Which Dexron-III ATF would you choose?

hal

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Looking to do a fluid replacement (drain/fill/drive/drain/fill/drive several times till fluid comes clean) on a 91 Mazda 626. The fluid in there now is not burnt, it's just time for the service. Seeing as it's a good thing to replace the fluid in this unit yearly, I don't find it necessary to spend a whole lot of $$ on ATF. Also since it simply requires Dexron-III, there are lots of options. I am seeking opinions on which is the best fluid. Here are the options I have priced in-town: -AmericanXT ATF (actually a Warren Oil Co product of Dunn, NC): $2.50/qt -STP ATF: $2.60/qt -O'Reilley Auto ATF: $2.99/qt -Autozone ATF: $2.99/qt -Advance Auto ATF: $2.99/qt -WM Supertech ATF: $2.77/qt The trans has pretty low miles (under 60k), and I do plan to service it yearly for however long I own the car. I am also trying to source a magnefine filter and an oil cooler upgrade for it. My first choice for ATF was the Warren/AmericanXT brand, for two reasons: 1. I am familiar with Warren Oil products and they have been good quality in the past and 2. it is the least expensive of the bunch. However, if someone recommends something different or has another (inexpensive) suggestion altogether, I'd like to hear it. Thank you.
 

hal

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For all I know they could all be bottled by Warren Oil Co. Is that what you're saying?
 
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If you are near a COSTCO (I believe there are 7 throughout NC) and are a member/know someone who is...you can pick up a case/12qts. of Chevron MD-3 (Dexron III) for about $26 (about $2.17/qt.). I just did back-2-back fluid changes on my truck with this fluid and I'm very pleased with shifts.
 
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I would check with Mazda and make sure, but I would likely use Mercon V. It replaces Mercon (Dexron III) in Ford products. Do confirm with Mazda though.
 

hal

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It requires Mazda M-III or Dexron-II/III, according to the owners manual. Being that Mercon V is newer I'm sure it would be backward-compatible but cost is a factor here.
 
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panhandle of florida
I can vouch for the Walmart fluid being good stuff. Haven't tried the others but I'm curious about the stp atf. May give it a try. Let us know what you choose and how it works.
 
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 Originally Posted By: hal
It requires Mazda M-III or Dexron-II/III, according to the owners manual. Being that Mercon V is newer I'm sure it would be backward-compatible but cost is a factor here.
Wrong. Mercon V must never be used in a transmission that calls for Dexron-III.
 

hal

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whoops i had a freudian slip w/ the atf types. i was thinking of dexron-6 there. since dex6 is a newer design and synthetic (blend?) it might be the better choice but i don't think im running it long enough to make a difference.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Ken2
 Originally Posted By: hal
It requires Mazda M-III or Dexron-II/III, according to the owners manual. Being that Mercon V is newer I'm sure it would be backward-compatible but cost is a factor here.
Wrong. Mercon V must never be used in a transmission that calls for Dexron-III.
Manufacturers of Mercon V and Dexron VI typically claim both to be compatible with DexronIII/Mercon
 

dnewton3

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I have used bargin brand ATF almost exclusively in my wife's Villager van. It now has 175k miles on it, and still runs great. I do the ATF service every 25k-30k miles as directed by the manual. I pulled a Blackstone UOA on some AAP ATF fluid after one of those changes a year or so ago. Everything came back fine; all within universal averages, except for the flashpoint, which was just a hair under the accepted range (which has no real bearing on the daily performance of the fluid). I suspect you'll find that any of the products you listed will work fine for routine service applications. Might as well choose based on convenience (availability) and price.
 
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Get the cheapest and change it yearly. I've followed this plan so far with my current car, and the transmission shifts better than when I got the car.
 

hal

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maxlife is kinda pricey. would it even matter with yearly servicing? i'll be letting this tranny go no longer than 1yr/12k miles between servicing. even if i used maxlife i don't think i would change the ATF less often, as this particular transmission is known to need fairly frequent changes to prevent problems.
 
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