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I was low on Trans fluid and I looked at my manual. it told me i should use ATF+ transmission fluid for my 1994 dakota. when I went to the parts store they only had ATF+4 fluid. The bottle said it was good for dodges from 1998. I also asked the parts guy and he said i could use this in my 1994. Is this correct?
 

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ATF+ or higher (+2,+3,+4,+5,+6) is fine.
 

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What dirt_devil said was correct.
IAW TSB 21-010-06, which directly mentions 1989 and newer Dakotas, "... if ATF+, ATF+2 or ATF+3 was the recommended fluid, it is now recommended to use ATF+4".
*As a side note, not that it applies to your transmission, if a transmission calls for ATF+4, a lower ATF CANNOT be used*
 

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I thought I had heard of ATF+6, but I was also being a tad sarcastic... I imagine +6 will come out sooner or later.
 

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Dirt_devil said:
... I imagine +6 will come out sooner or later.
No doubt. They are always making improvements to their fluids. And transmissions have all kinds of additives and certain specifications they need(which is why using Dexron or Mercon fluid in our trannys are a no-no).
 

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allpar.com has some great stuff on the new ATF+4 fluid if I am not mistaken. Basically, it is a little more 'gritty' than ATF + 3, however it never needs to be changed because it is a synthetic fluid, whereas ATF + 3 tends to get 'slippery' as it ages. FWIW, Dextron fluid is one of the most slippery fluids out there, which is why it wrecks havoc on mopar trannys because the bands slip because the fluid is too slippery.

I know this sounds fake but its not - most shops carry only dextron and then add "friction modifiers" to get the fluid to the grittiness level of the OEM fluid.

It's also why putting Honda ATF fluid in a GM tranny causes it to bark gears during shifts, because Honda ATF fluid is relatively gritty, and the GM tranny is built expecting a slippery fluid.
 

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SoCalHybrid said:
allpar.com has some great stuff on the new ATF+4 fluid if I am not mistaken. Basically, it is a little more 'gritty' than ATF + 3, however it never needs to be changed because it is a synthetic fluid, whereas ATF + 3 tends to get 'slippery' as it ages. FWIW, Dextron fluid is one of the most slippery fluids out there, which is why it wrecks havoc on mopar trannys because the bands slip because the fluid is too slippery.

I know this sounds fake but its not - most shops carry only dextron and then add "friction modifiers" to get the fluid to the grittiness level of the OEM fluid.

It's also why putting Honda ATF fluid in a GM tranny causes it to bark gears during shifts, because Honda ATF fluid is relatively gritty, and the GM tranny is built expecting a slippery fluid.
I agree with most.
Allpar.com, on this particular page states, "Contrary to popular myth, one of the stated goals of Type 9602/ATF+4 fluids was that it would have the same frictional characteristics as ATF+3." ATF+4 does not break down in as short a period as ATF+3, however. ATF+4 "would retain those [frictional] characteristics for at least 100,000 miles."
Also, as SoCalHybrid said, and as this page on allpar.com states, "Do not use Dexron with an additive. Richard Widman passed us an extensive report from reputable gas company Chevron, which compared ATF+3 fluid with Dexron plus various additives. They found that neither of two major brands matched ATF+3's performance specs."
What I disagree on is the "it never needs to be changed because it is a synthetic fluid," part. It can not be stressed enough to follow the scheduled maintenance standards for your vehicle. Even if you use ATF+4 and it called for ATF+[1, 2, or 3] keep doing your transmission service at the same intervail (for instance, on my 1996, it says every 37,500 miles, but I personally do mine every 20,000-24,000).
Do not skimp out on preventative maintenance, it will only cost you more in the long haul.
 

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I agree with everything - except that while probably insignificant, the Viscosity loss (10% for ATF + 4) is a little better than 7176E (13% for ATF + 3)

Thats what I meant about being grittier, however in reality its viscosity, and not grittyness that they were testing, however they then state "Graphs in the paper show that the friction coefficient of fresh ATF+3 and ATF+4 is essentially identical, but as the fluid ages ATF+4 retains the “as new” coefficient while ATF+3 degrades." - GM Frazier, Allpar.com

I think thats's where I said it was slightly grittier.

As far as being a fluid that never needs changing, I was going on the 100,000 mile interval that the fluid was designed for. In reality, especially for someone like me that puts 36k miles on a vehicle in a year, 100k is not "forever" however it is an annoying term that many vehicle manufactures are starting to use (Like with spark plugs, new dexcool and hybrid-organic coolants, and Toyota's Type T ATF fluid)

IMO, trannys are expensive, and are very complex, so I agree and I would probably change it every 50k miles anyway.
 

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You are right, manufacurers are slapping "lifetime" or something to that effect on a lot of things, but in reality, once ya read the fine print, its not...
 
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