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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

So I'm planning on doing my first drain and refill tomorrow and was wondering what automatic transmission fluid is the best. I went to my local auto parts store and asked the guy what I should get and he just told me to get some "DEX/MERC" stuff. The brand is "Parts Master" and it says to use where DEXRON III and DEXRON IIE are called for.

What my question is is whether or not I should use this stuff, or return it and invest in something else? The reason I ask is because my tranny doesn't really shift well (it slips sometimes while shifting) and if I'm going to do this I want to do it right.

Any suggestions would be awesome.

Thanks
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,372 Posts
For what vehicle?
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,372 Posts
Then yes, an ATF that meets the old Dex III specs will be fine.

I have Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF in right now, and it runs well. Have also had good reports on Pennzoil's Dex/Merc fluid, but it was more expensive at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well thats kind of my question though. The stuff I got isn't any brand I've ever heard of.

Do you think it would be worth it to get some Valvoline or Penzoil?

Would there be any benefit to spending the dough for synthetic?
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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That depends on if you trust house brands from auto parts stores. I'd say the fluid you have is fine.

If it matters to you, the Maxlife fluid is a synblend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I just completed the Drain and Fill.

To be honest I couldn't get a solid reading on the tranny dipstick so , using some info I found on these forums, I just added 5 quarts to be on the safe side. I don't know if I added too much but I took it out for a drive to test.

Man did it make a difference! My tranny was slipping and hesitating when shifting but after this drain and fill it felt like it was almost perfect! I was told when I brought it to a dealer a couple years back , when I bought the car, that it was probably my transmission on its last leg. Well now I'm sure they were just trying to get my money. If I can keep up this maintenance I'm hoping it will drastically improve the life of my tranny.

Feels good to have it shifting smooth!

I'm going to do another drain and fill here pretty soon. Maybe a third in the next couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I used the stuff that the auto parts guy showed me, "Parts Master: DEX/MERC". I WAS thinking about getting the Valvoline but figured I might as well give this stuff a try. Maybe I'll get Valvoline the next go around.
 

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Just a caution:

Don't overfill an automatic transmission. 5 quarts might be close to one quart too much. Based on reports in http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...anging-automatic-transmission-fluid-easy.html, the 4-speed AT typically drains about 4 - 4.25 quarts from the pan.

I couldn't get a solid reading on the tranny dipstick
Yes, it is difficult, but doable. For me, the trick seems to be to allow time for ATF remaining in the dipstick tube to drain down after the dipstick is removed, and before measuring. (This applies whether just after refilling or routine checks.) This means that (with the engine running), I withdraw the dipstick, wipe it off, then wait 15 -30 seconds. Then I put the dipstick back in to the bottom and pull it out. That usually provides a fairly clear point where the level of the ATF ends. There is usually some "smudging" along the edges but the demarcation line is apparent.
 
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