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Fuel, Oil, Cleaners & Other Maintenance Extending the life of your Civic requires the proper fuel, oil, and cleaners, along with other regularly scheduled maintenance.


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Old 09-30-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Valvoline Maxlife Dex/merc

Is it safe to use valvoline maxlife? it claims to match and be safe as honda tranny fluid. any thoughts?
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Old 09-30-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

i would only use the honda stuff for auto trans.
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Old 07-17-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

I see you changed your mind gearbox
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Old 07-17-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

i believe gearbox just used dexron to flush out the old fluid . i believe it says in the manual that it can be used but not permanently.
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Old 07-17-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

haha yeah. there were many success stories on other honda forums (many types of hondas including those with worse trans than the civics). eventually i got convinced that the trans wouldnt fail. in fact many fails have happened with the z1 stuff. and people have been using the maxlife in their honda trans for over 50k miles with no problems. so far i can't say much except that in the short term, the maxlife shifts and works as well as the z1 in the summer.

the valvoline i have in there now is the maxlife dex/merc without any stop leak additives. i posted the part number before but cant remember now. kragen has it and actually the case of 12 was around $75. enough for 3 drain and fills and i have enough left for a 4th drain and fill later. do not get the stop leak version as it can cause the internal seals to swell and eventually fail. i did add couple ounces of LC20 additive to the maxlife but did not notice any difference in smoothness without it. when i had just done the z1 change, the LC20 made the shifts much smoother. this tells me the maxlife may have some extra ingredients that work better out of the bottle. supposedly it also helps with minor slipping, but i wont be able to tell til winter comes. i imagine it wont do much since fluid cannot repair a mechanical defect.
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Old 07-17-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

valvoline has always been a great brand.
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Old 07-17-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

if i were to put anything other then honda ATF i would be AMSOIL.
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Old 07-17-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

putting any kind of full syn trans fluid in an old car is asking for trouble. while amsoil may be a great fluid, i would only put it in a new trans. there is too much that can go wrong. ive heard many stories of full syn fluid destroying a perfectly working transmission. now ofcourse the fluid company will say the trans was old and had problems already, which ofcourse is true, but on a conventional fluid it couldve gone another 100k without problem.
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Old 07-24-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

quick update with the maxlife... i know its still summer but in the mornings when its around 60F and i start the car cold, i would still get some slip shifting from 2-3 with the car cold using z1 for the first few shifts. so usually i try to warm up the car in drive for a few mins before taking off. now with the maxlife in there for the past week, ive been taking off from the garage right away to see if anything improved. while the slip still is not gone completely, it has GREATLY been reduced. instead of a 500 rpm slip, its now more like a 100rpm slip and you really have to be aware and waiting for it to happen to even notice it. sometimes it does not slip at all! reminds me of how it used to drive when the car was brand new. i even did several runs of coming to a stop, accelerating into 3rd, stopping, and repeating all right after a cold start before the engine had a chance to warm up. im still waiting to see what winter weather is like but so far i love not having to wait for the trans to warm up in the driveway in gear. maybe that whole "multilife additives" thing has some truth to it lol. i also noticed the maxlife is quite thin, almost like water compared to the thick z1. this prolly helps with cold starts. and since its not really a synthetic fluid like the dw1, i shouldnt have issues with old varnish and deposits coming loose. other than the reduced slipping, i havent noticed and different behavior with the maxlife. smooth butter shifts when warmed up and no harsh gear changes. still smelling fluid tho from wherever its hiding under the car. i plan to do one last drain and fill in a month or so (4th time) and then leave it for a while. if you can read in the pic, it says "exclusive multi-life additives combat the 4 major causes of transmission breakdown: 1.leaks 2. slippage 3. shudder 4. gear wear"

wish i wouldve switched way back at 50k miles instead of waiting til 100k. oh well better late than never.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-30-2012   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dexron

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
quick update with the maxlife... i know its still summer but
.
.
.
.
.

im still waiting to see what winter weather is like but so far i love not having to wait for the trans to warm up in the driveway in gear. .
.
.
.
.
Any winter update?
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Old 02-04-2012   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dex/merc

pretty much the same as i posted above. it doesnt get super cold here, maybe only 30-40F during the day, and still the slip is nowhere near as bad as with z1 fluid. on a full cold start, there is a bit of slip shifting into 3rd, around 100rpms rev. but the maxlife is noticably thinner and warms up/flows much faster. in fact the slip goes away completely before the coolant temp needle gets anywhere close to the middle. with z1, it would still slip even after the coolant temp reached its normal position.
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Old 02-04-2012   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dex/merc

Cool man. Thanks for the update.
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Old 02-19-2012   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dex/merc

So I took the "plunge".......

Wife's 2003 civic I inherited from the wedding. I'm not certain the tranny fluid had ever been changed. It looked terrible. A darrrkkkkk red. 3 drain and fills with dex/merc.

Tranny started slipping about 5k miles ago... now at 106k. It was slipping 2->3 and slightly 3->4. The 2->3 was a 400-500rpm slip. After drain and fill, I would call it more a flare than a slip now between 2 and 3....and essentially goes away after warm up.

So I guess the plan now is to baby the car until fluid warms up then drive normal. And wait for the catastrophic failure.

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Old 02-19-2012   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dex/merc

yeah it sounds like the trans is barely holding together. the fluid will help you get some more life out of it, but just be aware it could fail any time. the maxlife warms up much faster so you should not have to baby it too long like with the oem fluid. i did our 92 accord auto a few weeks ago with maxlife and already noticed huge differences. the shifts are as smooth as the civic now. before it would jerk badly shifting into any gear, especially overdrive, even when new. now its so smooth i can barely feel it. but the trans never really had problems to begin with. this is one of the older trans that last forever. but the smoothness is really nice. feels like driving a brand new accord.
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Old 02-24-2012   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dex/merc

I wish I could go back to my country and drain the old ATF from the old 96 Civic. Two years ago when I drove that car, it shifted pretty rough. I would dump all those fluid out from my trans. I have no idea why it is so rough. My dad took the car to the Honda dealer for maintenance. Z1 shouldn't behave like that? It's still running great except the shifting.

Update, the 5-speed AT on the V is pretty solid. It's 14F and it didn't show the popular locking when the weather is cold.

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yeah it sounds like the trans is barely holding together. the fluid will help you get some more life out of it, but just be aware it could fail any time. the maxlife warms up much faster so you should not have to baby it too long like with the oem fluid. i did our 92 accord auto a few weeks ago with maxlife and already noticed huge differences. the shifts are as smooth as the civic now. before it would jerk badly shifting into any gear, especially overdrive, even when new. now its so smooth i can barely feel it. but the trans never really had problems to begin with. this is one of the older trans that last forever. but the smoothness is really nice. feels like driving a brand new accord.
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Old 02-26-2012   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Valvoline Maxlife Dex/merc

the dealer's explanation to us when buying the car was, "thats how its supposed to be" in regards to the rough shifting lol.
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