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#4583804 - 11/24/17 04:29 PM Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI?
mphilleo Offline

Registered: 09/09/16
Posts: 26
Loc: North Dakota
So, I've done a lot of research and I'm still torn.

I know that Valvoline alleges that their Maxlife multi vehicle ATF is "suitable" in applications calling for Dexron VI. But as best as I can tell, this fluid meets Dexron VI viscosity and is in the ballpark on the add pack. Plus, it's fully synthetic. The biggest argument against using this is that they already make a synthetic Dexron VI specific fluid.

Here's my issue. My 2007 Buick Lacrosse has a bona-fide 278,800 on the original drivetrain. The PO was a traveling representative for the local unions in the tri-state area. Anyway, I'm torn between using a good brand of factory spec ATF versus Maxlife because I don't know of another high mileage Dexron VI transmission fluid. And I think we can all agree this is a high mileage example. I've already bought some Valvoline Dexron VI but am debating Maxlife for future drains. I know OE spec is usually best but I want this high mileage transmission to go the distance and I'm not sure if regular Dexron VI can offer the necessary protection.

I welcome your collective experience and insights.

#4583822 - 11/24/17 04:43 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
Charlie2015 Offline

Registered: 04/24/15
Posts: 236
Loc: Georgia
I do not own a GM product, but I have used Maxlife ATF in my Honda before. It worked fine, but I prefer other brands. Since you are torn, I would try to convince you to use a specific Dex VI product. Your transmission will fail eventually, and by using a specific DEX VI product, you can sleep well knowing you gave your transmission the best shot at a long life.
1998 Honda Accord EX 2.3L Auto
2009 Scion TC Manual

#4583827 - 11/24/17 04:56 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
HoosierJeeper Offline

Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
I'd stick to the OEM stuff, I'm guessing that's what it's had its entire life...looks like it's doing pretty good!
15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)

#4583837 - 11/24/17 05:09 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
Jimzz Offline

Registered: 10/03/14
Posts: 1142
Loc: NoVA
It will work as well, go for it. I used Maxlife in my CTS and BiLs STS just fine. Have used it in Hondas, Kias, Saabs, Toyotas, Fords, Nissans, Mercedes...

#4583852 - 11/24/17 05:21 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
Reddy45 Offline

Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2965
Loc: USA
If 278k is getting close to the absolute life limit on that transmission (asking.. because who knows?!)..then is it worth spending the money on expensive ATF?

On the other hand, there are people who start using Maxlife at 30k and it does them good until the wheels fall off the car.

Seems like Maxlife would be a safe bet either way..

#4583863 - 11/24/17 05:30 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
bmod305 Offline

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 265
Loc: Minnesota
Use the MaxLife ATF. Works great in my 2007 Grand Prix and 2008 CTS.


#4583983 - 11/24/17 07:54 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
slacktide_bitog Offline

Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6143
Loc: USA
Maxlife is good stuff that will give you lots of trouble-free miles with no problems. In fact, the whole Maxlife brand was created with high mileage cars in mind smile

#4583988 - 11/24/17 08:08 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
4WD Offline

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6366
Loc: Texas
I changed the Cruze to Maxlife at 82K … this was the third change using AC Delco and Castrol Dex VI prior to that.
No difference in how it shifts …

#4583997 - 11/24/17 08:14 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
clinebarger Online   content

Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 1904
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The 4T65E transaxle does not require Dexron VI as it was originally designed for Dexron III & GM didn't change a thing with the switch to Dex VI. A quality Dex/Merc fluid will work fine.

Maxlife itself will not help or hurt your unit, High mileage ATF is [censored] as "leaky" transmissions hasn't been a problem for more than 20 years.

The problems that 4T65E's do have are not fluid or fluid type related, Yours has lasted so long because the WAY the mileage was put on the unit.....In High Gear travelling down the highway!
2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto

#4584011 - 11/24/17 08:41 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
beast3300 Offline

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 3164
Loc: Ohio
I'm not a huge fan of a "one size fits all" kind of solution. I ran Maxlife in my Regal that shortly afterwards started making funky sounds. End result, rebuild.

I ran Maxlife in the LaCrosse. In 2 years time the trans also quit.

For me personally Maxlife hasn't worked out. Now only officially licensed Dex6 for my 4T65s. I got full syn GM branded fluid from Amazon for cheap.
'03 Regal GS L67: PPUP 5w30/FU3980

'99 Grand Prix L36: R.I.P.

'07 LaCrosse L26: QS HM 5w30/TG3387A


#4584027 - 11/24/17 09:01 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
i_hate_autofraud Offline

Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 705
Loc: Canada
For your 2007 Buick Lacrosse, I’d stick with Dexron VI equivalent ATF. You can sneak some more miles out of the 4T65E
before it starts to do things. I hope you replace the tranny filter and clean off the oil pan magnet too.

For some 4T65E problems, thinner ATF helps with slow or jarring 1-2 shifts. Thicker ATF may help shudder problems.
Of course fixing the root cause is best when it happens.

I’d plan to grab about 6 - 8 long thin neodymium bar magnets to beef up the usually weak GM magnet in the oil pan.
Google “4T65E magnet” GM put out a TSB since they used cheap weak magnets for many years. 2007 is iffy, could have
the extra cheap on in there. Even their ‘good’ ring magnet is not enough.

In my case, I put several bar magnets near the OEM magnet position and then 4 on the metal plate of the filter
next to the intake. I used a compass to orient each so they were all “in phase” making the metal plate of the
filter a good south pole. The rest of the oil pan is virtually “zero clearance”. Meaning there’s no room for
anything else on the pan except in very specific locations.

Why did I do this? GM admits their magnet is not strong enough to catch all the wear metals (from gears, etc)
and the metal particles gravitate to the PCS solenoid and shift solenoids causing shift problems. Of course
they had to know that when they gambled on going cheap!

See the Pics on Page 1 of the PDF for the GM location for their ‘stronger’ magnet:


#4584031 - 11/24/17 09:05 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: i_hate_autofraud]
4WD Offline

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6366
Loc: Texas
My third magnet is above this filter:

#4584109 - 11/24/17 11:09 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
csandste Offline

Registered: 05/31/02
Posts: 1178
Loc: St. Peters, Missouri
Just switched to MaxLife on a '14 Encore. Less than a thousand miles, switched at 90,000. So far no issues. Thought I had a slightly rougher down shift on one or two occasions but that might have just been because I was looking for it.
2017 Kia Soul Plus-- Valvoline MaxLife Blend 5-20

#4584587 - 11/25/17 02:25 PM Re: Maxlife in Transmissions Calling for Dexron VI? [Re: mphilleo]
barkingspider Offline

Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 2041
Loc: socal
I have maxlife in my escalade ext and cts transmissions, both work like normal
06 Cadillac Escalade Ext
17 Cadillac ATS (wife)
05 Toyota Camry (daughter)
11 GMC Canyon off-road (daily)