Valvoline MaxLife Full Synthetic ATF - Instead of Toyota WS

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by ski.dive, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Stevewoods

    Stevewoods Senior Member

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  2. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    He’s gonna save 22 dollars. Gangster.
     
  3. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Wouldn’t Canadian maple syrup cost more than Toyota WS? How’s he gonna save 22 dollars?
     
  4. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Like mentioned, if the WS is a non-synthetic ATF while the MaxLife is synthetic, then it is more likely that MaxLife is an upgrade. Anything to the effect “you’re risking your expensive tranny” without facts in how is speculation...

    If you read further on the thread I linked danlatu explains more details, and I believe the OCC guy when he says he uses it...
     
  5. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    So how well does it work with the MG’s?
     
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  6. Stevewoods

    Stevewoods Senior Member

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    It's ALL SPECULATION without detailed and authenicated facts/analysis.

    I imagine Toyo spends a fair chunk of yen to assure the fluid meets the requirements and something else may or may not be as good or better. Again, use maple syrup -- nay corn syrup if you want, meanwhile ski.dive is a-chuckling and thinking up a new topic.:D:D:D.

    End of my rants on this topic.....maybe ;););)
     
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  7. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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  8. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Calling someone a troll is not in line with what a forum is meant to be, which should be coming together to share information...

    We come here, hopefully, to share what we think is good. Whether eventually right or wrong, time will tell. (Maybe that and UOA)....
     
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  9. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Toyota says to check the ATF fluid condition at certain intervals. This is one Blackstone test:

    Toyota ATF WS Used Oil Analysis | PriusChat

    This drain and fill is consistent with users who have changed their fluid. It has been advised here to have your Toyota WS fluid changed, as early as 30k miles. Granted this is a second owner car, so not 100% sure on what was in there.

    This is one for Redline D6:

    Oil Analysis, Redline D6 ATF 30k miles | PriusChat

    Again, consistent with subsequent ATF changes, it is much healthier looking results. WS gets the same results from users’ subsequent changes as they are reported as much clearer/healthier looking. (So is D6 definitely an upgrade? Not really determined because WS also results in better looking fluid on subsequent changes, meaning 2nd change, onwards).

    My parents’ is just under 25k miles. If I get brave enough to change it soon I should have a UOA analysis done. Which is the best lab? I’ll come back and report.

    Toyota’s “Lifetime” fluid needs changing at 30k miles? I think some users are getting fooled into contradicting themselves on how great this WS actually is!
     
  10. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    So have you actually used Valvoline yourself, or are you just rehashing what others say? Have you ever changed a transmission, either front or rear wheel drive? I have done both. More than once. My advice is based on the experience that saving 22 dollars every 60,000 miles is not worth having to worry if the Valvoline is ok dielectrically. If you want to take a chance go ahead. I know how much work is involved myself thru actually doing the job. Not worth 22 bucks every 60,000 miles to me.

    Toyota originally said that WS was a lifetime they used it in my 2005 Tacoma. Later they discovered it wasn’t lifetime after all. It’s really a dumb idea to even think that When I changed the transmission fluid in my Tacoma i used the Valvoline. Why? Because it’s fine for a normal transmission.
     
  11. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    I am currently rehashing what others say, with my own research added in...

    I wonder how WS will look when it comes out of my parents’ v. So clean, that I’ll be convinced to use it again? Or can we agree it needs changing? And IF it so great, then why does it need changing in the first place?

    Let’s analyze things in terms of cost.

    Did you know Toyota inflates MSRP on parts, so much so it is cheaper to get two axle bushings for my Scion iQ direct from Amayama in Japan for $2x.xx each vs the $75/piece list price here, even after $3x.xx shipping? I wonder how much inflation is on the WS? I wonder....
     
    #51 jzchen, Apr 25, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  12. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    And no, I haven’t changed a transmission. Yes, there is a certain level of risk. But that doesn’t make my statements any less true....

    I google searched is oil an insulator, or conductor, and it came back insulator....
     
  13. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    If you want to go "aftermarket," I would at least use a Toyota ATF-WS specific product. I have used several of Idemitsu's "OE specific" ATF's in customer vehicles with no immediate issues. ;)

    Idemitsu ATF Type TLS-LV is an example: ATF Type TLS-LV - Toyota, Lexus, Scion ATF | Idemitsu Lubricants

    Cost of the Idemitsu TLS-LV is currently ~$35 for a 5-qt jug from Amazon.

    Idemitsu is an OEM supplier (and formulator) of fluids for many automakers. While there is no guarantee that the formulations sold under the Idemitsu label are 100% identical to the dealer fluid, it is likely to be "more similar" than the universal fluids on the market.
     
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  14. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Member

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    Valvoline specs MaxLife for all WS transmissions (including, don't remember if on here or BITOG, Prius transmissions, as confirmed by email). It's somewhat universal but has a list of things it is specced for and certain things they say not to use it in.
     
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  15. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    The universal fluids will work “ok,” but not optimally. I have used them in various applications with acceptable results but the shift quality is noticeably different (more harsh) if you are discerning.
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    A lot of conflation going on there. Any tranmission fluid is going to take some abuse, look dark and in need of changing, even in just a year or two. I don't buy that the transaxle fluid is lifetime. What I do buy though, is that just maybe they're not blowing smoke about Toyota ATF WS being the only safe fluid to use. It may or may not be the case, but I don't feel like gambling.
     
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  17. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Thanks everyone for the more sincere input!!!

    Every oil, including ATF, has been shifting towards thinner, less viscous. With this shift manufacturers have made gains in MPG, at (my) concern of less protection. This concern has been met with more robust design. In this case the Prius transmission has been known to go in excess of 100k miles some report before the first change.

    I want to say that IF, MaxLife, is out of spec/lacking, then it should have failed in the two Prii that danlatu used it in. Also the Honda Ridgeline he notes, both a truck AND a Honda, for lack of a better word “picky” with respect to transmission fluid. My interpretation of how well he reports it works in the Prius is that he is happy with it. (I must concede that people are also happy with WS all the same, just as long as there is an ATF change done, as you note).

    oldtechaa and The Critic mention two points I would like to expand on, which is specs and performance. MaxLife IS a very universal fluid from the label, but because it is a synthetic formulation, it is able to meet all those specs. (This is Valvoline, and my claim). The one thing it is NOT able to meet in all cases is viscosity. As noted specifically for CA it is not allowed to be recommended in those applications where viscosity is different, and hence affect/hurt MPG. (This affects emissions which is the most likely reason). There is no shifting in the Prius CVT so the less smooth performance in shifts is not going to be felt in this case.

    So things we should, I guess, agree upon:

    1. Toyota Genuine WS is synthetic, or not? (spec related)
    2. MaxLife is synthetic, whether highly refined dino fluid, or lab made. (spec related)
    3. Synthetic > non-synthetic (performance related)

    The next research step for me is to go to one of those Valvoline (quick) change places and ask/verify if they are able to change the Prius transmission fluid. Then ask/verify what exactly they will put in. With this information we can then determine if Valvoline is confident enough to back this specific MaxLife product with their $4k guarantee:

    Transmission Fluid Service - Valvoline®

    With this information we can determine if we can shift some of the risk, from Prius owner, to Valvoline/Ashland....

    (From past research on BMW LL-01 5W-30 oils, I’ve found that Valvoline has not used the exact same formulation in their bottles as their bulk formulations sent to shops, so verification that MaxLife is indeed used in their shops is necessary to me)...
     
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  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I'm not sure what synthetic means, or why it matters. Not trying be argumentative, just seriously don't see the significance. Also, completely in the dark regarding number 3: synthetic is "greater than" non-synthetic??
     
  19. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    It was the middle of the night and I was on my water/restroom break from sleep. Synthetic is supposed to provide better protection under harsher conditions without failing/breakdown. Whether it is highly refined or PAO (truly man-made) that is the feature that makes it better than non-synthetic. Do we agree on that?
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Alternates may be synthetic, may last longer, but may also be fundamentally incompatible. Or not, who knows. But when Toyota makes puts dire cautions in the Owner's Manual, I'm going to stick with Toyota ATF WS.
     
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