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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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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
^^^ haha

Van is back home. They shot a couple videos showing the process. I was able to see the recovered fluid. It matched the container in the video. :biggrin:
Overall, the color of the old fluid was slightly dark, but what they recovered was ~5.5 qts of the original fluid, plus ~4.5 qts of the MAXLIFE fluid. The ATF +4 looks red and gorgeous.

The front rotors are both at 27mm after the turning process. Which is apparently about .5mm left before they need to be replaced. They have 70,350 miles. No more front end shake at high speed braking.

:headbange

Thanks again to everyone for the comments. On my next trans service, I'll bring in the fluid so I can be more sure they don't use MAXLIFE.
 

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New owner of a 2009 SE Grand Caravan with 70000 miles. It's primary use will be for Uber, so it should follow the severe maintenance schedule. Starting with ATF service. I chose my favorite local shop since I don't have enough time or experience with this kind of project at home.

They did the work (pan drop, filter replacement, add back the missing ATF fluid) yesterday, and the work order shows they put in five quarts of Valvoline MAXLIFE ATF. I drove it the two miles back home and later had a tiny bothersome thought; "Was that the correct fluid?"

After some research online, the answer was maybe.

I drove into the shop this morning (in my daily driver), showed him the compatibility chart from Valvoline and how it recommends ATF +4 for any Chrysler newer than 1999, then calmly asked him to convince me I was wrong. :biggrin:

http://www.carquestprofessionals.com/catalogs/chemicals/V-6217 ATF Application NON-Laminated Guide 6.10.13.pdf

The tech pointed out that their lubricant supplier told them that MAXLIFE is fine for any Chrysler out of warranty. I again thought maybe.

He's already agreed to flush the system and replace it with AT +4 for no charge.

I want to be at least mostly certain about the information I'm finding. I'm not an expert, but I can see in the image I attached that the values are different. But only by a little. How much does the difference matter? I couldn't find the properties for Mopar's ATF +4. :jpshakehe
Just an FYI, Valvoline actually makes the ATF+4 for Chrysler. So there is no danger lol. It is a synthetic product as well.
 

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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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Just an FYI, Valvoline actually makes the ATF+4 for Chrysler. So there is no danger lol. It is a synthetic product as well.
The problem is that Chrysler has very specific needs for it's transmission fluid.
An analogy: a lot of transmissions, particularly domestic transmissions, are like diesel engines: diesel engines are very robust and they can run on many things for fuel. You could fill your gas tank up with diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, motor oil, vegetable oil, even gasoline, and many diesels won't care, they'll burn it all the same. If you try putting anything other than gasoline into a gasoline engine, it's not going to run at all, even if you put the wrong octane into some it will run poorly. Chrysler transmissions are the gasoline engine that wants premium octane in this analogy.

A universal or multivehicle ATF cannot, cannot, meet the exact specifications for all vehicles. Many vehicles don't care much, but Chryslers do.
The computer controlling the shifting in Chrysler transmissions made in the last 30 years is expecting very specific performance. Chrysler transmissions are not robust at all, but they are very intelligent and high performance instead. A Chevy or Ford will slap the transmission out of one gear, and punch it into the next, the gears and clutch packs are designed to handle this. Chrysler opted for lighter and more compact parts, these very precisely disengage and engage such that the last gear starts to slip out exactly when the next gear starts to slip in. Even more difficult, the transmission computer starts pumping the gear solenoid and torque converter clutch on and off hundreds of times a second during a shift to help smooth the shift for the passengers. Pulsing hundreds of times a second, the transmission needs the fluid to be extremely reliable and predictable, many fluids aren't as stable as Chryslers. Even if you could find a better or more stable fluid, unless it had almost the exact friction characteristics and viscosity, the computer might not be able to adjust to the slipperiness of this different fluid.

Typically it won't immediately kill the transmission. What countless Chrysler owners report though, is that they encounter shudders or jerks with the wrong fluid, or that the transmission fails prematurely. Many of us suspect that the issues with Chrysler transmissions being "unreliable", is that many owners have the wrong fluid used. Those of us that care and pay attention to these kinds of details, get hundreds of thousands of trouble free miles out of our transmissions.
My 1997 minivan has 436,000 miles, the original transmission lasted 300,000 miles. It was rebuilt, and lasted another 135,000 miles before it failed again. I pulled it apart 2 months ago, a hard part that likely was original from the factory had worn out(rebuilds don't replace a lot other than friction components), but the 130,000 mile friction discs still looked brand new.
 
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