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Old 06-04-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
rfranks
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Default About to change the transmission fluid

IS Castrol High Mileage Automatic Transmission Fluid ok to use in my 1996 sl2. I only plan on changing out 4 quarts and the filter. Thanks

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Old 06-04-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be good.

However,
You will need to make sure that you find a comparable Dexron Level ( I think there is Dexron II, Dexron III, and Dexron IV)

If you check in your owner's manual it will tell you which Dexron level your car requires. Check to make sure the ATF is compatible. Obviously the ATF stuff made today is going to be better than it was in 96.

You will need to make sure to change the fluid and filter EVERY 25K-30K miles from now on....otherwise, plan on doing a Trans rebuild.

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Old 06-06-2009, 12:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Many of the "high mileage" fluids have additives used to swell seals and gaskets. If you're not having a leak issue I would use another brand.


Use a Saturn OEM filter, and make sure you remove the magnet if there's one there. Take a look at this post: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ilter+pictures

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Old 06-06-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Castrol High Mileage has a much higher viscosity than most ATFs. The transmission was originally validated with Dexron-III (which no longer exists), but the Castrol HM ATF doesn't meet the viscosity requirement of the original Dexron-III fluid.

I would use a different ATF such as Valvoline Maxlife ATF. Preferably, I would use a Dexron-VI fluid if money was no object.

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Old 06-07-2009, 08:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

walmart sells lots of dexron 3.
I dont klnow what does not exist means.

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Old 06-07-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
walmart sells lots of dexron 3.
I dont klnow what does not exist means.
It's no longer on the market. It's not made. When the new Dexron came out it said to discontinue the Dexron 3 use. The newer ones are better for whatever reasons and go above the Dexron 3 level.

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Old 06-07-2009, 05:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

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Originally Posted by Special Forces View Post
It's no longer on the market. It's not made. When the new Dexron came out it said to discontinue the Dexron 3 use. The newer ones are better for whatever reasons and go above the Dexron 3 level.
http://www.sandyblogs.com/techlink/2009/05/

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Old 06-08-2009, 10:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

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Originally Posted by The Critic View Post
I believe that supports my claim.

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

The link you provided was a great help to me. Many Thanks, Harry.

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Critic View Post
Manual Transmission Fluid in the manual transmission in place of the Dexron-3. That is what this part number (88861800) is.

Quote:
TIP: Any vehicle that previously used DEXRON-III for a manual transmission or transfer case should now use p/n 88861800 (88861801 in Canada) Manual Transmission and Transfer Case Fluid. And power steering systems should now use p/n 89020661 (89021183 in Canada) Power Steering Fluid.
See this thread at BITOG.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...Number=1112608

Amsoil ATD is the Torque-Drive


The bottom line is that the 100C viscosity of Dexron-VI is too low for use in the manual and may not be that great for the automatic either.

Last edited by OldNuc; 06-10-2009 at 10:44 PM..

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Old 06-10-2009, 11:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Manual Transmission Fluid in the manual transmission in place of the Dexron-3. That is what this part number (88861800) is.



See this thread at BITOG.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...Number=1112608

Amsoil ATD is the Torque-Drive


The bottom line is that the 100C viscosity of Dexron-VI is too low for use in the manual and may not be that great for the automatic either.
Completely FALSE.

The only reason why Dexron-VI is not recommended for manual transmissions is because GM chose not to revalidate Dexron-VI for a low volume application. Also, many of GM's manual transmissions are supplied by outside vendors who chose not to revalidate the transmissions with Dexron-VI.

Dexron-VI is better than Dexron-III(H) in terms of viscosity retention. Even though Dexron-VI starts out a 6.0, it stays there. With Dexron-III(H), it starts out at 7.4 but it will shear down to 5.5 or less very quickly.

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Old 06-10-2009, 11:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Critic View Post
Completely FALSE.

The only reason why Dexron-VI is not recommended for manual transmissions is because GM chose not to revalidate Dexron-VI for a low volume application. Also, many of GM's manual transmissions are supplied by outside vendors who chose not to revalidate the transmissions with Dexron-VI.

Dexron-VI is better than Dexron-III(H) in terms of viscosity retention. Even though Dexron-VI starts out a 6.0, it stays there. With Dexron-III(H), it starts out at 7.4 but it will shear down to 5.5 or less very quickly.
That is true but the 6.0 is too low of a viscosity. The problem with Dex-3, either the original or the 2nd version of the spec is that it is not viscosity stable. The original Dex-3 spec was OK for the manual but the 2nd was borderline low and Dex-VI is too thin to start. there are/were several Dexron-3 specs and they all had viscosity stability problems and film strength problems. This is also how/why you blow a diff pin, film failure and subsequent pinion weld to pin. Anybody can look at the numbers of either fluid and see that the Dex-VI has a lower viscosity. That is why GM stated to use a different part number. Everyone of these transmissions that were originally speced for a Dexron-3 type fluid have shifting issues with the Dexron-VI, no matter who manufactured the transmission. This pertains primarily to the manual transmissions but some of the automatics respond very well to a higher viscosity fluid also.

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Old 06-10-2009, 11:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
That is true but the 6.0 is too low of a viscosity. The problem with Dex-3, either the original or the 2nd version of the spec is that it is not viscosity stable. The original Dex-3 spec was OK for the manual but the 2nd was borderline low and Dex-VI is too thin to start. there are/were several Dexron-3 specs and they all had viscosity stability problems and film strength problems. This is also how/why you blow a diff pin, film failure and subsequent pinion weld to pin. Anybody can look at the numbers of either fluid and see that the Dex-VI has a lower viscosity. That is why GM stated to use a different part number. Everyone of these transmissions that were originally speced for a Dexron-3 type fluid have shifting issues with the Dexron-VI, no matter who manufactured the transmission. This pertains primarily to the manual transmissions but some of the automatics respond very well to a higher viscosity fluid also.
Again, not true.

I have a contact at GM who is one of the developers of Dexron-VI and he answered all of those concerns.

The issue is simply with revalidation of Dexron-VI on certain platforms.

If Dexron-III(H) shears down BELOW 6.0 within 5-10k miles, what good does it do to have a higher starting viscosity?

Also, the film strength of Dexron-VI is actually 20% higher than Dexron-III.

I would be happy to forward your questions to my contact at GM to answer if you wish.

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Old 06-11-2009, 12:05 AM   #14
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

I disagree.
The original cert was for a viscosity in the 7 range. The fact that the Dex-3 shears down in a hearbeat is not the issue. The trans was designed to shift properly with the aid of the hydraulic coupling of the synchros. Hence the reason for a heavier fluid, but not too heavy either. Every one of these ZF take off transmissions has shifting issues with thin fluid. The Dex-6 is too thin at 6.0 even if it stays at 6.0 for ever. The transmission will shift poorly and that is the issue.

You can spend hours reading up on all of the stuff people have poured into these transmissions trying to get them to shift right. Once the clutch material is worn down nothing but mechanical overhaul will fix them. When the synchro clutches are in good condition then if you pick the right fluid they work. And even when worn they work better with the design viscosity fluid.

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Old 06-11-2009, 12:11 AM   #15
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
I disagree.
The original cert was for a viscosity in the 7 range. The fact that the Dex-3 shears down in a hearbeat is not the issue. The trans was designed to shift properly with the aid of the hydraulic coupling of the synchros. Hence the reason for a heavier fluid, but not too heavy either.
Could you please explain further?

If the transmission was designed to shift properly with hydraulic coupling of the synchros, then the transmission testing was validated using Dexron-III(G) or Dexron-III(H) for an extended period of time. Transmissions are validated for at least 100,000 miles, if not 150,000 or more. During the validation testing, the fluid would have sheared down well below 7.

Again, Dexron-VI was not revalidated in Manuals, but at least in automatics, clutch wear was improved significantly with Dexron-VI.

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Old 06-11-2009, 12:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

An automatic is an entirely different issue, apples and oranges.

When you do these lab experiments to validate a lubricant you start with new components and operate them according to the design. What that boils down to with a manual is you do not operate it like you were driving in a 24 hour road race and your brakes have failed. The manual in most of the Saturns is over 100,000 miles and has suffered some operator inflicted abuse. So what will work with a properly used/operated transmission might prove marginal with what you find in the wild.

With a low viscosity the clutch has to do more to gain sync speed and the synchro teeth tend to wear along with the clutch facing. Both of these make for blocked shifts and/or difficulty in shifting between gears rapidly.

By increasing the viscosity you gain an increase in the hydraulic coupling between the synchros before the clutch contacts the cone. It works the same way the torque converter works. The torque converter is totally a hydraulic connection until it is locked. If you are familiar with the behavior of an automatic when it is cold you may have noticed that it tends to be harder to hold it stopped when in drive until it warms up. This is why the "oil cooler" is located in the radiator. Tends to maintain a constant oil viscosity/temperature.

This is why that Tech Link article recommends a different fluid for the manual transmissions that were originally speced for Dex-3. That is also true for a long list of GM products. Do a search on GM 88861800. Every one of these transmissions has had shifting complaints using any of the revised Dexron-3 fluids. The first revision did not get a letter either, IIRC. FYI, Saturn is speced for a Saturn transmission fluid first and Dex-3 is acceptable if the preferred is not available.

The quest for ever increasing fuel economy will result in reducing the viscosity of all lubricants.

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Old 06-24-2009, 01:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
An automatic is an entirely different issue, apples and oranges.

When you do these lab experiments to validate a lubricant you start with new components and operate them according to the design. What that boils down to with a manual is you do not operate it like you were driving in a 24 hour road race and your brakes have failed. The manual in most of the Saturns is over 100,000 miles and has suffered some operator inflicted abuse. So what will work with a properly used/operated transmission might prove marginal with what you find in the wild.

With a low viscosity the clutch has to do more to gain sync speed and the synchro teeth tend to wear along with the clutch facing. Both of these make for blocked shifts and/or difficulty in shifting between gears rapidly.

By increasing the viscosity you gain an increase in the hydraulic coupling between the synchros before the clutch contacts the cone. It works the same way the torque converter works. The torque converter is totally a hydraulic connection until it is locked. If you are familiar with the behavior of an automatic when it is cold you may have noticed that it tends to be harder to hold it stopped when in drive until it warms up. This is why the "oil cooler" is located in the radiator. Tends to maintain a constant oil viscosity/temperature.

This is why that Tech Link article recommends a different fluid for the manual transmissions that were originally speced for Dex-3. That is also true for a long list of GM products. Do a search on GM 88861800. Every one of these transmissions has had shifting complaints using any of the revised Dexron-3 fluids. The first revision did not get a letter either, IIRC. FYI, Saturn is speced for a Saturn transmission fluid first and Dex-3 is acceptable if the preferred is not available.

The quest for ever increasing fuel economy will result in reducing the viscosity of all lubricants.
I have yet to read about any shifting complaints with the revised Dexron III fluids.

I still stand by what I said-- the main reason why GM has a manual transmission lubricant for use in automatics that originally called for Dexron III(H) is because Dexron-VI was not revalidated in these applications.

I'll call my contact at GM this week to see if I can get anymore info, and I'll be happy to put you in touch with him as well.

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Old 06-24-2009, 02:24 AM   #18
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Out of the blue, but related... someone posted that the diff section of the TAAT automatic trans is identical to the diff section in the 5-speed. True? And if so, is that a sealed-off and separate section of the TAAT automatic transaxle, or does it just use the same Dex III, nee Dex VI, as the transmission section? Any special drain or fill precautions? Hot tips to avoid throwing out the diff pin/trashing the trans?

TIA

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Get your pin welded or get a Quaife LSD?

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: About to change the transmission fluid

Quote:
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Out of the blue, but related... someone posted that the diff section of the TAAT automatic trans is identical to the diff section in the 5-speed. True? And if so, is that a sealed-off and separate section of the TAAT automatic transaxle, or does it just use the same Dex III, nee Dex VI, as the transmission section? Any special drain or fill precautions? Hot tips to avoid throwing out the diff pin/trashing the trans?

TIA
I imagine someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but the differential and the transmission are in the same compartment, and use the same fluid. If you drain the transmission fluid, the differential will not have fluid in it. This is why you need to remove some fluid to check the diff pin through the VSS port. I believe it's been stated previously that the differential between the auto and manual are the same. But, I'm going from memory, and there's alot going on up there.

For filling the transmission, just make sure your funnel leaves an air escape hole. It's pure physics...you're displacing the air that is in there after the draining, and it needs to go somewhere. If you don't, it's bound to "belch" up at you, which isn't any fun. That's only fun if it's liquid nitrogen...ah, I miss those days filling the detector (man, I need a job).

Don't drive like you're on the drag strip, and you shouldn't throw the pin. Well, be less likely to do it anyway.

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