Using ATF +4 in place of SP III
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  1. #1
    Junior Member ProX can identify a wrench
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    Default Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    First off, let me preface this by saying if your Hyundai is still under warranty, it is best to stick with approved fluids. Hyundai isn't known for being benevolent or forgiving when it comes time for a warranty claim. This post isn't for those with warranties or the true believers in the manual. This is for people that don't have the money and/or ability to readily get SP III

    That being said, I've been doing some research on suitable alternatives to the Hyundai SP III ATF (a highly friction modified ATF). Why you ask? Because for me, the only place to get it is at a dealer for an (comparatively) extravagant price and a lengthy drive. Another reason is it doesn't seem to hold up as well as it should. When I drained mine out at 53K miles on the vehicle and around 20K on the ATF, it was very dark. I've seen used oil analysis reports that show significant break down of it in normal driving conditions.

    Anyway my searching took me to ATF +4 (another highly friction modified ATF). Aside from the many users who have tried and liked it with no failures (I know, I know, it doesn't prove that it won't ruin your tranny), I have also spoke with a tech from Certified Transmission (Called to ask about the 2-3 shift flare it is experiencing) and while I had him on the phone I asked about the compatibility of the two. He said ATF +4 is fine for use in this transmission.

    Further research found that my car has the F4A42 transmission, a Mitsubishi tranny. It was used in Chrysler, Mitsu and Hyundai cars. Mitsu and Hyundai spec the SP III, while Chrysler specs ATF +4 in their Sebring.

    I also found that Chrysler has formally replaced the SP III in the rest of their applications with ATF +4


    So, knowing that Chrysler completely replaced SP III in all their applications and uses ATF +4 in the same tranny I have in my car, I feel safe in using it too. In fact, since replacing the ATF with Valvoline synthetic ATF +4, the tranny has shifted smoother and better than ever.

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    Grip lover waniuszy has not yet proved knowledgeable waniuszy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    They don't want your tranny to work too long. They want it to fail let's say at 100k so that you have to buy the trannsmission and make them money. I've heard about it, but I'll still stick with SPIII, just change it every 30k.

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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Swear to God, if this thread devolves into a "use OEM ATF ONLY" screaming match, the banhammer will fall.


    As it is, why mess with what works?
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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    in before the lock!
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    Junior Member ProX can identify a wrench
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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by waniuszy View Post
    They don't want your tranny to work too long. They want it to fail let's say at 100k so that you have to buy the trannsmission and make them money. I've heard about it, but I'll still stick with SPIII, just change it every 30k.
    That's pure speculation. When Chrysler says to use ATF +4 in an application that shares the same tranny and then covers it with a warranty, it's no different than Hyundai saying to use SP III in that tranny for warranty purposes. Both manufacturers say use "X" approved fluid or risk ruining your tranny... But the funny thing is, they're the same tranny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qyn View Post
    Swear to God, if this thread devolves into a "use OEM ATF ONLY" screaming match, the banhammer will fall.


    As it is, why mess with what works?
    Well, like I said- Not all of us have the stuff readily available and/or don't want to/can't afford the premium price. My post was meant for those people- those without warranties.



    ATF +4 can be found at nearly every neighborhood auto parts store, convenience store and discount department store in most every city that has more than 2500 people. To get the SP III, I'd have to drive 45 miles one way and pay 8.00/ quart for it.

    I simply don't understand where the fear comes from? The Chrysler Sebring uses the same F4A42 Mitsubishi transmission mine and many other Elantra's use. Both come with a warranty, but spec a different fluid.
    Last edited by ProX; 06-27-2010 at 05:01 PM.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by ProX View Post
    That's pure speculation. When Chrysler says to use ATF +4 in an application that shares the same tranny and then covers it with a warranty, it's no different than Hyundai saying to use SP III in that tranny for warranty purposes. Both manufacturers say use "X" approved fluid or risk ruining your tranny... But the funny thing is, they're the same tranny.



    Well, like I said- Not all of us have the stuff readily available and/or don't want to/can't afford the premium price. My post was meant for those people- those without warranties.



    ATF +4 can be found at nearly every neighborhood auto parts store, convenience store and discount department store in most every city that has more than 2500 people. To get the SP III, I'd have to drive 45 miles one way and pay 8.00/ quart for it.

    I simply don't understand where the fear comes from? The Chrysler Sebring uses the same F4A42 Mitsubishi transmission mine and many other Elantra's use. Both come with a warranty, but spec a different fluid.
    The transmission internals are DIFFERENT. Hyundai and Mitsubishi uses a rubber and glass clutch material where Chrysler uses their own set.

    ATF+4 is a different formula that has a higher friction modifier/antijudder formula and a higher viscosity than SP-III. Using ATF+4 will cause the transmission to stick in a gear rather than shift smoothly as it shifts and possibly cause the transmission to prematurely fail.

    This is the same thing on the Mazda M-V transmission fluid vs Mercon V fluid. Both the Mercon V and M-V are very similar, but M-V has a higher viscosity and antishudder formula than Mercon V. Using Mercon V where M-V is supposed to be used will cause the transmission to shudder.

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  8. #7
    Junior Member ProX can identify a wrench
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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by cclngthr View Post
    The transmission internals are DIFFERENT. Hyundai and Mitsubishi uses a rubber and glass clutch material where Chrysler uses their own set.

    ATF+4 is a different formula that has a higher friction modifier/antijudder formula and a higher viscosity than SP-III. Using ATF+4 will cause the transmission to stick in a gear rather than shift smoothly as it shifts and possibly cause the transmission to prematurely fail.

    This is the same thing on the Mazda M-V transmission fluid vs Mercon V fluid. Both the Mercon V and M-V are very similar, but M-V has a higher viscosity and antishudder formula than Mercon V. Using Mercon V where M-V is supposed to be used will cause the transmission to shudder.
    That's interesting but I wonder why Chrysler would directly replace the SP III with ATF +4 in all applications. As I'm sure you're well aware, Chrysler and Mitsubishi are/were partnered.

    As for the higher viscosity possibly causing it to hang up, I haven't had trouble with it and neither have any of the others that I have researched. While I don't recall the exact content of the bulletins, I've seen both the one for the update from SP II to III and the update notice from ATF +3 to +4 and they're both VERY much alike. Among other thongs, both state improved cold weather performance.


    Edit: you mentioned the clutch packs being different which I dont doubt but unless their valve bodies are different, the different viscosities shouldn't matter. Since nobody, including myself have noticed a difference in shifting (aside from smoother shifts) I'm inclined to believe there's not enough of a difference if any in the valve bodies to matter.
    Last edited by ProX; 06-27-2010 at 08:16 PM.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by ProX View Post
    That's interesting but I wonder why Chrysler would directly replace the SP III with ATF +4 in all applications. As I'm sure you're well aware, Chrysler and Mitsubishi are/were partnered.

    As for the higher viscosity possibly causing it to hang up, I haven't had trouble with it and neither have any of the others that I have researched. While I don't recall the exact content of the bulletins, I've seen both the one for the update from SP II to III and the update notice from ATF +3 to +4 and they're both VERY much alike. Among other thongs, both state improved cold weather performance.


    Edit: you mentioned the clutch packs being different which I dont doubt but unless their valve bodies are different, the different viscosities shouldn't matter. Since nobody, including myself have noticed a difference in shifting (aside from smoother shifts) I'm inclined to believe there's not enough of a difference if any in the valve bodies to matter.
    I have had plenty of them apart. The clutch pack material is slightly different and the valve body valve springs are at different rates, which means the different viscosity in the fluids would make it shift differently. Additionally, the Hyundai uses the F4A42 with the 2 liter engine and not the 2.4 engine, which makes the trans operate differently. Hyundai uses a slightly weaker spring which is supposed to work well with their TCM, which has a specific shift overlap that is unique to Hyundai and Mitsubishi. On the Hyundai TCM, the transmission does not jump from one gear to the next. It shifts by holding the one gear (which it is in) and spinning up the gear it is supposed to go into before releasing the gear it was in. It momentarily is in 2 gears during the shifts. If the trans is in first gear and needs to go in second, the trans holds first gear as it spins up second gear and holds both first and second before releasing first gear. The lighter viscosity and antishudder formula helps it shift in that pattern. Chrysler on the other hand jumps from one gear to the next, which causes more wear on the clutch pack material if the fluid is not right. It momentarily is in a neutral gear during the shift.

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    Junior Member ProX can identify a wrench
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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by cclngthr View Post
    I have had plenty of them apart. The clutch pack material is slightly different and the valve body valve springs are at different rates, which means the different viscosity in the fluids would make it shift differently. Additionally, the Hyundai uses the F4A42 with the 2 liter engine and not the 2.4 engine, which makes the trans operate differently. Hyundai uses a slightly weaker spring which is supposed to work well with their TCM, which has a specific shift overlap that is unique to Hyundai and Mitsubishi. On the Hyundai TCM, the transmission does not jump from one gear to the next. It shifts by holding the one gear (which it is in) and spinning up the gear it is supposed to go into before releasing the gear it was in. It momentarily is in 2 gears during the shifts. If the trans is in first gear and needs to go in second, the trans holds first gear as it spins up second gear and holds both first and second before releasing first gear. The lighter viscosity and antishudder formula helps it shift in that pattern. Chrysler on the other hand jumps from one gear to the next, which causes more wear on the clutch pack material if the fluid is not right. It momentarily is in a neutral gear during the shift.
    Very interesting indeed. Thank you for the interesting little tid-bits.

    First let me ask this- By saying that Hyundai using the 2.0 vs the 2.4 makes the tranny operate differently, I assume you mean due to different calibrations?

    On the TCM, doesn't it have adaptive learning? If so, wouldn't unhooking the battery force the tranny to re-learn the driver's habits as well as changes in fluid? I have read of some owners experiencing quirks in shifting until doing this.

    You mention:
    The lighter viscosity and antishudder formula helps it shift in that pattern.
    The viscosity I'll get to in a moment... Since both the SP III and ATF +4 are both highly friction modified (more so the +4 I believe you said), wouldn't that pretty much be a wash? As for viscosity, can you tell me if the tranny/TCM can account for temp? As you know oils including ATF thicken with temp... So how does the tranny know whether it's SP III at 20* Fahrenheit or ATF +4 at 70* Fahrenheit? Of course these numbers are made up, but I feel they illustrate my point. Even though SP III is only somewhat thinner(according to my info, the viscosity at 100*c for SP III is 7.41 and for the Valvoline ATF +4, it's 7.55), at some point the viscosity of the both of them will cross paths so to speak.

    Now if you don't mind if I pick your brain a little bit, I'd like to ask a question about my tranny.

    Since we got the car from my wife's elderly mother (36k on the odo), it's had an odd 2-3 shift. I know it's not an ATF issue, because the stuff I drained out was SP III according the servicing dealer. It had gotten better when I dropped the SP III in favor of Kendall Versa Trans (which coincidentally the not so local dealer uses on their Hyundais) but still there and really annoying. Since the switch to ATF +4 it's marginally better yet.. The issue is (especially cold) it will act like it initiates the 2-3 shift, but doesn't make it right away. You can feel the shift start, but the engine will rev for a moment before coming down with the shift. Sometimes there is a little jerk like it bounces momentarily between 2 and 3. After some research, I assumed it was shift flare and could (possibly) be fixed by a TCM re-flash. Supposedly if that doesn't fix it, then a trans axle replacement is in order. Does this sound like the case? I ask because you mention the tranny will spool up the next gear just prior to a shift and thought that this sounded relevant to my issue, but I don't know if that's the shift flare I keep reading about...

    Thanks again for the info and discussion.
    Last edited by ProX; 06-27-2010 at 11:41 PM. Reason: content added

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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by ProX View Post
    Very interesting indeed. Thank you for the interesting little tid-bits.

    First let me ask this- By saying that Hyundai using the 2.0 vs the 2.4 makes the tranny operate differently, I assume you mean due to different calibrations?

    On the TCM, doesn't it have adaptive learning? If so, wouldn't unhooking the battery force the tranny to re-learn the driver's habits as well as changes in fluid? I have read of some owners experiencing quirks in shifting until doing this.

    You mention:


    The viscosity I'll get to in a moment... Since both the SP III and ATF +4 are both highly friction modified (more so the +4 I believe you said), wouldn't that pretty much be a wash? As for viscosity, can you tell me if the tranny/TCM can account for temp? As you know oils including ATF thicken with temp... So how does the tranny know whether it's SP III at 20* Fahrenheit or ATF +4 at 70* Fahrenheit? Of course these numbers are made up, but I feel they illustrate my point. Even though SP III is only somewhat thinner(according to my info, the viscosity at 100*c for SP III is 7.41 and for the Valvoline ATF +4, it's 7.55), at some point the viscosity of the both of them will cross paths so to speak.

    Now if you don't mind if I pick your brain a little bit, I'd like to ask a question about my tranny.

    Since we got the car from my wife's elderly mother (36k on the odo), it's had an odd 2-3 shift. I know it's not an ATF issue, because the stuff I drained out was SP III according the servicing dealer. It had gotten better when I dropped the SP III in favor of Kendall Versa Trans (which coincidentally the not so local dealer uses on their Hyundais) but still there and really annoying. Since the switch to ATF +4 it's marginally better yet.. The issue is (especially cold) it will act like it initiates the 2-3 shift, but doesn't make it right away. You can feel the shift start, but the engine will rev for a moment before coming down with the shift. Sometimes there is a little jerk like it bounces momentarily between 2 and 3. After some research, I assumed it was shift flare and could (possibly) be fixed by a TCM re-flash. Supposedly if that doesn't fix it, then a trans axle replacement is in order. Does this sound like the case? I ask because you mention the tranny will spool up the next gear just prior to a shift and thought that this sounded relevant to my issue, but I don't know if that's the shift flare I keep reading about...

    Thanks again for the info and discussion.
    The TCM programming is different on the Chrysler than the Hyundai. Both have adaptive learning, but HOW it initiates a shift and how it makes it shift is different. Hyundai TCM's do not allow the transmission to 'jump' from one gear to the next, as the Chrysler TCM does. Hyundai spins up the next gear BEFORE releasing the gear it is in.

    With the shift flare issue, on the 01-03 AT's, there is a hardware conflict between the TCM and the transmission solenoids and valve body. The original programming did make it flare between gears 2 and 3. HOWEVER the same issue happens if the fluid level is not exactly perfect. If the fluid is not at the TOP hot line on the dipstick, it will shudder and flare in the 2-3 shift point. I have had this on my 03 Elantra, which had the reflash, however the trans still would flare on the 2-3 shift point. A dealer I took it to one time said nothing was wrong, and the fluid level was at the time between the 2 lines (acceptable range). However it still flared. However another dealer checked it with the scan tool and since it was a hot day, with the heater off, the transmission temperature was higher and where it should have been to accurately check it. At that temp, at 177 degrees, the trans fluid was over the top hot line, and it shuddered and flared. Removing the excess fluid made it shift perfectly. Another issue I found was a poor engine to chassis ground and that made it shift erratically as well.

    Fluid level is extremely critical on the XD AT's. So is fluid temperature. The fluid temp has to be above 175 degrees and below 195 degrees for normal operation and the fluid be at the top hot line at that temperature range. Anything different will cause shifting issues.

    Fluid viscosity is also very critical and a slight difference in viscosity will cause shifting problems. Cold temperatures will make any oil or transmission fluid thicker, and cold weather viscosity in ATF's can cause shifting problems when the transmission is cold if the viscosity is not correct. You have to be aware of both cold temp viscosity and hot temp viscosity in any ATF.

    The XD is also finicky on how quickly the AT should get to that hot temperature range, which is set by the TCM. The TCM uses the actual temp of the ATF vs what it wants it to be, and adjusts the shifts to try to get it to that point, and sometimes will cause it to shift erratically or shudder to enable the trans to get hotter. I had an aux cooler on my XD, and when I had it hooked up so the fluid ran through the radiator first, then through the aux cooler, it was unable to get hot enough and would flare and shudder until it was at that point. By reversing the cooler hose routing so the fluid ran through the aux cooler first made the transmission fluid get hot enough quicker and it would not flare.

    To get an accurate reading on the dipstick, I found it best if the heater/AC was off and the temp of the fluid was taken (scan tool or laser thermometer) was measured to get the right reading. Since I have the Hyundai GDS, I use that.

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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Call me old fashioned, but I'm sticking to SP III. I've heard way too many horror stories to deviate.

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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    It seems I'm having an issue with the tranns shifting as well it don't slip in gear I only slips from second to third and then sometimes going into forth. AnywAys I unhooked the battery for a hole night and it didn't fix it. Another thing I did was add some tranns fluid and it stills dos it. I'm really tired of driving the car like this. It seems it's making the power of the engine not get releised completly. Anyways was wondering what I should try next. I tryed the battery ressetting an added some tranny fluid. I most Likly will have to take it to a dealer. But I went to school for 4 years and this is something I'm not to keen on messing with, the auto tranns, hate it so much being I don't know how to work on them

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    Junior Member ProX can identify a wrench
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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by cclngthr View Post
    The TCM programming is different on the Chrysler than the Hyundai. Both have adaptive learning, but HOW it initiates a shift and how it makes it shift is different. Hyundai TCM's do not allow the transmission to 'jump' from one gear to the next, as the Chrysler TCM does. Hyundai spins up the next gear BEFORE releasing the gear it is in.

    With the shift flare issue, on the 01-03 AT's, there is a hardware conflict between the TCM and the transmission solenoids and valve body. The original programming did make it flare between gears 2 and 3. HOWEVER the same issue happens if the fluid level is not exactly perfect. If the fluid is not at the TOP hot line on the dipstick, it will shudder and flare in the 2-3 shift point. I have had this on my 03 Elantra, which had the reflash, however the trans still would flare on the 2-3 shift point. A dealer I took it to one time said nothing was wrong, and the fluid level was at the time between the 2 lines (acceptable range). However it still flared. However another dealer checked it with the scan tool and since it was a hot day, with the heater off, the transmission temperature was higher and where it should have been to accurately check it. At that temp, at 177 degrees, the trans fluid was over the top hot line, and it shuddered and flared. Removing the excess fluid made it shift perfectly. Another issue I found was a poor engine to chassis ground and that made it shift erratically as well.

    Fluid level is extremely critical on the XD AT's. So is fluid temperature. The fluid temp has to be above 175 degrees and below 195 degrees for normal operation and the fluid be at the top hot line at that temperature range. Anything different will cause shifting issues.

    Fluid viscosity is also very critical and a slight difference in viscosity will cause shifting problems. Cold temperatures will make any oil or transmission fluid thicker, and cold weather viscosity in ATF's can cause shifting problems when the transmission is cold if the viscosity is not correct. You have to be aware of both cold temp viscosity and hot temp viscosity in any ATF.

    The XD is also finicky on how quickly the AT should get to that hot temperature range, which is set by the TCM. The TCM uses the actual temp of the ATF vs what it wants it to be, and adjusts the shifts to try to get it to that point, and sometimes will cause it to shift erratically or shudder to enable the trans to get hotter. I had an aux cooler on my XD, and when I had it hooked up so the fluid ran through the radiator first, then through the aux cooler, it was unable to get hot enough and would flare and shudder until it was at that point. By reversing the cooler hose routing so the fluid ran through the aux cooler first made the transmission fluid get hot enough quicker and it would not flare.

    To get an accurate reading on the dipstick, I found it best if the heater/AC was off and the temp of the fluid was taken (scan tool or laser thermometer) was measured to get the right reading. Since I have the Hyundai GDS, I use that.
    Fluid viscosity is also very critical and a slight difference in viscosity will cause shifting problems. Cold temperatures will make any oil or transmission fluid thicker, and cold weather viscosity in ATF's can cause shifting problems when the transmission is cold if the viscosity is not correct. You have to be aware of both cold temp viscosity and hot temp viscosity in any ATF.
    This is what I was getting at with my comparison of the two ATFs. At some point even the spec'ed fluid will be significantly colder and thicker. That's why I asked if the tranny could tell the difference between the cold (thicker) SP III and and warmer (thinner) ATF +4 in terms of viscosity. If you can get me the viscosity at 40*c of the SP III, I can plot a graph and better compare the ATF +4 and SP III and their cold weather performance.

    On my XD, I can say the fluid level is in fact spot on. I had it a bit overfull with the Versa Trans and in my case, it didn't affect it at all, but by the sounds of it, I am probably in the minority.

    It seems odd that Mitsu/Hyundai would build a transmission in such a manner that it demands such a high degree of attention in terms of fluid level and so particular about the temp/weather. With so many people out there that don't pay attention or check that type of stuff and so many cars in cold climes, it's no wonder they haven't had more trouble.

    As for me, it sounds like I need to make an appointment with the no so local dealer for a TCM reflash. Do you know if there's any way to download and install it from a laptop?

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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by ProX View Post
    This is what I was getting at with my comparison of the two ATFs. At some point even the spec'ed fluid will be significantly colder and thicker. That's why I asked if the tranny could tell the difference between the cold (thicker) SP III and and warmer (thinner) ATF +4 in terms of viscosity. If you can get me the viscosity at 40*c of the SP III, I can plot a graph and better compare the ATF +4 and SP III and their cold weather performance.

    On my XD, I can say the fluid level is in fact spot on. I had it a bit overfull with the Versa Trans and in my case, it didn't affect it at all, but by the sounds of it, I am probably in the minority.

    It seems odd that Mitsu/Hyundai would build a transmission in such a manner that it demands such a high degree of attention in terms of fluid level and so particular about the temp/weather. With so many people out there that don't pay attention or check that type of stuff and so many cars in cold climes, it's no wonder they haven't had more trouble.

    As for me, it sounds like I need to make an appointment with the no so local dealer for a TCM reflash. Do you know if there's any way to download and install it from a laptop?
    The TCM can determine what fluid is used by how it interprets the shift. Hyundai/Mitsubishi needs a lower/thinner viscosity because how the TCM operates the shift mechanism, and it will shudder/flare if the cold viscosity and hot viscosity is not just right. Chrysler needs a higher viscosity because how the TCM operates the shift mechanism; in fact the electronics on the Chrysler AT is different, meaning that the seals and solenoids can be damaged if the wrong fluid is used. Hyundai/Mitsubishi uses a type of plastic which tends to melt if it is bathed in a fluid that is not to spec; which ATF+4 could in fact damage those parts as well.

    SP-III is not thicker in viscosity, it is thinner. ATF+4 is the thicker viscosity fluid.

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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by cclngthr View Post
    The TCM can determine what fluid is used by how it interprets the shift. Hyundai/Mitsubishi needs a lower/thinner viscosity because how the TCM operates the shift mechanism, and it will shudder/flare if the cold viscosity and hot viscosity is not just right. Chrysler needs a higher viscosity because how the TCM operates the shift mechanism; in fact the electronics on the Chrysler AT is different, meaning that the seals and solenoids can be damaged if the wrong fluid is used. Hyundai/Mitsubishi uses a type of plastic which tends to melt if it is bathed in a fluid that is not to spec; which ATF+4 could in fact damage those parts as well.

    SP-III is not thicker in viscosity, it is thinner. ATF+4 is the thicker viscosity fluid.
    I believe you misread what I said... I was implying that SP III in colder weather would be thicker than AFT +4 in warmer weather- at least to begin with. I say this because you say the trans is so sensitive to viscosity, but there WILL be a time (temp) where it is thicker than even say SP III at a higher temp. It's kind of a confusing analogy I know, but I believe it holds true. Basically, it wont hold it's viscosity of 7.41cst for very long because as it heats up or cools it will thicken. 7.41 @ 100*c may turn into 13-14cst @ 40*c. It's for this reason that I'd like to find the viscosity at 40*c. To make a better comparison. As for the 100*c numbers of 7.41cst (SP III) and 7.55 (Valvoline ATF +4), there's barely over a tenth of a point difference or 2%-3%. The reality of it is you'll likely find that kind of variance in testing and/or production fluids.

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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Can a mod please close this thread? This has been covered millions of times here and we don't need another argument.

    USE SP-III FLUID

    /THREAD

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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by ProX View Post
    First off, let me preface this by saying if your Hyundai is still under warranty, it is best to stick with approved fluids. Hyundai isn't known for being benevolent or forgiving when it comes time for a warranty claim. This post isn't for those with warranties or the true believers in the manual. This is for people that don't have the money and/or ability to readily get SP III

    That being said, I've been doing some research on suitable alternatives to the Hyundai SP III ATF (a highly friction modified ATF). Why you ask? Because for me, the only place to get it is at a dealer for an (comparatively) extravagant price and a lengthy drive. Another reason is it doesn't seem to hold up as well as it should. When I drained mine out at 53K miles on the vehicle and around 20K on the ATF, it was very dark. I've seen used oil analysis reports that show significant break down of it in normal driving conditions.

    Anyway my searching took me to ATF +4 (another highly friction modified ATF). Aside from the many users who have tried and liked it with no failures (I know, I know, it doesn't prove that it won't ruin your tranny), I have also spoke with a tech from Certified Transmission (Called to ask about the 2-3 shift flare it is experiencing) and while I had him on the phone I asked about the compatibility of the two. He said ATF +4 is fine for use in this transmission.

    Further research found that my car has the F4A42 transmission, a Mitsubishi tranny. It was used in Chrysler, Mitsu and Hyundai cars. Mitsu and Hyundai spec the SP III, while Chrysler specs ATF +4 in their Sebring.

    I also found that Chrysler has formally replaced the SP III in the rest of their applications with ATF +4


    So, knowing that Chrysler completely replaced SP III in all their applications and uses ATF +4 in the same tranny I have in my car, I feel safe in using it too. In fact, since replacing the ATF with Valvoline synthetic ATF +4, the tranny has shifted smoother and better than ever.
    Did you ask that tech if he would warranty your transmission for you?
    If you want an OEM look, stop modding your car



    If you disagree with soemone, just call them a troll. It validates all your opinions.
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  19. #18

    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by silversharkXD2 View Post
    Did you ask that tech if he would warranty your transmission for you?
    The dealer would not warranty the trans due it being used with a non-authorized fluid; at least a Hyundai dealer will not.

    ---------- Post added 06-28-2010 at 11:54 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by ProX View Post
    I believe you misread what I said... I was implying that SP III in colder weather would be thicker than AFT +4 in warmer weather- at least to begin with. I say this because you say the trans is so sensitive to viscosity, but there WILL be a time (temp) where it is thicker than even say SP III at a higher temp. It's kind of a confusing analogy I know, but I believe it holds true. Basically, it wont hold it's viscosity of 7.41cst for very long because as it heats up or cools it will thicken. 7.41 @ 100*c may turn into 13-14cst @ 40*c. It's for this reason that I'd like to find the viscosity at 40*c. To make a better comparison. As for the 100*c numbers of 7.41cst (SP III) and 7.55 (Valvoline ATF +4), there's barely over a tenth of a point difference or 2%-3%. The reality of it is you'll likely find that kind of variance in testing and/or production fluids.
    The lower the viscosity number means it is thinner, not thicker.

    The tolerances built into the transmission are very tight, and a 1/10th of a point can make a difference in the way it shifts. The tolerance is dependent upon the specific viscosity of the fluid required and how the viscosity changes with the temperature changes. If the viscosity changes beyond the programmed tolerance level, it is not going to shift properly. If the viscosity of the fluid changes too much, from thick to thin (all fluids are thicker when cold) the thinner the fluid when hot will make it shift erratically.

    Since there are NO single formula SP-III fluids available, except for the dealer, the manufacturer has control over the fluid variances and when one fluid maker produces it, it is easier for the auto manufacturer to tighten the tolerances in the transmission.
    Last edited by cclngthr; 06-28-2010 at 06:14 PM.

    "Childhood is measured by sounds and smells and sights before the dark hour of reason grows"John Betjeman

  20. #19
    Junior Member ProX can identify a wrench
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    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    Quote Originally Posted by silversharkXD2 View Post
    Did you ask that tech if he would warranty your transmission for you?
    Please re-read the first paragraph of the very first post. I believe you'll find your answer there.

    ---------- Post added 06-28-2010 at 09:39 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by NovaResource View Post
    Can a mod please close this thread? This has been covered millions of times here and we don't need another argument.

    USE SP-III FLUID

    /THREAD
    No arguments here.... I believe it's a good discussion. You should continue to read; you just may learn something.

    ---------- Post added 06-28-2010 at 09:57 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by cclngthr View Post
    The dealer would not warranty the trans due it being used with a non-authorized fluid; at least a Hyundai dealer will not.

    ---------- Post added 06-28-2010 at 11:54 AM ----------



    The lower the viscosity number means it is thinner, not thicker.

    The tolerances built into the transmission are very tight, and a 1/10th of a point can make a difference in the way it shifts. The tolerance is dependent upon the specific viscosity of the fluid required and how the viscosity changes with the temperature changes. If the viscosity changes beyond the programmed tolerance level, it is not going to shift properly. If the viscosity of the fluid changes too much, from thick to thin (all fluids are thicker when cold) the thinner the fluid when hot will make it shift erratically.

    Since there are NO single formula SP-III fluids available, except for the dealer, the manufacturer has control over the fluid variances and when one fluid maker produces it, it is easier for the auto manufacturer to tighten the tolerances in the transmission.
    Trust me when I say that I agree that the SP III is a bit thinner than the ATF +4. It's just I've failed to effectively communicate my thoughts. The only way for me to get what I'm saying across to you would be to show you. If you can get me the visc. @ 40*c and the viscosity index, I can show you exactly what I'm trying to say...

    I will respectfully disagree with you on the manufacturer's tolerance on their fluid... Just over a tenth of a point amounts to slightly more than nothing and would be hard to control in a production environment. It is after all made by oil refineries and not Mitsu/Hyundai.
    Last edited by ProX; 06-28-2010 at 11:00 PM.

  21. #20

    Default Re: Using ATF +4 in place of SP III

    You guys are both wrong. Take 1 part sand, 1 part lard, and one part holy water. Blend for about 2 minutes, shake in a martini mixer.... skip the salt. SOOOO much better than SP III or anything else in this thread for your trans.
    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." G.K. Chesterton
    "That's because Hyundai Jesus said so. Respect him." - SuperGLS

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