wells of older Hondas made me think twice about'em.) You rarely see rust on old Toyotas still on the road.
 
Last edited:

pbm

Messages
8,748
Location
New York
...I'm not the 'wise sage' but I think Toyota A/T's are generally far superior to Hondas. As far as Toyota PS systems I would stick to Dexron ATF with Mobil 1 being the optimal choice. PS: I own a Honda and a Toyota (and a GM). Believe it or not the A/T in the GM (4T65E) is the most confidence inspiring. It shifts like new at 108K.
 
Messages
712
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
 Originally Posted By: pbm
I own a Honda and a Toyota (and a GM). Believe it or not the A/T in the GM (4T65E) is the most confidence inspiring. It shifts like new at 108K.
A few months ago, I saw a 1993 Toyota Tercel in a parking lot. Not a hint of rust was on it, but the owner, probably a young kid, had removed all Toyota markings on the car, replacing them with a large Chevy bow tie emblem. I kid you not Chevy is a good car. My father loves them, and has never bought a so-called foreign car. It doesn't matter to me where a car is made, but I'm glad lots of Toyotas are made in the Kentucky plant nowadays.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,820
Location
The Motor City
 Originally Posted By: unDummy
PM parts are soft and porous. And, a 'snake oil' that treats the metal is needed.... PM=cheap
Not necessarily. For example, all of Fords connecting rods and some race connecting rods are made of powder metal. It all depends on how the powder is processed. Just like there is cheap plastic and there are some plastics that are incredible at what they can do. If Honda went cheap on some PM parts and they wear prematurely, then shame on them for giving powder metal a bad name.
 
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
Definitely cheaper: PM rods, even though strong enough for the typical person, are cheaper then stronger forgings. A rod isn't a wear part like a gear. Conrod sits with some nice bushings or bearings. Gears engage each other. The material has its place like any. In a place where the part itself takes the wear(like a gear or pump), or certain types of stress(like a rearend), it sucks. But, it saves money and lasts just long enough for most. What PM really is, "its just as good as, but not quite and a helluva lot cheaper". My PM days for the automakers are long over, so are my diamond cut custom billet gear making days. Guess what I would dream my vehicle to be made out of?
 
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