W5A580/NAG1 fluid selection. ATF+4 suggestions

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I purchased a 2010 Charger (a retired hemi equipped police car) and this is my first non Dexron fluid change so I am learning all about ATF+4. I've got a Mann filter ready to go but the fluid selection I've been stumbling on. Is nearly all AFT+4 essentially "the same" ? I've read Chrysler has a less than ideal approval process and there are better fluids out there that aren't licensed, others say only run ATF+4. There is quite a bit of conflicting information floating around. Aside from that this is a Mercedes transmission. I read it is supposedly sensitive to fluid selection. I almost purchased a 6 pack of Pennzoil Platinum ATF+4 (on sale at PepBoys) Also considered Red Line C+. This car has 78,000 miles on it, but was a service car. I have no idea if the fluid has been changed before. I always add a bottle of LubeGard Red when I service my own cars' transmissions, maybe for that reason, I can get away with running el-cheapo Super Tech ATF+4. Looking forward to building my own dipstick to check fluid levels, I've heard anywhere from less than 4 quarts, to 5.3, to 7.4 when it comes to how much a drain and fill requires.
 
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All licensed ATF+4 is the same. Every ATF+4 that appears on Chrysler's official approved ATF+4 list is the same. Walmart's ATF+4 is licensed, so it is just as good as the PP ATF+4 and the dealer ATF+4 Chrysler is unreasonably strict with their ATF+4 licensing. They require a specific base oil and a specific Lubrizol add pack in order to get a license. However, Redline C+ is the best stuff to use in a transmission requiring ATF+4 even though it is not licensed. C+ uses the same add pack as licensed ATF+4 but with a better base stock smile If your transmission doesn't have a drain plug, you can probably get an aftermarket pan that has one. Just drain the fluid, measure how much comes out, and then refill with the same amount you drained smile
 
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ATF+4 is a very good fluid buy based on price because it's all the same. As for "better" fluids it's been discussed and no one can explain with it's rather underwhelming virgin specs compaired to ATF +4 how Red Line could be "better".
 
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You can use Valvoline Maxlife ATF in the NAG1 as well. I ran that in my 722.6 with good results.
 
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As others have mentioned all licensed ATF+4 are the same so if you want licensed get the cheapest you can find that is officially licensed (not just meeting the spec). I would however pick something that performs properly in ATF+4 applications but isn't licensed so you get the benefit of even better cold weather performance and smoother shifting. Just me though. I've used the Mopar brand, M1's ATF+4, Amsoil Multi-Vehicle and all have done well with M1 and Amsoil being better in shift performance and longevity. That said I have some Redline C+ on hand to try in my Caravan at it's first change to see how it compares to Amsoil I have used in the past.
 
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I'm just echoing the other responses but yes, ATF +4 products are all essentially the same. In my previous Mopars I've used Castrol Transmax ATF+4 and Havoline ATF+4. Both purchased because they were the best deal I could find at the time. I see no purpose in using a non-licensed product, it's a great fluid and readily accessible in one form or another.
 
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Originally Posted by demarpaint
I use Castrol ATF+4, I load up on it when AAP runs it on sale.
Autozone has it on sale right now smile
 
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Supertech never failed me, usually pretty cheap as well. V6 or v8? Those transmissions are very sensitive to water in the fluid. Causes weird shudders and whatnot. If you build your own dipstick, make absolutely certain everything is tighter than a ducks.... rear end.
 
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Having owned a real "made in Germany" trans since August of 05 I can tell you that Castrol ATF+4 works well in these. Make a dipstick out of a HUGE zip tie, mark it in 10 mm increments. Drop the pan, do the filter, then fill with approximately what came out. Run the car to hot operating temp, at least a few miles. The fluid should be hot. It should come up to 70 mm on your homemade dipstick. An infra red thermometer aimed at the pan needs to be at least 160, as this fluid expands greatly when hot. Overfilling is very bad for these, they are one of the first trans with a "dry sump" type design to keep the moving parts out of the fluid. Also the first trans I ever saw with all ball and roller bearings as well. Very durable if cared for.
 
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