Mercon LV Vs Dexron VI: Which One To Use?

What is the difference between Mercon LV and Dexron VI? To be very specific, Mercon is a Ford transmission fluid, whereas Dexron generally goes with GM transmissions. But the story does not end here.

Mercon LV vs Dexron VI: both are transmission fluids suitable for various automatic transmission models and brands. Our primary concern here is if you could use these ATFs interchangeably.

Since both Mercon and Dexron are transmission fluids used in self-shifting vehicles, there are certain aspects that you should consider before replacing one for another. Hence, we are discussing the differences between them based on: viscosity, fluid type, best application, price, etc., so that it gets easier for you to decide!

Mercon LV Vs Dexron VI ATF: What Are The Differences?

Key PointMercon LVDexron VI
ManufacturerFordGM (General Motors)
Beginning of the Brand/ First ReleasedIn 1987In 1967
Compatible With Previous VersionNoYes
Approximate Price$25-$35$30-$45

Differences in Fluid Type

Mercon LV is a high-quality transmission oil by Ford Motor Company, and they recommend it for their Lincoln and Ford cars. It is fully synthetic oil, and the LV here stands for “Low Viscosity.” Since this transmission fluid has a different viscosity level, it is not exchangeable with its other versions, like- Mercon V or Mercon SP.

However, if you need, you can find some equivalent to Mercon LV in the stores. Most people look for alternatives to it because of its being expensive.

General Motors, popularly known as GM, manufactures Dexron VI full synthetic automatic transmission fluid, a low-viscosity oil. The specialty of this transmission fluid is to excel in smooth shifting, incorporating efficient additives. This transmission fluid has hydro-processed oils as the base. This oil has the highest index along with high and low-temperature oxidation & thermal resistance.

Both were developed to meet the criteria of- low-temperature endurance, oxidation & wear resistance, anti-foaming property, fluid-seal compatibility, etc. Both fluids have almost identical specs.

So, they are basically the same fluids. More interestingly, Dexron VI was developed by GM in collaboration with Ford and came out at about the same time as Mercon LV.

Best Performance

If we compare both transmission oil performance-wise, then they are completely different from one another. It varies mainly on the working conditions of the fluids.

Dexron VI is designed to perform greatly under any off-road conditions, whereas Mercon LV performs better in any on-road situation. It is mainly because of the way that they were designed to perform. Mercon LV works smoother on the roads than off-road.

In the following table, you can see how frequently you may need to replace your transmission oil if you use any one of these oils.

Fluid TypeMileage (In Miles)
Mercon LV150,000
Dexron VI100,000

Viscosity Contrast

Viscosity measures the pourability of a liquid. The greater the internal friction, the more resistance is there to flow the substance. So, it will be difficult to pour thick & heavy oil because of the high viscosity if it has greater resistance.

Therefore, transmission fluid has to be thin & light and has to have as low viscosity as possible so that there’s very little friction when you are pouring it in a cold temperature.

Operating temperature is another great factor when you measure transmission fluid viscosity. Some fluids cannot operate at high temperatures, and some at low. The oil molecules crack in high operating temperatures and freeze in cold weather. So, the viscosity of the liquid changes.

Dexron VI also has a low viscosity and is thinner than Dexron III. It helps the engine parts to move more smoothly. Mercon LV viscosity is completely different from its previous versions. Not only that it has identically different components, but also it has low viscosity, and it should not be mixed or replaced with previous Mercon fluids.

Any Difference in Transmission Oil Change Interval

For automatic transmissions, manufacturers generally recommend an automatic transmission fluid change interval distance between 60,000 to 100,000 miles. And that may also vary a little based on the transmission fluid you are using. However, you can change your fluid early if the transmission requires that.

In our case, the Mercon LV has a replacement period of 150,000 miles. And the Dexron VI transmission fluid has an oil replacement period of 100,000 miles. So, the Mercon LV has a long replacement period than the Dexron VI. But in real life, the number can vary a little.

Maintenance & Cost Difference

The maintenance of the transmission oil depends on how frequently you use the vehicle, how roughly you ride, the region you live in, and also the weather of that place. Mercon LV and Dexron VI, both transmission fluids, have low viscosity and are made to perform better in rough conditions. Dexron is more compatible in cold weather.

On the other hand, Mercon performs better in warm weather. Despite these facts, one should not opt for a different fluid brand other than the recommended version.

However, from a discussion in the Bob is the Oil Guy forum, we came to the conclusion that Dexron VI can be used in place of Mercon LV as Dexron VI meets the specs and is pretty much more affordable than the other one.

This Video Might Come in Help!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Mercon LV compatible with Dexron VI?

You are probably thinking, what is equivalent to Mercon LV? What can I use instead of Mercon LV? In most cases, you can use Mercon LV and Dexron VI interchangeably. Both are top-quality, low-viscosity transmission oils. They have almost similar specs. Even though they both are specified for different car brands, often, these fluids can replace one another. So, if your car transmission asks for either one of them, it should be no problem if you replace one for another.

Can I use Mercon V instead of Dexron VI?

No. You actually cannot use Mercon V replacing Dexron VI transmission fluid. Both trans fluids have different viscosity levels, and their compound is also different. Also, both are made for particular vehicle requirements. Therefore, we do not suggest mixing Mercon V with Dexron VI. We recommend using the specific transmission oil that the vehicle manual asked for.

What is the difference between Mercon and Dexron transmission fluid?

The main difference between Mercon and Dexron transmission fluids is that they are produced for and by different manufacturers for different vehicle types. Ford produced Mercon transmission fluid for their Mazda & Ford gearboxes. GM introduced Dexron for General Motor vehicles. Apart from that, these transmission fluids have different complexity and elements. They should only be used for the recommended vehicles for the utmost use of the transmission and to prevent wear & tear.


As you have already had a glimpse at the key differences, now you can tell what is a better pick between Mercon LV vs Dexron VI.

However, often the situation is pretty different from what we can see, and you may still have issues picking the suitable one.

So, when it comes to comparing Mercon and Dexron, two automatic transmission fluids, you don’t have to worry to pick one. The only issue that can appear is that Mercon LV loses its color faster than Dexron VI and darkens pretty quickly.

Therefore, you may have to change the fluid earlier. Otherwise, it should be fine to use these transmission oils interchangeably.

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