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#4546215 - 10/17/17 12:35 PM Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far?
RamFan Offline


Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 1973
Loc: Illinois, U.S.A
It has been entirely too long since I've been active on this site! It's certainly changed since I first joined. But I digress...

For those of you that don't know, Mazda requires the use of FZ tansmission fluid. Not a lot is known about this fluid (from what I gather) other than it being an ultra-low viscosity fluid and that it's blue. According to the manual, our units are filled for life and don't need service. Seeing as how there is a fill hole, drain plug and a dipstick, I certainly plan on changing it out. For nothing more than purely simplistic reasons, I've decided to change the fluid in the trans, transfer case and rear diff at 60k miles. While mine is a little over half way there, my mom's '14 CX-5 is about 10k miles shy.

I decided to explore and see if anyone had started producing FZ fluid yet. Nope, no one really has. I did find one product that's in Europe but the site was crudely translated and I was unable to find purchasing/shipping information. From what I can find, purchasing the Mazda OE fluid is the only option. For giggles I decided to check out Maxlife as that's what I run in the Monte with great results. I'm not really a fan of "one size fits all" when it comes to automotive products, but the specs of Dex-VI and Maxlife are nearly identical which is why I decided to try it out. I've done two fluid changes in the Monte with it and it's been working beautifully. Much to my surprise, Valvoline is recommending Maxlife in FZ applications. I was also surprised to see that since the last time I viewed their PDS, it seems as though they've added quite a few specs that are now recommended.

I remember Valvoline's rebuttal when PQIA questioned them on their label claims, it was fairly straightforward and seemingly genuine. However, I find it a little hard to believe that this product can genuinely be recommended for all of these applications, is it truly that good, or is Valvoline playing a game of chance on possible payouts from failed transmissions? They still don't recommend the product for ATF +4 applications, so clearly there are some boundaries that they're not willing to push. The question still remains though.

For those curious, the newest PDS can be found here.
_________________________
06 Monte Carlo LT
+3.9l V6 - 187k - Defy/Motorcraft 10w30 - EcoGard Synthetic - OLM
16.5 CX-5 Touring
+2.5l I4 - 45k - SynPower 0w20 - PureOne - 8.5k/1yr

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#4546240 - 10/17/17 12:58 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
fenixguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/17
Posts: 307
Loc: NC
popcorn

I too would like to know some more about Maxlife ATF. I've been searching for a suitable replacement for the Hondas and eventually the Frontier (when out of warranty). It seems that Valvoline markets this stuff as suitable for everything.

It's strange to me that Nissan recommends Matic D in the T-case and Matic S for the transmission but Maxlife claims to meet the requirements for both...

BTW, I've never heard of a blue ATF. I'd stick with OEM just for that! grin
_________________________
'16 Frontier SV 4x4-PP/Nissan OEM
'08 CR-V EX AWD-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram TG
'01 Civic EX-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram UG
'00 Civic LX-PYB/Fram UG

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#4546250 - 10/17/17 01:17 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
PandaBear Online   content


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 14220
Loc: Silicon Valley
Manufacturer test a lot of corner cases (i.e. extreme heat, humidity, altitude, fuel trim, load, wear condition, fuel economy) that rarely happens in practice for most people.

Aftermarket usually are good enough for the non corner cases (i.e. moderate temperature, humidity, altitude, load, don't care for fuel economy) that they will work for 999/1000 customers, and if the 1/1000 fail, 1/10000 will ask for a warranty claim and the other 9/10000 just didn't know it was bad and keep driving until the car retires. Valvoline probably bought a couple Mazda with FZ ATF and use as their company car for 3 years, then tear it down to check for wear and tear, then "recommend" it if it wears about the same as the OEM fluid.

The usual problem I see is that if you have something else went bad the OEM will try to weasel out of a warranty claim. For the first 120k I'd stick with OEM to avoid this trouble.
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"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah

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#4546303 - 10/17/17 02:25 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
OhOMG Offline


Registered: 09/11/17
Posts: 74
Loc: On your screen
So, the question here is as to the certification of Maxlife as a Mazda FZ replacement fluid?

The Maxlife that meets Mercon LV is a low viscosity fluid; unsure about ultra-low viscosity, but it does seem to do exceptionally well where the range of it is about the same.

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#4546360 - 10/17/17 03:34 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: OhOMG]
RamFan Offline


Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 1973
Loc: Illinois, U.S.A
Originally Posted By: OhOMG
So, the question here is as to the certification of Maxlife as a Mazda FZ replacement fluid?

The Maxlife that meets Mercon LV is a low viscosity fluid; unsure about ultra-low viscosity, but it does seem to do exceptionally well where the range of it is about the same.


I mean, if someone has data on Mazda FZ fluid so that we could do some comparative "analysis", then sure that would be great. That wasn't really the point of my post though. More of just a prompt for what hopefully could become constructive conversation between knowledgeable board members.
_________________________
06 Monte Carlo LT
+3.9l V6 - 187k - Defy/Motorcraft 10w30 - EcoGard Synthetic - OLM
16.5 CX-5 Touring
+2.5l I4 - 45k - SynPower 0w20 - PureOne - 8.5k/1yr

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#4546371 - 10/17/17 03:44 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
Kamele0N Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2041
Loc: Slovenia
Originally Posted By: RamFan
For those curious, the newest PDS can be found here.

It seems that is just dyed ATF (J)WS 3309 fluid...(according to some standards wich are overlaping)... . Pretty common ATF here over the pond....

https://www.mobil.com/english-us/passenger-vehicle-lube/pds/glxxmobil-atf-3309
_________________________
2011 Hyundai i30 1.4 CVVT Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD various 10w40

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#4546375 - 10/17/17 03:46 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
Kamele0N Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2041
Loc: Slovenia
_________________________
2011 Hyundai i30 1.4 CVVT Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD various 10w40

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#4546398 - 10/17/17 04:17 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
Kamele0N Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2041
Loc: Slovenia
On an opieoil site above you can get PDS for (almost) all the oils they sell...just click on the individual oil...

You will discover pretty soon that standards from different manufacturers overlap...

And that you dont have to google ilusive Mazda FZ spec. when you have other bigger players here as Toxota... Vw... GM etc smile

Its the same with a car oils....all you have to look at are BMW-MB-VW standards...everything else is not important smile

Use your common sense!


Edited by Kamele0N (10/17/17 04:19 PM)
_________________________
2011 Hyundai i30 1.4 CVVT Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD various 10w40

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#4546470 - 10/17/17 05:55 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6390
Loc: Texas
Yes, Maxlife is so close to Dex VI that I run it in the Cruze

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#4546520 - 10/17/17 06:56 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
slacktide_bitog Online   content


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6169
Loc: USA
Maxlife will work fine in your transmission with no problems smile

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#4546595 - 10/17/17 07:43 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: fenixguy]
ARB1977 Offline


Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 5168
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: fenixguy
popcorn

I too would like to know some more about Maxlife ATF. I've been searching for a suitable replacement for the Hondas and eventually the Frontier (when out of warranty). It seems that Valvoline markets this stuff as suitable for everything.

It's strange to me that Nissan recommends Matic D in the T-case and Matic S for the transmission but Maxlife claims to meet the requirements for both...

BTW, I've never heard of a blue ATF. I'd stick with OEM just for that! grin

I use it in our 08 CRV. Works just fine. I even use it in my Tacoma.
_________________________
2015 Tacoma 4.0L 60K (as of 02/23/18)
Amsoil SS 0W30 / Toyota filter

2018 CRV 1.5L (as of 05/11/18)
Factory fill / Factory filter

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#4546671 - 10/17/17 09:05 PM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
hallstevenson Offline


Registered: 04/25/17
Posts: 340
Loc: Ohio
Go to your Mazda dealer and ask them what ATF they use. Good chance it's not "FZ".

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#4546902 - 10/18/17 07:41 AM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
Sayjac Offline


Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 12268
Loc: The Old North State
I'll say flat out I don't know about Mazda FZ. I suppose if I didn't believe the ML PDS, I simply wouldn't use it for that application.

And since the PQIA warning/alert for ML Dex/Merc broached, explanation made sense to me. And apparently to PQIA too as they amended the alert. Dex/Merc an old spec and now with synthetic ATFs, lower initial/starting viscosity is the norm. And while Synthetic ATF like ML start lower, they have much greater shear stability than mineral based ATF with higher starting viscosity like older Dex/Merc. MolaKule has thread in technical papers sub forum about the topic.

It's true ML has added some additional 'suitable for' applications, including Honda DW1. Currently using ML in a couple Hondas specing Z1 and a Tacoma specing Dex ll/lll, out of vehicle warranty I'd use it for a DW1 application too if I had one. I say out of warranty as CYA with a nod to potential warranty denial.

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#4546925 - 10/18/17 08:11 AM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: Sayjac]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6390
Loc: Texas
ML ATF just seems like a great value. Im shopping ATF and Castrol was a semi at $8/qt Valvoline Dex syn about that ML $19/gallon and I needed exactly a gallon jug to D&F (jug to collect used oil)

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#4547086 - 10/18/17 11:31 AM Re: Is Valvoline pushing Maxlife ATF too far? [Re: RamFan]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 19042
Loc: Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted By: RamFan
...They still don't recommend the product for ATF +4 applications, so clearly there are some boundaries that they're not willing to push. The question still remains though.


What question is that (just trying to understand you core question)? smile

Valvoline doesn't cover the ATF +4 because the ATF +4 spec has a different dynamic coefficient of friction spec than does the DexronIII/Mercon series of dynamic coefficient of friction specs.

The reason Valvoline is recommending the Mazda coverage is because the additive supplier is confident its testing can support that coverage.

If the color is Blue, that simply means they are using a "tag" for warranty purposes.

BTW, I think the Mazda 60k OCI for the tranny is simply a CYA type of thing that gets you up to the warranty period but not beyond. Most driving habits today falls into the Severe Duty category.


Edited by MolaKule (10/18/17 11:43 AM)

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