Need SP III compatible transmission fluid
Someday I have to write my own book on the DR. Just about getting an engine rebuilt here could be a large part of such a novel. To all those that would say, "You should have purchased a Toyota!", I must agree after becoming a parts importer for my own engine.
Here is my latest dilemma. My car, which is a Hyundai, requires a special type of transmission fluid with the designation SP III. It is thinner (less viscous) than all of the other types It must say SPIII on the label of the product. Magna motors does not carry this product. Dexron, Dexron III, Dexron XXX, Mercon and other automatic transmission fluids that work in those alone are not correct for this model of transmission. I understand that most late model Mitsubishi's also require this special transmission fluid. Mobil (not even the Mobil 1 synthetic product) and AC/Delco do not appear to make an SP III version. Magna motors told me they would use an AC/Delco fluid which I have learned is just plain wrong! If it doesn't say SP III, it won't work properly.
Amsoil, Quaker State, Shell and Penzoil are supposed to make an SP III version, but I cannot find any of those on the North coast. I can have a case shipped to me from the US, but by the time it gets here it will cost me about $200 US.
Does anyone know of a Mitsubishi dealer that might have SP III?
Any other supplier anywhere else on the island?
What about the Repsol dealer on El Conde in the Colonial Zone?
Always thought it was a strangle place for a specialized oil shop, but they have a lot of product and maybe able to help you.
Cocina Mediterranea e Italiana en repsolypf.com
I may have to import SP III ATF myself
I spoke to Bonanza Motors in Santiago. Bonanza is the Mitsubishi dealer in the DR. They told me they have a Gulf product that is compatible with SP III.. When I checked the Gulf Oil web site, I found that they do not appear to have a compatible product. They even have a product selector for lubricants based upon specific cars/trucks and there is no recommendation for late model Mitsubishi nor Hyundai transmissions from Gulf. Why am I not surprised? I very much doubt they have what I need, but will check on that.
Robert, thanks for the Repsol info. Do you have a number for them in Santo Domingo? Despite the fact that the Repso website does not show they specifically that they make an SP III compatible product, it is possible they have something.
An "only in the DR" story regarding Mitsubishi and Hyundai
Or should I say, "Only NOT in the DR!".
I have investigated the availability of Diamond SP III original or compatible transmission fluid here in the DR. It is not available despite being required for both late model Mitsubishi and Hyundai transmissions. This fluid is actually a requirement not a recommendation for these transmissions. It is thinner (less viscous) than all other fluids made.
Neither the Hyundai dealer nor the Mitsubishi dealer here carry the correct fluid for their own transmissions. Putting in another fluid such as a Dexron III , Macron, synthetic or ANY otherwise incompatible fluid violates the warranty and will cause eventual damage to the transmission even if it appears to be working normally. The mechanics will tell you, "We will use this fluid and put in an additive".. DON'T do this. The dealer will be happy to rebuild your transmission for you. By the way, the additive will only make the fluid even thicker.
The only solution appears to be importing the fluid yourself. It is available at all Hyundai or Mitsubishi dealers in the US and Puerto Rico. EPS will charge about $147 US to bring in a case worth $61 from Miami. Anybody out there I can use as a "transmission fluid" mule?
I feel your pain!
I know exactly what you’re going through.
I wanted to do the tranny service my-self, on my 2002-XKR, and my 2000 XK8.
Dealer quoted me $800, for fluid and filter service, per car.
The XK8 comes with a Jag Tranny, ZF 5HP24 which only takes, the Esso Lt 71141 Tranny Fluid.
Dealer said $32. per liter and I needed 10 Liters.
Got it finally from a VW/Audi Dealer for $ 23 a liter.
Did it my-self for $300, total.
Nothing Compatible, Shell, Mercon, Dextron.. etc, etc...
Put one of those in, and guaranteed to turn you tranny into oatmeal.
The XKR, comes with a Mercedes Benze, W5A580 transmission and uses Shell ATF 3403-M 115 Tranny Fluid.
Took it to a MB Dealer, with my gasket and filter, came to only $ 180.
Got lucky on the 2nd car, but that dam Esso fluid, never paid through the nose like that for anything, with no other options to choose.
SP III transmission fluid is unobtanium - the search continues..
While I like a challenge, and the DR presents one from time to time, I may have one that is not easily overcome. I am still searching for the correct transmission fluid, Diamond SP III , for my car. This product is not carried by Hyundai nor Mitsubishi, but is required for their cars. I am now looking into importing it myself. EPS will not ship it for me, despite the fact that it is not a hazardous material.
I might be able to get it brought in by UPS at about $350 US in shipping charges for a product that cost $61 for one case of 12 bottles.
If I try to bring it on an airplane as checked baggage, I probably won't be able to do that, but American Airlines could not help me on that. I am looking into other methods for shipping, but I am getting the feeling that I will have to take my car to Puerto Rico on the ferry to get it serviced and bring some extra fluid back with me when I return. Anybody ever taken a car to PR and back?
Originally Posted by windeguy
I can't believe the hassle you are having with getting this fluid. I will mule it for you by splitting up 2 boxes as a carry on, but I can't say when. Maybe you should start a thread of needing tranny fluid mule and offer to pay them $100.00 US. Sounds like a cheaper option. Still seems outrages, that it is NOT available anywhere in the DR.
One last thing before I do something rash
I have one last thing to do before I do something rash. I know another mechanic in Sosua who is from Germany. We spoke and he is of the opinion that there is a mechanical problem NOT related to the fluid because of how I described the problem manifests itself. His opinion is that Hundai/Mitsubishi/Kia call for a special fluid only because they want to you purchase it from them. Dexron III should be working without a problem. I will have him check the car early next week.
One additional point that I discovered. When the mechanics "changed" the fluid for me, they did not actually change it all. In order to do so, a tube must be inserted and the torque converter fluid drained as well while the engine is running to pump out that part of the fluid. What the local mechanics here did was to change only about half of the fluid. I suspected there was such an issue when they were only adding back much less fluid than the manual indicated for my transmission. Also, do not mix synthetic type and natural transmission fluids.