Honda ATF Fluid or Valvoline Maxlife Dexron III Fluid

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by DaviT, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. DaviT

    DaviT Guest

    Drained the tranny fluid from my 97 Accord this morning, but Honda
    store is closed. The manual said I can "use Dexron III as a temporary
    replacement, but it should be drained and refilled with Honda ATF as
    soon as it is convenient." So I put Valvoline Dexron III Extended
    Mileage fluid in.

    I read the bottle annd it says: Valvoline has tested and recommends
    Maxlife ATF in a broad range of transmission including DEXRON III,
    III-G, Mercon V, ATF+3, ATF+4, Honda ATF-Z1, Toyota/Lexus type T,
    T-III, and T-IV.

    Should I keep the Valvoline Maxlife in and don't bother to replace it
    with Honda ATF?
    DaviT, Mar 27, 2005
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  2. DaviT

    jim beam Guest

    hmm, in my experience, honda fluid is _not_ the same as all the others,
    regardless of whether valvoline says it meets minimum spec or not. on
    my civics, any "dexron" fluid that is /not/ honda aft-z1 makes them
    shift so harshly, it's like having the trunk slammed on you with each gear.

    you may be ok-ish for a while because the transmission never drains
    completely & majority of fluid is still honda's own special blend, but
    you're likely to see a deterioration in shift quality. apart from the
    minimal price differential, i see no reason /not/ to use the honda fluid
    for the peace of mind.

    one more thing; and sorry if this sounds bad, but why would you drain
    the transmission /before/ you had replacement fluid ready??? you're now
    stuck with 3 more changes to try & dilute the foreign fluid again.
    jim beam, Mar 28, 2005
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  3. DaviT

    WaterWatcher Guest

    Our '95 Accord started doing something my wife though was slipping but
    hasn't since I changed to the Honda fluid. You may not want to wait until or
    if something happens and change it ASAP. Honda ATF is definitely what you
    want to use in the future. Ditto with their power steering fluid.

    Personally, I would just wait and see how the Valvoline does. However,
    that's mostly because I'd like to save the environment from the several
    quarts of ATF you'll need to dispose of after changing the fluid three
    times to get most of the Valvoline out.

    WaterWatcher, Mar 28, 2005
  4. DaviT

    DaviT Guest

    I plan to change the fluid 3 times anyway even with Honda ATF. The old
    fluid is quite dark, and the magnet is full of debris.

    Haven't notice any shifting problem yet. I will ping the Valvoline
    technical service.

    If Valvoline can make that kind of statement on the bottle, they must
    have data to prove.
    DaviT, Mar 28, 2005
  5. DaviT

    jim beam Guest

    not necessarily. it meets the dexron III spec, & dexron III /is/
    specified as acceptible for "emergency" use in a honda. honda
    automatics are a totally different design to the planetary gearboxes
    everyone else uses. it /is/ possible for the honda atf to be different
    for this reason.

    ping valvoline & see how they answer the question. i did that with
    castrol & their initial "yes, it meets dexron..." eventually turned into
    a "no, it's not suitable for honda". they weren't kidding either.
    jim beam, Mar 28, 2005
  6. DaviT

    motsco_ _ Guest


    Their 'verbal confirmation' won't pay for your replacement.:-(

    Z1 is MADE to work specifically in your Honda. 'Nuff said.

    motsco_ _, Mar 28, 2005
  7. DaviT

    DaviT Guest

    It does not take long for Valvoline to answer, and also attached an
    open letter to address this type of questions. Here is the excerp:

    Dated December 21, 2004

    To Whom it may concern:

    Valvoline has received several inquires regarding the topic of Maxlife
    ATF and its use in various vehicle beyond those requiring DEXRON III or
    MERCON approved products. In response to these questions, Valvoline has
    issued the following statements:

    Valvoline supports the use of Maxlife ATF in a broad range of
    transmission beyond those requiring DEXRON III and MERCON fluids
    including those where the following fluids are recommended:

    GM DEXRON II, Ford MERON V,..., TOYOTA Type T, T-III, T-IV, Honda
    ATF-Z1 (except in CVTs), BMW LT1141 or LA2643, blah blah..

    Valvoline has conducted in-house teting to support Maxlife ATF
    performance in these transmissions. However, it is important to note
    that these vehicle manufacturer have neither evaluated nor approved
    Maxlife ATF.

    Valvoline stands behind all of its products, including Maxlife ATF. Use
    of Maxlife ATF in transmission where recommende by Valvoline WILL NOT
    void the vehicle's warranty. In the unlikely event that any
    transmission was to be damaged as a rsult of the use of Maxlife ATF,
    please contact Valvoline at 1-800-Team-VAL.

    While Maxlife ATF is designed to meet the special needs of higher
    mileage transmission, new transmissions an also benefit from its
    enhanced oxidation protetion, shear stability, seal compatibility, and
    anti-shudder protetion and many consummer have chosen to take advantage
    of this level of performance.

    ....Maxlife ATF is recommended for the new 5 and 6 speed transmissions,
    except Ford 5R110, Ford 6RXX, and the Mercedes Benz W7A700 which all
    require a low viscosity ATF fluid.

    Undersigned, Technical director.

    So, this is the strongest letter I could get from any company. My car
    runs fine, no noticeable difference. If there is any problem, I will
    come back and let the mass know. If I volunteer myself to be a
    test-pig, OK let be it.
    DaviT, Mar 28, 2005
  8. DaviT

    jim beam Guest

    with respect, that letter is exactly what i said earlier - a
    weasel-worded way of saying that their atf meets dexron III & that honda
    spec dexron III. what they /don't/ detail is under what /circumstances/
    honda spec dexron III & they /do/ use the all-encompassing disclaimer:
    "it is important to note that these vehicle manufacturer have neither
    evaluated nor approved Maxlife ATF". now, if you're happy with a
    disclaimer like that, go ahead & be the guinea pig.

    what others are telling you on this forum is that they /have/ tried
    non-honda dexron III atf, it /did/ have a negative effect on shift
    quality, and their experience of returning to honda atf was that it
    restored original performance. believe it or not as you desire.
    jim beam, Mar 29, 2005
  9. DaviT

    DaviT Guest

    Why would any manufacturer recommend other aftermarket ATF brand to
    undercut their own profit? It's money maker for them. Looks like every
    car company is now specifying their own ATF fluid. The list also

    Allison C-4
    Chrysler ATF+3 or ATF+4.
    Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II or SP-III
    Kia SP-II and SP-III
    Nissan Matic-D,-J, -K.

    Yes. Even KIA and Hyundai has figured this out.
    DaviT, Mar 29, 2005
  10. DaviT

    jim beam Guest

    hey, i'm a skeptic too, and first time out, /noone/ could tell me to use
    honda atf either, pretty much the same logic you're using. but, when my
    car started shifting like cr*p, and i mean bad enough to tear up engine
    mountings, i finally got wise. ymmv.
    jim beam, Mar 29, 2005
  11. DaviT

    jim beam Guest

    forgot: check them out - those are all planetary gearboxes afaik.
    jim beam, Mar 29, 2005
  12. DaviT

    DaviT Guest

    Almost two weeks after fluid replacement. Absolutely no ill effect that
    I could detect. Everything is gong smoothly.

    bought 3 more quart of Maxlife ATF already, plan to drain and replace
    the fluid again this weekend.
    DaviT, Apr 9, 2005
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