Honda Odyssey Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've searched and read all about the trans flush methods here and they are all across the board from draining from the radiator return to the oft-cited 3x drain and fill with periods of driving in between. Then I read the Honda Service bulliten from 2008 (link stickied atop one of these forums) that details this procedure and unless I'm reading it wrong you end up drianing and refilling 4x not 3.

I (like everyone else here I'm sure) want to do it right and get the most bang for my buck. Has there ever been a good discussion of why one method is better than another or why Honda suggests the repeated drain and fill method over the other common methods? Is it a matter of convenience for their techs or is there something about that method that makes it better. That fluid isn't cheap either, and following their method you go through 12 quarts and never really change it all, just repeatedly dilute it.

If this has been discussed I apologize, (its not like I didn't search) but please point me to it. If not, I'd be interested in hearing some informed opinions on the matter.

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,317 Posts
The owner's manual says drain, refill, drive...do this 3 times. Then, it says do one more final ATF drain / refill.

The reason you drive up-and-down-through-the-gears in between ATF drain / fill events is to move fluid through the torque converter so that this fluid can also participate in this "dilute by numbers" routine.

Honda does not recommend (or even allow, IIRC) use of an ATF pressure flusher. However, I've seen a service bulletin giving details on a Honda flusher (with filters and a big ATF tank) that gently moves fluid into and out of the tranny, probably operating at a very, very low pressure.

I just do a drain / refill on our Odys every oil change, since it's so easy to do.

Once I stepped up the ATF drain / refill frequency (and OEM filter changes, too) on my Dodge 4x4 1/2-ton, that truck never again had a tranny issue. I was the only guy among the 5 of us who bought the same truck who didn't have the tranny grenade itself, and I did a lot of towing with it.

OF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
i think the issue with flushes or "fluid exchanges" is the force of the machine and the possibility that the tech hooks up the wrong hoses and reverse flushes the system potentially dislodging debris in the internal filter. at least at the time the bulletin from honda was written.

the shop i go to uses a machine that operates at 80 psi - roughly the same as our tranny system. so i don't think too much pressure will be an issue.

but it's a $100 service + fluid so if you at all handy doing 4 x drain and fills saves you $100. and the knowledge that the job was done right.

sorry for rambling. thinking out loud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Doing 4 drain/fill cycles in the same time frame definitely isn't the most bang for you buck. Even with the least expensive "Suitable for Honda Z-1 use" ATF (Valvoline Maxlife), you'd be looking at $100+ worth of wasted ATF. FWIW, I do one one drain/fill cycle per year with my 2008 Ody and use Maxlife. The trans have behaved perfectly since the day it got it's first ~5qt drain/fill.

Joel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
MTPockets08 said:
Doing 4 drain/fill cycles in the same time frame definitely isn't the most bang for you buck. Even with the least expensive "Suitable for Honda Z-1 use" ATF (Valvoline Maxlife), you'd be looking at $100+ worth of wasted ATF. FWIW, I do one one drain/fill cycle per year with my 2008 Ody and use Maxlife. The trans have behaved perfectly since the day it got it's first ~5qt drain/fill.

Joel
but with a 4 x drain and fill you are getting most of the old fluid out of the system. i'd rather do that than do a 1 x drain and fill and have a lot of old fluid still left. the cost of ATF works out the same for both of us - i just incur it up front rather spread out

Anyway, $100 every 4 years is not going to kill me - especially if it helps by tranny live longer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Richie_Richie said:

Anyway, $100 every 4 years is not going to kill me - especially if it helps by tranny live longer
You can't argue with that. The only thing that pains me is the amount of wasted ATF involved. Once you get to that 3rd and 4th drain/fill you're throwing out mostly new ATF. I know when I did the first d/f on my Ody, the factory Z1 'looked' new yet. I didn't feel too badly just doing one d/f. OTOH, the factory ATF looked horrible in the used Hyundai Santa Fe I purchased last year. I did 2 drain/fills on that one. Each is 6qts. (used Maxlife on the Hyundai as well)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,317 Posts
Joel, you're back! Long time, no see on Odyclub!

OF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Thanks OF! We're still digging our 2008. The lease is up in Feb, but for the price these babies are going for used these days and the amount of care I've given it, the buyout is well worth it.

Joel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
I've been following a routine of dropping 3 qts every of ATF at every other oil change (or once a year at least) since I bought 2 new Honda's in 2004. I continue this with my 04 Accord, and just stated with our 09 Ody.

Below is a UOA of the Ody's ATF at 16,000 miles. The lab feels dropping 3qts every 10-15k is good routine for this van.

And I think the point can be made, that if you follow this, there is no reason or need to do the 3x-4x drain refill proceedure. My Accord would be proof of that, and a UOA will be done in Fall.



Good report, even with the plug looking like this...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,317 Posts
That's pretty much what I've been doing, too. Every 7,500 miles (about once every 10-11 months) I just do a drain/refill with the oil change. When I hit a 30,000-mile or 60,000-mile service interval, I don't even bother with the 4x drain/refill, since I've been refreshing it regularly prior to that service point.

The above UOA is good news. Once I get to that point where I've done this 4 times with AmSOil ATF, I'll throttle back and lengthen the ATF drain interval to once every 15,000 miles.

OF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,317 Posts
Even if you change the fluid, yes, you can still get a tranny failure in a 2002 or 2003 Ody. Those are what I own. Still, I'm going to try to stack the cards in my favor.

Re: the Video: Man, look at the fluid in that sump...that is what ATF-Z1 looks like when you don't ever change it. This case is identical to my neighbor who had over 100,000 miles on his 2002 Ody, and his ATF had that same opaque fruit smoothie look to it when it started to malfunction.

It may change color (degradation of the red dye in Z1), but it should be clear, not have an opacity that prevents seeing the sidewalls of the sump through only an inch of fluid. Sounds like the strainer (the black item he calls a "filter") probably filled up and broke, unleashing some of its captured material, hence swift loss of downstream line pressure, slipping clutches, more foreign material liberated into the ATF, more clogging....it's a cascading disaster.

Even though GM says we can, I say you shouldn't go 100,000 miles without changing ATF in any car.

OF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
It would seem the "lifetime" a/t fluid idea has now spread to Hyundai. They, like my VW Jetta TDI are set up to make changing, or even checking the fluid level very difficult.

The popular new 2011 Hyundai Sonata now has no a/t dip stick. They claim that the a/t is now good to go for 100,000 miles, with the original fluid.

VW tried the same thing a few years ago and it was an expensive disaster for everyone (except VW repair shops) who had problems.

The difference is Hyundai has a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty, so if the "lifetime" a/t thing doesn't work out, the laugh and the repair bills will at least be on them, not the customer.

If Honda put the same amount of time and engineering into their a/t as they do their engines the civilized world would run a lot smoother.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,317 Posts
I've tried those long warranties. They are painful. You want your car on the road, not in the shop. Even when you only have to have major driveline maintenance performed once each year, after many straight years it gets to be too painful to bear. Ask me how I know!

ATF filled for life? I'm not a believer for a FWD transaxle. Now, if it's a GM TH400, Ford C6 or Chrysler 727 Torque-Flite with the fluids we used to have available to us in the 70's, I'd believe it.

4x drain and fill (title of this thread) can't hurt. I'm a fan of the periodic drain-refill regimen that Rincon and MTPockets08 follow to keep the additives package fresh. As well, Rincon has documented lab results that back up his strategy; he's done good legwork on this, so I'll follow it as well and stick to a periodic ATF drain-refill when I do an oil change.

OF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Might be a little off topic on this one, but...for those of you who are changing out the old a/t fluid, just a reminder that this stuff mixed with some paint thinner/varsol/ makes the best rust, nut, bolt, garden tool restorer you've ever seen.

(the big machine shops use a/t fluid sprayed on 4x8' sheets of steel left outside and...no rust)

Just mix it up and put it in a plastic squirt container and you'll be using it every day for something.

I even have an old pump up garden sprayer full to use on farm implements and to use as undercoating in hard to reach areas like inner fenders. For some reason it;s the best thing I've ever seen to stop rust from creeping in and eating it's way back out.

Makes you go around looking for a/t's to drain when you're running out. I go through a least a gallon a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,317 Posts
That is way off topic.

There are enough ATF-based recipes for this stuff that would make it worthy of its own thread...like, "Uses for drained ATF".... :D

OF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
longo2 said:
It would seem the "lifetime" a/t fluid idea has now spread to Hyundai. They, like my VW Jetta TDI are set up to make changing, or even checking the fluid level very difficult.

The popular new 2011 Hyundai Sonata now has no a/t dip stick. They claim that the a/t is now good to go for 100,000 miles, with the original fluid.

VW tried the same thing a few years ago and it was an expensive disaster for everyone (except VW repair shops) who had problems.

The difference is Hyundai has a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty, so if the "lifetime" a/t thing doesn't work out, the laugh and the repair bills will at least be on them, not the customer.

If Honda put the same amount of time and engineering into their a/t as they do their engines the civilized world would run a lot smoother.
The 2009 Lexus RX350 has Toyota WS trans fluid which will last the "life time" of the car. The 2009 RX350 has a ATF dipstick, so you could drain & fill if you wanted.
I've heard the 2010 RX350 has a sealed system (ie. no ATF dipstick) filled with Toyota WS ATF. If the ATF fill plug were put on too tightly at the factory, then most owners would just leave the ATF alone unless the A/T develops some problems.

Does anyone know if the 2011 Odyssey use "lifetime" ATF ?

In someways, I wish Honda also uses the sealed AT.

I don't mind doing the 4X ATF drain&fill when the timing belt is replaced at 105K miles. At 30 K miles interval, it costs me a small fortune at $7.75/qt x 16 qts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I know a very reputable re-builder who sends his transmissions out with 5 year 50,000 mile warranty. He does not use the Honda Z1 fluid and to keep the warranty valid the owners are required to service the tranny every year. That involves changing out all the fluid and replacing the Magnefine in line filter with a fresh one.
So far he has had very few warranty problems, and those were not due to the usuall Honda a/t meltdowns.

He has always used a product called Amalie Universal Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid. (I think it's avaliable on line by the case of 12 for about $61.00 and free shipping) or $5.08 a quart.

My local Honda parts counter wants $12 a quart for the now discontinued Z1.

For those of you obsessed with doing only what Honda tells you to, you might be shocked to know that they have now stopped using Z1 and replaced it with a new proprietary Honda a/t fluid they call "DW1" (a synthetic).

Only took Honda 10 years to figure out the Z1 was not part of the solution but part of the problem.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top