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#4813190 - 07/13/18 01:23 PM Castrol Transmax ATF+4?
MasterTech58 Offline

Registered: 07/13/18
Posts: 1
Loc: NY
Hi. My 1st post here. I was with Chrysler service departments for over 30 years (since 1977) and still try to keep up with all the changes in the business. If you are out of the automotive service business for longer than 6 months, you fall behind. So much is constantly changing and the trends and benchmarks will keep rapid change a staple of the vehicle service industry.

I am looking for more information about Chrysler's ATF+4. I know that multiple lube providers are licensed to use the name ATF+4, but is it really ATF+4?:

I recently used the Castrol Transmax ATF+4 in my sister's Liberty with the 42RLE transmission. The Transmax doesn't have the machine oil odor that I have come to expect from ATF+4 and it seemed much thinner than the real ATF+4 that I was used to. It also claims to be a 'Full synthetic', which Mopar ATF+4 is not. It is a semi-synthetic 'blend'.
Within a day, we noticed a shudder going into torque converter lockup that it never had before. I immediately drained the Castrol and replaced it with the Walmart SuperTech ATF+4 and the shudder went away almost immediately.

The Transmax ATF+4 bottle label and Product Data sheet has no mention of the product meeting Chrysler's (Material Standard) MS-9602:$File/BPXE-AKGGN2.pdf

I had thought that meeting that material standard would be required in order to call yourself ATF+4. The Walmart SuperTech does mention that it meets MS-9602, is back-compatible with legacy MS-7176 and has the odor and feel of genuine Mopar ATF+4:

I then did some research and even contacted Castrol/BP brands. They said that their product was licensed as ATF+4. I then asked them if they could provide me with a document that states that the Transmax ATF+4 meets MS-9602 and they have not responded.

If my sister had continued to drive with the lockup shudder, I'm sure that clutch damage would have occurred. Anyone have experience or input with this?

#4813201 - 07/13/18 01:35 PM Re: Castrol Transmax ATF+4? [Re: MasterTech58]
demarpaint Offline

Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 30013
Loc: NY

I have it in both my Jeeps which call for ATF+4 and have no problems. From what I read the spec is very specific, and an oil company can't just put it on their label unless they actually meet the spec.

I did hear from a guy that is a Jeep tech and he said they only use Chrysler ATF+4 fluid at the dealership to avoid problems. But then again that would be the only thing I would expect a dealer to be selling to their customers, at probably twice the price of the Castrol ATF+4. Having said that I never heard of a problem using it until now. Anything is possible, which is why I subscribed.

God Bless Our Troops

#4813208 - 07/13/18 01:48 PM Re: Castrol Transmax ATF+4? [Re: MasterTech58]
901Memphis Offline

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 12897
Loc: Northern Kentucky
If they're a legitimate company (Castrol is) and they are claiming ATF+4, you can probably bet its the real thing otherwise they would be in some legal trouble. I have never seen anything on the PQIA advisory list trying to claim to be a specific single type of fluid like ATF+4, usually the fake fluids try to claim to be something that covers multiple applications to sell more.
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 1.4T - 50k
2002 Buick Century 130k - Built 4T65e(Maxlife) - Edge 0w40 + Fram XG3980

#4813216 - 07/13/18 01:55 PM Re: Castrol Transmax ATF+4? [Re: MasterTech58]
doitmyself Offline

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6274
Loc: MI
- Maybe the product in the bottle was not ATF+4. Either the mfg. made a mistake or someone returned the bottles filled with a different product?

- Maybe it was a coincidence that something went awry with your tranny during the fluid change. It happens. The fluid should not be so different that the tranny computer needs time to relearn.

If there was a noticeable difference in the fluid, it might be worthwhile to contact Castrol and maybe send them an oil sample.

#4813222 - 07/13/18 02:02 PM Re: Castrol Transmax ATF+4? [Re: MasterTech58]
dawgn86 Offline

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 26
Loc: Georgia
What is the price difference by quart of Mopar ATF+4 fluid vs a Castrol or Valvoline?

#4813303 - 07/13/18 03:22 PM Re: Castrol Transmax ATF+4? [Re: MasterTech58]
dlundblad Offline

Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10193
Loc: Indiana

It's on the approved list. I made certain of this prior to running it ~4 years ago.
03 Jeep WJ 4.0 199k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 177k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 149k Rotella T5 10w30 Supertech ST3980

#4813337 - 07/13/18 03:53 PM Re: Castrol Transmax ATF+4? [Re: MasterTech58]
slacktide_bitog Offline

Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6378
Loc: USA

Castrol ATF+4 is on the official approved list you provided in the first link. Use it with confidence smile

However, the best ATF to use in transmissions that require ATF+4 is in fact Redline C+. Even though Redline C+ is not licensed ATF+4, it is the best to use in that application because it uses a better base oil, but the same add pack as licensed ATF+4

#4813615 - 07/13/18 11:14 PM Re: Castrol Transmax ATF+4? [Re: doitmyself]
zrxkawboy Offline

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 1770
Loc: SD
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
- Maybe the product in the bottle was not ATF+4. Either the mfg. made a mistake or someone returned the bottles filled with a different product?

This could very well be the case. We've all read the horror stories about used oil being returned as new.

I've personally used both Castrol and NAPA (Valvoline) ATF+4 over the years and had no problem with either.
"Think of all the Ford owners who will someday want an automobile." John Dodge

#4813683 - 07/14/18 06:07 AM Re: Castrol Transmax ATF+4? [Re: dawgn86]
demarpaint Offline

Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 30013
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: dawgn86
What is the price difference by quart of Mopar ATF+4 fluid vs a Castrol or Valvoline?

It depends where you buy it, just like everything else. AMZN has it for $10.10/qt. Ebay $72.49 for 12 quarts. Local dealers vary, probably higher. Making Castrol on sale for $5/qt. or Super Tech at WMT a deal.
God Bless Our Troops