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Hi, per the short description, am having some slight problems with my old Ody. Bought in 2005 as certified pre-owned and it has been a pretty good van. Everything still works great including the engine (which starts instantly and purrs like a kitten)... However, the transmission began to act up while in Houston during July (road trip from Atlanta) when it got overheated. It has since shown slippage occasionally. Any hopes and is there a way to recover it short of rebuilding it? Prices I'm finding are all in the $3k price range and I'm reluctant to spend that much. Have replaced many high-priced parts semi-recently before this like the vtec module, the timing belt/water pump, new struts and shocks, etc... Any hope or options here?
 

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What is the transmission fluid service history? Both frequency and fluid used?
 

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Our 2005 EXL had transmission slamming and transmission slip about two years ago. We drained & filled 4 times the first round and then do another round of 4X drained & filled a year later with consistent drained and filled between oil change or every other oil change. Whenever we saw a bit of debris (mud-like substance) on the magnetic bolt, then we do one drained & filled the next oil change. We also replace the external filter before the second 4X drained & filled. Now, the transmission works flawlessly. We did switch to Valvoline MaxLife Multi-Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid on the second 4X and it seems to do wonders including the cost. We almost got rid of the EXL because of this and the engine mounts. Good luck.
 

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Our 2005 EXL had transmission slamming and transmission slip about two years ago. We drained & filled 4 times the first round and then do another round of 4X drained & filled a year later with consistent drained and filled between oil change or every other oil change. Whenever we saw a bit of debris (mud-like substance) on the magnetic bolt, then we do one drained & filled the next oil change. We also replace the external filter before the second 4X drained & filled. Now, the transmission works flawlessly. We did switch to Valvoline MaxLife Multi-Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid on the second 4X and it seems to do wonders including the cost. We almost got rid of the EXL because of this and the engine mounts. Good luck.
Thank you, that gives a little hope... Tranny fluid exchange was not done before. We had one after it started slipping, but, out Honda mechanic said it was a lost cause. When cold, it works fine... Just winding out between 2nd/3rd if you push it after it gets hot. Mechanic said Honda's advice was not to mess with the transmission fluid (which I didn't understand/believe)... I have a neighbor that has a transmission machine that can completely exchange the transmission fluid. Wonder if that would be better for the first time around... Maybe a few rounds of that and a switch to the MaxLife. We have already purchased a 2018 Turing, but would have had to give this one away as a trade in, and, I didn't want to do that...Oh, and speaking of motor mounts, I had also just replaced all of those as well. This is the 3rd set on the vehicle now (counting the originals) since we have owned the vehicle. The second set were under warranty thank goodness....
 

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With that additional information I would use MaxLife and DO NOT do a complete exchange or flush! An ignored transmission will build up varnish on the interior parts including lots of tight tolerance valves and solenoids. Going too aggressive with all new fluid could break up too much of that stuff too quickly and clog up those parts. Start with a single drain/fill of approx 3.5 qts then drive for a week or two before doing another. Repeat until the fluid stays nice and red. MaxLife handles heat better than the Honda Z1 that came in that trans from the factory.

Keep in mind that you may not be able to save this trans and if something occurs after starting this course of action it wasn't what you did that caused it. It was caused by ignoring the 30K recommended interval on fluid changes. Unfortunately Honda doesn't publish in the owners manual the 30K interval, but the maintenance minder that tells you when to change oil is also programmed to throw the trans fluid code every 30K miles.

PS - I've been running Maxlife for over 100K in my '07
 

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No! power-flushing with your neighbor's machine is definitely not recommended! Drain and fill is the prescribed method! I would suggest a drain and fill with MaxLife, and a 2nd after driving 100 miles or so. Just like PokerFace suggested right before I pressed Post!
Regarding the mounts, is your EXL muzzled?
 

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With that additional information I would use MaxLife and DO NOT do a complete exchange or flush! An ignored transmission will build up varnish on the interior parts including lots of tight tolerance valves and solenoids. Going too aggressive with all new fluid could break up too much of that stuff too quickly and clog up those parts. Start with a single drain/fill of approx 3.5 qts then drive for a week or two before doing another. Repeat until the fluid stays nice and red. MaxLife handles heat better than the Honda Z1 that came in that trans from the factory.

Keep in mind that you may not be able to save this trans and if something occurs after starting this course of action it wasn't what you did that caused it. It was caused by ignoring the 30K recommended interval on fluid changes. Unfortunately Honda doesn't publish in the owners manual the 30K interval, but the maintenance minder that tells you when to change oil is also programmed to throw the trans fluid code every 30K miles.

PS - I've been running Maxlife for over 100K in my '07
Thanks again, I will go easy. My Honda mechanic had never suggested doing a transmission and said that Honda dod not recommend fluid changes but that they would do it if asked... I was shocked... I will go easy with the switchover to the MaxLife and hope for the best. We had no idea that this tranny needed that attention and when I initially researched the problem, all I found was that this was a known problem and it was a lost cause and it looked like we were lucky to get the 220K miles out of it. I am sure that it had to be changed in the past, but, nowhere near every 30K miles... I am quite annoyed with this... My Mechanic has been (I thought) very good in the past. In fact quite busy due to his reputation, but, now I wonder... I really appreciate the help. We don't really drive it anymore, and was hoping to sell it, but, don't want to dump a bad transmission on someone. Plus, I have a 15 year-old, so, this would have been a good first car for him... Arrrghhhh...
 

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No! power-flushing with your neighbor's machine is definitely not recommended! Drain and fill is the prescribed method! I would suggest a drain and fill with MaxLife, and a 2nd after driving 100 miles or so. Just like PokerFace suggested right before I pressed Post!
Regarding the mounts, is your EXL muzzled?
Thank you for that warning... will handle this much more gently and hopefully move the varnish out over time. I really appreciate the advice and hopefully we can salvage this without a full rebuild.
 

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Thank you for that warning... will handle this much more gently and hopefully move the varnish out over time. I really appreciate the advice and hopefully we can salvage this without a full rebuild.
BTW, should we do the 4x as suggested? or fewer just to be safe?
 

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Thanks again, I will go easy. My Honda mechanic had never suggested doing a transmission and said that Honda dod not recommend fluid changes but that they would do it if asked... I was shocked... I will go easy with the switchover to the MaxLife and hope for the best. We had no idea that this tranny needed that attention and when I initially researched the problem, all I found was that this was a known problem and it was a lost cause and it looked like we were lucky to get the 220K miles out of it. I am sure that it had to be changed in the past, but, nowhere near every 30K miles... I am quite annoyed with this... My Mechanic has been (I thought) very good in the past. In fact quite busy due to his reputation, but, now I wonder... I really appreciate the help. We don't really drive it anymore, and was hoping to sell it, but, don't want to dump a bad transmission on someone. Plus, I have a 15 year-old, so, this would have been a good first car for him... Arrrghhhh...
In reality MOST mechanics are not accustomed to advising their customers on a 200K+ life on a car. Maintenance strategy for 150K and under is quite different than 200K+ and there really aren't a lot us out there in the general population. Lot's of us here on the forum of course.
 

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BTW, should we do the 4x as suggested? or fewer just to be safe?
I would see how it goes and then decide. If you haven't improved your situation after 3X it's unlikely a 4th will make any difference. I would try to drive it at least 100 miles between changes to give the new additives time to work before the next round. You should also notice a nice difference in fluid color right after you change it, but most likely it will go back to brown pretty quickly. If it seems to be shifting better and not slipping then I would keep changing it until the color stabilizes at a nice red color.

1 word of warning about the MaxLife. It has a strong odor that will dissipate in about a week.
 

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I would see how it goes and then decide. If you haven't improved your situation after 3X it's unlikely a 4th will make any difference. I would try to drive it at least 100 miles between changes to give the new additives time to work before the next round. You should also notice a nice difference in fluid color right after you change it, but most likely it will go back to brown pretty quickly. If it seems to be shifting better and not slipping then I would keep changing it until the color stabilizes at a nice red color.

1 word of warning about the MaxLife. It has a strong odor that will dissipate in about a week.
Thank you again. It's driving fine right now as we don't drive it far enough to get the transmission hot, but, I suspect it will be notable after it does get hot... Will give it a try and hope for the best and will post the results here when I have something to share.
 

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Will you be doing this fluid drain and fil lyourself? If so, do you know how to do it? Lots of DIY info posted on this forum. The fill plug on the top of the transmisiion can be stubborn to remove, often requires a breaker bar. Be sure you have new crush washers on hand for both the fill plug and the drain plug. They are different sizes for each.
 

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Will you be doing this fluid drain and fil lyourself? If so, do you know how to do it? Lots of DIY info posted on this forum. The fill plug on the top of the transmisiion can be stubborn to remove, often requires a breaker bar. Be sure you have new crush washers on hand for both the fill plug and the drain plug. They are different sizes for each.
That's the plan unless my shop doesn't charge too much... not much different than changing the oil... Will change it, drive it locally until the fluid turns brown and then change it again...

How about the filter, shouldn't that be changed too?
 

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I would definitely change the fluid 2-3 times with few hundred miles between changes if the trans overheated. You can throw in some lucas trans additive but change the fluid first.
You can also change the filter as well...which reminds me to edit and post the video I made.
 

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Thank you, that gives a little hope... Tranny fluid exchange was not done before. We had one after it started slipping, but, out Honda mechanic said it was a lost cause. When cold, it works fine... Just winding out between 2nd/3rd if you push it after it gets hot. Mechanic said Honda's advice was not to mess with the transmission fluid (which I didn't understand/believe)... I have a neighbor that has a transmission machine that can completely exchange the transmission fluid. Wonder if that would be better for the first time around... Maybe a few rounds of that and a switch to the MaxLife. We have already purchased a 2018 Turing, but would have had to give this one away as a trade in, and, I didn't want to do that...Oh, and speaking of motor mounts, I had also just replaced all of those as well. This is the 3rd set on the vehicle now (counting the originals) since we have owned the vehicle. The second set were under warranty thank goodness....
There are two oil pressure sensors that are cheap and easy to change that do wear out. Also a shift module nearby that can need cleaning. Also a cartridge filter on top of the tranny that takes a bit of work to get to but not that much. Do a 3x drain and fill but run it in between. Your neighbors machine can’t get the oil out of the torque converter. Also, drain and fill every oil change. Very cheap insurance. See how it works after 3x drain and fill. If much better, the other items are also very cheap.
 

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There are two oil pressure sensors that are cheap and easy to change that do wear out. Also a shift module nearby that can need cleaning. Also a cartridge filter on top of the tranny that takes a bit of work to get to but not that much. Do a 3x drain and fill but run it in between. Your neighbors machine can’t get the oil out of the torque converter. Also, drain and fill every oil change. Very cheap insurance. See how it works after 3x drain and fill. If much better, the other items are also very cheap.
Thank you very much for the reply. Are the 'oil' pressure sensors for transmission fluid or engine oil, and if for engine oil, how does that affect the transmission? Also, on cleaning the shift module (and replacing the oil sensors), are these something that is DIY? I am pretty mechanical and have done quite a bit of work on engines over the years (starters/alternators/water pumps/the anti-knock sensor on this vehicle after a rat ate the wire/brakes/calipers/struts/shocks/and more)... so, are these sensors easy to find/ID and same for the shift module? Thanks, again.
 
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