ATF DW-1 vs DEXRON VI: Decoding the Best Fluid for Your Transmission

Difference Between ATF DW-1 and DEXRON VI

Ever had that moment when you’re staring at the shelves, wondering whether to pick ATF DW-1 vs DEXRON VI for your vehicle?

Well, don’t worry, we’ve all been there! These two Rockstar automatic transmission fluids have made quite a name for themselves.

And believe it or not, this choice can seriously make or break your driving experience and your car’s overall health. Get ready to embark on a fluidic journey as we unpack ATF DW-1 and DEXRON VI. 

Here’s a comparison between ATF DW-1 and DEXRON VI based on their characteristics:

CharacteristicATF DW-1DEXRON VI
ManufacturerHonda/AcuraGeneral Motors (licensed to various brands)
CompatibilityPrimarily for Honda and Acura vehiclesUsed in a wide range of vehicles
Fluid ColorRedRed
ViscosityUsually 7.0 cSt at 100°C (212°F)Varies based on formulation
Friction PropertiesOptimized for Honda transmission systemsOptimized for GM transmission systems
Additive PackageSpecifically formulated for Honda transmissionsSpecifically formulated for GM transmissions
Fluid LifeTypically recommended for longer intervalsDepends on vehicle and usage
SpecificationsHonda ATF DW-1 specificationGM DEXRON VI specification
Cold Weather PerformanceDesigned to work well in colder temperaturesGood cold weather performance
Heat ResistanceEngineered to withstand high temperaturesOffers high-temperature stability
Seal CompatibilityCompatible with Honda transmission sealsCompatible with GM transmission seals
Service and MaintenanceFollow Honda’s recommendations for changesFollow manufacturer recommendations
AvailabilityPrimarily at Honda dealerships and retailersWidely available through auto parts stores

Also Read: Dexron III Transmission Fluid Compatibility

What is Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATFs)?


ATFs play a multifaceted role that keeps your transmission in tip-top shape. Firstly, they serve as a lubricant, ensuring that various components glide seamlessly within the transmission system.

But that’s not all – ATFs are also excellent heat conductors, helping to keep those temperature-sensitive parts cool even when the going gets tough. 

And let’s not forget about friction control; these fluids play referee between metal surfaces, reducing wear and tear with every shift.

Now, just like flavors of ice cream, there’s a smorgasbord of ATFs available out there. From all-purpose options to specialized blends, each caters to different transmission types and performance needs.

Also Read: Type A Transmission Fluid Equivalent

ATF DW-1: Features and Benefits

ATF DW-1 Transmission Fluid

ATF DW-1 stands as a carefully crafted automatic transmission fluid with a formulation that’s been meticulously engineered to cater to the specific needs of modern transmissions.

Here are the features and benefits of the ATF DW-1:

Enhanced friction durability and wear protection:

ATF DW-1’s unique formulation contributes to improved friction control, effectively reducing wear and tear on transmission components.

This enhancement leads to prolonged component life and reliable performance over the long term.

Improved shift feel and smoother operation:

Experience a driving experience that’s a cut above with ATF DW-1. Its formulation enhances shift quality, eliminating the jarring transitions often associated with lesser transmission fluids. The result? Smoother shifts and an overall more comfortable drive.

High-temperature stability and oxidation resistance:

When things heat up, ATF DW-1 remains steadfast. Its high-temperature stability ensures that it retains its properties even under demanding conditions, preventing fluid breakdown.

Additionally, its oxidation resistance means that it stands strong over time, contributing to consistent and reliable transmission performance.

Honda’s recommended fluid for their vehicles

Honda’s stamp of approval as the recommended fluid for their vehicles speaks volumes about ATF DW-1’s compatibility and effectiveness.

It’s a testament to the fluid’s ability to maintain and enhance the performance of Honda transmissions.

Also Read: Honda Gn4 Oil Equivalent

DEXRON VI: Features and Benefits

DEXRON VI Transmission Fluid

DEXRON VI ATF takes the spotlight as a meticulously designed automatic transmission fluid, carefully composed to meet the exacting demands of modern transmissions. Here are the features and benefits. 

Excellent oxidation resistance and thermal stability:

DEXRON VI shines under the heat. Its superior thermal stability ensures that it remains resilient even in high-temperature conditions, maintaining its properties and effectiveness.

Additionally, its exceptional oxidation resistance contributes to its longevity, assuring consistent performance over time.

Enhanced friction properties for precise shifting:

DEXRON VI’s formulation is geared towards optimizing friction control within the transmission.

This enhancement results in smoother gear changes and improved shift precision, translating to a refined and comfortable driving experience.

Compatibility with a wide range of automatic transmissions:

DEXRON VI isn’t just a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s designed to work seamlessly with a diverse array of automatic transmissions.

This compatibility underscores its versatility and ability to deliver its benefits across various vehicle makes and models.

General Motors’ approved fluid for their vehicles:

DEXRON VI holds the distinction of being the approved fluid for General Motors vehicles.

This endorsement serves as a testament to the fluid’s compatibility and effectiveness in maintaining optimal transmission performance in GM-made vehicles.

Read More About: Toyota Type T IV ATF Equivalent

Key Differences Between ATF DW-1 and DEXRON VI


Manufacturer Recommendations:

  • ATF DW-1: Recommended by Honda for their vehicles.
  • DEXRON VI: Approved by General Motors (GM) for their vehicles.

Friction and Wear Properties:

  • ATF DW-1: Emphasizes enhanced friction durability and wear protection.
  • DEXRON VI: Focuses on advanced friction properties for precise shifting.

Shift Feel and Operation:

  • ATF DW-1: Aims to improve shift feel and provide smoother operation.
  • DEXRON VI: Strives to enhance shift precision and refine overall gear changes.

Thermal Stability and Oxidation Resistance:

  • ATF DW-1: Offers high-temperature stability and oxidation resistance.
  • DEXRON VI: Excels in thermal stability and exhibits exceptional oxidation resistance.

Vehicle Compatibility:

  • ATF DW-1: Widely recommended for Honda vehicles and is suitable for select non-Honda applications.
  • DEXRON VI: Designed to work with various automatic transmissions beyond GM vehicles, showcasing versatility.

Additive Formulation:

  • ATF DW-1: Crafted with a formulation tailored for Honda transmissions.
  • DEXRON VI: Formulated to meet the unique demands of General Motors’ transmissions.

Market Presence and Recognition:

  • ATF DW-1: Prominent in Honda and some non-Honda applications, recognized by enthusiasts of these brands.
  • DEXRON VI: Widely acknowledged in the automotive industry, particularly among GM vehicle owners.

Usage in Specific Applications:

  • ATF DW-1: Primarily suitable for vehicles with Honda transmissions.
  • DEXRON VI: Suited for an array of vehicles, both GM and non-GM, equipped with automatic transmissions.

Fluid Availability:

  • ATF DW-1: Easily accessible at Honda dealerships and authorized distributors.
  • DEXRON VI: Widely available in various automotive supply stores and online platforms.

Fluid Price Range:

  • ATF DW-1: Price may vary, typically reflecting its status as a manufacturer-specific fluid.
  • DEXRON VI: Generally competitively priced due to its widespread use across multiple brands.
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Also Read: Tes 389 Transmission Fluid Equivalent

Frequently Asked Question

1. Is DEXRON VI the same as ATF?

Yes, DEXRON VI is a type of ATF, which stands for Automatic Transmission Fluid. DEXRON VI is a specific formulation of ATF developed by General Motors (GM) for use in their vehicles.

2. Is DEXRON and ATF the same?

Yes, DEXRON is a type of ATF. DEXRON is a brand name for automatic transmission fluids developed by GM.

Over the years, various formulations of DEXRON ATF have been released, with DEXRON VI being the latest and most advanced version.

3. What transmission fluid is compatible with ATF DW1?

ATF DW-1 is designed primarily for use in Honda vehicles. While it’s best to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations, some non-Honda vehicles may also be compatible with ATF DW-1.

Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended transmission fluid.

4. Can I use DEXRON VI for Honda?

While DEXRON VI is a high-quality automatic transmission fluid, it’s not the manufacturer-recommended fluid for Honda vehicles.

5. What vehicles use Dexron VI?

DEXRON VI is approved by General Motors (GM) for their vehicles. It’s commonly used in a wide range of GM vehicles, including various car, truck, and SUV models.

6. What is Dexron VI used for?

Dexron VI is a specific type of automatic transmission fluid developed by General Motors (GM).

It is formulated to provide exceptional thermal stability, oxidation resistance, and friction properties.


As we’ve embarked on this fluidic journey, we’ve explored the unique features and benefits that define ATF DW-1 and DEXRON VI.

ATF DW-1 stands out with its emphasis on friction durability, smoother shifts, high-temperature stability, and recognition as Honda’s recommended fluid.

On the other hand, DEXRON VI distinguishes itself with its thermal stability, enhanced friction properties, compatibility across various transmissions, and General Motors’ approval.

As you stand at the crossroads of choosing between ATF DW-1 and DEXRON VI, remember that your decision is a pivotal one.

It’s a decision that not only influences the gears shifting under your hood but also the entire driving experience that accompanies it.

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