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atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle #4657068
02/05/18 02:52 PM
02/05/18 02:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,149
Coastal South Carolina
edwardh1 Offline OP
edwardh1  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,149
Coastal South Carolina
it surprised me how nice atf looked on the dipstick but terrible (near black) in a glass bottle.

is there a simpler test for the atf condition-? assuming the blacker it is , the worse it is?


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: edwardh1] #4657079
02/05/18 03:02 PM
02/05/18 03:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,075
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,075
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: edwardh1
it surprised me how nice atf looked on the dipstick but terrible (near black) in a glass bottle.

is there a simpler test for the atf condition-? assuming the blacker it is , the worse it is?
Yes there is a simpler test, take a sample and send it off to Blackstone.

It's just how liquids are. Think of dipping an oil dipstick into a jar of honey, looks pretty good on it. But if you try to look through a glass jar of honey, you can't see through it.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 88k Motorcraft Synthetic Blend 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 231k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 147k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: edwardh1] #4657082
02/05/18 03:03 PM
02/05/18 03:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,935
Connecticut
69GTX Online content
69GTX  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,935
Connecticut
That's a pretty simple test. And probably accurate. If it looks black in a jar on a business card, it's probably spent. My engine and transmission oils always look "nicer" on the dipstick too. It might have something to do with light getting through the fluid then refracting off the metal dipstick.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: edwardh1] #4657087
02/05/18 03:09 PM
02/05/18 03:09 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,730
Phoenix, Arizona - USA
SirTanon Offline
SirTanon  Offline
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,730
Phoenix, Arizona - USA
Not always a sound conclusion.

For example, Mercon LV has a tendency to darken quite quickly, especially in certain transmissions - The 6F35, for example. In my 2010 Fusion, which has the 6F35, new Mercon LV, which is bright red going in, will be noticeably darker (dark red/purple) only 10,000 - 15,000 miles later. UOA analysis of the drained fluid still shows it in good condition, too.. it's just darker.

If you want to test how bad your drained trans fluid is, most UOA labs will test trans fluid.


2010 Ford Fusion SE - 2.5 liter/6F35 Trans - 266,000mi
2014 Nissan Altima SL - 2.5 liter/CVT - 60,000mi
Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: edwardh1] #4657179
02/05/18 04:17 PM
02/05/18 04:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,677
Indiana
dlundblad Offline
dlundblad  Offline
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,677
Indiana
An oily film over a shiny surface is bound to look good IMO.

I would just do an ATF change. If you know the history and it isn't time yet, get a UOA if you are really curious.


03 Jeep WJ 4.0 202k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 186k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
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Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: edwardh1] #4657185
02/05/18 04:25 PM
02/05/18 04:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,471
Malaysia
zeng Offline
zeng  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,471
Malaysia
I did blotter spot test on ATF from time to time, and it serves my purpose.

Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: edwardh1] #4657240
02/05/18 05:24 PM
02/05/18 05:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,089
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,089
Upstate NY
If it looks like driveway sealer it's probably not doing much good for your transmission.

Otherwise a UOA.

Smell however can be valid. If it smells burnt that's not good.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: edwardh1] #4657339
02/05/18 07:12 PM
02/05/18 07:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,562
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,562
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: edwardh1
it surprised me how nice atf looked on the dipstick but terrible (near black) in a glass bottle.


That always seems to be the case.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: 69GTX] #4657426
02/05/18 09:00 PM
02/05/18 09:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 19,480
Iowegia - USA
MolaKule Offline
MolaKule  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 19,480
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
That's a pretty simple test. And probably accurate. If it looks black in a jar on a business card, it's probably spent. My engine and transmission oils always look "nicer" on the dipstick too. It might have something to do with light getting through the fluid then refracting off the metal dipstick.



Exactly. thumbsup

Put some new ATF on a black card or paper.

Put some ATF on a white card or paper.

Put a thin film of ATF on a polished dipstick.

What do you see?


Why are oil filters placed over chassis rails and cross members?
Re: atf looks fine on dipstick but worse in a bottle [Re: SirTanon] #4657896
02/06/18 11:33 AM
02/06/18 11:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,250
The Garden State
Whimsey Offline
Whimsey  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,250
The Garden State
Originally Posted By: SirTanon
Not always a sound conclusion.

For example, Mercon LV has a tendency to darken quite quickly, especially in certain transmissions - The 6F35, for example. In my 2010 Fusion, which has the 6F35, new Mercon LV, which is bright red going in, will be noticeably darker (dark red/purple) only 10,000 - 15,000 miles later. UOA analysis of the drained fluid still shows it in good condition, too.. it's just darker.

If you want to test how bad your drained trans fluid is, most UOA labs will test trans fluid.




Here's an example of what you are saying. The dark fluid is Motorcraft Mercon LV at 12,200 miles of usage in a new vehicle, a 2017 Explorer with the 6F35 transmission you mention. You can see within only 12,200 miles it darkened considerably compared to the fresh Motorcraft Mercon LV that is red. From what I understand that is the nature of Motorcraft Mercon LV to darken up quickly. It does not mean it's worn though.

Whimsey


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