Changing transmission fluid sooner than Honda recommends?
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Thread: Changing transmission fluid sooner than Honda recommends?

  1. #1
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    Changing transmission fluid sooner than Honda recommends?

    I just purchased a new 2011 EX-L. We really like the van, but I've had transmission issues with another (now sold) Honda, and my sister had to have a complete transmission rebuild on her (now sold) Honda. I know that Honda's transmissions have been better over the last few years, but I still don't want to take any chances, so I'd like to decrease the maintenance interval on my transmission from what Honda recommends.

    I'm considering having a single transmission drain and fill (not a triple drain and fill) done at either (1) every oil change or (2) every other oil change. Is anyone else here changing their transmission fluid on a more frequent basis than the maintenance schedule recommends? And do you think changing the transmission fluid at every oil change is excessive?
    Last edited by Severian; 06-27-2011 at 08:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Severian View Post
    I just purchased a new 2011 EX-L. We really like the van, but I've had transmission issues with another (now sold) Honda, and my sister had to have a complete transmission rebuild on her (now sold) Honda. I know that Honda's transmissions have been better over the last few years, but I still don't want to take any chances, so I'd like to decrease the maintenance interval on my transmission from what Honda recommends.

    I'm considering having a single transmission drain and fill (not a triple drain and fill) done at either (1) every oil change or (2) every other oil change. Is anyone else here changing their transmission fluid on a more frequent basis than the maintenance schedule recommends? And do you think changing the transmission fluid at every oil change is excessive?
    I'm not sure about your honda, but my ford fwd transmission takes about 15qrts of fluid, this makes it somewhat unpractical to change every oil change. I change it every 25,000km, give or take.

    How easy is it to change the oil on a modern honda transmission? What is the recommended change interval? Personally, I don't think there would be enough degradation of the oil to justify changing it every oil change.

  4. #3
    Registered User Frogger's Avatar
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    I had a transy failure in 2001 Ody, and the TC failure and replacement on the 2006 Ody transy. It's some wonder I bought another Ody, and is #1 reason I went with the touring... cannot imagine even Honda would risk screwing up the new 6-speed.

    If you have the 5-speed largely carryover from Gen3, would very much recommend the transmission oil change acceleration. Even though it may be out of your pocket, it beats the hassle of being P.O.ed at Honda all the time, and dealing with the mega-shakes from the TC.

    However, would only do the changes at a reputable Honda dealer (reputable = they don't pretend you are crazy for being concerned about this)... they know the issues and have the right weight oil for the issue, and will know the proper amount of vigor to apply to flushing the TC as well, and then you can hold them accountable as well. My dealer on the 2006- after TC replacement- didn't even charge twice for the off-schedule changes (granted I had pretty large other services going at the same time).
    2011 Odyssey Touring Bl/Tr
    2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited
    2006 Odyssey EX-L Bl/Iv, death by transicide
    2001 Odyssey EX Gr/Iv, death by transicide

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogger View Post
    If you have the 5-speed largely carryover from Gen3, would very much recommend the transmission oil change acceleration. Even though it may be out of your pocket, it beats the hassle of being P.O.ed at Honda all the time, and dealing with the mega-shakes from the TC.

    However, would only do the changes at a reputable Honda dealer (reputable = they don't pretend you are crazy for being concerned about this)... they know the issues and have the right weight oil for the issue, and will know the proper amount of vigor to apply to flushing the TC as well, and then you can hold them accountable as well. My dealer on the 2006- after TC replacement- didn't even charge twice for the off-schedule changes (granted I had pretty large other services going at the same time).
    Thanks for the info, Frogger. Do you have a specific interval that you recommend? And yes, for the 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty period (if not longer), all service will be done at a Honda dealership.

  6. #5
    Registered User dusty179's Avatar
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    I change my '06 CR-V's trany fluid every 10K miles because I use it for rural mail delivery. My trany cycles from 1st gear through 3rd and back to 1st over a thousand times every day and gets extremely hot. For my other Honda I am sticking to the maintenance minder for it's used like a regular car.
    1986 Accord LX 5MT - Graphite Gray - passed on to younger siblings
    2003 CR-V LX 2WD 4AT - Alabaster Silver - sold to Grandparents
    2008 Civic EX 4DR 5AT - Atomic Blue - traded in for '12 Ody
    2006 CR-V EX 4WD 5AT - Taffeta White - right-hand drive 128K mi
    2012 Odyssey EX 5AT - Alabaster Silver - 10K mi

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    We have a 2001 Caravan, 168,000 miles and with the original transmission. I have changed the fluid 6 times during the life of this van and considering Chrysler's reputation for failing transmissions, this was a great investment as far as I'm concerned to prevent a rebuild on the transmission.
    We are seriously looking at an Odyssey to replace this van and you can be sure that I'll be changing the fluid far more often than Honda suggests.

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    Registered User bar10dah's Avatar
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    I had the trans serviced by Honda at around 30K and again at 60K (based on the maintenance minder) in my '05 Ody EX. When I sold the van at 80K, the transmission still shifted normally. And I owned this vehicle while living around mountains and typical 100-115 degree F days. Maybe I was just lucky, as there have been quite a few people post problems with that particular transmission. I hope to be just as fortunate with my '11.

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    If you do mostly city driving with lots of gear shifts, I think a drain/fill at every oil change would be reasonable, especially where the oil change interval is probably as long as 7K miles. I base this on heat stress to the ATF and also the accumulation of microscopic particles in the ATF. On the other hand, if you do mostly interstate driving, I would change it at every second oil change.

    The 2011 gets synthetic ATF from the factory. That, plus a decreased maintenance schedule, should give you a troublefree transmission for a long time.
    2002 Odyssey EX Fern (Granite) Green
    Honda hood deflector, mud guards, AC condenser screen mod, Zyml wax, Amsoil Ea15KO20 oil filter, Amsoil synthetic 5W20, Krown rustproofing, block heater (gets cc...cold in Canada in winter!)
    Original transmission at 121,000 miles/195,000 km, Amsoil ATF since 79,000 miles/127,000 km, Honda aux ATF cooler, Magnefine aux ATF filter, 16 ATF drain & fills

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    Registered User mrbill56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gin man View Post
    We have a 2001 Caravan, 168,000 miles and with the original transmission. I have changed the fluid 6 times during the life of this van and considering Chrysler's reputation for failing transmissions, this was a great investment as far as I'm concerned to prevent a rebuild on the transmission.
    We are seriously looking at an Odyssey to replace this van and you can be sure that I'll be changing the fluid far more often than Honda suggests.
    1999 Grand Caravan 3.8, 132000 miles, and four trans fluid changes (every 30K, give or take). Also looking at an '11 Odyssey and I, too, will give this maintenance schedule serious consideration.
    440 million years ago there was an ice age that lasted 500,000 years. Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide levels were an order of magnitude higher than today. When you can explain that, I'll get serious about reducing my carbon footprint. Until then, I'm keeping the car.

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    Early Transmission Flush

    We just purchases a 2011 EX-L and plan on flushing the tranny fluid about every 40K. I don't know what the manual says for the new 2011. Our old 2001 Odyssey manual suggested the 1st change @100K but our good indy mechanic knew about the tranny issues others were having and suggested flushing early and often. We did (3x by 130K) and never had any tranny issues but every time we flushed it the mechanics were amazed at how dirty the tranny fluid was...they thought we were crazy to change it early and we proved them wrong...I couldn't imagine how nasty the fluid would have been if we'd left for 100K!! We could have just been lucky or maybe it was all the highway versus city miles but we didn't have the issues others had with theirs. Since apparently this 5 spd tranny in the EX-L is the same from the 3rd generation and not the Acura 6 spd I'm even more convinced that it's a good investment in the long road. Every oil change (even with synthetics at 15K) would be a bit much in my opinion...maybe every third with synthetic oil or every 6th with blended.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmlove View Post
    We just purchases a 2011 EX-L and plan on flushing the tranny fluid about every 40K. I don't know what the manual says for the new 2011. Our old 2001 Odyssey manual suggested the 1st change @100K but our good indy mechanic knew about the tranny issues others were having and suggested flushing early and often. We did (3x by 130K) and never had any tranny issues but every time we flushed it the mechanics were amazed at how dirty the tranny fluid was...they thought we were crazy to change it early and we proved them wrong...I couldn't imagine how nasty the fluid would have been if we'd left for 100K!! We could have just been lucky or maybe it was all the highway versus city miles but we didn't have the issues others had with theirs. Since apparently this 5 spd tranny in the EX-L is the same from the 3rd generation and not the Acura 6 spd I'm even more convinced that it's a good investment in the long road. Every oil change (even with synthetics at 15K) would be a bit much in my opinion...maybe every third with synthetic oil or every 6th with blended.
    Just to make sure we are all talking the same apples, "flushing" that you mentioned usually refers to replacing all the ATF. However, the drain/fill service replaces only about one-third of the ATF. Hence the latter is done more frequently than the former.
    2002 Odyssey EX Fern (Granite) Green
    Honda hood deflector, mud guards, AC condenser screen mod, Zyml wax, Amsoil Ea15KO20 oil filter, Amsoil synthetic 5W20, Krown rustproofing, block heater (gets cc...cold in Canada in winter!)
    Original transmission at 121,000 miles/195,000 km, Amsoil ATF since 79,000 miles/127,000 km, Honda aux ATF cooler, Magnefine aux ATF filter, 16 ATF drain & fills

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    Quote Originally Posted by davedrivesody View Post
    Just to make sure we are all talking the same apples, "flushing" that you mentioned usually refers to replacing all the ATF. However, the drain/fill service replaces only about one-third of the ATF. Hence the latter is done more frequently than the former.
    We did a full flushing of the system every time.

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    i did the 3x change every 15,000 with the Honda Z1 and then recently switched to Amsoil Tranny fluid. I have 138k+ and still going strong on my 2002.
    Howard Bernstein
    2002 EX Redrock Pearl, mud guards .

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    Registered User BoostMe97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severian View Post
    I just purchased a new 2011 EX-L. We really like the van, but I've had transmission issues with another (now sold) Honda, and my sister had to have a complete transmission rebuild on her (now sold) Honda. I know that Honda's transmissions have been better over the last few years, but I still don't want to take any chances, so I'd like to decrease the maintenance interval on my transmission from what Honda recommends.

    I'm considering having a single transmission drain and fill (not a triple drain and fill) done at either (1) every oil change or (2) every other oil change. Is anyone else here changing their transmission fluid on a more frequent basis than the maintenance schedule recommends? And do you think changing the transmission fluid at every oil change is excessive?
    I did a drain and fill at 15K and am around 29K right now. When the Maintenance Minder popped up this time, it was A123, which includes transmission fluid service. I was already planning on another drain and fill with the DW-1.

    I kept a sample of the original drain and fill to compare (nothing scientific, just coloration mainly) against new and what's in there at 30K.
    -Jamie
    '11 Touring Elite
    '03 EVO
    '91 GVR4

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    I've always done a drain and fill every 10 - 15K on my Honda Auto transmissions. Keep it clean is my motto.

    Once you get that stuff dirty the case flush kills your pocket book. Exception is after pulling a trailer on long vacation trips in the '99 and '05... that always gets a case flush.

    rich

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