Auto Trans Fluid Choice - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 5th & 6th Gen (2002-2006 & 2007-2011)/2nd Gen Solara (2004-2008) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 2002-2006 & 2007-2011, as well as Solara Discussion for years 2004-2008. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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  • 1 Post By Greasymechtech
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Auto Trans Fluid Choice

I came upon this video yesterday from Professor John Kelly at the Weber State University Auto Tech Program on the history of Toyota transmissions and transmission fluid. Really enjoyed all the information....it is long but has lots of great information if you have the patience to sit through it. The instructor is exceptionally well spoken and knowledgeable...his students are lucky to have him. He has other video's about Toyota transmissions and they are all great. I am a firm believer in OEM Trans Fluid so his statements regarding universal aftermarket ATF (at the end of the video) fit with my preconceived notions. He specifically discusses Valvoline MaxLife which I know some folks on this forum think highly of...have a look.

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2002 Camry XLE 4 cyl
2004 Accord EX 4 cyl
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2017 Tundra Limited DC 3.5L 4WD

Last edited by Buckaroo5; 05-16-2019 at 10:53 AM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 11:17 AM
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Video has been posted multiple times.

Nothing special there but the same ol' same ol' use OE stuff BS and scare tactics

Valvoline Maxlife is an excellent choice. I prefer Amsoil ATL over it. And, Pennzoil/Castrol/Redline.... are other options.

His opinions and your preconceived notions are wrong. Keep fearing the monsters in your closet and the boogieman under your bed if you want. I don't and skip OE fluids/filters/brakepads.....
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 11:36 AM
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Now, now - opinions are never wrong, just different. I may have an opinion the Moon is made of cheese, which is not "wrong". If I say "I have tested Moon materials and verified it is Gouda" then yeah, that is wrong. But an opinion is a belief in something absent tangible fact. Hence, not wrong, just different. If fact is contrary to my opinion then I would say I am more troubled than wrong if I keep screaming the Moon is pasteurized animal milk.



I am not a fluid engineer, and have not tested fluids in a lab with rigorous criteria to determine if one is "wrong" and another is "right", so best I can offer are opinions as well. When I see more than one reputable lab indicate that a particular fluid is detrimental to a thing (and not the lab owned by the manufacturer of the thing to be tested that offers a competing fluid as they do tend to have some bias) then I will adjust my opinion. As it stands I see nothing wrong with some aftermarket fluids. OE fluids work too. Pick one - it's your car after all.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Greasymechtech View Post
Video has been posted multiple times.
I had not seen it...it was made in 2019. I urge others to watch it. As opposed to engine oil, ATF is about much more than lubrication. As these transmissions become more sophisticated and they transition to 6, 8 or 10 speeds, it becomes even more of an issue. What may have been true back in the day doesn't necessarily translate to today's technology....I have been inside these things. A little different than they old 3 speed GM jobs....

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2002 Camry XLE 4 cyl
2004 Accord EX 4 cyl
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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@Greasymechtech - I agree with you on brake components, engine oil and filters....I have manual transmission cars in which I use non-OEM fluid in the gearbox and differential, but not automatic transmissions....OEM only although I would do the Aisin alternative.

Buckaroo

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2002 Camry XLE 4 cyl
2004 Accord EX 4 cyl
2010 Mazda MX-5 Touring
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2017 Tundra Limited DC 3.5L 4WD

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post #6 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 12:23 PM
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Made 319K miles on a '99 Toyota Solara using Maxlife. Not one transmission problem. I don't have any problems using it.

Want to see what many big tranny shops use? Something like this:
http://www.uslube.com/pdf/pds/pib-TH...rsal%20ATF.pdf

Or:
https://www.universallubes.com/user/...4_06_13_14.pdf

The Stable:
'00 Camry (adult daughter's)
'03 Avalon (daily driver)
'04 Avalon (wife's)
'05 Solara (adult son's)
'01 Silverado

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post #7 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 12:27 PM
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Here are the Professor's credentials.

https://www.weber.edu/automotive/J_Kelly.html

I don't see any degrees in chemistry or chemical engineering.

The Stable:
'00 Camry (adult daughter's)
'03 Avalon (daily driver)
'04 Avalon (wife's)
'05 Solara (adult son's)
'01 Silverado
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 01:50 PM
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I bought a case of Toyota T-IV ATF maybe 2 or 3 years ago and I do drain and fill once a year-ish. It wasn't very expensive and there's some peace of mind knowing that I'm not mixing different fluids. Generally it's not an issue with Toyotas but it is absolutely critical with Hondas and some Fords.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 04:06 PM
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I saw many of his videos, good stuff. Earlier he was able to stand up. I think it was some muscular thing. Hope all it well.

The old Honda Z-1 ATF I thought was mediocre. Walmart’s Mercon-V or multi-vehicle Dexron VI work better.

GM Dexron was the grand daddy of them all. The real “world standard” if you ask me.

Ford replaced their old Dexron which they called Mercon, with the *new* Mercon V. Like Toyota’s T-IV, the two weren’t supposed to be compatible mainly because of the extra friction modifiers for the limited slip torque converters the professor talked about.

https://www.aftermarket news.com/ford-announces-new-replacement-specs-for-mercon-atf/

And GM replaces the D-III with the D-VI. So there’s no doubt different ATF specs can be met by a fluid.

I agree that it’d be better if Maxlife got the Dexron VI certification, like Walmart’s multi-vehicle Dexron VI.

I still have D-VIs on the shelf, so that’s what I’m filling now.

BITOG has oil analyses showing WS is mediocre. Maybe that’s why the trashy U-series have their shift problems. j/k
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 04:10 PM
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T-IV is a thicker fluid. Supertech Mercon V would be an alternative (read the label).

But given little price difference I’d go Supertech multi-vehicle Dexron VI.
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post #11 of 11 Old 05-16-2019, 04:10 PM
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I mix Toyota World Standard and Valvoline Maxlife to create a semi-synthetic blend .

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