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ATF Differences? #5444662 06/02/20 02:01 PM
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AJB0009 Offline OP
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I work in industrial maintenance, where we use Mobil products. As such, I often use their forum for questions and such. I recently asked about ATF differences between manufactures. He didn't really get into the specific differences like I wanted, but just gave a general answer. Oh well, I thought that I would share it anyway. Here is my question:

It seems that practically each manufacturer now has their own specific transmission fluid that they want used. If you take any of these fluids and pour them into a cup, they basically all look and feel the same. What properties are so different between each of these fluids that they will not work in a different manufacturers transmission?

Here is the answer given by Korey Sargent, Lubrication Support E.I.T in Fuels and Lubricants Marketing at ExxonMobil:

Although you may not be able to see it or feel it with your hands, there can be major differences in these fluids. Keep in mind that most oils around the same viscosity (most ATF products are around ISO VG 32) are going to feel similar to each other and probably look very similar, as well.

The difference is in the additive chemistry and how the product is formulated. These processes have a large impact on final product performance and lifespan. These components and processes must be altered to meet requirements from different transmission manufacturers, which is why there is not 'one' single recipe which can be used in all transmissions. Some OEM transmission tests are quite difficult to pass and require many hours of field testing to ensure the proper lubrication is applied to their transmissions. This is why it is crucial to always select products which meet the requirements set out by the OEM.


13 Toyota Corolla S 1.8; Valvoline FS HM 0W20, OEM filter
12 Ford Fusion 2.5; Castrol EDGE 5W30, CQ Blue 85348
06 Toyota Tacoma 2.7; M1 HM 5W30, Wix XP
04 Ford Explorer 4.0; MC SB 5W30, MC FL820-S
Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5444704 06/02/20 02:52 PM
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ABN_CBT_ENGR Offline
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ahh, to be a young E.I.T. again.

He is absolutely correct and the same can be said for many industrial hydraulic systems and couplings.

Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5444722 06/02/20 03:09 PM
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Wolf359 Offline
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Did you ask him about Valvoline Maxlife? Works in many transmissions according to Valvoline.

Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5444735 06/02/20 03:31 PM
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LotI Offline
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MaxLife “is suitable for” but meets no specification. Castrol multi-vehicle is dex6 and Merc LV licensed but claims to meet many specs, like MaxLife.

I like the position that Idemitsu takes by having a different formulation for different specs. From personal experience with an Aisin, Castrol multi-vehicle ATF does NOT perform the same as TLS-LV. My Ford 5R110 disliked MaxLife but loves Castrol MV.

Mobil is right that there is no “universal” fluid and I like their take on the industry by not having a universal specification. They make a lot of OE fluids but don’t share them with the aftermarket, unlike Idemitsu.


03 Honda Interceptor
11 Kawasaki KLR 650
12 Ford E450
19 Buick Regal TourX
Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5444772 06/02/20 04:33 PM
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nascarnation Offline
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Originally Posted by AJB0009


Some OEM transmission tests are quite difficult to pass and require many hours of field testing to ensure the proper lubrication is applied to their transmissions.


Allison TES-295 certainly falls in this category.

Re: ATF Differences? [Re: Wolf359] #5444829 06/02/20 06:07 PM
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dave1251 Offline
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Originally Posted by Wolf359
Did you ask him about Valvoline Maxlife? Works in many transmissions according to Valvoline.

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1169896

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...81009/all/VOA_of_Amsoil_ATL_Low-Viscosit

http://pqiadata.org/DuraMax_Global_ATF.html

https://www.ram1500diesel.com/threads/transmission-fluid-analysis.62142/

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk03sSAyl5vRWHP_Ymg5BSyZerb9Kzw:1591138373748&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=mercon+lv+uoa&client=ms-android-verizon&fir=8XtdI00hQm-iFM%253A%252C2SrJiwAL-Hjp0M%252C_%253BRwGZOBWk8Ms6VM%253A%252C2SrJiwAL-Hjp0M%252C_%253BP0B0nXmMlxakRM%253A%252CRvzn_wf3qfYOAM%252C_%253B8Wxf_0ehthReJM%253A%252CktLZQNt9b_z-EM%252C_%253Bh-n3POTaIg23AM%253A%252CIYYbJJHT9v5cjM%252C_%253BsTPcI2sGFFYTQM%253A%252CIYYbJJHT9v5cjM%252C_%253BZwmaxZkf_RCYwM%253A%252CadDcWhah3719lM%252C_%253BwP7ew8c7qWxxaM%253A%252CIYYbJJHT9v5cjM%252C_%253BLbDWX_xyhmSA-M%253A%252CadDcWhah3719lM%252C_%253B1vGC5mgKWM5l0M%253A%252CIYYbJJHT9v5cjM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kThJOmbImitbpHCok9ObHU2UUdiQA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjiyLisnOTpAhVUGDQIHQ9NDOYQ7Al6BAgBEAI&biw=393&bih=714#imgrc=8XtdI00hQm-iFM

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk03sSAyl5vRWHP_Ymg5BSyZerb9Kzw:1591138373748&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=mercon+lv+uoa&client=ms-android-verizon&fir=8XtdI00hQm-iFM%253A%252C2SrJiwAL-Hjp0M%252C_%253BRwGZOBWk8Ms6VM%253A%252C2SrJiwAL-Hjp0M%252C_%253BP0B0nXmMlxakRM%253A%252CRvzn_wf3qfYOAM%252C_%253B8Wxf_0ehthReJM%253A%252CktLZQNt9b_z-EM%252C_%253Bh-n3POTaIg23AM%253A%252CIYYbJJHT9v5cjM%252C_%253BsTPcI2sGFFYTQM%253A%252CIYYbJJHT9v5cjM%252C_%253BZwmaxZkf_RCYwM%253A%252CadDcWhah3719lM%252C_%253BwP7ew8c7qWxxaM%253A%252CIYYbJJHT9v5cjM%252C_%253BLbDWX_xyhmSA-M%253A%252CadDcWhah3719lM%252C_%253B1vGC5mgKWM5l0M%253A%252CIYYbJJHT9v5cjM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kThJOmbImitbpHCok9ObHU2UUdiQA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjiyLisnOTpAhVUGDQIHQ9NDOYQ7Al6BAgBEAI&biw=393&bih=714#imgrc=8XtdI00hQm-iFM

https://images.app.goo.gl/xCZMwxSDqxPYh55CA

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1667884

Being a son of a salesman don't believe salesmen. ATF's are a lot closer to being identical than different. Unless it's ATF+4 and a few others such as Allison.


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5444884 06/02/20 07:49 PM
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dwcopple Offline
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You should ask back how Mobil1 ATF can work in so many makes then...


2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD
2011 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L V6
1998 Mustang GT 4.6L V8 convertible
2019 VW Jetta SEL 1.4T
Re: ATF Differences? [Re: dwcopple] #5445057 06/03/20 07:37 AM
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Pelican Offline
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Originally Posted by dwcopple
You should ask back how Mobil1 ATF can work in so many makes then...

It does work at least temporarily, we don't keep the vehicle long enough to see if there is a problem later on. Note what he said:
"The difference is in the additive chemistry and how the product is formulated. These processes have a large impact on final product performance and lifespan."

Re: ATF Differences? [Re: Pelican] #5445106 06/03/20 09:00 AM
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dave1251 Offline
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Originally Posted by Pelican
Originally Posted by dwcopple
You should ask back how Mobil1 ATF can work in so many makes then...

It does work at least temporarily, we don't keep the vehicle long enough to see if there is a problem later on. Note what he said:
"The difference is in the additive chemistry and how the product is formulated. These processes have a large impact on final product performance and lifespan."

The lifespan is designed to last 120-150K miles according to many power train engineers. You can see this on YouTube when a new model comes out with a new power train. Also this is ambiguous for one this guy did not explain if ATF's has nearly identical additive and formulations or different.


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5446146 06/04/20 01:52 PM
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AJB0009 Offline OP
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Someone responded to the posting by the E.I.T. from Exxon Mobil. Here is what they said:

There are many products on the market that have a large number of approvals (regulations for use), the so-called Multi-Vehicle ATP, mostly for cars in the European and Asian markets. It turns out that one product replaces many others.

So then here is what Korey from Exxon Mobil responded:

Keep in mind that the majority of these products have "Recommended as Suitable for use" claims, this is not the same as a warranty approval.

For example, I have seen many of these products on the market which will claim a low viscosity specification but not be a low viscosity fluid. This just reinforces what I was saying earlier about being very careful about OEM approvals and which ones you are actually covered for.


13 Toyota Corolla S 1.8; Valvoline FS HM 0W20, OEM filter
12 Ford Fusion 2.5; Castrol EDGE 5W30, CQ Blue 85348
06 Toyota Tacoma 2.7; M1 HM 5W30, Wix XP
04 Ford Explorer 4.0; MC SB 5W30, MC FL820-S
Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5446158 06/04/20 02:07 PM
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dave1251 Offline
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Which LV fluid from a reputable blender isn't a LV fluid. And yes suitable for or recommended for a lot closer to warranty approval than not approved. So much it is nearly impossible to prove fluid cases failure especially when it's a group III blend with a ATF package from Afton, Infineum, Lubrizol, or BASF.


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5446171 06/04/20 02:37 PM
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userfriendly Offline
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Transmission shops love one size fits all ATF.

Petro-Canada should change their name to SFU lubricants,

Last edited by userfriendly; 06/04/20 02:37 PM.
Re: ATF Differences? [Re: userfriendly] #5446174 06/04/20 02:38 PM
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First licensed Dexron VI

Re: ATF Differences? [Re: Pelican] #5446242 06/04/20 04:20 PM
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tig1 Offline
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Originally Posted by Pelican
Originally Posted by dwcopple
You should ask back how Mobil1 ATF can work in so many makes then...

It does work at least temporarily, we don't keep the vehicle long enough to see if there is a problem later on. Note what he said:
"The difference is in the additive chemistry and how the product is formulated. These processes have a large impact on final product performance and lifespan."

I have used M1 ATF in my 2007 Ford Fusion trans from the start. The car now has 258K with no trans problems. The M1 atf does not have the Ford spec but has performed great. I now use M1 LV atf in the 2017 Fusion and it likewise performs great but does not have the Ford spec. Very smooth shifts up and down.

Last edited by tig1; 06/04/20 04:21 PM.

2007 Ford Fusion 260,000 miles
M1 5-20HM
2017 Ford Fusion 93K
M1 0-20EP
10,000 mile OCIs on both engines
M1 ATF and M1 LV HP ATF
M1 10-30 in all OPE
MC filters

Re: ATF Differences? [Re: AJB0009] #5446417 06/04/20 08:34 PM
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dwcopple Offline
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Is the 07 a 4cyl or V6? ^^^


2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD
2011 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L V6
1998 Mustang GT 4.6L V8 convertible
2019 VW Jetta SEL 1.4T
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