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Old 10-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
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Fluid interchangeability

Ok so this is a fluid question, didnt know where to put it so general looked good

Can I use Dexron VI in a vehicle calling for Mercon V?

I can't find info on the fluid specifics anywhere. I can get the VI from my dealer and use their trans flushing machine but we dont do a "mechanical" flush at BMW, just drain and fill as recomended. Please help! GF's moms car has a horrible shudder and I'd like to do her a favor for cheaper than the local dealer will.


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Old 10-15-2012, 06:49 PM   #2
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why dont you use another brand instead of dealer name stuff
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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The issue is GM has a decent flush machine I can utilize but it only will accept the Dexron VI, not supposed to put other fluids in the machines
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:25 PM   #4
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Flushes are a waste of time. Unless there has been some sort of damage to the transmission, or you've been hauling- the fluid should last more than 60k miles. I wouldn't even change the filter unless it was dirty. If it's still red, you're good to go.

Now if you've been overheating, then it needs to be changed.

Dexron fluids should not be used in a Ford. Most of what you're seeing on the shelf at parts stores is a fluid that will meet the specs of both Mercon and Dexron III. Mercon production ceased in 07. Mercon V can be used in vehicles that were spec'd for Mercon, but Dexron has different properties that will cause damage to transmissions using Mercon.

I am not sure if newer Dexrons are ok though that is true. I'd stick to the recommended fluid if the change interval has passed.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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I'm a firm believer in sticking with oem unless I can find an acceptable substitute, which is rare. Her escape has 123k miles so its due. Issue is a shudder it has developed. Trying to do her a favor but I have the feeling she's going to pay for the flush and its going to end up needing at least a torque convertor since it appears to be occuring on lock up. No hard driving, no towing, she drives like a lil old lady, probably cause she is. Id just hate to see her throw money into a flush but its kinda looking inevitable.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:38 AM   #6
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Probably converter as you suspect but I have heard of an isolated incident or two where simply changing fluid stopped what appeared to be TCC shudder, especially when old fluid is quite old. I'm with the other guy, I change fluid every 60-70K. Keep it red, not orange and certainly not brown.

I'd be using correct fluid, the manufacturers are using some pretty specialized clutch friction materials these days and the fluid will be matched.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:31 AM   #7
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You can get all the fluid out yourself in the driveway, and change the filter. Use the transmission to pump the fluid out. You can also use the transmission to pump fluid in if you're afraid of it running dry for a few seconds. This all happens very fast if you start the engine. I always suggest that the person doing this use the emergency start mode, or disconnect the coil and fuel cut-off switch before using the starter to crank the engine. You'll need a couple of 5 gallon buckets. Disconnect the upper transmission cooler line. Use an old water hose or something to go over the top of that line and direct fluid to a bucket. This is very important since the flow rate of these transmissions is like 5 gpm at idle, and there's only a couple of gallons in there. You don't want T-fluid to get all over the place. My one and only engine fire was caused by T-fluid on exhaust.

Crank the engine for 15 secs or so, check the bucket, and keep up that ritual until the fluid is all drained out. That's a less abusive method. If want all the fluid out in like 5 seconds, just start the engine. Once all the fluid is out, you can much more easily remove the filter. Of course, expect some residual to be on the pan, but you shouldn't have to drain the pan from a corner for more than a minute. This method also removes the fluid from the TC.

Personally, I prefer the BMW method- just change the filter and whatever fluid that requires. The only time I change all the fluid is when we have bad overheating that I think has possibly damaged the transmission fluid, or the T-fluid has the fish smell. I might consider it if it was really black and burnt. Typically just a filter fixes those problems. Hopefully that will fix the problem with your GF's mother's car- IF she lets you work on it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:37 AM   #8
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Yeah she let's me work on it. When it comes to vehicles they don't know anyone who knows more, though my expertise is German cars. I may try the pump method. I may still try to dump the additives in we have
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:37 AM   #9
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on the back of the bottles they will list what fluid types they will meet.

as for the shudder... don't rule out engine trouble if you haven't already. fix that before anything else.

One thing about using OEM fluids... if you have any kind of Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth... use the mopar fluid. theirs is the only one that works well in those car for some reason.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:40 AM   #10
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Thanks mike. Yeah its def a tcc shudder on lock up. I know flushed fix that 10% of the time but that's where I wanna start
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