Mercon vs Mercon V: What’s the Difference?

Mercon is an older fluid that isn’t synthetic, while Mercon V is a newer, fully synthetic fluid. Being fully synthetic, it lasts longer and can extend the time between transmission fluid changes.

Can You Use Mercon V Instead of Mercon?

Mercon V is generally considered a safe alternative to Mercon. It has been formulated to be compatible both with older cars that take Mercon and newer ones that recommend Mercon V. Briefly, Ford recommended against Mercon V’s use in older cars, but Mercon V was eventually reformulated so that it became compatible.

There are many advantages to using Mercon V instead of Mercon. Mercon V provides better protection against rust, build-up, and corrosion. According to Ford, Mercon V has anti-shudder properties as well. This coupled with its longer life makes it a far superior fluid.

Can You Mix Mercon and Mercon V?

Changing the transmission in your car, you find the pan. You open it up, but only about half your transmission fluid drains out. You’re left wondering, “Is it okay to mix the old Mercon with the new Mercon V?”

Since Mercon V is now fully compatible with Mercon applications, it’s not unsafe to mix the two. Still, best practices are to get as much old fluid out as possible. Some people take apart the transmission further to get the old fluid out, while others will use the “fill and drain” method to reach new fluid levels of 80-90% after a few changes.

Was Mercon Discontinued?

Mercon production ceased in July 2007, and For began recommending the reformulated Mercon V for all Mercon applications.Because of its long life and a handful of other benefits, it replaced Mercon in the market, and Mercon was no longer needed on the shelf.

How Much Does Mercon V Cost?

Many different brands make a Mercon V automatic transmission fluid. These different brands will vary in price and availability. They are generally interchangeable since they all have to meet Mercon V specifications. That said, some people regard certain brands as the best to use.

Brands of Mercon V ATF include:

  • Super Tech: Wal-Mart’s brand of fluid that usually runs about $5 a quart.
  • Motorcraft: Ford’s brand that many consider the best and is the recommended transmission fluid. It costs about $8.50 a quart.
  • Mobil 1: Considered by others to be the best Mercon V, Mobil 1 is on the pricier side. It typically costs over $10.
  • STP: A well-regarded brand of Mercon V, STP costs about 6.50 for a quart
  • Valvoline: Another trusted brand, Valvoline costs about as much as Motorcraft at roughly $8.50 a quart.
  • Castrol: Castrol comes just a bit cheaper than Motorcraft and Valvoline, costing a bit over $8 a quart.

If savings is your biggest concern, then going with Super Tech from Walmart will probably be your best bet. While using any of these is perfectly safe for your car, it may be worth spending the extra few bucks on high quality fluid for your transmission. It can save on wear and tear, as well as improve function.

Is There a Substitute for Mercon V?

Some other fully synthetic transmission fluids can be used in place of Mercon V if you can’t find it at the store. Valvoline makes a multi-vehicle ATF called MaxLife that is usable for Mercon V applications. It costs about $10 a quart.


If you’ve got an older vehicle that needs a transmission fluid change, be sure to check and see what fluid it needs. If it originally took Mercon, it’s perfectly safe to use Mercon V as a substitute. Ford recommended the use of Mercon V ATF in their vehicles in 2007 to replace the discontinued Mercon.

Mercon V is a fully synthetic fluid, meaning it will remain usable for longer. You double the time between fluid changes by using Mercon V instead of Mercon, plus it helps fight off rust, corrosion and build-up. Over the life of your car, that can save you tons of time, hassle, and money.

Mercon V is made by numerous companies, ranging from $5 a quart for the cheapest to over $10 for premium-grade fluid. Motorcraft Orange is the recommended fluid to use, but many people find that Mobil 1 Mercon V is the best option.