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From the Center of Quality Assurance at http://www.centerforqa.com/chrysler-faq/ for FCA ATF+4
Frequently Asked Questions:
My mechanic didn’t use ATF+4® when changing my transmission fluid. What should I do?

To ensure you have removed most or all of the existing ATF, it is recommended that you perform a total of three (3) changes using ATF+4®. It is further recommended that you do not mix ATF+4® with another automatic transmission fluid (ATF).
Keep in mind the following:
- using ATF+4 is a "no brainer". Any other ATF is a gamble for overall performance, low temperature performance and longevity. One qualification, for example:
AMSOIL warrants the use of this product for Chrysler ATF+4® applications above -38°F. Product does not meet the cold temperature requirement of ATF+4® at -40°F.
Likely there are unmentioned other differences across various brands. -40F = -40C and wouldn't be a concern for most. Good marketing Amsoil.

- transmission fluid can normally be pumped out the dipstick tube/filler hole without removing the pan.

- transmission pans can be purchased with a drain plug in place or a drain plug can be added to an existing pan (kit available). This greatly facilitates fluid replacement on a regular basis for severe use.

- Chrysler tends to be against the "flush this, flush that" mentality use by service centers.
Chrysler Group vehicle fluid systems do NOT require regular flushing. These systems include: engine oil, transmission oil, axle lube, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and refrigerant. The only exceptions to this requirement are published in the vehicle maintenance schedules, e.g. engine coolant.
Exceptions to this recommendation include only those instances where a malfunction has occurred and/or the system has become compromised, contaminated or overheated beyond the normal operating range.
Chrysler Group does NOT recommend aftermarket chemicals to flush the engine, transmission, brake or steering systems. Chemicals contained in these products can damage the system elastomeric components, and contaminate the component fluid, leading to loss of system/component durability and service life. When necessary, only the original approved system fluid should be used to flush these components using teamPSE® approved equipment.
Further discussion here: http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/sh...Service-When-to-do-it....?p=846570#post846570
 

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I can probably still negotiate with the shop owner to get the satisfaction I need. The shop has pneumatic fluid extractors they use for certain jobs. Before this debacle, he even offered to let me take one home whenever (in 30,000 miles for the next fluid change) I needed it.

So no flush, but drain and refill three times? That's what Chrysler says but there is another way.



I think this situation qualifies as "compromised".

Would the vehicle need to be started and run through each gear after each drain and refill? I'm trying to get all the information I can before bringing it to the shop.

Should the filter be replaced on the third drain and refill? It was just replaced when they added the MAXLIFE.
The vehicle should be operated for a time between each drain in order to ensure the new and old fluids are thoroughly mixed.

The filter shouldn't need to be changed very often, the conditions are far different from engine oil that gets contaminants from the combustion process. I wouldn't change the filter for this fluid exchange process. This fluid exchange process isn't uncommon, Honda specifies it or some of their vehicles per http://www.ebay.com/gds/How-Often-T...-in-a-Honda-Odyssey-/10000000178716956/g.html
Honda considers a fluid change to consist of draining and refilling the fluid four times. Given that about one third of the fluid drains with each drain and refill cycle, this process results in about 93 percent of the transmission fluid being replaced with new fluid.
If your Shop uses a fluid exchange process via the transmission cooler lines and your own transmission pump doing the pumping, without adding any chemicals, other than ATF+4, then you should be fine with one total fluid exchange. That's the other way.
 

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I think this one trusted their supplier. Which makes sense. the shop is supposed to be an expert at the work; the lubricant supplier is supposed to be an expert in that one thing.
It saves the Shops from stocking the various vehicle manufacturer specified ATFs. They know better but take the convenient route. It's not about you, the Customer, or the longevity of your transmission.

Valvoline actually makes an ATF+4 and I don't believe their literature says Maxlife ATF is suitable as an ATF+4 substitute.

Valvoline's ATF+4: http://www.valvoline.com/our-products/automatic-transmission-products/atf-4
Valvoline ATF+4™ is a high-quality synthetic transmission fluid specifically engineered to protect and prolong the life of Chrysler automatic transmissions.
Do you know how the Shop's Technicians are paid? by the hour? by the job? by the job including materials?

Interesting note from: http://content.valvoline.com/pdf/maxlife_atf.pdf
*Please note that legislation in California prohibits Valvoline from recommending MaxLife™ ATF in certain applications where the viscometrics of MaxLife™ ATF do not match those of the official OEM specification. Valvoline therefore does not recommend the use of MaxLife™ ATF in these applications in California.
 

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He confirmed: they are going to use the van's transmission to cycle 14 qts of Mopar ATF +4 through the machine suing the cooler line they will use no cleansers or additives; it's a simple fluid exchange
they will simply watch the return line for it to match the color of the supply no filter change (not super concerned about the tiny amount of the MAXLIFE that could be left in there)
*bonus* he will also turn the front rotors for no charge.
Overall, he's really stepped up to make things right with me.
Squeaky wheel gets the ATF+4. :thumb:

Bet you are glad that your posted your problem on the Forum.

Another thing to watch out for is power steering fluid. ATF+4 is a transmission fluid but is called for in the power steering as well. If you see a Mechanic going toward your power steering with "amber" fluid, tell him to stop. I've had that experience. The Mechanic said ATF+4 is a transmission fluid, not power steering fluid. We got that straightened out.
 

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haha

When I walked in yesterday, I actually said, "squeak, squeak, squeak". :nut:

The owner thought it was funny, but also said not to worry.
:cool: Sounds like you are a savvy negotiator.
 

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Just an FYI, Valvoline actually makes the ATF+4 for Chrysler. So there is no danger lol. It is a synthetic product as well.

There's are lots of differences between the two Valvoline products being discussed per the PI Sheets for each. For example Viscosity Index 163 vs 198.:

VALVOLINE MAXLIFE™ MULTI-VEHICLE ATF

VALVOLINE ATF +4®
 
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