6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-VI?
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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-VI? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I purchased a 2008 STS Platinum with the DI 3.6 about a year ago and am happy overall. Never had ...
  1. #1
    MAXINFL is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-VI?

    I purchased a 2008 STS Platinum with the DI 3.6 about a year ago and am happy overall. Never had a vehicle with this kind of performance & handling and still get about (give or take 1mpg) 24MPG at 80MPH. Plus has the ability to tote around my entire family!
    The car now has about 62K miles. I have concern about the near future however. I am familiar with GM Automatic Transmissions (TH200, 700R4, 4L60E & 4L80E) and their potential weaknesses and would like to make my 6L50 last as long as possible starting with my first trans fluid change. I am guessing that the fluid have never been changed in this car yet since it was a lease.

    I still have about a year of warranty left, but what I do now will very much affect the life of the transmission much later.

    I read an old article (http://www.imakenews.com/lng/e_artic....cfm?x=b11,0,w) where they claim that the original reason for the creation of DEXRON-VI was to "accomodate" the 6L80. They explain that "..the biggest change with the 6L80 is that it puts clutch interfaces in direct contact with each other, rather than using a buffer such as a freewheeler between them...."

    Since DEXRON-VI was initially designed for a different transmission (6L80), does the 6L50 require the same fluid features? Was it designed before or after the 6L80?

    Another question is this - was the 6L50 designed with DEXRON-VI in mind or vice-versa?

    My main questions are:
    Would the tried and true Amsoil Auto Transmission fluid be better than the DEXRON-VI?

    Has anyone in an effort to reduce harmful heat on their transmission in their Cadillac, used one of the commonly available transmission coolers such as those used in light trucks?

    If so, did you isolate the transmission fluid completely from the path through the radiator?


    If anyone can answer any of these questions, it would be a big help.

    I have searched this forum all over and found only fluid change information on the manual trans - which I wish I had at times.

    Thanks, this is my first thread. Hope this helps others...

    Max in Florida

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    malatu's Avatar
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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    Here are two recent threads on the topic of transmission fluid changes. They may provide some helpful information.

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...12/index3.html

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...nge-fluid.html

  4. #3
    EChas3's Avatar
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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    I have nothing against Amsoil but I'm not convinced it's any better than OEM. If they are willing to warrant my transmission against all failure just for using their product, I see a horse of a different color!

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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    Dexron VI now comes as standard fill on all GM's, except the Duramax with the Allison Transmission. How many miles are on your car? Do you drive it hard? Tow? Hills? High Heat? These transmissions have been used by BMW since I believe 2000. I think they were in the 3 and 5 series. It makes me wonder what a trans would cost from them, I know what it costs from a GM dealer

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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    I can't believe buying anything from BMW will be cheaper than GM. I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.

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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    Amsoil Offer Dexron 6 Also

    of course it better than the one dealer use ..Dexron 6..u won't find any dirty in the next time u change the oil in trans oil pan if you use Amsoil Dexron Synthetic...

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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    If it's not dirty, it's not doing its job.

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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    Dexron VI should be Dexron VI regardless of the manufacturer. In order to call it Dexron VI the manufacturer needs to pay license fees to GM and are upheld to inspections and the meeting of the requirements of Dexron VI. I know some fluids say things like "Acceptable for use where Dexron VI is used", but that doesn't mean it is Dexron VI. I don't know what Amsoil states. If your car is still under warranty? If so, you may want to make sure that what you use is Licensed Dexron VI or you may void the warranty on the car, or at least the transmission.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by EChas3 View Post
    I can't believe buying anything from BMW will be cheaper than GM. I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.
    Yeah, I couldn't imagine a transmission would be cheaper from BMW, but I think it would be interesting to find out what they would charge for what should be the exact same transmission. One of my co-workers has a BMW with the same trans, and I told him if he ever needs one, he should look at a GM dealer for comparison

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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    Quote Originally Posted by EChas3 View Post
    I have nothing against Amsoil but I'm not convinced it's any better than OEM. If they are willing to warrant my transmission against all failure just for using their product, I see a horse of a different color!
    This is AMSOIL's Dexron VI spec fluid and the one they recommend for the 08 STS:
    AMSOIL Low Viscosity Universal Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATL) (Product Code ATLQT)

    And yes, they do stand behind their products:
    AMSOIL Corporate Warranty

    I can get this and any products AMSOIL sells for forum members at dealer wholesale, about 25% below retail, via the AMSOIL Preferred Customer Program. Drop me a PM if interested.

    Dexron VI should be Dexron VI regardless of the manufacturer. In order to call it Dexron VI the manufacturer needs to pay license fees to GM and are upheld to inspections and the meeting of the requirements of Dexron VI. I know some fluids say things like "Acceptable for use where Dexron VI is used", but that doesn't mean it is Dexron VI. I don't know what Amsoil states. If your car is still under warranty? If so, you may want to make sure that what you use is Licensed Dexron VI or you may void the warranty on the car, or at least the transmission.
    I don't agree with either of the above statements. While all fluids that are labeled to meet Dexron VI must meet the specs for Dexron VI, how they behave over time varies significantly. The Dexron VI spec can be met with a synthetic blend basestock (blend of Group II and III basestocks). AMSOIL's ATL is made with full synthetic basestock which will perform better than a lower cost fluid made to the minimum tolerances of Dexron VI specs. I also do not agree with the statement that your warranty is voided if you do not use a licensed Dexron VI fluid. That policy is against the Magnuson-Moss act. GM is currently under investigation by the FTC for their current owner's manual statements:

    Automakers' Warranty Ties Blasted

    In the specific case of AMSOIL, if GM denies owner's manual warranty coverage, per the above AMSOIL corporate warranty, AMSOIL will get involved and ensure the transmission is warrantied (not saying by whom as usually AMSOIL gets the OE to meet their legal obligations).

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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    Sounds like a snake-oil salesman to me.

  12. #11
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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    Quote Originally Posted by C66 Racing View Post


    I don't agree with either of the above statements. While all fluids that are labeled to meet Dexron VI must meet the specs for Dexron VI, how they behave over time varies significantly. The Dexron VI spec can be met with a synthetic blend basestock (blend of Group II and III basestocks). AMSOIL's ATL is made with full synthetic basestock which will perform better than a lower cost fluid made to the minimum tolerances of Dexron VI specs. I also do not agree with the statement that your warranty is voided if you do not use a licensed Dexron VI fluid. That policy is against the Magnuson-Moss act. GM is currently under investigation by the FTC for their current owner's manual statements:

    Automakers' Warranty Ties Blasted

    In the specific case of AMSOIL, if GM denies owner's manual warranty coverage, per the above AMSOIL corporate warranty, AMSOIL will get involved and ensure the transmission is warrantied (not saying by whom as usually AMSOIL gets the OE to meet their legal obligations).
    I am not saying Amsoil makes a bad product. I have heard many good things about them. All I am saying is that it may not be a fully licensed Dexron VI. A licensed Dexron VI will meet all of the minimum requirements GM has stated for the fluid (Once again not saying Amsoil does not meet that, I'm sure they meet it and probably exceed it). I did a little research on the fluids a while ago, and for Licensed Dexron VI I read an article that stated the base stock was made by a signal supplier and sold to other manufacturers who re-blend the fluid. This was an older article, so it may have changed. I will see if I can find it again and post it.

    As far as Amsoil goes, they have a good reputation in the automotive fluid industry, so even if it isn't licensed Dexron VI (I'm not saying it isn't, as I don't know), I would imagine peace of mind of the quality of the fluid isn't hard to get. If you are using some random joe blow fluid, that has that caveat I mentioned above "acceptable for use...", then I don't know of the confidence I would have that it is a true quality product.

    That article is a good little read. I can see validity in the points brought up in it. How old is that article? I was unaware of that act. Thank for sharing it.

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    Re: 6L50 Transmission - What's the best transmission fluid to use - Amsoil or DEXRON-

    The article was from Nov 2011, so pretty current.

    Licensing doesn't really mean the fluid is any better or worse than an unlicensed fluid. Licensing is a GM specific policy, other car companies don't do that. GM charges for licensing and makes money off it. They do the same thing with their new dexos1 oil spec license and this time many of the major oil companies aren't buying in. Below article shows Valvoline submitted their oil to GM through another company - it passed - then they opted not to license, not to pay the license royalty and complained to the FTC (which partially led to the above linked article).
    Coalition Seeks FTC Review of Dexos (Mar 2011 article)

    Similar article showing Chevron and Citgo also opted to pass on licensing dexos:
    Chevron, Citgo Pass on Dexos (Sep 2010 article)

    Unlicensed fluids are still policed by the oil industry. Companies that state that they meet the specs are required to meet the specs. Examples of the policing:
    Motor Oil Buyers, Beware
    Dexron III Verification (Mar 2012 test of oil claiming to meet Dexron III - one failed)

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