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Discussion Starter #1
Recently bought a 2015 Ody Touring with 16K miles and I have added 3K in past 4+ months. I am thinking of changing ATF now as DIY instead of waiting for 30K for the 1st D/F. The color is not indicating that it is time to change but would like to start my own maintenance schedule. While reading about various ATF options available, here is what I found.
  • During warranty period, majority of the suggestions were to use Honda ATF DW-1. Since I am out of warranty now, my option has been expanded.
  • Majority of folks seem to use three different ATFs after warranty expiry, with great results. There are other options too but I am limiting to only these three for seeking feedback.
    • Honda ATF DW-1 -> recommended by manufacturer. ~$10 per quart from Bernardi with shipping and possibly a bit higher from dealer (not yet checked with local dealer)
    • Valvoline MaxLife Multi Vehicle ATF - Can be used in place of DW-1 and Z-1. ~$18 at walmart per gallon, cheapest in the lot
    • Amsoil Signature Series Fuel Efficient Synthetic ATF - Can be used in place of DW-1, ~$15 per quart plus shipping - costliest of the three
I saw lot of threads about using MaxLife in Odys until 2010 model year but not much info regarding anyone using MaxLife on 4th gen hence this post. Daily commute include 25 miles with 50% in highway with no traffic and rest with stop and go (+ traffic jam). Light foot on the pedal. Time to do ATF change in Accord as well so thinking of doing it together.

I gathered below data from product pages and from a thread here. ? indicates not able to find the value (if anyone knows, let me know and I will update it).
Property = Honda / Valvoline / Amsoil
KV 100C = 6.83 / 5.91 / 6.3
KV 40C = 25.09 / 28.82 / 30.8
Pour Point in C = ? / -48 / -65
Flash Point in C = 170 / 202 / 224
Brookfield Viscosity at -40C = ? / 10,200 / 7,676
Viscosity Index = ? / 156 / 159

Not considering the price factor and purely using the characteristics shown above, which ATF is considered the best and what would be the ranking? I am seeking objective feedback based on values shown above. I am sure that using any one of this would be fine (with probably more recommendation to use Honda DW-1) but I am trying to understand what these values say? Hope the experts can provide some insights.

And a question I could not find any reference - did anyone had failed tranny or other issues because DW-1 was not used?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Recently bought a 2015 Ody Touring with 16K miles and I have added 3K in past 4+ months. I am thinking of changing ATF now as DIY instead of waiting for 30K for the 1st D/F. The color is not indicating that it is time to change but would like to start my own maintenance schedule. While reading about various ATF options available, here is what I found.
  • During warranty period, majority of the suggestions were to use Honda ATF DW-1. Since I am out of warranty now, my option has been expanded.
  • Majority of folks seem to use three different ATFs after warranty expiry, with great results. There are other options too but I am limiting to only these three for seeking feedback.
    • Honda ATF DW-1 -> recommended by manufacturer. ~$10 per quart from Bernardi with shipping and possibly a bit higher from dealer (not yet checked with local dealer)
    • Valvoline MaxLife Multi Vehicle ATF - Can be used in place of DW-1 and Z-1. ~$18 at walmart per gallon, cheapest in the lot
    • Amsoil Signature Series Fuel Efficient Synthetic ATF - Can be used in place of DW-1, ~$15 per quart plus shipping - costliest of the three
I saw lot of threads about using MaxLife in Odys until 2010 model year but not much info regarding anyone using MaxLife on 4th gen hence this post. Daily commute include 25 miles with 50% in highway with no traffic and rest with stop and go (+ traffic jam). Light foot on the pedal. Time to do ATF change in Accord as well so thinking of doing it together.

I gathered below data from product pages and from a thread here. ? indicates not able to find the value (if anyone knows, let me know and I will update it).
Property = Honda / Valvoline / Amsoil
KV 100C = 6.83 / 5.91 / 6.3
KV 40C = 25.09 / 28.82 / 30.8
Pour Point in C = ? / -48 / -65
Flash Point in C = 170 / 202 / 224
Brookfield Viscosity at -40C = ? / 10,200 / 7,676
Viscosity Index = ? / 156 / 159

Not considering the price factor and purely using the characteristics shown above, which ATF is considered the best and what would be the ranking? I am seeking objective feedback based on values shown above. I am sure that using any one of this would be fine (with probably more recommendation to use Honda DW-1) but I am trying to understand what these values say? Hope the experts can provide some insights.

And a question I could not find any reference - did anyone had failed tranny or other issues because DW-1 was not used?

Thanks in advance.
Honestly they are all good trans fluids. I've been using Valvoline since I bought my 07' at 100k and the guy before me used honda and Valvoline. The Valvoline trans fluid works very well and hold up longer from what I can tell and doesnt burn up like the DW-1 stuff does. I feel like after 15k-20k with the Honda fluid, the shifts got slightly delayed and harsh and fluid got darker quicker. Felt like it was getting too hot. Even when I woild go on trip for 6hrs straight driving the shifts were smooth and no jerking or weird shifts. I've been wanting to try out the AMSOIL trans fluid. Alot of people I know use it and they say it works well and keeps the trans temps down. Only thing is trying to do a 3x drain and fill with Amsoil is pricey but, worth it. I did a 3x drain and fill with the Valvoline and also used Seafoam Trans Tune and drove for about 1000 miles before the drain and fill which helped clean the trans. Seemed to help alot. Shifts feel alot smoother and quick. Hope this helps

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I have had the same experience with Valvoline with regard to it handling heat far better than Honda fluid when towing and would not hesitate to use it when DW1 is specified.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you. Lot of people praise about Amsoil but yes, the 3x D/F will be pricey. If I plan to do D/F during every 10 or 15K from now on (currently at 19K), does it require 3X D/F now?

Would this option be ok?
- 2X D/F with Valvoline now with few weeks interval
- change to Amsoil on 3rd D/F
- change ATF every 30K using Amsoil
 

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IMO pick your fluid and stick with it unless you discover an issue. By only using Amsoil on the 3rd D/F you will get roughly 40% Amsoil and 60% a 2/3 mix of Valvoline/DW1 in your final concoction. Just pick one. If it were mine I would try the Valvoline first and see how you like it. My '07 5 speed is at 220K with zero issues. Still shifts like brand new.

A very small minority have reported here that their 5 speed didn't like the Valvoline and they went back to DW1, but relative to the number happy with it that has been very rare. I don't recall seeing anyone posting any issues with the Valvoline in the 6 speed. There aren't that many running Amsoil here and I suspect that is strictly due to the price. I'm sure there is nothing wrong with it, but the ease of getting Valvoline from Walmart and the price for the full synthetic fluid is a combo that is pretty hard to beat.
 

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Recently bought a 2015 Ody Touring with 16K miles and I have added 3K in past 4+ months. I am thinking of changing ATF now as DIY instead of waiting for 30K for the 1st D/F. The color is not indicating that it is time to change but would like to start my own maintenance schedule. While reading about various ATF options available, here is what I found.
  • During warranty period, majority of the suggestions were to use Honda ATF DW-1. Since I am out of warranty now, my option has been expanded.
  • Majority of folks seem to use three different ATFs after warranty expiry, with great results. There are other options too but I am limiting to only these three for seeking feedback.
    • Honda ATF DW-1 -> recommended by manufacturer. ~$10 per quart from Bernardi with shipping and possibly a bit higher from dealer (not yet checked with local dealer)
    • Valvoline MaxLife Multi Vehicle ATF - Can be used in place of DW-1 and Z-1. ~$18 at walmart per gallon, cheapest in the lot
    • Amsoil Signature Series Fuel Efficient Synthetic ATF - Can be used in place of DW-1, ~$15 per quart plus shipping - costliest of the three
I saw lot of threads about using MaxLife in Odys until 2010 model year but not much info regarding anyone using MaxLife on 4th gen hence this post. Daily commute include 25 miles with 50% in highway with no traffic and rest with stop and go (+ traffic jam). Light foot on the pedal. Time to do ATF change in Accord as well so thinking of doing it together.

I gathered below data from product pages and from a thread here. ? indicates not able to find the value (if anyone knows, let me know and I will update it).
Property = Honda / Valvoline / Amsoil
KV 100C = 6.83 / 5.91 / 6.3
KV 40C = 25.09 / 28.82 / 30.8
Pour Point in C = ? / -48 / -65
Flash Point in C = 170 / 202 / 224
Brookfield Viscosity at -40C = ? / 10,200 / 7,676
Viscosity Index = ? / 156 / 159

Not considering the price factor and purely using the characteristics shown above, which ATF is considered the best and what would be the ranking? I am seeking objective feedback based on values shown above. I am sure that using any one of this would be fine (with probably more recommendation to use Honda DW-1) but I am trying to understand what these values say? Hope the experts can provide some insights.

And a question I could not find any reference - did anyone had failed tranny or other issues because DW-1 was not used?

Thanks in advance.
Fairly detailed discussion on this thread about it...
 

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Thank you. Lot of people praise about Amsoil but yes, the 3x D/F will be pricey. If I plan to do D/F during every 10 or 15K from now on (currently at 19K), does it require 3X D/F now?

Would this option be ok?
- 2X D/F with Valvoline now with few weeks interval
- change to Amsoil on 3rd D/F
- change ATF every 30K using Amsoil
You can change the trans fluid twice as often using the Valvoline than Amsoil for the same price... Why not just do a drain/fill now with Valvoline, then again at your chosen interval? You are way ahead of the curve than most Honda V6 owners by paying attention to this now. My personal plan is 5k oil changes (oem oil/filter) and 10k drain/fills with Maxlife... though I don't have enough miles to give a good personal story on this (other than a couple drain/fills fixed all my trans issues).

(while you are thinking about fluids, make sure you swap out the brake fluid - it has a 3 year interval, no mileage limit)

-Charlie
 

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You can change the trans fluid twice as often using the Valvoline than Amsoil for the same price... Why not just do a drain/fill now with Valvoline, then again at your chosen interval? You are way ahead of the curve than most Honda V6 owners by paying attention to this now. My personal plan is 5k oil changes (oem oil/filter) and 10k drain/fills with Maxlife... though I don't have enough miles to give a good personal story on this (other than a couple drain/fills fixed all my trans issues).

(while you are thinking about fluids, make sure you swap out the brake fluid - it has a 3 year interval, no mileage limit)

-Charlie
I agree completely.

I've been doing the 5k for oil, 10k for MaxLife, 20k for magnefine filter on my 2011 LX for years now. Did the same, except it was 3k oil changes on our '99 due to lower mileage, and 3k would be about one year. Everything good, and better or same as the previously used Genuine Honda fluids (Z-1 then DW-1).

This may be overkill, but having had 3x AT replacements on my '99, I'm OK with that.

And I've never done a 3x ATF D+F. Doing the 1x with a shorter interval keeps the fluid cleaner on average (e.g., 1x at 10k vs. 3x at 30k) and is less likely to loosen sediment.

If you really want to be extra cautious and preventive of AT problems, I'll suggest that adding a cooler (e.g., TruCool 4544) is a much bigger factor than MaxLife vs. Amsoil vs. DW1, or 10k vs. 20k on the D+F.
 

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FWIW the DW-1 will work fine for normal driving as long as you do frequent D/F (single D/F about every 15k). If towing in high temperatures (like I do) it would be worth doing more frequent D/F (probably every 10k). Or just use a full synthetic fluid such as Maxlife, Amsoil, Redline, etc. I currently use Pennzoil Platinum LV and, unlike when I used DW-1, I do not notice any shift degradation even after towing in summer. Nevertheless I still do a single D/F once per year (about 15k), just because.

Edit: and the OP asked whether "anyone had failed tranny or other issues because DW-1 was not used?"
Not that I am aware of! I realize that my statement above serves as only anecdotal evidence for aftermarket fluid compatibility, but at some point after enough anecdotes are reported, it has to be taken as fact IMO.
 

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When it comes to Honda cars, fluids especially, stick with honda genuine fluids for power steering, automatic transmission fluid, and coolant. The other fluids like engine oil (mobile, castrol,valvoline,) and brake fluid DOT 3 can be used on other brands.

Honda cars is very picky when it comes to these 3 fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you Charlie for the suggestion on the interval. I never bothered about oil change until time on the Accord and when it comes to ATF I don't even know when it was done last. But on Odyssey, I am planning to keep it better than recommended schedule.

Doing the 1x with a shorter interval keeps the fluid cleaner on average (e.g., 1x at 10k vs. 3x at 30k) and is less likely to loosen sediment.
A good suggestion. I will implement this instead of doing at 30K.

When it comes to Honda cars, fluids especially, stick with honda genuine fluids for power steering, automatic transmission fluid, and coolant.
I haven't decided yet. One of my question was, which ATF among Amsoil, Valvoline and DW-1 considered best based on the spec sheet data? This is for learning, may not influence the decision.

Not that I am aware of! I realize that my statement above serves as only anecdotal evidence for aftermarket fluid compatibility, but at some point after enough anecdotes are reported, it has to be taken as fact IMO.
Of course.

I don't recall seeing anyone posting any issues with the Valvoline in the 6 speed.
Yes, I did search the club and lot of posts on using Valvoline up until 2010 MY but not much on 4th gen.

If you really want to be extra cautious and preventive of AT problems, I'll suggest that adding a cooler (e.g., TruCool 4544) is a much bigger factor than MaxLife vs. Amsoil vs. DW1, or 10k vs. 20k on the D+F.
I am not planning to tow or even carry heavy load. So I should be ok with just D/F often.

BTW it seems DW-1 entered Ody tranny in 2011. I remember reading the 2003 Accord's manual where it stated DW-1 ATF. It makes me wonder why didn't Honda bring DW-1 to Ody sooner? I will check the manual once again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
BTW any recommendation whether I should 3 D/F now (I am only at 19K miles) and then 1 D/F every other oil change? Or should I do 3 D/F at 30K and then every other oil change?

I see a very valid point of doing D/F at every 10K being more beneficial than 3 D/F at every 30K but not sure what should be my starting point given my current mileage - 1 or 3 D/F?
If you really want to be extra cautious and preventive of AT problems, I'll suggest that adding a cooler (e.g., TruCool 4544) is a much bigger factor than MaxLife vs. Amsoil vs. DW1, or 10k vs. 20k on the D+F.
Can this be installed without opening bumper cover? Did not see any installation videos hence the question of what options are available for installation.
 

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Do you have any reason to believe that the first 16,000 miles of your van's life were hard or strenuous somehow? Did it have a hitch when you bought it? If yes, does the receiver look like it has seen some use? Did the previous owner have 5 kids or otherwise have it regularly loaded up? How are the wear patterns on the tires?

You can make equally valid arguments for doing either a single drain-and-fill or a triple. Under normal circumstances, a single drain-and-fill after 16,000 miles should be enough to keep the transmission healthy. But if you don't know how normal the circumstances were before you bought it and if you really want to start fresh and know exactly what you're dealing with going forward and you're happy to do the triple, that's probably what I would do.

As for installing the cooler, I do not believe it's possible without removing the bumper cover. I've never seen a video or instructions that suggest the installation can be done with the bumper cover on - there's not much room to operate in there.
 
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As mentioned in other threads, I'm doing a 1x swap/update on our trans fluid with our '16 EXL w/ 49k every oil change. Might be excessive but the van seems to like it, the fluid remains RED and it's an easy interval to remember. Valvoline MaxLife is $17.87 a gallon at Wallymart, I've reused the same crush washer the last four updates with no issues (though I have like 7+ new in a bag!), an easy 30 min DIY project.

I will be adding a TruCool 4454 cooler and Magnefine filter in the Spring; bumper off, etc. I think I'm going to leave the OEM trans filter alone, I was going to go in there and replace, etc. but with a Magnefine in the loop I don't really think there's a reason. And we have a ScanGuard II mounted to watch ATF/TFT trans fluid temperature (and other elements) which is a bit of data geek overkill, but interesting.

Which is best, probably Amsoil. But with frequent changes to me this doesn't really matter. IF we were towing, heavy loads all the time and the like I would put a bigger trans and power steering cooler on and use Amsoil. For Mall Assault and Kid Shuttling Duty, MaxLife has been great. DW-1, no thanks; if it did it's job we wouldn't be having these discussions. o_O :eek: ;)

Good luck!
 

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BTW any recommendation whether I should 3 D/F now (I am only at 19K miles) and then 1 D/F every other oil change? Or should I do 3 D/F at 30K and then every other oil change?

I see a very valid point of doing D/F at every 10K being more beneficial than 3 D/F at every 30K but not sure what should be my starting point given my current mileage - 1 or 3 D/F?

Can this be installed without opening bumper cover? Did not see any installation videos hence the question of what options are available for installation.
IMO a 3X isn't necessary if you are going to start the EO oil change routine before 20K. If you waited until 30K then maybe start with a 3X. Iv'e never done the EO oil change, just 3X every 30K.

As for the bumper cover removal being necessary I don't know. I have a TruCool 4454 on my '07 and I pulled the bumper cover to do that bc it really isn't that hard to pull it, 20 minutes or so then you don't have to fight the tight space. The other thing that would impact that is your install method. If you are going to install with the supplied zip tie type plastic pull through straps and spacers you may be able to slip it into place and work the straps through the radiator, but if you want a more proper metal bracket mount then you would definitely need the bumper cover off. You can mount brackets to the steel bumper or other front structure that is hidden by the bumper cover or grille to avoid those plastic straps breaking 100K+ miles after the install. Personally the straps didn't scare me, but I am only 100K since install.
 

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BTW any recommendation whether I should 3 D/F now (I am only at 19K miles) and then 1 D/F every other oil change? Or should I do 3 D/F at 30K and then every other oil change?
You are WAY ahead of the game. Stop worrying. All 3 major fluid options will work if you are keeping up a regular schedule of changes.

-Charlie
 

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BTW any recommendation whether I should 3 D/F now (I am only at 19K miles) and then 1 D/F every other oil change? Or should I do 3 D/F at 30K and then every other oil change?
....
With such low mileage, you may not need to do anything at all. I'd probably do a 1x D+F.

The reason you're especially safe now is that for the only time in its life, your AT was filled with 100% new fluid at 0 miles. So it makes sense for the initial interval to be longer than the on-going intervals. My '99 was initially specified to have the first single D+F at 45k miles, and then every 30k miles after that, for example. Once the ATs started failing, they reduced those intervals, changed the fluid spec, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Do you have any reason to believe that the first 16,000 miles of your van's life were hard or strenuous somehow? Did it have a hitch when you bought it? If yes, does the receiver look like it has seen some use? Did the previous owner have 5 kids or otherwise have it regularly loaded up? How are the wear patterns on the tires?
The owner said he only used it for long trips, mostly highway miles, to visit his relatives in a city ~400 miles away one way. He did not have many kids but can't say for sure it was not loaded in those trips. Tread wear is not that much.

BTW it seems DW-1 entered Ody tranny in 2011. I remember reading the 2003 Accord's manual where it stated DW-1 ATF. It makes me wonder why didn't Honda bring DW-1 to Ody sooner? I will check the manual once again.
I stand corrected. The 2003 Accord manual indeed says ATF-Z1.

You are WAY ahead of the game. Stop worrying. All 3 major fluid options will work if you are keeping up a regular schedule of changes.
Thanks Charlie. Sometimes it is hard to get off the mind whether I am doing the right thing or not - this is our 1st minivan (and 2nd vehicle) and going to be more DIY as I like to keep the car the way I want it.

With such low mileage, you may not need to do anything at all. I'd probably do a 1x D+F.
That is what I am going to do at 20K.

I will be adding a TruCool 4454 cooler and Magnefine filter in the Spring
Good luck with the project. We would love to see some handy tips once your project is done.
I don't drive the Odyssey they way I do with the Accord. I like the raw power of Accord V6 and some times I just rev it up but not beyond 3K RPM to reach the speed limit quickly - purely for the kids to have little fun when we start from red light and if we happen to be at the line. Ody does not get that treatment - slow and nice pull.
 
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