If you own a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, or Ram vehicle, you may have heard of ATF+4, a special type of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) that is designed to meet the specific requirements of these brands. ATF+4 is a synthetic fluid that provides superior performance, protection, and durability for your transmission. But which brand of ATF+4 should you choose? Castrol or Valvoline?
In this article, we will compare Castrol ATF+4 and Valvoline ATF+4 in terms of their specifications, benefits, drawbacks, and compatibility. We will also give you some tips on how to choose the right ATF for your car and how to change it properly.
What is ATF+4?
ATF+4 is a trademarked name for a synthetic ATF that is formulated to meet the specifications of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles. It is also compatible with some Mitsubishi, Hyundai, and Kia models that use the same transmission system.
ATF+4 is not the same as other types of ATF, such as Dexron or Mercon. It has a unique additive package that provides enhanced frictional properties, anti-wear protection, oxidation resistance, and thermal stability. It also has a lower viscosity than conventional ATF, which improves fuel economy and shifting quality.
ATF+4 is the only type of ATF that is recommended by the manufacturers of these vehicles. Using any other type of ATF may cause damage to your transmission and void your warranty.
Castrol ATF+4 vs Valvoline ATF+4: Specifications
Both Castrol and Valvoline are reputable brands that produce high-quality lubricants for various applications. Their products are widely available and affordable. But how do they compare in terms of their specifications for ATF+4?
According to their product data sheets, both Castrol and Valvoline ATF+4 meet or exceed the following standards:
- Chrysler MS-9602
- Chrysler MS-7176
- Chrysler MS-5931
- Chrysler MS-9224
- Chrysler AS68RC
- Ford MERCON V
- Ford MERCON LV
- GM DEXRON VI
- Allison C-4
- JASO 1A
These standards indicate that both products have similar properties and performance characteristics. They both have a viscosity of 6.8 cSt at 100°C and a flash point of 200°C. They both have excellent low-temperature fluidity, high shear stability, and anti-shudder performance.
However, there are some minor differences between them. For example, Castrol ATF+4 has a slightly higher pour point (-48°C) than Valvoline ATF+4 (-51°C), which means it can flow better at extremely low temperatures. On the other hand, Valvoline ATF+4 has a slightly higher viscosity index (176) than Castrol ATF+4 (174), which means it can maintain its viscosity better at high temperatures.
These differences are not significant enough to affect the performance of your transmission. Both products are suitable for use in your car and will provide the same level of protection and durability.
Castrol ATF+4 vs Valvoline ATF+4: Benefits
Both Castrol and Valvoline ATF+4 offer several benefits for your transmission system. Some of these benefits are:
- Improved fuel economy: Both products have a lower viscosity than conventional ATF, which reduces friction and drag in your transmission. This improves your fuel efficiency and lowers your emissions.
- Smooth shifting: Both products have enhanced frictional properties that ensure smooth and consistent shifting in all driving conditions. They also prevent shudder and vibration in your transmission.
- Extended drain intervals: Both products have superior oxidation resistance and thermal stability that prevent sludge formation and fluid breakdown. This allows you to extend your drain intervals and save money on maintenance.
- Protection against wear: Both products have anti-wear additives that protect your transmission components from wear and tear. They also prevent corrosion and rust in your transmission.
- Compatibility with seals: Both products are compatible with the seals and gaskets in your transmission system. They do not cause swelling or shrinking of these materials, which could lead to leaks or damage.
Castrol ATF+4 vs Valvoline ATF+4: Drawbacks
Both Castrol and Valvoline ATF+4 have some drawbacks that you should be aware of before using them in your car. Some of these drawbacks are:
- Limited compatibility: Both products are only compatible with vehicles that require ATF+4 or similar specifications. They are not compatible with vehicles that require other types of ATF, such as Dexron or Mercon. Using them in incompatible vehicles may cause damage to your transmission and void your warranty.
- Higher cost: Both products are more expensive than conventional ATF, due to their synthetic nature and unique additive package. You may have to pay more for these products than for other brands of ATF.
- Availability issues: Both products may not be readily available in some areas or stores. You may have to order them online or from specialty shops, which may take longer and cost more.
Castrol ATF+4 vs Valvoline ATF+4: Compatibility
Both Castrol and Valvoline ATF+4 are compatible with the following vehicles:
- Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles that require ATF+4 or equivalent
- Mitsubishi, Hyundai, and Kia vehicles that use the same transmission system as Chrysler
- Ford vehicles that require MERCON V or MERCON LV
- GM vehicles that require DEXRON VI
- Allison transmissions that require C-4
Both products are not compatible with the following vehicles:
- Vehicles that require other types of ATF, such as Dexron or Mercon
- Vehicles that require special types of ATF, such as CVT or DCT
- Vehicles that have specific recommendations from the manufacturer for a different type of ATF
How to Choose the Right ATF for Your Car
To choose the right ATF for your car, you should follow these steps:
- Check your owner’s manual or the label on your transmission dipstick to find out what type of ATF your car requires. Do not use any other type of ATF unless specified by the manufacturer.
- Choose a reputable brand that meets or exceeds the specifications of your car. Compare the product data sheets of different brands to find out their properties and performance characteristics.
- Consider your driving conditions and preferences. If you drive in extreme temperatures, you may want to choose a product that has a better pour point or viscosity index. If you want to save money on maintenance, you may want to choose a product that has a longer drain interval.
- Change your ATF according to the recommended schedule in your owner’s manual or sooner if you notice any signs of fluid degradation, such as dark color, burnt smell, or low level.
How to Change Your ATF Properly
To change your ATF properly, you should follow these steps:
- Park your car on a level surface and turn off the engine. Wait for the transmission to cool down before proceeding.
- Locate the transmission drain plug and place a drain pan under it. Remove the plug and let the fluid drain completely. Replace the plug and tighten it securely.
- Locate the transmission fill plug and remove it. Use a funnel and a hose to fill the transmission with new fluid until it reaches the proper level. Replace the plug and tighten it securely.
- Start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes. Shift through all the gears several times to circulate the fluid throughout the transmission.
- Check the fluid level again and adjust it if necessary. Do not overfill or underfill the transmission, as this may cause damage or performance issues.
|Features||Castrol ATF+4||Valvoline ATF+4|
|Vehicle Compatibility||Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth||Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth|
|Accessible Viscosities||5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40, 10W-50, 15W-40, 20W-50||5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40|
|Quality||Full Synthetic||Full Synthetic|