Dexron Vs Mercon: Which Transmission Fluid Is For You

What is the difference between Dexron And Mercon? The key difference is that Dexron is a GM formula, while Mercon is a Ford formula.

So, while talking about Dexron vs Mercon, we need to understand the basic function of both of these transmission fluids. Fluid is required to lubricate the inner components of automatic gearboxes.

Automatic transmission fluid cools transmission components and ensures smooth power transfer to the transmission for efficient operation. But, there are many key differences between Dexron and Mercon.

So, if you are in a dilemma about which transmission fluid is perfect for you, whether Dexron or Mercon, then this article is just for you.

Dexron Vs Mercon Table Comparision

The table below will differentiate all the differences between Mercon vs Dexron.

ManufacturerFordGeneral Motors (GM)
Fluid TypeATF- Automatic Transmission fluidATF- Automatic Transmission Fluid
Available VersionsMercon V
Mercon SP
Mercon LV
Mercon ULV
Dexron Vi
Dexron III
Dexron II
Best CompatibilityType H
Type CJ
Type A
Backward Compatible

Fluid Type

Ford manufactures Mercon, and Dexron is manufactured by General Motors (GM). Both of these are ATF or automatic transmission fluids.

Ford Motor Company recommends Motorcraft MERCON as high-quality automatic transmission fluid. It’s made with the highest index, top quality, hydro-processed base oils, and specially made efficiency additives that can provide outstanding shifting qualities and excellent thermal and oxidation resistance t both high and low temperatures.

Dexron is a new GM trademark for automatic transmission fluids recommended for service. These fluids have a higher minimum quality than the previously utilized Type A Automatic Transmission Fluids.

The fluids were created with low-temperature fluency, anti-foaming quality, fluid-seal compliance, oxidation resistance, and fluid-nylon suitability in mind.

Best Use

Both Mercon and Dexron are made for compatibility with different types of fluids and vehicles, as you can see from the Transmission fluid compatibility chart.

Fluid TypeType ABackward CompatibleType Htype CJ
VehiclesGMFord Mazda
ExceptionFord (Dexron VI only)GM (Mercon LV only)

It is also worth noting that Dexron III is also compatible with transmissions like Isuzu, Opel, and Holden. So, in comparison and following the Dexron VI compatibility chart, we can see that different versions of Decron are much more compatible with vehicles compared with versions of Mercon.

Performance Difference

While talking about the performance difference between Mercon and Dexron, they are excellent transmission fluids. But their prime working conditions of them vary from each other.

For off-roading performance, Dexron performs better than Mercon, and it is because it performs in the same way under all road conditions.

Mercon has better performance for on-road performance than Dexron as its design has a low viscosity, which adds to a great on-road riding experience.

As we already know, Mercon and Drexon have different versions, and each of them has different mileage for changing the fluid. We will see more in the table below.

Fluid TypeMileage (miles)
Dexron III80,000
Dexron V/VI100,000
Dexron II75,000
Mercon Lv150,000
Mercon V300,000
Mercon SP/ULV200,000

Following this chart, you can understand the difference between dexron ulv vs mercon ulv. Dexron VI is often regarded as ULV; there are no different models of ULV available for Dexron.

Dexron 3 Vs Mercon 5

Let us see the main differences between dexron 3 vs mercon v. Dexron 3 and Mercon V are comparable types of automatic transmission fluid. The key distinction is that Dexron is a GM formula, whilst Mercon is from Ford.

Even though the automobile manufacturer suggests only using its own formula, the two formulations’ specs are close enough to be frequently deemed interchangeable.

Dexron III was introduced in 1993 and was meant to work with all previous GM versions. On the other hand, Mercon V was created in the 1990s and was one of Ford’s most popular transmission fluids until 2008, when it was phased out.

Mercon 5 has an upgraded model introduced in 2007 known as the Mercon Lv. The Lv model is nearly the same as the “5” model with only one key difference while comparing between dexron 3 vs mercon lv. Unlike mercon v, mercon lv has a replacement period of 150,000 miles.

Dexron Vi Vs Mercon V

Now, we will check out the main differences between dexron 6 vs mercon 5. The number one difference between them is that Dexron 6 is manufactured by GM, and Ford manufactures the Mercon V.

As a result, Dexron Vi is recommended by GM, whereas Mercon V is recommended by Ford, although the two appear to be incompatible. Hence, you cannot substitute one of them for the other.

The Mercon V has a 30,000-mile replacement interval. Dexron VI  has a 100,000-mile replacement interval. In addition, Mercon 5 functions admirably in extremely cold temperatures, similar to Dexron 3 and others. However, it is slow until it heats up. However, in extremely cold conditions, the Dexron 6 transmission performs essentially identically to its warm-weather counterpart.

While comparing Dexron 6 and Mercon V, another comparison automatically comes: dexron vi vs mercon lv. As we said earlier, Dexron VI has a replacement period of 100,000 miles. However, the Mercon lv has a replacement period of 150.000 miles.

Dexron 3 vs Dexron 6

Dexron 6 has an additive package that improves oxidation stability while also increasing film strength. This means your engine will last longer, and you’ll save money on gas. Dexron 3, on the other hand, does not include any of these ingredients.

The fundamental difference between Dexron 3 and Dexron 6 is that Dexron 3 is a semi-synthetic fluid, and Dexron 6 is a completely synthetic fluid. Dexron VI has double the usable life of Dexron III.

Additionally, Dexron VI transmission fluid is significantly thinner than Dexron III. As a result, it will aid in the smooth operation of the engine’s moving parts. Dexron VI transmission fluid is primarily ideal for cold climates due to its thinner viscosity.

Ease of Maintenance

Now, it comes to ease of maintenance between Dexron and Mercon; both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Which is the better transmission fluid? It all depends on your usage and requirements.

Maintenance and comfort: If you live in a cold country, Dexron will provide you with a much better comforting performance as it doesn’t get affected due to cold weather than Mercon.

At the same time, Mercon performs better in hot weather and has easier maintenance during hot seasons. So, it all depends on your driving and environmental conditions. However, if you are using a GM engine, you should opt for Dexron to give you much better comfort. But, in the case of the Ford engine, make sure to use Mercon.


On average, Mercon has a replacement period of 30,000 miles if the engine is properly maintained. But, Dexron has a replacement period of 100,000-150,000 miles of the replacement period.

Price Difference

The Dexron comes at around $30-$45 for a 1-gallon bottle, considering the type you are getting like the Dexron VI will cost more than the Dexron III. Whereas the Mercon comes at around $24-$35 based on the variant, you are getting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Mercon 5 the same as Dexron 3?

Mercon V is similar to Dexron III, the most prevalent Ford ATF in late-model Fords. However, MERC V is not compatible with MERC III transmissions.

Can I use Dexron 3 instead of Mercon?

No, Dex III should not be used in place of Mercon V unless Lubegard MV is added to bring it up to standard.

Can I use Dexron instead of Mercon?

In a nutshell, the answer is no, so you should use an OE-approved fluid that is particular to your vehicle. GM employs Dexron fluids. Mercon was the inspiration for Ford and Mazda’s gearboxes.

Is Dexron and Dex Merc the same?

Dexron III is no longer licensed by GM. It would be acceptable to use Dex/Merc. GM indicates backward compatibility for Dexron VI. However, it is thinner than the previous Dexron III.

Final Verdict

When we are talking about the best choice among Dexron vs Mercon, there is no specific answer for this. It all depends on the type of vehicle you have and the performance you are looking for.

They are basically the same thing, with one being slightly different from the other. For best off-roading performances in a cold country, you need to go for Dexron, and for on-roading, Mercon will give you a much better performance.

Now, the choice remains to you. But whichever you choose, make sure the version of your transmission fluid is compatible with the care model you are using.

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D Conroy

Meet our senior writer and content manager of Automasterx. He has worked in several mechanical garages and mastered different vehicle diagnoses and parts repair. He never stops until finding out the ultimate solutions for any vehicle fault code. However, ensuring the only solid solutions for each vehicle malfunction is his core part of the duty, alongside analyzing fault codes and signals.

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