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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to know why people swap out to use Valvoline instead of using the OEM fluid for the trans. It's not because of price since you can get a full case of OEM stuff for under a 100 bucks.. Currently Valvoline 3 Jugs are at 29.99 each

Smoother shifting ? Better performance ? does it last as long in the transmission as the OEM stuff does ?

Also how many miles have you ran the transmission using the Valvoline stuff .. Mine i'm at 257k using oem only wit no issues with the trans .. can valvoline do the same ?
 

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There are lots of threads debating this. People say it improves shifts and doesn't deteriorate as quickly. If you've gone this far with OEM no reason to switch.
 

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I would like to know why people swap out to use Valvoline instead of using the OEM fluid for the trans. It's not because of price since you can get a full case of OEM stuff for under a 100 bucks.. Currently Valvoline 3 Jugs are at 29.99 each

Smoother shifting ? Better performance ? does it last as long in the transmission as the OEM stuff does ?

Also how many miles have you ran the transmission using the Valvoline stuff .. Mine i'm at 257k using oem only wit no issues with the trans .. can valvoline do the same ?

Them's fightin' words.
 

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Not Really ..if you think about it people change products due to price ..What is the reason why one would use this product over OEM .
Can't be performance your not power shifting the trans so it works just the same. If a person walked up to you and asked about swapping to Valvoline .they would ask ..why ?
Oh because I did ... But Why ? sounds down on the path of a follower. How many of us here that have High Mileage Pilots got to that milestone strictly on Valvoline ?
 

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I went to the MaxLife due to local availability and that it works in a couple of the other cars in the fleet. About 25k or so of dr bob gentle hyper-mile driving and no issues. I could as easily stock a case of DW-1 I guess just for the Pilot, but there's that space issue.

Without going out and reading the bottle, IIRC the Valvoline is a synthetic or at least semi-synthetic ATF. I'm not going to debate or test the idea that it's better or lasts longer, if only because any test is subjective or destructive, respectively. After reading up on previous-gen issues with these transmissions, I'd much rather invest in the ATF with every or maybe every other oil change, and just feel better about it.

Every road car I own is expected to last at least a quarter-million miles, and is maintained with that in mind. Some get sold before they reach that point. All but one of the last five have left with at least 200k showing, all with original transmissions still working just fine.
 

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IWithout going out and reading the bottle, IIRC the Valvoline is a synthetic or at least semi-synthetic ATF.
As full synth as some the most memorable '80s bands. :)
 

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Because it is cheaper. I get DW-1 on ebay for $100 per case delivered, which is $8.33 per qt.

WalMart sells Valvoline Maxlife ATF in store for $17.97 per gallon, which is $4.86 per quart out the door.

$4.86 is cheaper than $8.33
 
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In my opinion changing out the tranny fluid, as or more often than the maintenance manual or maintenance minder specifies, is more important than which tranny fluid is used (as long as the aftermarket fluid, if selected, is DW-1 compatible).

Personally I use DW-1 because it’s readily available near me and the tranny hasn’t had any issues thus far. I do 1x drain and fill every 15k miles, whereas I believe the schedule calls out once every 30k miles.
 

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I would like to know why people swap out to use Valvoline instead of using the OEM fluid for the trans.
Two of my previous responses:
MaxLife ATF, Why?
Aftermarket vs. Honda ATF

Some people like to second guess or try to out-think the vehicle manufacturer:
Non-"Honda" Fluids

Others would rather buy their maintenance supplies at the local auto parts store:
Non-"Honda" Fluids

Still others seem to prefer the shift performance with MaxLife ATF:
Non-"Honda" Fluids
 

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I would like to know why people swap out to use Valvoline instead of using the OEM fluid for the trans. It's not because of price since you can get a full case of OEM stuff for under a 100 bucks.. Currently Valvoline 3 Jugs are at 29.99 each

Smoother shifting ? Better performance ? does it last as long in the transmission as the OEM stuff does ?

Also how many miles have you ran the transmission using the Valvoline stuff .. Mine i'm at 257k using oem only wit no issues with the trans .. can valvoline do the same ?
MaxLife is $17.97 (1 gallon jug) at Wal-Mart. A significant difference in price and yes, convenience is definitely a factor.
..........BUT..........
That just sweetenes the pie for me, because in my opinion MaxLife is a better product. My first use of MaxLife many years ago was done out of convenience. Now after 100s of thousands of miles logged on various vehicles of different manufacturers, its never failed me. It is to be seen as to how MaxLife will perform long term in this 6-Speed 2017 Pilot that I now own but I can definitely say that the blackened DW-1 syrup I removed out of this 20k mile vehicle was failing and I have never seen MaxLife look like this, even after going 50k miles. I'll never go back to DW-1. If you have to use DW-1 because of warranty, change it every 20k (3.8qt drain and fill) if you plan to keep your vehicle long after your waranty is expired. Then go to MaxLife ASAP!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm due for a tranny fluid swap on my 2015 now at 97k the big 3 ... I'm thinking of saving some $$ and go with the Valvoline 60 bucks vs 100 no brains need there.
 
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Here is one way to look at it.... if you really ept up with this and changed it ever 15k miles, and you keep you Pilot for 250k, that's 16 fluid changes.

DW-1: 16*$8.33*4quarts = $533 for proactive transmission maintenance.
MaxLife: 16*$4.86*4quarts = $311 for proactive transmission maintenance.

Even driving 20k per year, that's 12.5 years.... not really that much when you spread it out. You spend a LOT more than that on oil changes.
 
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I use it because it's one product I can stock for 2, maybe 3 of my vehicles. And it's synthetic while DW-1 seems to be a semi-synthetic, so I trust it's resistance to heat breakdown better. Cost isn't a big enough issue for me to justify it and I really didn't notice much of a difference in shift quality but the Pilot (30k on Maxlife) and Sonata (65k on Maxlife) both shift great.

The Traverse takes Dex6 and Maxlife's bottle is a little wishy-washy on its compatibility, so I just get Valvoline full synthetic Dex6 for the Traverse.
 

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I use it because it's one product I can stock for 2, maybe 3 of my vehicles. And it's synthetic while DW-1 seems to be a semi-synthetic, so I trust it's resistance to heat breakdown better. Cost isn't a big enough issue for me to justify it and I really didn't notice much of a difference in shift quality but the Pilot (30k on Maxlife) and Sonata (65k on Maxlife) both shift great.

The Traverse takes Dex6 and Maxlife's bottle is a little wishy-washy on its compatibility, so I just get Valvoline full synthetic Dex6 for the Traverse.
The semi-synthetic DW-1 is what gets me. It's as if Honda is setting us up for failure. I have no idea what the driving habits were of the previous owner of my 2017 Pilot, but the blackened DW-1 syrup leads me to believe he put almost 20k on the vehicle going through the gears constantly. Who knows. What we do know is Honda will not say anything about the properties in their DW-1 and it's made by various manufacturers from around the world. It can not be the same product consistently. The old musty smell of my fluid leads me to believe it is mostly conventional. And the extreme temperatures of 2 hot summers in a vehicle with no transmission cooler, the DW-1 failed. Only time will tell the outcome for this vehicle after a 3 time drain and fill with MaxLife. I may not be the one to tell the ending story.
I'm running MaxLife in 4 Honda's, 3 Nissan's and a Hyundai at the moment. Price and convenience is a factor but I am bias as to my personal experiences and sucesses with MaxLife in the past.
 
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The semi-synthetic DW-1 is what gets me. It's as if Honda is setting us up for failure. I have no idea what the driving habits were of the previous owner of my 2017 Pilot, but the blackened DW-1 syrup leads me to believe he put almost 20k on the vehicle going through the gears constantly. Who knows. What we do know is Honda will not say anything about the properties in their DW-1 and it's made by various manufacturers from around the world. It can not be the same product consistently. The old musty smell of my fluid leads me to believe it is mostly conventional. And the extreme temperatures of 2 hot summers in a vehicle with no transmission cooler, the DW-1 failed. Only time will tell the outcome for this vehicle after a 3 time drain and fill with MaxLife. I may not be the one to tell the ending story.
I'm running MaxLife in 4 Honda's, 3 Nissan's and a Hyundai at the moment. Price and convenience is a factor but I am bias as to my personal experiences and sucesses with MaxLife in the past.
I forgot to mention the whole "DW-1 made by various manufacturers" thing. I bet any of those manufacturers make the fluid well enough to get past the drivetrain warranty, but I prefer my vehicles to last longer which is why I use a fluid that is full synthetic and has a long track record of success.
 
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It is way cheaper than the price you mentioned. I can get it for $18 per gallon.
I don’t think you can get 12 bottles of Honda DW-01 for $100 (all in) from reputable retailer. eBay stuff might just this put in Honda bottles.
I don’t see any difference in performance, drivability, agility, quality, you name it....

Have been using it in Accord, Pilot, CRV for at least 4 years.... no problems whatsoever.
 

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And one more thing.
Buying MDX 2018 and will use Maxlife there as well where type 3 (or wherever it is) is required.

It is all bs from the perspective Acura/Honda tells us. I would never spend $20-30 per quart of fluid when I have to change 4 at the time.
 

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I just did my first fluid drain and fill on a 2011 Pilot EX 4wd, and did the rear diff. I used Maxlife and full synthentic GL-5 gear oil the Maxlife was cheaper. the gear oil was more expensive than the Honda respective products. Maxlife is new to me because all my previous vehicles were manual transmissions that I used the same GL-5 gear oil in, they all went well over 350K KM's before I sold or scrapped them for rust. They always shifted smoother too so that is why I used the same in the diff as it called for GL-5 90W in the manual. New to me Pilot had 130K KM when bought. MM came on at 155 and noted the extra fluids on top of the oil. I'm running Mobile 1 5-20 for oil and it's the second change since I got the truck. So far everything is good and the DW-1 that came out was rotted vs the new maxlife so I may do another drain and fill before the MM tells me to. I tow a small camper 1400 lbs with it so I always do the fluid more often.
 

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I just did my first fluid drain and fill on a 2011 Pilot EX 4wd, and did the rear diff. I used Maxlife and full synthentic GL-5 gear oil the Maxlife was cheaper. the gear oil was more expensive than the Honda respective products. Maxlife is new to me because all my previous vehicles were manual transmissions that I used the same GL-5 gear oil in, they all went well over 350K KM's before I sold or scrapped them for rust. They always shifted smoother too so that is why I used the same in the diff as it called for GL-5 90W in the manual. New to me Pilot had 130K KM when bought. MM came on at 155 and noted the extra fluids on top of the oil. I'm running Mobile 1 5-20 for oil and it's the second change since I got the truck. So far everything is good and the DW-1 that came out was rotted vs the new maxlife so I may do another drain and fill before the MM tells me to. I tow a small camper 1400 lbs with it so I always do the fluid more often.
For the rear diff Honda specifies VTM-4 fluid for most years but doesn't say what an equivalent fluid is... I haven't seen anyone with enough confidence to say they know XX fluid is equivalent to VTM-4 because of how the clutch packs work in the rear diff. MY suggestion is to grab a jug of VTM-4 and replace the gear oil.

Edit: I see you mentioned a 2011 and that your manual states GL-5 90W can be used, that's new to me. I know it calls for 75W90 or 80W90 in the transfer case but my '15 the rear diff calls for VTM-4.
 

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Manual says GL-5 SAE 75-W90 or equivelent VTM-4 gear oil. I went with a Shell made full synthetic that was prob overkill but Ive used it in 3 transmissions and 3 diff rear ends of 4wd or AWD cars/SUVs and when you change it out at twice the reg intervals it looks like you just put it in and all have never failed, overheated etc in hundreds of thousands of KMs. It meets the standard plus a dozen more. If when time comes to change it or I have problems Ill go back to VTM-4 but this stuff is better so I doubt going ro the synthetic blend Honda will be needed.
 
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