Honda ATF DW-1 Vs Valvoline MaxLife Transmission Fluid

Transmission is one of the most important parts of a vehicle where you must use transmission fluid. Depending on the type of transmission, you need to select the right fluid according to the vehicle’s manual.

However, both Honda ATF DW-1 and Valvoline MaxLife ATF are synthetic transmission fluids. Although both of them are synthetic ATF, but they have some similarities and differences.

And today in this article, we are going to discuss about Honda ATF DW-1 Vs Valvoline MaxLife Transmission Fluid. Hopefully, this will help you to understand these two transmission fluids better in terms of their features, specifications, and positive and negative aspects.

What is Honda ATF DW-1?

Honda ATF DW-1 is a full synthetic automatic transmission fluid that meets Honda OEM standards. This is an OEM Fluid that comes with your vehicle and is recommended by the Honda. So you can use this fluid on your Honda vehicle with automatic transmission without any doubt.

Although this is a genuine Honda ATF, but you can also use this ATF in other brands’ vehicles with automatic transmissions. DW-1 also features a lower viscosity of 6.83 cSt at 100°C. As a result, you’ll get improved gas mileage and lubrication.

Key Features and Benefits

Honda ATF DW-1

Using OEM fluids like Honda ATF DW-1 will improve your transmission performance and durability. This fluid will improve the shifting in both hot and cold weather. Also, the leakage sealing performance is better than the previous version of Honda ATF.

As the oxidation rate of this fluid is low, so you don’t need to change the transmission fluid for more than 60K miles regular drive. The fluid also increases the fuel efficiency as this is a fully synthetic ATF. For better protection from corrosion and wears damage, you must use the manufacturer’s recommended Trans fluid which is Honda ATF DW-1 for Honda vehicles with Automatic transmission.

Another positive side of the DW-1 is, its reverse compatible with Z1 ATF. So you can also use this fluid where Honda Z1 ATF is recommended.


The main negative side of the Honda ATF DW 1 is its price. It is expensive transmission fluid, especially when compared with the Valvoline MaxLife automatic transmission fluid. We checked more than 100 negative reviews on the web about this fluid where more than 90% of users said that this is a pricy ATF.

What is Valvoline MaxLife ATF?

Valvoline MaxLife ATF generally refers to the Valvoline Multi-Vehicle ATF and Valvoline High Millage ATF. Both of them are automatic transmission fluid and comes with MaxLife Technology. But the Multi-Vehicle ATF is a full synthetic automatic transmission fluid whereas the High Millage ATF is a synthetic blend.

Key Features and Benefits

Valvoline MaxLife ATF

The most important feature of the Valvoline MaxLife ATF is it’s compatible with more than 95% of vehicles with automatic transmission. So you can use this ATF on any vehicle with an automatic transmission that called for the DEXRON-II, DEXRON-III, DEXRON-VI, etc.

The fluid is widely compatible with GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi, etc. cars with automatic transmission. Another notable feature is, that the fluid comes with a special conditioning agent that increases seal elasticity to prevent leaks.

Valvoline MaxLife also works great in both hot and cold weather. The fluid also helps to increase friction stability, and shifting, and improve the transmission life.

And last but not least, the lower price range is the most positive side of the Valvoline MaxLife ATF. You can get a gallon of Valvoline MaxLife ATF for almost half the price compared to the Honda ATF DW-1.


Not compatible with some modern vehicles with Automatic transmission. Leakage sealing performance is not good enough. Some Toyota owners also complained about vibration problems after using this transmission fluid.

Honda ATF DW-1 Vs Valvoline MaxLife

The main difference between Honda ATF DW-1 and Valvoline MaxLife ATF is that, the Honda ATF DW-1 is an OEM Fluids that is mainly engineered for Honda vehicles with automatic transmissions. And the Valvoline MaxLife ATF is not an OEM fluid and is compatible with a wide range of automatic transmission vehicles.

Another notable difference is their price. Honda ATF DW-1 is too expensive than the Valvoline MaxLife ATF.

Final Words

Both Honda ATF DW-1 and Valvoline MaxLife ATF have their own features, benefits, and negative sides. It is always a good idea to use the manufacturer’s recommended transmission fluid on your vehicle.

Although the DW-1 is expensive, you must use it if your Honda car is recommended to use this fluid. For other brands of cars, you can use Valvoline MaxLife High Mileage or Multi-Vehicle ATF if there are no special recommendations.

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