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  #1  
Old 08-15-2013, 09:59 AM
azitizz's Avatar
MB 1985 300TD Wagon
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 422
Whats the worst that can happen by putting in generic tranny fluid?

seeing I have a hard to find leak and will also need to replace my radiator soon, I don't want to spend big bucks on fluid that's going to get drained in a matter of weeks or a month.

I'm wondering whats the inside scoop with going with just generic "Automatic transmission fluid". from Canadian Tire (or whatever US equivalent if there is one) as oppose to spending over $100 on other brands?

How much of the mark up is marketing have to wonder... And for an old car thats seemingly always in need of some work or the other, is it really worth it?

Thanks for any pointers.

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  #2  
Old 08-15-2013, 10:11 AM
thayer's Avatar
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Location: Mt. Airy, NC
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I've been using Dex III from The local parts house for the last 60k miles. The Tranny was slipping in the e320 at that point anyway so I was just trying to eek life out of it. The slipping hasn't gotten any worse. Based on my experience Dex III is perfectly fine. Its in both my 95 gasser and my 83 Diesel.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2013, 11:19 AM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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I know a guy who did that, and the next day his dog bit him violently. Connected? certainly seems so. The consequences could be far reaching.



I used the generic stuff in my van for several years and I was constantly towing with it and generally beating the heck out of it and it was fine. As long as you stay on top of leaks and make sure to change the filter and fluid occasionally, I think you should be fine. And as you say, it will be drained out anyway soon enough.
IMO the quality of the fluid counts less than the habit of maintenance and changing said fluid as part of the maintenance schedule.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2013, 11:24 AM
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$100? That pretty pricey!

I normally just use the Valvoline MaxLife Dec/Merc stuff.
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2013, 11:37 AM
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The worst that can happen?

How about something like

1a) The friction lining material gets eaten away at an alarming rate and you end up rubbing metal on metal
1b) The adhesive used to stick the friction material to the metal parts is allergic to the transmission fluid you are using and no longer sticks the lining to said metal bits
2) The fluid doesn't lubricate like it should and the metal on metal parts wear
3) The fluid isn't compatible with the seals and eats them
4) The fluid isn't the correct viscosity and the internal pressures aren't what they should be resulting in malfunctioning operation

[TAKE COVER]

Whilst this next comment could start an "oil thread" I think it has to be made =>

I don't know enough about the properties of oil to make an educated guess - perhaps someone out there does?

[/TAKE COVER]

If it helps any - I've been told the friction material in 722.1 and 722.3/4 transmissions is paper based
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2013, 12:04 PM
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I've been using semi syntheic,and now full Mobil One,Mercedes gave the ok for my SD tranny.I knew all along this new stuff is better.Have syntheic 85-140 gear oil in diff too.oh yeah 345,000 miles on trans shifts beautiful
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2013, 12:15 PM
is thinning the herd
 
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Dex3 is what those transmissions take.. so if the stuff at canadian tire says its equivalent to, or replaces DexronIII/Mercon, nothing bad will happen, the transmission will just plain work.
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  #8  
Old 08-15-2013, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsinner111 View Post
I've been using semi syntheic,and now full Mobil One,Mercedes gave the ok for my SD tranny.I knew all along this new stuff is better.Have syntheic 85-140 gear oil in diff too.oh yeah 345,000 miles on trans shifts beautiful
Why did you go with a heavier gear oil? Just curious. Or is that the viscosity called for in the SD?
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2013, 01:07 PM
oldsinner111's Avatar
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I drive in hot places,and run my cars hard.I don't baby diesels
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  #10  
Old 08-15-2013, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
I know a guy who did that, and the next day his dog bit him violently. Connected? certainly seems so. The consequences could be far reaching.

Was the guy a vet? Was the dog a pit bull? Did a cop yell at him afterward?
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  #11  
Old 08-15-2013, 02:44 PM
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For your '85?

If the question is about the proper fluid for the 85 wagon in your profile then the store brand Dexron II or Dexron III is just fine. That's what those transmissions were designed for. At the risk of starting another oil war, my position is that you run more risk putting in some expensive fluid designed for a newer transmission than you do putting in the fluid specified by the manufacturer.
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  #12  
Old 08-15-2013, 03:45 PM
compu_85's Avatar
Waiting for his Model 3..
 
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Keep in mind that DexII and DexIII are not standard anymore. There is no compliance testing.

That's why I went with an Allison approved fluid in my car, since they have standards that are the same as DexII but with a different name.

-J
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2013, 04:09 PM
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ANY fluid that meets the specification requirements for a given unit is fine. Most of the 'house brand' lubricants are made by Warren Unilube.

Warren Oil Company, Inc. - It's All About Quality
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  #14  
Old 08-15-2013, 06:25 PM
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I have no idea what I put or has been put in my transmission...I think I have just used store brand atf....guess I am asking for a new transmission....oh well....guess its better then running no fluid,..,
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  #15  
Old 08-16-2013, 04:43 AM
Stretch's Avatar
...like a shield of steel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooljjay View Post
...guess its better then running no fluid,..,
Probably a pretty good guess!

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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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