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Replacement Drive Unit fluid (atf-9?)

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by Pursual, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Pursual

    Pursual Member

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    The model 3 service guide calls the drive unit fluid "ATF-9". This does not appear to be a commercially available product.
    The exact description of the fluid is "ATF-9. SK Lubricant 422313 (part number 1135241-00-A)"

    Does anyone have any idea what fluid can be used in the drivetrain, or how to obtain this fluid? Tesla service only has it by the drum, and won't help rebuilders.
     
  2. Timbo2

    Timbo2 Member

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    Other Tesla's use Dexron VI. Seems odd that Tesla would want to stock multiple types of ATF. But no specific confirmation for Model 3.
     
  3. Pursual

    Pursual Member

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    Yeah, Model 3 service guide specifically says atf-9 while model S says Dexron VI.
     
  4. Rottenapplr

    Rottenapplr Member

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    There’s no service interval for this?
     
  5. Timbo2

    Timbo2 Member

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  6. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    Nope.

    Many ICE vehicles had already gotten fluids good enough to consider em lifetime in their transmissions, and the stuff in a Tesla sees a lot less heat/wear/abuse than an ICE transmission is likely to.
     
  7. TomB985

    TomB985 Member

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    Yep, this is exactly correct. Conventional transmissions have clutch packs that slowly wear over time, so the fluid has to deal with this clutch material. I've never been one to buy off on lifetime fluids in most cases, but for these cars is probably pretty accurate.

    Me being me, I would opt to change around 100,000 miles to ensure the best possible lubrication of these expensive components going out of warranty. I don't think the motor would care, though. It would make me feel better, though, and for a nominal cost probably worthwhile in my eyes.
     
  8. ManasDas

    ManasDas New Member

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    I heard the same information that Tesla is using ATF9. But again. Where Can I buy this oil ? did anyone have any clue.
     
  9. Dolemite

    Dolemite is my name

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    This is how I feel about it - plus there’s a filter. Although it is conceivable that someday, you might have to drain it to service something else like a leak or the pump etc.

    Didn’t Sandy Munro say in one of the Model Y teardowns that they weren’t exactly sure what the fluid was?

    Also OP how much was the drum?
     
  10. 1.21GW

    1.21GW Member

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    Changing the fluid has more probability of causing issues than leaving it alone.

    no engine heat, blow by, clutch packs, etc... this fluid has an easy life in our cars
     
  11. TLLMRRJ

    TLLMRRJ Active Member

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    #11 TLLMRRJ, May 26, 2020
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
    How does it compare to the life of oil in a regular car differential?

    I always change my diff oils, and they look pretty crappy after 50-60K miles.
     
  12. TomB985

    TomB985 Member

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    I have also been in that habit, but most manufacturers don’t suggest a replacement interval for differential oil. The majority never get changed, and lots of them end up in the junkyard before any axle issues crop up. You can’t judge oil by how it appears, so without sending a sample for analysis we are just guessing.
     
  13. TLLMRRJ

    TLLMRRJ Active Member

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    You can send the oil for analysis, or you can just change it. I change mine. Manufacturers are under a lot of pressure to extend maintenance intervals, and they know the parts will last past the warranty even if you don't change it, and when they do fail, they get to sell you more parts.

    I will continue to change all my fluids on all my cars with more frequent intervals because that's a heck of lot less expensive than replacing any of these parts.
     
  14. Dolemite

    Dolemite is my name

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    Same here. Although not sure how we’ll pull this off in the Tesla since there’s a bunch of commands involved with changing the fluid using their stupid Toolbox program. I would pay a lot of money to have that + the service + parts manuals loaded onto the car.
     
  15. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    Unless it's a pretty obscure car (or one where changing diff fluid is just weird like a corolla or something) you can almost certainly find a bunch of OTHER folks on the relevant forums who did send it for analysis to figure out how often you "really" need to change it- instead of wasting time and money guessing and probably being wrong about it.

    For example my last ICE the MFG said engine oil every 5k- used oil analysis found even conventional was fine till at least 10-12k/1 year, and good synthetics were testing fine at 15-20k

    Changing even -at- MFG suggestion, let alone more often, would be literally pouring money down the drain (pan)




    It's your time and money- if you don't mind you're likely wasting it knock yourself out. Fluids are a lot better than they used to be- and if you want to KNOW it's easy enough to check others UOAs (or do your own if you really are doing this stuff on a really odd use case where NOBODY else is changing the fluid in question and sending it off for testing)
     
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  16. TLLMRRJ

    TLLMRRJ Active Member

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    Yep, it's my time and money, and fluid changes are the nicest thing you can do for your oiled and cooled parts, so I am not interested in trying to push them to their limits. I use Blackstone oil analysis for checking the health of the engines on my collectible cars, but when it comes to changing fluids, I am proud to do it more often than necessary. I save so much money doing the work myself, and fluid changes are easy, so trying to pinch every penny is just a fools game. Tesla's have plenty of fluids (brakes, coolant, front and rear oil) to change despite what most owners think. It's not much less than a regular car.
     
  17. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    Are there lots of examples of Teslas failing from not changing the lifetime oil or coolant?

    Any there any? Like- ever?



    No argument on brake fluid- that goes bad simply by existing long enough and absorbing water- but the other fluids not so much.
     
  18. MileHiLitenen3

    MileHiLitenen3 New Member

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    Hello everyone! First post on TMC here go easy on me:)

    I agree with the above posts about the ATF fluid in the Model 3. I was just doing research on what fluid Tesla used in our drive units and ran across this thread. Has there been any development on someone verifying about the drive unit fluid "ATF-9". This does not appear to be a commercially available product.?

    I just want to be able to buy some fluid when the time comes to replace at my discretion......or atleast an equivalent ATF that would suffice of the shelf.

    BTW took delivery of our M3P 12/21/2019
     

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