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Old 10-12-2016, 01:43 PM #1
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Toyota WS ATF vs Valvoline MaxLife V8 2004

I've read the threads on the board about using MaxLife ATF vs the Toyota WS fluid and seen sides for both. Yesterday I did the 4 quart drain and fill with OEM WS Toyota Fluid (Pic Attached-new on left old on right). I am trying to understand from the community if you have MIXED both during a fluid change? I have 4 quarts of new MaxLife and was considering using that in about 100 miles to do the 2nd 4 quart drain and fill but am somewhat hesitant due to other threads talking about the conditioners or additives that MaxLife may or may not have when compared to the OEM WS fluid. So was asking if anyone has had success or not when mixing the two during a fluid exchange and what if any issues you may have had. Some context on my v8. At 100K...did full OEM WS fluid exchange. At 150K did another full OEM exchange, at 220K have done a 4 quart exchange with OEM WS fluid. Thank you for your input

Toyota WS ATF vs Valvoline MaxLife  V8  2004-trans-pic-jpg
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:24 PM #2
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I did it. Almost 2 years and about 38k miles later, nothing to report other than all is good. Here's my blurb I wrote on it in my build thread back when I did it.

Hope that helps. Oh and I accept no liability for whatever you decide to do lol. Good luck!
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:59 PM #3
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Thank you for the thread, very interesting to read. Sounds like you did a mix when completing your WS and MaxLife drain and fills. At this point 2 years later are you still running a mix or are you completely filled up with MaxLife at this point. Any issues you can note?
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Old 10-12-2016, 03:05 PM #4
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I guess you could say it's still the "mix" in there. My thought was that I would do a number of drain and fills with MaxLife to dilute or flush out the old, but on my last fill, I used WS only thinking that would be the majority of what remained in the case, if that makes sense.

Nope, like I said, no issues at all regarding the transmission. Still probably the best automatic transmission I've ever driven.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:47 PM #5
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Empirically speaking, it doesn't seem to hurt the transmission...

Scientifically and Technically speaking, it's a non-approved, non-spec'd, non-tested fluid for the vehicle and shouldn't be used.

So... really up to you.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:13 PM #6
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I personally would not mix back and forth. I would continue drain and fills with one or the other. But then again I wouldn't purposely mix them anyway. However, these transmissions are so stout I really doubt it makes a difference. JuSt me being weird.

Fwiw I dI'd a complete exchange with max life 10k ago on both t4r and gx470 and they run great.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:28 AM #7
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Well, I am certainly leaning toward keeping OEM. I was at Advance Auto and they had the MaxLife on sale for $17.99 for the gallon jug last week so I picked one up thinking I would switch over. I think I will return it and keep the OEM. Small price to pay for peace of mind in my book and since Koons Toyota wants $335 for the V8 tranny service, I can get it done for around $120 and doing the drain and fill method. The pic that I posted above really tells the story, 70K miles on that fluid and it still "looks" pretty good. I don't tow anything, daily driving so I thought it was interesting to share with the group.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:46 AM #8
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I heard ws isn't synthetic. Just heard
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:32 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8PoWer View Post
I heard ws isn't synthetic. Just heard
That's what I got from all the Bobistheoilguy forum users too.

For what it's worth, I have 2x drain and fills on my V6 tranny (140k & 142K odometer readings) with Maxlife with no issues. Mine too had no tranny service from its previous 1 owner.
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:56 PM #10
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Usually the difference between oem and the universal off the shelf is the friction modifier. From what i experience is that oem have a lot of modifiers which is why you have the seamlessly smooth shifts. It allows the clutch to slip more. In return it cause more wear and tear on the clutch packs.
Imo for older vehicle with higher mileage, less slip is better if you're trying to prolong it. This is what I achieve with the valvoline. It still have the friction modifier but less allowing quick firmer shifts.
Think of it as you are driving a manual stick shift. If you don't want your passengers to snap their neck, you would graudually release the clutch allowing more slip on the clutch and flywheel. Best of all valvoline is fully synthetic. With WS, it is a secret mystery.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:14 PM #11
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Valvoline & Toyota WS

THOMAS R. SMITH
Vice President, Branded Lubricant Technology
Ashland Consumer Markets
August 22, 2011
To Whom It May Concern:
MaxLife ATF is a full synthetic automatic transmission fluid designed to meet the needs of the broadest range of transmission designs. MaxLife ATF recommendations are based on a combination of field testing and laboratory testing.
Valvoline recommends MaxLife ATF in a broad range of transmissions. The list below is just a sample of applications where Valvoline supports the use of MaxLife ATF. Valvoline has conducted in-house testing, independent lab testing, and field-testing to support MaxLife ATF performance in these transmissions; however, it is important to note that the respective vehicle manufacturers have neither evaluated nor approved MaxLife ATF in these applications.
• Allison TES 389, C-4
• ATF 3403 M115
• Audi/VW G-052-025-A1/A2, G-055-025, G-052-162-A1/A2, G-055-005-A1/A2, G-055-162, G-060-162-A1/A2
• BMW LT71141, LA2634, M-1375.4 fluids
• Ford MERCON
• Ford FNR5
• Ford MERCONŽ V
• Ford MERCONŽ SP
• MERCONŽ LV
• GM 9986195
• GM DEXRONŽ II, III and VI
• Honda/Acura ATF-Z, DW-1 (except in CVTs)
• Hyundai SP-II, SP-III, SP-IV, and SPH-IV
• Jaguar JLM20238, LT71141
• JWS 3309
• KIA SP-II and SP-III Fluids
• KIA Red 1
• MAN 339 Type F
• Mazda M-V
• Mercedes Benz MB236.1, MB236.6, MB236.7, MB236.9, MB236.10
• Mercedes Benz NAG-1
• MOPAR AS68RC ATF
• Miscellaneous OEMs – M1375.4
• Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II and SP-III
• Nissan Matic-D, Matic-J, Matic-K, and Matic-S
• Saab 93 165 147
• Subaru ATF
• Subaru ATF-HP
• Toyota / Lexus Type T, T-III and T-IV
• Toyota WS (except Hybrid vehicles )
• Voith H55.6336.33 (G1363), H55.6335.33 (G607)
• Volvo 1161521 and 1161540, and STD 1273.41
• VW TL52162
• ZF TE-ML-14B, 16L, 17C
Valvoline stands behind all of its products, including MaxLife ATF. Use of MaxLife ATF in transmissions where recommended by Valvoline WILL NOT void the vehicle’s warranty. Vehicle manufacturers are restricted by federal law from including the requirement of the use of a specific brand or trade name of product or service as a condition of their warranty. The following is an extract from the Federal Trade Commission’s web site on interpretation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act:
"Tie-In Sales" Provisions Generally, tie-in sales provisions are not allowed. Such a provision would require a purchaser of the warranted product to buy an item or service from a particular company to use with the warranted product in order to be eligible to receive a remedy under the warranty. The following are examples of prohibited tie-in sales provisions.
In order to keep your new Plenum Brand Vacuum Cleaner warranty in effect, you must use genuine Plenum Brand Filter Bags. Failure to have
scheduled maintenance performed, at your expense, by the Great American Maintenance Company, Inc., voids this warranty.
Valvoline has conducted extensive testing and has a long history of successful use of MaxLife ATF in a broad range of applications. In the unlikely event that you or your customer experiences any transmission damage while using MaxLife ATF in a Valvoline recommended application, please contact Valvoline at 1-800-Team-VAL for assistance.
While MaxLife ATF is designed to meet the special needs of higher mileage transmissions, new transmissions can also benefit from its enhanced oxidation protection, shear stability, seal compatibility, wear protection and anti-shudder protection. Many consumers have chosen to take advantage of this level of performance in newer transmissions.
Valvoline does not recommend MaxLife ATF for use in most continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) unless specifically noted nor in automatic transmissions where Ford Type F fluids are recommended.
Sincerely,
Thom Smith
Vice President, Branded Lubricant Technology
Ashland Consumer Markets
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:17 PM #12
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@V8Man

I've seen the same letter from Valvoline when they started pushing their stuff at our dealership.

The interesting thing here is that they say their fluid is compatible with WS ATF, EXCEPT for Hybrid.

Well guess what all the hybrids use? WS ATF, which makes me wonder what's wrong with their fluid that it doesn't work in hybrids...

In any case, Valvoline does have a warranty they cover on their own product (though whether or not they'll make you go through hell to prove their fluid caused the transmission to fail and if they will warranty it afterwards is a different story).

The real issue at hand is that there's bits and pieces of information on what WS ATF can do; but nothing solid or concrete enough to definitively prove what type of fluid it is. Based on what I've looked at, it's either a modified Dexron III, Modified Type-IV ATF, Modified Dexron VI, or a completely different fluid all together.

At least with Valvoline's Zerex Coolant I could easily confirm that it's compatible with Toyota's systems because you can easily find what SLLC does and does not have in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V8PoWer View Post
I heard ws isn't synthetic. Just heard
It's either a synthetic blend or full synthetic, BITOG is mainly basing their assumption based on flashpoints and maximum temperature ratings (which on their own are relatively useless data points as the max temperatures are still above normal ranges so it shouldn't matter much). Like I said, lots of bits and pieces of data, but all lacking context and real conclusive ways to tie it into a package. I still have yet to see anything that mentions what type of base stock it's formulated on (which would implicate whether or not is is a full-synthetic or not).

WS ATF happens to be my personal pet-peeve in terms of being annoyed that I do not know what it is exactly.

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Old 10-17-2016, 09:27 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackWorksInc View Post

At least with Valvoline's Zerex Coolant I could easily confirm that it's compatible with Toyota's systems because you can easily find what SLLC does and does not have in it.

WS ATF happens to be my personal pet-peeve in terms of being annoyed that I do not know what it is exactly.
I use Zerex for all our Toyota's too.

And I'm not a fan of WS ATF either, but force myself to use it while there's still a waranty. I go to Maxlife later on.
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:53 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZebRuaj View Post
I use Zerex for all our Toyota's too.

And I'm not a fan of WS ATF either, but force myself to use it while there's still a waranty. I go to Maxlife later on.
I agree WS until warranty but I use the the pink stuff because I've seen how absolutely clean the coolant passages are on a high mileage engine that has had nothing but Toyota coolant in them. Also not any transmission issues on the 4 T4R or my son's Tacoma running on Maxlife.
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:47 PM #15
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Agreed...going with Maxlife
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