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Valvoline MAxlife ATF

I had the transmission pump/seal fail and dump all my fluid. The tranny has 146,000 on it and it's a 4motion model.. I'm replacing the transmission pump, seal, torq converter, and filter/gasket set. This will be considered a FULL FLUSH.. There is no way in hell I am paying $15 to $20 per quart of ATF.. I'veeen reading the forums of people using the Valvoline Mercon V with ok results. I just called Valvoline myself and they approve the Maxlife ATF fluid for the ZF on my '01 Passat. I've also been reading around the web about high mileage Audi and VW owners using it (200,000mi with GREAT results). Also, at $16.00 per GALLON jug it's a steal. I paid $16.00 for a quart of VW power steering fluid (the stealership wanted almost $30.00 for it!) and I bet I could probably run this ATF fluid in it and be fine.. But I won't go that far to save a few bucks. Valvoline approves the MAXLIFE and they have done extensive testing on anything they approve. That's good enough peace of mind for me when accompanied by the MANY testimonials online of people using it on very high mileage VW/Audi ZF transmissions with GREAT RESULTS. If you want to spend $20/qt go right ahead, that'll be $200 plus tax for a full flush just to pay for the fluid. $50 sounds MUCH more reasonable to me.
 

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Valvoline approves the MAXLIFE and they have done extensive testing on anything they approve. That's good enough peace of mind for me when accompanied by the MANY testimonials online of people using it on very high mileage VW/Audi ZF transmissions with GREAT RESULTS. If you want to spend $20/qt go right ahead, that'll be $200 plus tax for a full flush just to pay for the fluid. $50 sounds MUCH more reasonable to me.
That's pretty much how I look at it. I've had MaxLife in our Passat, Daughter's 3.0 A4, and my 2.8 A4 transmissions for years, with complete satisfaction.
 

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The only thing I have to say is correct trans fluid is much cheaper than new or reman trans if it fails, not to mention the downtime if trans fails, experiment with offbrands at your own risk, personally I would not.
 

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I'll agree that there is a peace-of-mind component to the Pentosin choice, but I'll also be damned to pay an extra $100 for that. To each his own, people don't need the worry if they have doubts about MaxLife or any other non-OE brand, but the transmission specialist that maintains our company van and trucks buys Valvoline MaxLife by the 55 gallon drum, and uses that in every Dex/Merc application, including Audi, BMW, Porsche, and VW. He told me that with the 3-year warranty he gives on his rebuilds, he couldn't afford to blow it using defective ATF.
 

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Valvoline Maclife

For those who say the Maxlife is not the correct fluid.. call valvoline 1-800-TEAM-VAL and press 5 to speak to the people who know what products are certified for what applications... Maxlife ATF is certified to meet or exceed the specs of the OEM fluid for our Audi/VW's with the ZF transmissions and many say it improves the performance of their tans afer thy do a full flush with the Maxlife. I just saved $150 using Maxlife instead of paying a ridiculous amount for OEM branded fluid. If valvoline stands behind the application of it, then that's good enough for me to know I'm saving money and NOT compromising anything while doing so. Chances are I'm probably getting better protection for my high mileage transmission by using it. But as I said above, if spending 4x for OEM fluid makes you feel better, then go on ahead an pay it. I ,personally, have read enough about people's experiences with using it the exact same trans that I have in my v6 4motion trans.. And then after speaking to Valvoline personally, I have no issue switching over to it while saving $150 at the same time. Doesn't hurt that's it's also designed for high mileage transmissions either.
 

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My 2003 ATQ fwd ZF tiptronic trans takes a very specific synthetic trans fluid, some ZF trans applications take dexron but I would make sure you put correct fluid in trans or you will have problems in the near future. I went on a ZF website and also blah parts has pretty good detailed information for application,hope this helps.
 

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I am not for or against...to each their own. I will say this though. I don't ever remember seeing a thread iny 8yrs here that detailed a transmission failure or problems from just replacing with a non OE fluid. Given there was no preexisting issue and it was filled correctly. Maybe there is, but I haven't seen it
 

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I forgot to mention I did buy a trans service kit through blah parts and I was very happy with it . fluid ,filter, gasket,hand pump ,drain plug o ring and fill plug o ring and detailed information on how to perform service it even came with I think 3 pan bolts just in case you stripped one out that is attention to detail! The pump however didn't work so great I just used the hose they gave onto the bottle and squeezed it into the trans that worked pretty good that way a lot faster also .you should check their website and the price it's pretty cheap I think it was less than $150.00 detailed kit with synthetic fluid was for my application, or just look up your application so you can figure out what the correct trans fluid is for your vehicle ,hope this helps and good luck
 

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VAGguy, I am referring to if you install non synthetic ATF in trans that calls for synthetic, and expect to go as long as you can with synthetic not to mention mixing the two don't think that's a good idea. That's all I meant ,don't know how compatible the two are.
 

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Given that we all start out with OE fluid, there is always going to be a mix at first. Can't say I've seen a side effect of that either.
 

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Where I'm going with this is he mentioned Dexron and I know for a fact my transmission does not take Dexron it takes a very specific synthetic, does not have to be VW brand but if his takes synthetic I would not mix non synthetic with it that's my opinion
 

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I agree with synthetic. Didn't notice the dexron reference. That one isn't the type to use anyway. Maxlife is tho. It even had the esso cert on the bottle at one time.
 

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MaxLife is a synthetic Dexron/Mercon ATF. As I've written before, the only change in how the transmission behaved after changing out the OE brown ATF (by 'change out' I mean two full pan drop/refills to reach ~90%) was the elimination of a slight first-gear shudder.
 

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Strange how? Feels like it double shifts into second?
I have a similar issue with my 03 Passat. My second gear feels like it's double shifting into 3rd. A recommendation from a friend suggested I had a possible issue with a torque converter solenoid, but my torque converter was likely locking up for some reason. It has been doing it about a year. Haven't ever looked into it too much
 

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It's fairly normal to feel the TC lock up in 3rd, even 2nd and it does feel like 2 shifts depending on throttle input. 5 years and nearly 100K on the Maxlife with another filter/fluid change a year or two ago.
 

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Ever since I double flushed/refilled for the first time with MaxLife back in 2014, my tranny never was the same. That velvet transitioning feel was gone. The 2nd gear always kicks. But given the age of the car (19 years) I don't bother to chase it.
 
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