DEXRON VI vs ATF+4 automatic transmission fluid - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
- HOME - FORUMS - GARAGE - TECH - ARTICLES - CHAT - CLASSIFIEDS - REVIEWS - VIDEOS - MEMBER MAP - STORE - INSURANCE -
- REGISTER - CALENDAR - INFO - SITE HELP - RULES - STAFF - MEMBERSHIP - ADVERTISE - CONTACT US -


Welcome to the Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum, the fastest growing Dodge Diesel Community on the internet.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us
Go Back   Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum > 2nd Gen. Dodge Cummins 98.5-02 24V Forums > 98.5-02 Powertrain
98.5-02 Powertrain Discussion of components that are directly involved in the power production and all that is needed to get and keep the truck moving . Engine , Transmission Ect..NO ADVERTISING .

CumminsForum.com is the premier Dodge Diesel Truck Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.

Auto Insurance

» Featured Product
Wheel & Tire Center

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-15-2011, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
Cummins Enthusiast
 
Coloradokevin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Arvada, CO
Posts: 238
Thanks: 3
Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
DEXRON VI vs ATF+4 automatic transmission fluid

Just checked my tranny fluid, and it is sitting pretty low (just barely wetting the bottom of the dip stick).

My transmission was replaced by the previous owner about 4,000 miles ago, and he told me that it was filled with a "full synthetic oil". The paperwork he provided listed the fluid simply as "Dextron".

Anyway, my local auto parts store sells Valvoline Full Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluids of the Dexron VI and ATF+4 varieties (both of which should satisfy my manual's requirements of an ATF+3 or Dexron III)

So, my question is, what is the difference between these two different types of fluids (Dexron vs ATF+4)? I assume I should use the Dexron VI since my transmission is supposedly filled with Dexron now (don't know which Dexron # was used).

Also, approximately how much fluid do you think I'll need to add to get from the bottom of the dipstick to the safe zone? I should mention that I checked the fluid with a fully warmed engine idling in neutral.
__________________
1999 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L 24v, Auto Trans, 4x4, SRW, LB, Quad Cab, 285 75R16 tires, 131K miles, Airdog 100 with drawstraw V, Isspro Mechanical 0-30psi FP gauge with isolator.
Coloradokevin is offline   Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-15-2011, 08:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
VP Moderator
 
dozer12216's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,186
Thanks: 1,255
Thanked 1,366 Times in 1,178 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
It should have ATF+4 installed.
Many trans shops use dexron as their only fluidl. The reason is Chrylser trannies are suck a small % of their business they can't justify stocking the higher priced ATF+4 also. They have learned it works to get it out of shop. The fact that it doesn't last is not their concern. Yeah, I know there is someone that Dexron has lasted xxxxxxx miles and WORKS GREAT. That does not mean it is right. Chrysler takes the characteristic of fluid in consideration when calibrating shifts. Not only is the fluid a synthetic(near perhaps) but the additive package consists of superiour materials that last longer or survive higher temps for longer periods of timel JMHO of course.
__________________
2008 3500 stock QCLB dually Inferno red. Toys: Fuel injected Rampage, Road Grader, 1586 tractor, 60K genset, Honda ATV, and more. Back in business with a Hitachi EX270LC excavator. The dirt slinging has begun with 50+ acres to clear.
dozer12216 is online now   Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dozer12216 For This Useful Post:
Mopar1973Man (12-15-2011), Scott91370 (12-15-2011)
Old 12-15-2011, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
Cummins Enthusiast
 
Coloradokevin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Arvada, CO
Posts: 238
Thanks: 3
Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by dozer12216 View Post
It should have ATF+4 installed.
Many trans shops use dexron as their only fluidl. The reason is Chrylser trannies are suck a small % of their business they can't justify stocking the higher priced ATF+4 also. They have learned it works to get it out of shop. The fact that it doesn't last is not their concern. Yeah, I know there is someone that Dexron has lasted xxxxxxx miles and WORKS GREAT. That does not mean it is right. Chrysler takes the characteristic of fluid in consideration when calibrating shifts. Not only is the fluid a synthetic(near perhaps) but the additive package consists of superiour materials that last longer or survive higher temps for longer periods of timel JMHO of course.
But, aren't our transmissions designed to run on either of these? My manual lists Dexron III first, then ATF+3 after that (but does not specify a preference).

I guess my biggest concern right now is figuring out which fluid I should add to my tranny to top it off. Insofar as I can tell from the paperwork I have, my rebuilt tranny is currently filled with Dexron.

Would I be better off dumping that fluid in favor of ATF+4 now, or should I just wait until the next fluid change interval to do so?
__________________
1999 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L 24v, Auto Trans, 4x4, SRW, LB, Quad Cab, 285 75R16 tires, 131K miles, Airdog 100 with drawstraw V, Isspro Mechanical 0-30psi FP gauge with isolator.
Coloradokevin is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-15-2011, 10:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
Diesel Head
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Burleson, Texas
Posts: 1,087
Thanks: 82
Thanked 104 Times in 95 Posts
iTrader Score: 1 reviews
Damn that Dozer knows his stuff. I have to say I enjoy reading his explainations to technical questions because he (a) knows his stuff (b) backs it up with fact (3) does it with tact!
Scott91370 is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-15-2011, 10:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Mississauga Canada
Posts: 166
Thanks: 23
Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
i'm afraid to say but this time dozer is wrong. Most transmission shop i know are quit honest and respectable

DEXRON - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chrysler transmission fluids: 7176, ATF+3, ATF+4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automat...smission_fluid

they are both compatible. one is made by GM and the other is made by Chrysler

Last edited by lucky1; 12-15-2011 at 10:44 PM.
lucky1 is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-15-2011, 10:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
Cummins Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 298
Thanks: 23
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
I agree with the ATF+4.. Run Chrysler specific fluid in a Chrysler trans.
__________________
SOLD! 2001 QCLB 2500
2010 CCSB 2500 Big Horn, Auto, Webasto engine heater, Firestone air bags, H&S EGR delete, Smarty JR, 4" aFe DPF delete, B&W Turnover ball
Smurfry is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-15-2011, 11:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
Cummins Enthusiast
 
Coloradokevin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Arvada, CO
Posts: 238
Thanks: 3
Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky1 View Post
they are both compatible. one is made by GM and the other is made by Chrysler
Again, I'm the amateur around here... so my understanding of this is somewhat superficial.

But, I kind of expected to see more responses along the lines of what you wrote above, based on the fact that my owner's manual lists both Dexron III and ATF+3.

Based on the label on the two bottles, I'm assuming that Dexron VI is backwards compatible for Dexron III applications, and that the same would be true when comparing ATF+4 with ATF+3.

Still, I'm hung up on the idea that these two fluids are apparently different in some substantial way, but both somehow compatible with this truck's notably touchy transmission.
__________________
1999 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L 24v, Auto Trans, 4x4, SRW, LB, Quad Cab, 285 75R16 tires, 131K miles, Airdog 100 with drawstraw V, Isspro Mechanical 0-30psi FP gauge with isolator.
Coloradokevin is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2011, 02:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
Cummins Fanatic
 
gasmask1942's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Northern Delaware
Posts: 175
Thanks: 123
Thanked 25 Times in 14 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smurfry View Post
I agree with the ATF+4.. Run Chrysler specific fluid in a Chrysler trans.
..........
__________________
2001 2500 Ext cab long bed Sport with, BHAF, raptor 100, boost egt fp gauges,smarty, 5" stacks, turbo ate silencer ring
gasmask1942 is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2011, 02:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
Cummins Enthusiast
 
Coloradokevin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Arvada, CO
Posts: 238
Thanks: 3
Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
UPDATE ---- Along with: "and don't I feel stupid."

Well, I pulled out the owner's manual again, since it seemed like I was just about the only one who saw information suggesting that Dexron was recommended. I stupidly read the wrong page in my haste to look into this issue, and the Dexron III recommendation was actually for the TRANSFER CASE (attention to detail was lacking this afternoon, I guess).

Regardless, I haven't added any fluid to the tranny yet, or changed the existing fluid. Is there any realistic way to positively verify what type of fluid is actually in my transmission at the moment (in other words is there any way to tell the difference between Dexron and ATF+3 -- I kinda doubt it)?

The ONLY information I have about the fluid that is currently in my truck is from an invoice that was provided to me by the previous owner. This paper indicates that at 126,371 miles the transmission was rebuilt. The invoice for that rebuild says "Synthetic Dextron transmission oil - sold per quart - 12 quarts - $8.36/quart".

The truck currently has just over 131K miles (just under 5k on the tranny/fluid), so it hasn't been driven much on this fluid. The fluid on the stick appears nice and pink at the moment.


Should I just dump this fluid completely and replace it with ATF+4 immediately? If I do that will it require a flush of the transmission, or just dropping the pan? Will it be okay to run on the "Dexron" until the next change interval? If I top it off should I add "Dexron" to match what is in there, or add the ATF+4 that should be in there?

(sorry guys, a bit of confusion is creating a bunch of question for me)
__________________
1999 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L 24v, Auto Trans, 4x4, SRW, LB, Quad Cab, 285 75R16 tires, 131K miles, Airdog 100 with drawstraw V, Isspro Mechanical 0-30psi FP gauge with isolator.
Coloradokevin is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2011, 02:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
Cummins Nut
 
rideordie1113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 300
Thanks: 63
Thanked 133 Times in 23 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
IMHO, I would swap all of the fluid out for +4. This would mean a complete swap, otherwise you are just going to be mixing the two fluids up and not really getting anywhere.

The manual does say that the TRANSFER CASE (as you realized) can take either or. These transmissions do NOT like dexron or any other other fluid for that matter. They ARE different.

As stated, tranny shops generally don't really care once it's out. By the time it fails down the road, you won't have the slightest clue why, let alone who put it in -- and they'll be fine.

ATF +4 is not much more compared to the others. I tell people at work all of the time "it's your car, run whatever you want in it", but I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

ATF +3 and 4 are compatible. +4 is meant to not break down as quickly as +3 mainly. Dex 3 and 6 are also compatible for similar reasons.
__________________
1994 Ram 2500, 5 speed, 4x4 - 370 injectors, head studs, Valair ceramic DD
New/potential owners of 12 valves, read this..
rideordie1113 is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2011, 03:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
Cummins Enthusiast
 
Coloradokevin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Arvada, CO
Posts: 238
Thanks: 3
Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by rideordie1113 View Post
IMHO, I would swap all of the fluid out for +4. This would mean a complete swap, otherwise you are just going to be mixing the two fluids up and not really getting anywhere.

The manual does say that the TRANSFER CASE (as you realized) can take either or. These transmissions do NOT like dexron or any other other fluid for that matter. They ARE different.

As stated, tranny shops generally don't really care once it's out. By the time it fails down the road, you won't have the slightest clue why, let alone who put it in -- and they'll be fine.

ATF +4 is not much more compared to the others. I tell people at work all of the time "it's your car, run whatever you want in it", but I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

ATF +3 and 4 are compatible. +4 is meant to not break down as quickly as +3 mainly. Dex 3 and 6 are also compatible for similar reasons.
Sadly, you're saying what I was already thinking, after realizing that this isn't the right fluid (presuming this invoice is correct, and I guess I have to assume it is).

I really hate the 1st 5,000 miles or so of owning a new vehicle, at least when they start out like this one has!

So, to remove all of the fluid from the transmission/TC I'd probably have to perform a transmission flush, rather than just a pan drop, correct? I assume that doing so is more of an in-the-shop job than an in-the-driveway job? Also, should I consider bothering with other issues like a filter change and band adjustment, or just assume those are still okay given that the rebuild was fairly recent?

This truck is becoming the bane of my existence, but at least I should have the problems out of the way before I start towing the horse trailer with it. So far I'm only in it for a VP44, lift pump, new transmission fluid, and some brake pads I need to pick up... it could certainly be worse, but lets hope it doesn't end up that way!
__________________
1999 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L 24v, Auto Trans, 4x4, SRW, LB, Quad Cab, 285 75R16 tires, 131K miles, Airdog 100 with drawstraw V, Isspro Mechanical 0-30psi FP gauge with isolator.
Coloradokevin is offline   Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2011, 04:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
VP Moderator
 
dozer12216's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,186
Thanks: 1,255
Thanked 1,366 Times in 1,178 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
You worring way too much. first - if it low it's leaking so take care of leak first. After reading all the material presented by Lucky1 and figuring your reading mistake.


My suggestion is:
drum roll please!

Based on it being a daily driver (dd)

And money tough to keep.

And they (dex and ATF+4) are ATF fluids in similair circumstances.

Did I mention reading with open mind all the Lucky1 thread ?

I assume the converter is not shuttering on lock up EVER.

Add ATF+4 to bring up to snuff and start getting some of it's benefits.
unless you got the $ stash to go the whole route.

Got cash? Do this! a flush procedure that will work at your shop/garage/driveway.
Remove rear cooler line at tranny and slip a drain hose on and place in 3.4765 gallon catch can. Start engine and let idle while shifting (mostly neutral) through gears. When fluid starts sputtering out of line, shut down immediatelly. Now drop pan with no leaky mess and let drain by loosing the 7/16 bolts 3 turns or so and gently pry valve body down. This procedure will drain all but a quart or so of the GM stuff in couple hours.
Adjust bands, install new filter, Retorque vb bolts and isntall cooler line. Reinstall nice reusable pan gasket unless rebuilder too cheap to buy when building.. Secure gasket if needed and make sure gasket surface on pan not dimpled. Straighten if needed. It will probablly take 12-14 quarts to fill and be on your way.

I would do the latter of suggestions, cause I a butt about doing things right.

Glad we got that straighten out.

Dozer
__________________
2008 3500 stock QCLB dually Inferno red. Toys: Fuel injected Rampage, Road Grader, 1586 tractor, 60K genset, Honda ATV, and more. Back in business with a Hitachi EX270LC excavator. The dirt slinging has begun with 50+ acres to clear.
dozer12216 is online now   Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:27 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2