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Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS #2701768 08/01/12 10:25 AM
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Bandito440 Offline OP
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After reading through a ton of WS threads, I may try some Maxlife.

I need 14 quarts for my Tacoma. I'm going to do the DIY flush for the sealed unit that can be found on some of the Toyota forums. I'm only keeping the truck for another six months at the most, but it's time for new fluid in the transmission. 71k and the shifting seems to be getting rough.

Real WS is $10/qt at the dealers I called. Amsoil and Red Line are the same or more. I'd really like to save a few bucks since it's not going to be a long-term investment.

So, has anyone used Maxlife ATF in a WS application with success? The cSt of 6.11 seems a reasonably low viscosity and close to the WS fluid. It would be great if the alarmists could refrain from posting about my pending transmission doom. I'm just looking to see if anyone has had success.


'14 Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel
Rotella T6 5w-40 & OEM filter
Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2701777 08/01/12 10:34 AM
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Posts: 10,293
Astro14 Offline
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Here's what Valvoline says...

Suitable for use in:
Ford MERCONŽ, MERCONŽV, MERCONŽSP and MERCONŽLV applications
GM DEXRONŽ-II, DEXRONŽ-III and DEXRONŽ-VI applications
Nissan/Infiniti Matic D, Matic J, Matic K, and Matic S applications
Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II and SP-III applications
Hyundai/ KIA SP-II, SP-III, SP-IV and SPH-IV applications
Subaru ATF and ATF-HP applications
Toyota/Lexus Type T, T-III, T-IV and WS (except hybrids) applications
Honda/Acura ATF-Z1 (except in CVTs) applications
Allison C4 and TES-389 applications
Mercedes Benz NAG1 applications
Volvo passenger car applications and STD 1273.41
Volkswagen TL52162
Voith H55.6335.33(G607) and H55.6335.33(G1363) applications

I've used it with success but my A340H specifies a DEX II, not WS...so my experience is of no help.

But were the truck mine, I would give it a try.


32 Packard 15W40
01 Volvo V70 T5 0W30 AMSOIL SS
02 Volvo V70 T5 0W30 Edge
02 Volvo V70 XC 0W40 Edge
05 MB S600 0W40 M1
16 Tundra 1794 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra
Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2701789 08/01/12 10:39 AM
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jeff194 Offline
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I used it in my 05 Tacoma. Shifted fine in winter and summer. Seemed to smooth out the trans. I put 30k on it, and traded the truck, with no problems at all. I used the cooler line flush method.

Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2701797 08/01/12 10:43 AM
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LeakySeals Offline
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Don't!!!!!!!!!!!!! Toyota fluids are superior, your better off just leaving it alone. It says forever, but WS is good for 70-80k. When you do consider a change, No maxlife. Use Toyota tranny fluids only! or...look for a good synthetic alternative, or a regular transmission fluid thats close, then use the Lubegard products blessed by transmission manufacturers to sync up the fluid with WS. Maxlife is for an old transmission, use it then. For transmissions requiring highly friction modified fluid, I say maxlife is a no go.

Last edited by LeakySeals; 08/01/12 10:51 AM.

06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: LeakySeals] #2701809 08/01/12 10:57 AM
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Hokiefyd Offline
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Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
For transmissions requiring highly friction modified fluid, I say maxlife is a no go.


Why do you say that?

First you said to use Toyota or a good synthetic alternative (which MaxLife Dex/Merc ATF is). Then you said that Maxlife is a no go. Which is it? smile

Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2701812 08/01/12 10:59 AM
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MysticGold04 Offline
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Personally, I'd go ahead and use it too if the truck were mine. Maxlife seems like a good fluid for most transmissions. If the Vis of Maxlife is close to WS, I'd say your good. I believe this has an Aisin trans, yes?

I got a case off of amazon for pretty cheap.. less than the store's cost locally. I'm planning on doing a cooler line flush on the Highlander with it.


drive
'04 Highlander 2AZ 207,320 Rotella-T6 5w30
'04 PT Cruiser Turbo (Daughter's) 48300 Unknown
'17 Dodge Durango SXT-V6 30422 Amazon 0w20


Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Hokiefyd] #2701820 08/01/12 11:07 AM
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LeakySeals Offline
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
For transmissions requiring highly friction modified fluid, I say maxlife is a no go.


Why do you say that?

First you said to use Toyota or a good synthetic alternative (which MaxLife Dex/Merc ATF is). Then you said that Maxlife is a no go. Which is it? smile

Use Toyota WS. Better than a universal high mileage fluid. On with recommendations, whats yours?


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2701857 08/01/12 11:54 AM
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Hokiefyd Offline
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I'm curious about the apparent inconsistency in your recommendation. You said to use a good synthetic alternative. You are aware that MaxLife ATF is a fully synthetic ATF, right? By that measure, it fits in with your recommendation for a good synthetic alternative. So I'm wondering if there's a specific reason why you later recommend against it.

Me, unless I'm unhappy with the performance of the OEM fluid, I generally recommend the OEM fluid. I have been unhappy with the performance of the OEM fluid in my cars, and have been using MaxLife ATF in them and it's proven to be a fine product.

I still question why you specifically recommend against MaxLife in a WS application. Is the WS fluid better suited to the Toyota transmission? Perhaps. But you said MaxLife is a "no go", and so I wonder why.

Cheers!

Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2701892 08/01/12 12:31 PM
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cpayne5 Offline
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I've got MaxLife in my 4Runner (calls for WS). Swapped it out ~5k miles ago. No problems. In addition to the vehicle being my wife's daily driver, we have also taken it on several longer trips (the longest being a 14 hour 1000 mile, stopping-only-for-gas drive).

Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: MysticGold04] #2701900 08/01/12 12:39 PM
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bepperb Offline
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This is more for MysticGold and his Highlander but it also applies to the original poster.

I've used Toyota T-IV, Mobil 1 and now Castrol Import and can't really notice any difference (in our Highlander). I even added a bottle of LubeGard red and still no difference. They all shift the same (though more firmly at first) and none has made any difference in some 1st -> 2nd flare I feel about once a week.

I dunno, I always tried to stay with a jsao-1a fluid but I'm not really sure that matters. Also, my same transmission u241e went to WS a year or two after my model year. Maybe MaxLife at 120,000 miles?


2004 Highlander 2.4
2011 Toyota Sienna 3.5
Recently Gone:
2006 Accord 2.4l K24A8
1993 Kawi EX 500
Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: bepperb] #2701957 08/01/12 01:28 PM
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LeakySeals Offline
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Originally Posted By: bepperb
This is more for MysticGold and his Highlander but it also applies to the original poster.

I've used Toyota T-IV, Mobil 1 and now Castrol Import and can't really notice any difference (in our Highlander). I even added a bottle of LubeGard red and still no difference. They all shift the same (though more firmly at first) and none has made any difference in some 1st -> 2nd flare I feel about once a week.

I dunno, I always tried to stay with a jsao-1a fluid but I'm not really sure that matters. Also, my same transmission u241e went to WS a year or two after my model year. Maybe MaxLife at 120,000 miles?

I say only switch if necessary. In the case of a maxlife that would be an attempt to solve slippage or some high mileage problem requiring a seal sweller. I've been doing drains only with T-IV and the tranny is perfect at 220k. I can't speak to other manufacturers, but Toyota fluid of any kind is excellent, one of the reasons they last so long.

I used maxlife in a old chevy pick up with slippage and leaks from PO neglect. Not bad. Currently use it in my PS for a slight rack leak.


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2702009 08/01/12 02:39 PM
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Sayjac Offline
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Originally Posted By: Astro14
Here's what Valvoline says...

Suitable for use in:
Ford MERCONŽ, MERCONŽV, MERCONŽSP and MERCONŽLV applications
GM DEXRONŽ-II, DEXRONŽ-III and DEXRONŽ-VI applications
Nissan/Infiniti Matic D, Matic J, Matic K, and Matic S applications
Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II and SP-III applications
Hyundai/ KIA SP-II, SP-III, SP-IV and SPH-IV applications
Subaru ATF and ATF-HP applications
Toyota/Lexus Type T, T-III, T-IV and WS (except hybrids) applications
Honda/Acura ATF-Z1 (except in CVTs) applications
Allison C4 and TES-389 applications
Mercedes Benz NAG1 applications
Volvo passenger car applications and STD 1273.41
Volkswagen TL52162
Voith H55.6335.33(G607) and H55.6335.33(G1363) applications....

OT Ahh, it appears the ML has very recently updated it's pdf to include Mercon V, which corresponds to what a poster was told recently by a Valvoline customer service rep. It's not on the gallon jug I received from Wally last month.

To the topic, I'm currently running ML in my Tacoma, but it spec's Dexron II/III. I don't see why it wouldn't work fine in your Tacoma as listed in the ML suitable for, but I have no experience with it either. At $10/qt for the Toyota stuff though, ML looks like a good alternative to me. Just me, but I'd go for it.

Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2702018 08/01/12 02:45 PM
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Bandito440 Offline OP
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I guess my point was that I'd like something that costs less than the WS. Maxlife is half the cost, the viscosity is close, and it's a quality synthetic.


'14 Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel
Rotella T6 5w-40 & OEM filter
Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: Bandito440] #2702052 08/01/12 03:22 PM
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LeakySeals Offline
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Understandable. Unlike changing motor oils, changing transmission oils has increased risk associated with it. Weigh your savings in fluid costs vs. a tranny rebuild, then go with your gut.


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: Maxlife ATF for Toyota WS [Re: LeakySeals] #2702165 08/01/12 05:01 PM
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Hokiefyd Offline
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Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
I say only switch if necessary. In the case of a maxlife that would be an attempt to solve slippage or some high mileage problem requiring a seal sweller.


The version of MaxLife ATF you are probably using, and the one to which most are referring when they mention the product, doesn't contain a seal-swelling agent. The red-cap MaxLife ATF contains "seal conditioners", but not "seal swellers". The yellow-cap MaxLife ATF does contain additives to help stop leaks. Although the red-cap MaxLife ATF is part of the MaxLife product family, it does not contain any additives for stopping leaks.

If you are talking about the yellow-cap MaxLife ATF, then I would agree with you that it wouldn't be as appropriate for a transmission that's not otherwise leaking.

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