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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To all who are sitting on the fence on whether to switch over to something other than Z-1 ATF once they are out of the warranty/goodwill period...

I am convinced that the only reason my tranny is still running is because of the following:

1. Running a Magnefine ATF filter.
2. At 70,000 miles I started running half Honda Z-1 and half Amsoil Uni Synthetic ATF with one bottle of Lubegard Red. At 140,000 I started running approx. 100% Amsoil Uni Synthetic ATF with one bottle of Lubegard Red.
3. The ATF change interval is overkill and some may say a waste of $$$ but the change interval is every 10,0000 miles. With the Magnefine Filter being changed every 30,000 miles.
4. I never start the van and take off. I have always waited appox 2 mins before placing van in reverse or into drive.
5. I try very hard to never take the van above 3,500 rpm which is the opposite of any other car/van I have ever driven.
6. This van has been in alot of stop and go traffic with long periods of running 12 hours a day non-stop...this van was used for the chase vehicle in the 2007 Equal Parenting Bike Trek. http://cycling4children.typepad.com/cycling4childrencom/
With the exception of this journey I would say the mileage is an equal mix of city and highway.
7. Belonging to this forum has armed me with enough knowledge to try numerous things to keep this tranny running. I truly appreciate everyone's help when I have asked questions in the past. Being active in this forum has indeed helped my Ody survive so far. Special thanks especially to those who moderate this forum and invest their time to keep this amazing forum going strong.

I think the Amsoil Uni Synthetic ATF has worked wonders on the longevity of this original tranny. I swear by this stuff now and initially I was very hesitant to switch over to anything but 100% Honda Z-1. I now wish I would have switched much sooner.

I have yet to install a tranny cooler and wonder if it is worth it with this type of mileage on the original tranny.

I hope this helps some who are on the fence when it comes to switching from Honda Z-1 over to Amsoil ATF.
 

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It's the filter

Your Odyssey has very inadequate filtration for transmission fluid. By adding a quality filter and using premium fluids, you are addressing the root of the problem with these transmissions: Shavings clogging up lubrication ports in the transmission.

Congratulations, I do feel an additional cooler is necessary with these vans, but a filter is more important. I hope this post encourages other Odyssey owners to add a filter to their vehicles as well.
 

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rpedersen, all the actions you are taking with your transmission are what I've been doing after I instrumented both of my Odys (one at a time, of course).

I've found that driving the way you've described pays huge dividends in keeping the temperature of the ATF outlet line as low as possible. I drove (and still drive) the way you described, and that was the best strategy to keep the temperatures happier.

I'm still unable to find it, but many moons ago one of our forum members posted a picture (I believe) of a Honda document researching peak temperatures of the third clutch pack...and Honda's results, IIRC, showed that it could get as high as 300-deg Celcius. That's 572-deg Fahrenheit. To give you an idea how harsh this is, that's not too far from the point where the better branded ATF's begin to chemically decompose. I'm certain the ATF's physical properties (clutch face friction modification, viscosity) and chemical properties (related to lubricity) are all negatively affected, all bad for the longevity of that clutch pack, and the transmission as a whole.

I'm running the same mix of AmSOil ATF now in both Odys, and it's interesting how much closer to "new" they feel like they're running. Wish I could explain that better. As well, coupled with the Mobil 1 5W25 (accidentally got 5W20 and 5W30, so I just mixed them), the MPG has risen noticeably. Getting close to another drain/refill with the AmSOil on both vehicles.

The Lubegard has done well by us in both cars. I did not add any with the last change, but will "catch up" on the next one.

OF
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OdyFamily,

Thanks for your response. WOW! I would love to get my hands on the document you mention re: the thrid gear clutch pack.

Glad to see you use the Lubegard Red as well. I figured if so many rebuild shops use this product it would not hurt my tranny and it certainly has not in any way that I can tell.

Have you installed a Magnefine or a cooler yet?
 

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Magnefine on everything we drive, installed coolers on the 02 Ody and 98 Accord. The 03 Ody doesn't have coolers yet, but it doesn't see a lot of miles (especially lately) unless it's a road trip, but it's next once I get a break (like all 4 of my kids going to school this fall).

I'm still 2 drain/refills away from fully changing out the ATF in the newly acquired 98 Accord, then it'll get a full slug of Lubegard.

OF
 

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Quoting: Congratulations, I do feel an additional cooler is necessary with these vans, but a filter is more important. I hope this post encourages other Odyssey owners to add a filter to their vehicles as well.

How about just adding a more reliable vehicle from some other manufacturer?

I'm on my fourth transmission with my 2001 Honda. For my 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis there have been no issues of any type to date (and on a 1998 that I had before, and which I ran up to in excess of 150K before I sold, the only issues were that I had to change the brushes in the alternator, change the spark plugs, change the brake pads, and change the shocks). But Ford products suck, so that should be expected.

But walking on eggshells with a Honda product is quite reasonable. Really?!

"You bought a Honda, so now figure out how to make the tranny last. Fluid changes to excess. Coolers, filters, whatever it takes. It's a Honda and it's your responsibility to keep it going! It is, after all, the best product to hit the market." And the "never mind about the need to change engine mounts every 75K, etc. -- it's a very special car."

Nonsense.

Back to my 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis - that I normally don't even think about. Never changed the tranny fluid (although I need to do that at 70K miles - even though it is as clear and pink/red as one could imagine). Other issues/problems - none. It rides much better than my Odyssey, and it has sat quietly at the side while I have done numerous repairs on the "quality" Honda van.

My 1987 Honda Accord hatchback was excellent. But why should I not be able to recognize a shift in quality of Honda products over the years?

And now we need to "encourage" owners to go above and beyond because ... they bought a Honda?!
 

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Ouch. Wow are we bitter. This much bitterness just adds stress and kills you faster. Let it go man.
 

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dvpatel,

Good call. And you are right.

I need to let "it" go.

My wife's van (that caused me to have to cancel a vacation because the latest transmission is acting up yet again to the extent that I believe there is a reasonable probability that I would be left on the road) needs to be let go. And I really needed that vacation.

Time to go shopping.

Cheers.

P.S. But I think that what I am saying about the "nonsense" associated with owning one of these "fine cars" is not necessarily off the mark - perhaps give it some additional thought.
P.S.S. And my guess is that your statement about being "bitter" will not resonate well with the many, many others who have had my same experience.
 

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:confused:

I've put extra coolers and/or extra filtration on everything I've ever owned that had wheels (except for my Snapper lawn mower). I also have always driven carefully. Never had a speeding ticket. Last 4 tanks of gas on the 03 EX: over 400 miles, on nearly all in-town driving (very few highway miles).

That said, I feel for you, mem. It's an unusually small tranny for a 2-ton family-hauling behemoth, and it sucks to pay the Honda premium for Chrysler results.

Hang in there.

OF
 

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I have an 03 with 180,000km's. How often do you feel the tranny fluid needs to be changed and filter. is the 10,000/30,000 mile good numbers to go by. half z-1 with amsoil, and lubegard, wiht magnefine filter? Is this done at dealer, or do I need to find someone who knows what to do with these vans?

thanks
Chris
 

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You did good or are lucky.

1. Running a Magnefine ATF filter.
Mine did not until the trans croaked. Now it does. The dealer said don't put a filter in. Don't trust the Honda dealer. Don't believe in the Odyssey.
2. At 70,000 miles I started running half Honda Z-1 and half Amsoil Uni Synthetic ATF...
Mine was dead at about that mileage.
3. The ATF change interval is overkill and some may say a waste of $$$ but the change interval is every 10,0000 miles. With the Magnefine Filter being changed every 30,000 miles.
My ATF Z1 Only interval was 10K mi. Did not do me much good.
4. I never start the van and take off. I have always waited appox 2 mins before placing van in reverse or into drive.
Never waited. Accelerate slowly as soon as the engine runs smoothly.
5. I try very hard to never take the van above 3,500 rpm which is the opposite of any other car/van I have ever driven.
I try. Usually keep below 3500.
6. This van has been in alot of stop and go traffic with long periods of running 12 hours a day
Lots stop and go here.
I think the Amsoil Uni Synthetic ATF has worked wonders on the longevity of this original tranny. I swear by this stuff now and initially I was very hesitant to switch over to anything but 100% Honda Z-1. I now wish I would have switched much sooner.
Don't trust Z1. Did not save my transmission. Amsoil sales pitches are like snake oil. Can't find it in a store.
 

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mem said:
dvpatel,

Good call. And you are right.

I need to let "it" go.

My wife's van (that caused me to have to cancel a vacation because the latest transmission is acting up yet again to the extent that I believe there is a reasonable probability that I would be left on the road) needs to be let go. And I really needed that vacation.

Time to go shopping.

Cheers.

P.S. But I think that what I am saying about the "nonsense" associated with owning one of these "fine cars" is not necessarily off the mark - perhaps give it some additional thought.
P.S.S. And my guess is that your statement about being "bitter" will not resonate well with the many, many others who have had my same experience.
I am with you about all the deficiencies of the Honda trannies and poor quality control. I too have had 2 trannies (granted I haven't had to cancel a vacation) so I agree with you but at some point one cuts their losses and moves on. I was almost moving on and just needed to hand over my Accord's keys to CarMax when Honda called and agreed to pay for my last transmission.

All I am saying is you have a right to be upset. I too am very upset but I have moved on. I will vote with my wallet and not get another Honda.
 

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crash480 said:
I have an 03 with 180,000km's. How often do you feel the tranny fluid needs to be changed and filter. is the 10,000/30,000 mile good numbers to go by. half z-1 with amsoil, and lubegard, wiht magnefine filter? Is this done at dealer, or do I need to find someone who knows what to do with these vans?

thanks
Chris
Chris, I do my own work. Convenient to do so at the oil change interval, which for me is 7,500 miles (about once every 10-11 months).

Honda (or any other car maker) will not install or use:
1. Extra filtration
2. ATF cooler bigger than the tiny one they sell
3. Non-OEM high-quality synthetic ATF
4. Non-OEM additives (like Lubegard, which is primarily a long-chain ester product)

Just doing one of these may help extend life of any A/T. I used a brand of Valvoline synthetic in my Dodge truck to make the miserable Chrysler transmission lead a long happy life (along with regular filter changes), as well as Valvoline synthetic in the transfer case. As well, I also ensured the proper amount of friction modifier supplement in the rear differential to keep the limited slip clutches from chattering around corners. I was the only one out of 5 of us with the same truck who did not have the transmission turn into a grenade within a couple years of initial purchase.

OF

Edited for: added extra info, and shpelling
 

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Rpederson, you sound a lot like myself as far as having taken it easy on your vehicle as I have as well because of the reputation of the transmission. We shouldn’t have to do this though, baby a vehicle in attempts to get around a design flaw. What’s really maddening is how Honda helps some and totally blows off others (as they have done with me) even though I complained during warranty. Then I have the manager of Ft Myers Honda (Sanjay Prakash) being a smart ass with me on the phone trying to blame me because I have an after market trans cooler (better than factory) and that I’m not ASE certified to be changing my own fluids (I do a better job than they ever would) and the latest attempt at passing the buck was Sanjay Prakash asking if I took such great care of the vehicle why didn’t I notice the fluid being bad before 30k miles. Huh? It wasn’t even due for a fluid change yet from new and NO ONE expects a vehicle to have bad fluid at that early a mileage, especially in my case as I had in mind of keeping the vehicle perhaps 20 years and know how to drive them without abuse. Now consider their mechanics had been inside my transmission while installing the spray jet kit at 30k miles with a camera and informed me the fluid looked very bad. I ask why they didn’t suspect the trans was bad right then and change it out as was an option given them by Honda. When I read “mem’s” post I don’t see bitter, I see justifiably pissed, just as I am and it’s mostly because Honda has refused to fix my transmission even though I complained about it during warranty and the service manager Thomas Tipton at Ft Myers Honda lied on my paper work and said “could not reproduce” and now that it’s 6 years of misery with the same problem they deny everything. I still have the same problem I had at 30k miles and they take no responsibility. This is wrong and I will pursue it but my health has slowed me down lately, but it has also made me more determined than ever to see Honda do more than talk the line and actually walk it. Personally I think they are helping those who had service work done at a Honda dealer and screwing those who did their own work, which as far as I can tell is illegal.

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=100814
 

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FarmDog said:
...Then I have the manager of Ft Myers Honda (Sanjay Prakash) being a smart ass with me on the phone trying to blame me because I have an after market trans cooler (better than factory) and that I’m not ASE certified to be changing my own fluids (I do a better job than they ever would) and the latest attempt at passing the buck was Sanjay Prakash asking if I took such great care of the vehicle why didn’t I notice the fluid being bad before 30k miles. Huh? ....Personally I think they are helping those who had service work done at a Honda dealer and screwing those who did their own work, which as far as I can tell is illegal.
This has always amazed me...years ago I pulled into a Honda dealership for warranty repair, and I had a cooler on my 1993 Accord, and the mechanics were A-OK with it. The service manager, however, was debating whether he should honor a warranty on the distributor...WTF???

I can also back you up on doing a better job changing fluids. I had one dealership change the oil instead of the ATF, and I had to convince them of their error by dragging the service manager under the Ody and showing him the new oil filter.

Oy vey.

OF
 

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yup, the tranny sucks. waiting for mine to fail. have a cooler on and keep fluid fresh. don't tow anything. all i can do at this point.

got a good deal used so don't mind putting in a new tranny - knew that buying the van so i knew what i was getting into. only hoping to get another couple years out of it anyway then get something newer.
 

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I have a long way to go reach 172K on my 2003 with 89K miles with original tranny. It has cooler and magnefine. And been using non honda ATF - Amalie and Maxlife for last 45K. Next drain/fill (1X) will be with Mobil 1 ATF in a few months.

Let's see how long before the transmission breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Try the Amsoil Uni Synthetic ATF...I swear by the stuff and I only wish I would have changed over to it much sooner than I did.
 

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You aren't an Amsoil dealer, are ya?

You've got quite a laundy list of extra care there:

1. Gentle driving behavior.
2. Extra frequent fluid changes.
3. ATF supplemental cooler.
4. Supplemental filtration and filter changes.
5. Non-OEM ATF (allegedly better)

I think you've got too many variable changes to reliably assert that it is the Amsoil ATF or Magnefine filter that was the magic bullet.

I submit myself as an admittedly single data point. My extra care items have been:

1. Similar gentle driving behavior (thanks wifey!)
2. Extra frequent fluid changes (~15k miles drain/fill with Z1)
3. Supplemental ATF cooler (cheap Hayden fin/tube unit ideally located in windstream)
4. Replaced OEM ATF filter at 100k miles (the one most dealers don't even know about)

On the flip side, I tow a 2,700# popup camper on vacations (GCVW of ~7,800#), often to the mountains for about 18,000 of my total 157,000 miles on the car, which is more stress than average. Yet I still have a perfectly functioning transmission at my mileage.

Thus, I think it is possible that it is the primarily gentle driving, frequent fluid changes and extra ATF cooling that provide the biggest benefits rather than the Magnefine or Amsoil. Not PROVEN, mind you, but quite possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No I am not an Amsoil dealer but I do believe in the product. With no website link or sponsorship how would it directly benefit me if I was an Amsoil dealer by stating something positive about the product. Doing so would not DIRECTLY benefit me because from what I understand from my Amsoil dealer they must receive credit based on sales do directly to their action.

Why is everyone so paranoid that if you say something positive about an Amsoil product that they immediately assume that you are a dealer? They must be making a great product if they have been in business this long.

Switching to Amsoil Uni ATF was based on the numerous posts I read on bobistheoilguy.com where they speak highly of both Amsoil ATF and Redline ATF. The general consensus on that board is that Honda Z-1 is inferior to both Amsoil and Redline based on their own individual used ATF analysis. My personal opinion is that if you are out of the warranty and "goodwill" period to use Honda Z-1 would be an unwise choice.

I am also very confident that the Magnefine filter is making a difference...the Honda OEM filter that they never recommend changing and the screens internally are pathetic at protecting this transmission. By saying this I hope I am not accused of being a Magnefine dealer :)

Also - I do not have an ATF supplemental cooler.
 
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