Wrong Trans Fluid or not? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
1st Generation (1995-1999) Specific discussion of the first generation Toyota Avalon

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#1 Old 08-17-2007, 02:21 PM
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USA Wrong Trans Fluid or not?

Maybe someone on this board can clear this up for me. I have a 98 XLS that was due for a trans fluid change a few weeks back. After reading several posts, I decided to do the drain and refill 3 times without dropping the pan. I used Valvoline DEX/MERC, which the Advance Auto people said was compatible. I began noticing the shifting was a little sluggish, so I talked to a Toyota dealership who said they no longer sold the DEX III fluid, since the newer Toyotas used the other type, but that I should NOT use DEX/MERC, but should use just DEX III. So who is correct here?

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1998 Avalon XLS (White, Quartz Cloth)
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#2 Old 08-18-2007, 12:06 PM
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The Valvoline website states this fluid can replace Dexron III. Each type of trans fluid is a little different and the trans may function differently because of this. Different fluids have varying levels of additives, viscosity vs. temp, etc.

My concern would be even if the fluid were OK to use in this trans; you are finding the trans is not operating as it normally does. The likely cause of this is using the Valvoline fluid in place of Dexron III.

I suggest you change back to Dexron III and see if this solves the trans shifting issues. Keep in mind the pan only holds about 1/3 of the fluid, the rest is in the torque converter.

If you are concerned about fluid life, changing the fluid every 30K miles will prevent the fluid from degrading to the point of doing any potential damage to the trans. Trans fluid life is based to a large degree on how hot it gets during operation.

FYI, Dexron III has been superceded by Dexron VI, but Type III is still available at stores.
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#3 Old 08-19-2007, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyomoho
...FYI, Dexron III has been superceded by Dexron VI, but Type III is still available at stores.
Thanks for the input. So far, I have been unable to find any Dexron III only. Plenty of choices for Dexron III/Mercon, but no Dexron III only, but I'm going to keep looking.

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#4 Old 08-19-2007, 10:41 PM
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I've been wondering what steps did you take to flush out the transmission fluid? So what your steps?
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#5 Old 08-20-2007, 11:00 AM
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All DEXRON®-III licenses expired Jan 1 2007 and will not be renewed. That's why it's getting harder to find Dex III. Fluids sold in the market after that date bearing claims such as “suitable for use in DEXRON®-III applications” or similar wording should be avoided. DEXRON®-VI licensed fluids are fully backward compatible and can be used in all applications covered by earlier DexIII specifications. Dex VI is the replacement.

It worked fine until I fixed it!

Last edited by csaxon; 08-20-2007 at 11:05 AM.
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#6 Old 08-20-2007, 11:07 AM
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I switched an automatic transmission that originally called for Dexron-III over to this product. It may be the same one mentioned in the opening post of this thread:

http://www.valvoline.com/pages/produ....asp?product=6

No problems whatsoever.

Is is pssible your transmission is either under or over-filled?

It takes a good 20 miles of consistent driving to warm up a transmission enough to perfrom a fluid level check.
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#7 Old 08-20-2007, 01:29 PM
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A lot of fluids meeting Dexron III specs also meet Mercon specs hence the reason both names are on the container.

I suggest returning to the fluid you had been previously using.
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#8 Old 11-27-2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
A lot of fluids meeting Dexron III specs also meet Mercon specs hence the reason both names are on the container.

I suggest returning to the fluid you had been previously using.

It's no longer available.
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#9 Old 11-27-2012, 01:32 PM
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just get the fluid at the dealership. that stuff is too important to mess with "compatibles", and the opinion of every clerk at a parts store. for engine oil you can switch to full synthetic, because full synthetics blend beautifully with dino oil. transmissions rely on the minute characteristics of the fluid and the additives to a much greater degree. any extra cost is totally outweighed by the cost of tranny repairs/replacement.
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#10 Old 11-27-2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverdog View Post
just get the fluid at the dealership. that stuff is too important to mess with "compatibles", and the opinion of every clerk at a parts store. for engine oil you can switch to full synthetic, because full synthetics blend beautifully with dino oil. transmissions rely on the minute characteristics of the fluid and the additives to a much greater degree. any extra cost is totally outweighed by the cost of tranny repairs/replacement.

I just came from a local dealership where the service advisor had no knowledge of the situation with Dexron Mercon III nor did he know what the dealership used as a substitute. So much for your idea.
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#11 Old 11-27-2012, 02:45 PM
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Most of them are labeled very clearly, like this:


1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 365k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 308k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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#12 Old 11-27-2012, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMR View Post
Most of them are labeled very clearly, like this:


How old is that pic? I was on the Valvoline website earlier today and saw no such current product.
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#13 Old 11-27-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Mustari View Post
How old is that pic? I was on the Valvoline website earlier today and saw no such current product.
Dunno, just grabbed it using Google. I have a gallon jug in my garage labeled that way, so it can't be terribly old?... less than a year, I think.

You're right, tho. Valvoline's website shows the label is different now:



But it also clearly states:

  • Helps provide smooth shift performance where DEXRON®-III or a MERCON® fluid is specified
  • Greater friction stability to help maintain consistent shift performance
  • Excellent protection against wear and high-temperature breakdown
  • Meets new tests for wear protection and shudder resistance
  • Resists thickening due to high temperature
  • Recommended for use in GM, Ford, Mazda, Toyota and other import vehicles

Link to the info I posted:

http://www.valvoline.com/products/br...ssion-fluid/33

1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 365k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 308k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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#14 Old 11-27-2012, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMR View Post
Dunno, just grabbed it using Google. I have a gallon jug in my garage labeled that way, so it can't be terribly old?... less than a year, I think.

You're right, tho. Valvoline's website shows the label is different now:



But it also clearly states:

  • Helps provide smooth shift performance where DEXRON®-III or a MERCON® fluid is specified
  • Greater friction stability to help maintain consistent shift performance
  • Excellent protection against wear and high-temperature breakdown
  • Meets new tests for wear protection and shudder resistance
  • Resists thickening due to high temperature
  • Recommended for use in GM, Ford, Mazda, Toyota and other import vehicles
Link to the info I posted:

http://www.valvoline.com/products/br...ssion-fluid/33


I feel that Valvoline has a pretty good reputation for credibility so I'll probably try some of this however I feel Toyota is extremely remiss in not providing a recommendation to it's millions of customers and service personnel.
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#15 Old 11-27-2012, 07:14 PM
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sounds like you have a "service manager" who's standing there looking like he's going to wet himself because he can't figure out what they do at his own dealership? sounds like you need to speak to his boss, or find another dealership. even call one long distance and ask someone what atf fluid they use on your year of car.
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