Synthetic ATF or WS or Maxlife or? in 06 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Avalon 3rd Generation (2005-2012) Specific discussion of the third generation Toyota Avalon

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post #1 of 25 Old 03-22-2019, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Bought my 06 Avalon used and now it has a hundred and fifteen thousand miles on it. ATF was flushed and changed to synthetic at 50,000 and then flushed & changed out again with synthetic around 101,000. Was doing research today and found out that the stealership replaced what is supposed to be in the owner's manual only "WS" Toyota fluid with a "BG brands" product number 314 full synthetic fluid. the transmission seems to be working fine so I'm not sure if it's a big deal or not but I'm still trying to figure out why a Toyota dealership would put an off brand fluid in. That being said, I'm not sure what to do on the next fluid change. The BG products is something that is only sold to service centers and only in bulk. The only way I found that I can get it is by buying about 3 gallons of it for about a hundred and twenty bucks. Even if I could get it, I'm not sure if it's a good product or not as there are no reviews of it anywhere. So now I'm not sure if I should go back to Toyota WS. Or what? I was going to do a series of 3 drain and fills instead of a flush so cost is an issue. So here's my quandary. If I drain and fill, can I gradually (drain and fill) go back to WS? Or do I have to flush it and put all WS in it? Another potential solution would be to flush and fill with Valvoline maxlife full synthetic as it says it's compatible with WS and it seems pretty inexpensive. But now... I don't really have WS! I've currently got the BG brands 314 fully synthetic. You see my quandary? It's sort of a catch-22! Or do I just trust the stealership and by 3 gallons of the BG full synthetic 314 and keep Rollin with that. Or if you all have any other ideas I'd be open to them. I'm fairly certain I could do it with Amsoil and then there's also an ATP 216 product but they would both be very costly to do three drain and fills with. Another question is if I go to the max life or the WS doing a drain and fill. Will that be okay? The two fluids intermingling? Also, the owners manual doesn't say there's any interval for the changing ATF other than if you're pulling a trailer it says 60,000 miles. Any ideas as far as a good ATF change out interval for normal day-to-day driving? Help!

Last edited by fmradioman; 03-22-2019 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Mistake
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-22-2019, 07:31 PM
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Welcome to the site fmradioman.

You can go either way, no harm, no foul. There is nothing magical about WS. Next time to "flush", I would drain the pan, fill it with Maxlife, then pump out a quart at a time (pump out, refill, pump out, refill, etc.) with Maxlife to get all new fluid in. That is how I wold do ti every time, not because you have BG in it now. Or, spend the money on BG (I wouldn't), or go WS. Either way it is not likely you will have any issues, as long as you are maintaining the tranny and the fluid is in spec for that tranny. I figure 100k on the tranny fluid to change it. I need to do it in my 4Runner, which is around 127k.
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-22-2019, 09:47 PM
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That is not the correct BG PN for WS compatibility. BG has a couple LV synth ATFs that can be used.

Dealers arent required to use OE parts. Most consumers dont have a clue concerning the services at a dealership.

WS is an LV HFM fluid meeting Jaso1LV . Even though not magical, you want to make sure that your non OE fluid is full synthetic, low viscosity, and stating either JASO or WS compatibility.

So, either start a drain/refill regimen or flush out the thick non-LV BG ATF. Valvoline, Castrol, Pennzoil, Supertech....have compatible LV full synth ATF. I dont care for OE WS.

And, if you havent changed the filter, now is a good time to drop the pan, clean the magnets, replace filter....

BG 315 or 316 should've been used
https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/trans...synthetic-atf/
https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/trans...synthetic-atf/
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-22-2019, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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You helped me figure out an error

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasymechtech View Post
That is not the correct BG PN for WS compatibility. BG has a couple LV synth ATFs that can be used.

Dealers arent required to use OE parts. Most consumers dont have a clue concerning the services at a dealership.

WS is an LV HFM fluid meeting Jaso1LV . Even though not magical, you want to make sure that your non OE fluid is full synthetic, low viscosity, and stating either JASO or WS compatibility.

So, either start a drain/refill regimen or flush out the thick non-LV BG ATF. Valvoline, Castrol, Pennzoil, Supertech....have compatible LV full synth ATF. I dont care for OE WS.

And, if you havent changed the filter, now is a good time to drop the pan, clean the magnets, replace filter....

BG 315 or 316 should've been used
https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/trans...synthetic-atf/
https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/trans...synthetic-atf/
Thanks, you just helped me realize a probable error. In short, I am not absolutely sure the dealer put BG PN 314 in the car. The service record only states "full synthetic ATF". I need to call them tomorrow. Assuming they put one of the PNs you listed as correct, is BG a good product? Is there any compatibility chart for ALL BG ATFs anywhere? If not, do you have a compatibility chart you could post here? Also, where can I purchase it (other than MAYBE on ebay)? I can not find those PNs for sale anywhere. If I change to Maxlife or whatever, can I drain and fill... or do I have to flush? Additionally, which Supertech (specifically) is compatible with the Full Synth BG or WS? I looked at walmart.com but couldn't figure out which one would work. Thanks again for the info.
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post #5 of 25 Old 03-22-2019, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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What is within spec?

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Originally Posted by SFCamry View Post
Welcome to the site fmradioman.

You can go either way, no harm, no foul. There is nothing magical about WS. Next time to "flush", I would drain the pan, fill it with Maxlife, then pump out a quart at a time (pump out, refill, pump out, refill, etc.) with Maxlife to get all new fluid in. That is how I wold do ti every time, not because you have BG in it now. Or, spend the money on BG (I wouldn't), or go WS. Either way it is not likely you will have any issues, as long as you are maintaining the tranny and the fluid is in spec for that tranny. I figure 100k on the tranny fluid to change it. I need to do it in my 4Runner, which is around 127k.

You said as long as it's within spec. According to the Toyota owner's manual WS is the only thing that's in spec.! Please elaborate.
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-23-2019, 09:33 AM
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One of the most affordable WS alternative ATFs is Walmarts Super Tech Dexron VI. Clearly stated on the bottle.

I switched my '06 Avalon over to the WM product years ago and it shifts very well. I've also used the Valvoline Synthetic one-size-fits-all product in WS-required vehicles w/o issue.

Bottom line...there are countless WS alternatives.

And in closing...the comment in the OP about having to buy BG products in bulk is not true. Their products are all over the place...both online and in retail outlets in bottles/cans designed for DIY usage.

GreasyMechs comment about how dealers operate is so true. I get a kick out of people who believe that Toyota dealers use only Toyota-branded lubricants/etc. in the vehicles they service. One of the many myths about dealership service.

If you want basic maint. performed on your vehicle, learn to do it yourself.
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-23-2019, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasymechtech View Post
That is not the correct BG PN for WS compatibility. BG has a couple LV synth ATFs that can be used.

Dealers arent required to use OE parts. Most consumers dont have a clue concerning the services at a dealership.

WS is an LV HFM fluid meeting Jaso1LV . Even though not magical, you want to make sure that your non OE fluid is full synthetic, low viscosity, and stating either JASO or WS compatibility.

So, either start a drain/refill regimen or flush out the thick non-LV BG ATF. Valvoline, Castrol, Pennzoil, Supertech....have compatible LV full synth ATF. I dont care for OE WS.

And, if you havent changed the filter, now is a good time to drop the pan, clean the magnets, replace filter....

BG 315 or 316 should've been used
https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/trans...synthetic-atf/
https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/trans...synthetic-atf/


I called dealer and they said that the car had BG PN 3123 along with BG PN 6600 (a cleaner and additive kit). Later in conversation the parts guy told me that BG PN 314 and BG PN 312 were the same product (because BG changed the part numbers). Does anyone know if that is true about changed part numbers? My transmission has had the BG 312 in it since 61K miles and seems to be running fine (now at 115K). Is 312 still the incorrect fluid (as stated by GreasyMechTech) / do I need to change it out or not and (if so) can I drain and fill or do I have to flush it?? Any thoughts on supertech product as replacement?

see it here...https://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Tec...Quart/52626198

BG 312 page is here... https://www.bgprod.com/?s=3123#

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post #8 of 25 Old 03-23-2019, 01:44 PM
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Dealer sounds like a liar bullshitzer and I would just avoid going there ever again.

You don't need to do a flush. You can start a drain/refill regimen and go from there. Enjoy the Maxlife or equivalent WS compatible fluid, as stated by the fluid manufacturer or on the datasheet.

WS, like most OE parts, keeps the stockholder and the dealership franchise happy.

The BG compatibility charts/pdfs aren't available to the public. The BG shop should have it available if asked. I wouldn't even mention 315/316 to the dealerturd. I would ask for a flush again and ask the tech what ATF PN is being used to test delaer to see if they use the LV fluid. If they don't, run and never go back.

BG products are good products and usually can find them at various online stores. I wouldn't go out of my way to find them.

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post #9 of 25 Old 03-23-2019, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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high mileage / conditioners in ATF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasymechtech View Post
Dealer sounds like a liar bullshitzer and I would just avoid going there ever again.

You don't need to do a flush. You can start a drain/refill regimen and go from there. Enjoy the Maxlife or equivalent WS compatible fluid, as stated by the fluid manufacturer or on the datasheet.

WS, like most OE parts, keeps the stockholder and the dealership franchise happy.

The BG compatibility charts/pdfs aren't available to the public. The BG shop should have it available if asked. I wouldn't even mention 315/316 to the dealerturd. I would ask for a flush again and ask the tech what ATF PN is being used to test delaer to see if they use the LV fluid. If they don't, run and never go back.

BG products are good products and usually can find them at various online stores. I wouldn't go out of my way to find them.
Thanks for the last post. FYI... I will do the drain and fill myself so I want to clarify so I do not make a costly mistake.

1. You are recommending that (regardless if it is 312 or 314) I do a drain and fill IMMEDIATELY (even though no problems and only 14K on current ATF fluid?

2. Are you saying that as long as the full synthetic says WS it will also be LV? Or do I have to look for an ATF to have both on it? or either?

3. The owners manual does not give a standard duty change interval. Only severe duty interval. If owners manual says that towing / severe duty should change ATF at 60K and I do not tow, how many miles would you use between drain and fills ?

4. Would you try to run high mileage ATF or just normal ATF at 115K miles. I ask because of the prior BG "conditioning" products that were added at 51K and 101K in combo with my current 115K miles on car. In other words... do I have to use conditioners or high mileage products for the rest of the cars life since they have been used up till now? Or does it even matter?
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-23-2019, 08:01 PM
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1. Yes
2. LV and synthetic
3. Every 30k... manual is useless.
4. See #2

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post #11 of 25 Old 03-23-2019, 09:33 PM
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BG 315 is intended for WS uses: https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/trans...synthetic-atf/

No need to panic though if the transmission is shifting smoothly with BG314. 314 is a somewhat thicker fluid than 315.

If your transmission does not have a dipstick beware there are special procedures required to get the fluid level correct.

If it were my car I'd do three consecutive pan drain and refills using Toyota WS fluid. It's not too expensive if purchased on ebay and will ship straight to your home.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-23-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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I am wondering if mistakenly running the BG 312 ATF instead of the LV could being negatively affecting the cars fuel economy. The thought occurred to me while I was reading the description of the BG 315. which said "Low viscosity transmission fluid offers better performance and fuel efficiency gains." Anybody know if the ?thicker? 312 ATF could negatively affect fuel economy?

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post #13 of 25 Old 03-23-2019, 11:53 PM
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When you drain a properly filled '06 transmission, you'll capture approx. 3.7 qts. of fluid. This is in the owners manual.

Forget the BG confusion. Go to Walmart and buy 12 qts. of their WS complaint Dex VI. Perform 3 rotation drains.

Drain and refill with 3.7 qts. - drive car a short distance - do this a 2nd time - drive car a short distance - then do a 3rd drain and fill. I've been doing this on vehicles with no drain plug on the converter longer than a lot of people here have been alive and it's never failed me. You can even do a 4th/5th/6th drain and fill if you like. I believe there is a "flush" how to for this transmission on the Camry forum here. You might want to seek that out.

The Walmart Dex VI works quite well. Forget BG/Amsoil/Royal Purple and all of the other boutique fluid that you pay an arms and a leg for.

You asked in a PM about where I had seen this BG low viscosity ATF. I have seen various products by their name at NAPA and at a local repair shop sitting on a shelf out on the floor. I cannot say any were ATF, just that I have seen some of their products available in these places.

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post #14 of 25 Old 03-24-2019, 12:14 AM
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OP -

As you can see you are getting and will continue to get opinions on which fluid to use, how often to change it, etc. All in all it is really whatever you decide to do. My opinion is why waste all that time draining and refilling when it takes only a little bit of time to drain, refill the sump, and pump out a quart at a time through the return line. This guarantees you will not mix the new and old together. I just did this today on my 4Runner, using 3 gallons of Valvoline MaxLife ATF I bought at Walmart. It is $19 and change per gallon. No need to wait for anything to ship, no need to drive all over town and deal with drains and refills. It's really not a difficult thing to do, and you absolutely will not ruin your transmission by using a quality fluid like Valvoline. But it is your choice - go buy enough WS if you like and can't decide.

I got a cheap hand pump from Harbor Freight once upon a time to pump in the new fluid and it worked perfectly:

Fluid Pump


Drove the Runner down the Interstate at 80 or so plus all kinds of start and stop, running the gears speeds. It works.

Here is the thread if you want to read it: https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/2...ion-fluid.html

This is the fluid you can get in 1 gallon jugs (or 1 quart jugs) at Walmart for under $60 (if you buy 3 gallons):

https://www.walmart.com/nco/6-pack-V...llon/733644725

It works. Or, again, just go buy WS for over $100 for the same volume - this is up to you. Either way your trans will be fine.
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-08-2019, 04:37 PM
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Enenos quality synthetic ATF . only for Toyota/Lexus
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/AOS3107300

Have to buy 12 @20% off = $95 a steal for WS full synthetic

I know whats wrong with MaxLife. Covers too many transmissions , for me
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