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Any happy 2018-19 9 speed transmission (ZF 9HP) long term owners out there?

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Ok so ZF9 hasn't had the best reputation around here. Are there folks out there with ZF9 that are happy with the purchase and hasn't had any issues? No regrets? I want to hear from you.

I have a 2019 EX-L 9AT. It's a lot smoother now after 3k miles. I thought I had made a huge mistake at first.
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~26K no issues, no regrets, however I have had all the services that the car asks for done by the dealer. Including the brake fluid flush, tire rotations, and filter changes. I know it has nothing to do with the transmission but with the reputation that dealers have, some run scams and such, it matters.
 

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Hi Fuego. In general, I'm happy with the 9-speed on my 2018 EX. At first, it suffered from the hiccups while it "learned how I drive." It now accelerates smoothly but in the last few months, on four occasions has died for five seconds after taking a corner. To me, that's a VERY dangerous problem that should come under the safety issues list.

I hear there is a software tech bulletin to fix a rough shifting problem. After the upgraded software is installed, I'll be back to square one. It will take 500+ miles for the software to re-learn my driving habits. I have not felt any of the rough shifting experienced by others on this forum. I may ask that Honda not do the upgrade. On the other hand, if I refuse, they can void my warranty. It's a no-win scenario.

I drive in ECON mode all the time. Although the acceleration is smooth, it lacks response. Now, everyone will probably say that this is to be expected with ECON mode. The difference is, my wife drives a 2012 CRV, 6-speed in ECON mode all the time. That car is very snappy - almost like an Accord. Then again, it has a Honda transmission.

In conclusion, I think the 9-speeds are basically alright but there have been some major issues with a lot of them. There must be a reason Honda decided to ditch them in favor of their in-house 10-speed for all trim levels. I have misgivings about the long-term reliability. If someone were wanting any 5th generation Odyssey, I'd advise them to choose one with the 10-speed. I test drove a 2020 EX in ECON mode. I was very smooth and snappy. I can't get that response from my 2018 EX.
 

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I get an occasional rough upshift from my 9 speed but overall I’m happy. I’m guessing it’s from the dog clutch engaging. I test drove a 2020 a couple days ago and honestly couldn’t feel too much of a difference, other than the 10 speed showing no signs of the rough upshifts.
 

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I get an occasional rough upshift from my 9 speed but overall I’m happy. I’m guessing it’s from the dog clutch engaging. I test drove a 2020 a couple days ago and honestly couldn’t feel too much of a difference, other than the 10 speed showing no signs of the rough upshifts.
Agreed about the 2020 10-speed. The differences were subtle but noticeable. It's like when I pressed the gas pedal on the 2020, the Ody said, "I'm ready. Where do you want to go and how fast?" When I press the gas pedal on my 9-speed, my Ody says, "Ah mom, I don't want to go to school today :D."
 

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Over 50K miles and no issues with the 9 speed. The transmission is invisible and has never misbehaved.
I probably will bring it in for the software update, but it doesn't really need it.

Based on postings on this forum, it seems like the 10 speed is the one to avoid!
There have been multiple people with slipping transmissions and bad shifting, and several people had new transmissions.
Also, don't forget problem where the 10 speed goes into park at highway speeds...
 

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29,000 miles on a 2019 EXL-Nav. Did a drain and fill of the (expensive) trans fluid at 15,000 miles, the original fluid was surprisingly dark for only 15,000 miles. The new fluid looked like Mountain Dew, the old looked more like Coca-cola. Planning to do this (3.5 quarts) every 30k (after this initial change). (Pics below)

Shifting (upshifting) has been smooth and satisfactory for the most part. Only complaint is that initial step off is either too slow or it wants to burn rubber but maybe I would get used to that eventually (the Ody is my wife’s DD). It also was once dreadfully slow to downshift, as in I floored it coming off an off-ramp (wanted to get around this wandering generality in front of me) and it took enough time dithering to the best gear that just as it found its footing I had to give up due to approaching traffic. Maybe that was the dog clutches. It’s definitely slow witted but it’s a VAN. We like the mpg and performance otherwise.

The shift paddles are close to worthless. We live in a hilly neighborhood and a downshift with the paddle does nothing to slow the van down, unlike the paddles in my ‘15 Accord Sport, which work amazingly well (& yet I still rarely use them).

Other than that, no weird noises, nothing else to make me want to take it to the dealer for anything. We only have taken it to the dealer for the recall last year. I have done all other maintenance work.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the detailed reply on fluid change GromitFan

How expensive are we talking and what’s the quantity?

Don’t like the color that early.
 

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Thanks for the detailed reply on fluid change GromitFan

How expensive are we talking and what’s the quantity?

Don’t like the color that early.
I am with You on the color. I followed this same schedule with the DW-1 fluid in our old 2006 Ody (change at first 15k, and every 30k thereafter) and thought that fluid was more brown that I would have though at the 15k point (making me glad I changed it then!).

When I bought the 3.1 fluid last March it was $48 per QUART at my local Honda dealer, and I paid Bernardi Honda (bernardiparts dot com) $37 per quart for 4 quarts and bought a bunch of other stuff (HCF-2 fluid for my Accord CVT, wiper refills etc) to dilute the shipping costs.

The good news is that prices are currently much lower and a check last week showed Bernardi is now under $26 per quart, which is still INSANE, but less so. Look for the thread on this forum for the “How to change 9-speed fluid” thread where I describe my what I did.

Good luck to you!
 
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It has it's quarks but overall we're pretty happy. The only thing I really care about is the overall longevity of the transmission. It seems most of the complaints are about how it shifts and not how long it lasts. I'll probably go with the approach @GromitFan is taking for maintenance just to ensure it lasts as long as possible. With how expensive cars are nowadays I want to make this one last as long as possible.
 

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So far I have not had any problems with my 9-speed transmission. My vehicle is a 2019 and I have almost 8,000 miles on it so far. I will keep the group posted with how things go with this tranny. I was somewhat apprehensive about buying a Honda vehicle with the 9-speed, given the poor reputation it has. Because of this, I purchased the extended warranty on my vehicle. Funny thing is that my previous Honda was a 2004 Odyssey EXL which had the infamous 5-speed transmission that was prone to failure. I had 140,000 miles on the vehicle when I sold it, and I never had not one problem with my transmission. I did follow the guidelines from Honda for normal maintenance - fluids, filters, etc. Anyway, we shall see how this vehicle and it's transmission hold up!
 

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Ok so ZF9 hasn't had the best reputation around here. Are there folks out there with ZF9 that are happy with the purchase and hasn't had any issues? No regrets? I want to hear from you.

I have a 2019 EX-L 9AT. It's a lot smoother now after 3k miles. I thought I had made a huge mistake at first.
Are you kidding me ?? Anyone who claims to be happy with their ZF9 transmission.. has not put any miles on it.The ZF9 in my 2018 EX started making distinct noises at about 30k miles. Several trips to the Dealer brought only the cookie-cutter response: our Tech could not duplicate your concerns. At 74.5k miles, the trans failed completely. Now, the replacement transmission is making the same noises, with 35k miles on it. Current mileage: 109k, ( I drive about 400 highway miles daily), and drive quite conservatively.

And FYI, for all ZF9 owners and lookers out there... the symptoms feel like a loose U-joint on an older-model car. When you slow, or accelerate after slowing, there is a noise and feeling of slack in the drive train. It's fairly subtle at the onset, and increases in frequency and severity with mileage. I have been to the Dealer twice, regarding the same issues with the replacement trans, and they still give me the same response, A replacement trans costs $6400 !!
 

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Are you kidding me ?? Anyone who claims to be happy with their ZF9 transmission.. has not put any miles on it.The ZF9 in my 2018 EX started making distinct noises at about 30k miles. Several trips to the Dealer brought only the cookie-cutter response: our Tech could not duplicate your concerns. At 74.5k miles, the trans failed completely. Now, the replacement transmission is making the same noises, with 35k miles on it. Current mileage: 109k, ( I drive about 400 highway miles daily), and drive quite conservatively.
I do believe that the Honda Dealer Mechanic Tech Reps have to go to a special school and a hospital, ok I have this backwards, frontal lobotomy than to a school that teaches them to use the standard cookie-cutter responses such as "Our Tech could not duplicate your problems", "I have never seen that before", "The cars salesman told you what?", "We do not have a Technical Bulletin on that".
We need to have a Honda certified liar app which automatically turns on the whole building paging system and pronounces the Technician/Technical Rep/Car Salesman or otherwise known as turkey vultures/Manager that their "name inserted here" is lying again and must admit the truth to the customer!
 

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hometechnc said:
At 74.5k miles, the trans failed completely.
bandit400 said:
Did you change the transmission fluid
Yes I want to know too!
This guy has posted multiple times about his failed transmission.
I have asked several times about changing the fluid, which hasn't received a response.

This guy probably rolled the dice and ignored the maintenance minder.
I checked his post history, and he probably is a forum troll. I doubt he has ever own a Honda vehicle.
 
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