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Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

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tom39
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Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by tom39 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:30 pm

I just performed a trans flush on my '98 S70T5 and I used Valvoline Dex/Merc trans fluid. My question is not with the flush procedure but with the use of Valvoline Dex/Merc fluid. It states on the bottle that it is for transmissions requiring Dextron-III/Mercon but the color just doesn't seem right. It is more of a light red and is not as deep red as I am accustomed to seeing and it also seems to be thinner than usual.
To try and figure out if it was just me, I did a side-by-side comparison with a bottle of Formula Shell and also a bottle of Pennzoil I had on the shelf and to me it certainly does not appear to be the same color or viscosity. Should this be something that I should be concerned with or is it just that I am not familiar with it? Or did I just get a bad batch of fluid and need to start over?

Thanks,
Tom
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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by Clemens » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:46 pm

One man's opinion: if it doesn't look right drain it and redo the job. I worked for a global oil company for years and we regularily had batches of oils that weren't up to spec. I didn't care if my motor oil was somewhere in bewtween 0w-30 and 5w-30 and not quite 0w-30, but slightly off on atf could cause trouble.

In your case i wouldn't worry about the color too much, but if the viscosity and general appearance seem totally different rather redo the job
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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by charleskennedy23 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:59 pm

I use this stuff... I documented my last drain and fill here...

http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums ... 08#p414808

Some good discussion there as well as a pic of the fresh valvoline fluid next to the stuff I drained. While the drained fluid looks pretty brown, the fluid on the dip stick was bright red.
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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by tom39 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:35 pm

So here is a pic of 2 oils that I did a side-by-side comparison on. The Valvoline is on the right and the Shell is on the left.
Valvoline Shell Trans Oil.jpg
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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by Clemens » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:12 am

is the Shell one brand new? This is quite a difference. It might be color additives though.
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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by tom39 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:12 am

Yes, both fluids are new. I have an email into Valvoline about the color and viscosity difference but I have not gotten a straight answer from them yet.

I did however do some research on the color and viscosity of trans fluid last night. The info I got back about the color is that it is red dye is that it is added to the oil to make it more distinct and set it apart from other oils. I also found that the viscosity index of the Shell fluid is 177 and the Valvoline is 174 and that the Valvoline has a greater change in viscosity with changes in temp than the Shell oil. This may account for the appearance of a thicker oil out of the jug but I am not a chemist and really have no real way of knowing. Anyway, my guess is that Valvoline uses less dye and their viscosity is less but within the set requirements for Dexron-III. Again, I am not an expert but I am hoping that it what is happening here.
Last edited by tom39 on Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by jimmy57 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:18 am

The actual hue of the red coloring in ATF holds an importance similar to marking EXACTLY within the lines on an optically read test score form.

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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by tom39 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:31 am

jimmy57 wrote:The actual hue of the red coloring in ATF holds an importance similar to marking EXACTLY within the lines on an optically read test score form.
Are you saying "Redder is Better"?
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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by benpineapple » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:02 am

i use the valvoline dex/merc (as recommended by parts store/indicated on bottle) with no issues. flushed my trans when replacing the seals last month, have been running valvoline dex/merc for about 2000miles, no issues or changes in trans behaviour since seal replacement/flush.
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Re: Valvoline Dex/Merc for Trans Flush

Post by jimmy57 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:39 pm

No, I'm saying that crap fluid with lush red coloring is not as good as faded red high quality base stock, lower but more stable viscosity fluid.

Some of the brands with unquestioned quality that I have bought had odd colors for their power steering fluid, ATF, and motor oil. I am not so sure that the ISO standard for lubricant color has strict controls of the tint of the various colors.

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