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Knock on wood, but I think I've avoided a self-inflicted disaster. We have an 02 EX purchased used in 02 with about 20K miles. We got a new tranny at about 50K under warranty when the mainteance light started flashing. I ddn't really notice a problem, but the dealer said that the tranny was the cause so I didn't argue.

Fast forward to April of 2010 and about 175K trouble free miles. I'm going down the highway when I get a slip and high RPM reading. We were 100 miles from home and babied it back without any major issues.

Now, for the self-inflicted part: I never changed the fluid a single time after I got the new tranny at 50K. I get on this forum and basically read all the doom and gloom and resign myself to either a high repair bill or a new vehicle purchase.

I do, however, take it to the best local transmission guy and he starts by checking the fluid. He smells it and suggest I go buy some Honda fluid and change it myself. He says it might just be the best $35.00 I can spend. Sure enough, 6 months later, and the thing is running like a top. No slippage at all. I even avoided long trips for awhile, but I've quit holding back.

This is absolutely the best vehicle I've ever owned. My wife hates it because it is a van and not an SUV, but it just won't quit.

Can anyone suggest my go forward plan for fluid changes. Should I have already done, or plan to do, a full flush which I believe means 3.5 qt drain and fill back2back 4 times?

Does anyone think I've just borrowed some time and my transmission is still doomed?
 

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i would do another 3x drain and fills with honda atf z-1 then drive it till it drops.

if you search some threds you will get differing opinions on when to change fluid. some say do 3 quarts every oil change or every other oil change. others (like myself) say wait 30,000 miles then do another 3x drain and fill. whatever floats your boat - just keep fresh fluid in there as much as possible
 

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I suggest that you do a full ATF fluid exchange yourself using the honda ATF and then forget about changing the ATF for another 175k miles... :p

Here is the procedure:
http://www.amsoil.com/products/transmission/transfluid_rec.aspx

Seriously though, I don't know how you managed to get away with not changing your ATF for 175k miles, this sounds to me like extremely abusive behavior towards your transmission... :rolleyes:
 

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It actually woudl be 125K miles, but still very abusive ;-). Funny thing is, I've kept up with everything else pretty decently.

One mistake I made was getting peeved at quicky lube places that would try to sell me their version of a flush. In hindsight, I still would have refused their overpriced service, but still should have taken it upon myself to change the fluid.

Consider me a changed man -- lesson learned.
 

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Razor_Poke said:
It actually woudl be 125K miles, but still very abusive ;-). Funny thing is, I've kept up with everything else pretty decently.

One mistake I made was getting peeved at quicky lube places that would try to sell me their version of a flush. In hindsight, I still would have refused their overpriced service, but still should have taken it upon myself to change the fluid.

Consider me a changed man -- lesson learned.
My math is becoming very bad... :D

btw... You could also consider switching fully to Amsoil ATF, they are fully synthetic stuff and could stand up to a lot of abuse. I personally use it in all my cars and change them every 100k miles with zero problems, but since the honda stuff could last 125k miles, I'm sure the Amsoil stuff could last at least 300k miles... :p
 

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Doom and Gloom? Try real world experiences. My guess is these transmissions suffer their fate very early in life. Mine had fluid that looked like crud at 30k miles. I did a 3x change at that time and ever since and the fluid has looked like new on each change since the very first. It has whined since about 25k, the dealer never fixed it and it still whines and shifts very hard. Honda and the dealer take no responsibility and try to blame the owners. Honda as a corporation SUCKS, and posts like yours smack of shill.
http://www.odyclub.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=100814
 

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Anyone here change their 2003 Ody ATF by disconnecting the return line of the oil cooler instead of the 4x drain and fill?
IOW, after draining the ATF the first time, cleaning the magnet, replacing the crush washer and refilling to the proper level, you just disconnect the return line and run the engine (2 people) and refill until the fluid runs clean (may have to shut the engine off and restart several times).
Should require a lot less fluid (8 to 9 qts instead of 14 qts) and get all fresh ATF, instead of only around the 90% fresh you get with a 4x drain and refill.
Buffalo4
 

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Buffalo4 said:
Anyone here change their 2003 Ody ATF by disconnecting the return line of the oil cooler instead of the 4x drain and fill?
IOW, after draining the ATF the first time, cleaning the magnet, replacing the crush washer and refilling to the proper level, you just disconnect the return line and run the engine (2 people) and refill until the fluid runs clean (may have to shut the engine off and restart several times).
Should require a lot less fluid (8 to 9 qts instead of 14 qts) and get all fresh ATF, instead of only around the 90% fresh you get with a 4x drain and refill.
Buffalo4
I posted a link about this same procedure in an earlier post in this thread:
http://www.amsoil.com/products/tran...sfluid_rec.aspx

I personally did this procedure a lot of time already and it worked great. It is superior to the 3x drain and refill procedure as it uses less ATF and it involves less work.
 

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I had gone to the link you posted, but it wasn't specific for the '03 Ody.
When you did it, did you disconnect the return line from the oil cooler or the input line?
Did you have to shut the engine off several times or could you just keeping pouring in the ATF until it starting coming out clean?
Thanks,
Buffalo4
 

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Buffalo4 said:
Anyone here change their 2003 Ody ATF by disconnecting the return line of the oil cooler instead of the 4x drain and fill?
I’ve done something similar on an old Dodge motorhome I have where I disconnect the line TO the cooler and fill at the dipstick filler hole. It’s easier on the old Dodge because they have a nice big filler hole. The Dodge also has the stock pan which has no drain hole so disconnecting the line is more practical than with the Honda. If you have the spray jet kit installed on the Odyssey as I do you’ve lost your filler hole making it less efficient to do it that way. Now if you’re saying disconnect BOTH in AND out line and stick the suction end in a big bucket of fluid or something while waiting for the out line to show clean, that might work ok, but my experience has been the fluid looks like new after 30k miles, so it would be hard to tell when you’ve cleared it all without just going by volume alone. For these reasons, and after looking at the service records of my in-laws Accord which is serviced at the dealer, I have started changing fluid 1x at each oil change of approximately 7k miles, and even this is overkill and likely 1x every other oil change is probably a more realistic approach.
 

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Buffalo4 said:
I had gone to the link you posted, but it wasn't specific for the '03 Ody.
When you did it, did you disconnect the return line from the oil cooler or the input line?
Did you have to shut the engine off several times or could you just keeping pouring in the ATF until it starting coming out clean?
Thanks,
Buffalo4
The procedure in the link I sent should apply to most normal cars as they will have a transmission and a cooler.

I guess you could either disconnect the input line or the return line, either at the cooler or at the transmission, but normally I disconnect the return line at the transmission side so that the ATF in the cooler doesn't leak out.

Then, you need a helper. Place the return line into an empty ATF bottle and ask your helper to start the engine, fill the ATF close to 1 quart and ask your helper to stop the engine. Fill 1 quart of new ATF into your transmission. Repeat the procedure until you you can fill up a new bottle of ATF at your return line. The basic idea here is to replace the same volume of ATF that flows out, so adjust accordingly.
 

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Thanks for the replies. I was also wondering about the part where doing it in the 4x method, you drive it at a speed so the tranny locks-up (overdrive) so that you get all the fluid intermingled. When you use the oil cooler line method, does this flush that area also?
Sorry, I can't think of the right words for it.
Buffalo4
 

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Buffalo4 said:
Thanks for the replies. I was also wondering about the part where doing it in the 4x method, you drive it at a speed so the tranny locks-up (overdrive) so that you get all the fluid intermingled. When you use the oil cooler line method, does this flush that area also?
Sorry, I can't think of the right words for it.
Buffalo4
I was thinking about your question of overdrive and intermingling. Where did you hear/learn that you need to get into overdrive for all the fluid to be intermingled? Looking at the internal design of an automatic transmission, especially at the planetary gear set part, I do not believe that the ATF will flow only if the gears are moving, it should flow even when the gears are not moving. If there is a way to control ATF movement based on gear movement, I think it would be a very smart transmission...
 

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It is about getting the torque converter to lockup, I believe.
"1. Set the parking brake, and raise the vehicle on a lift.
2. Drain the trans, and refill it with Honda Genuine ATF-Z1. Refer to the applicable S/M or to ISIS for details.
3. Start the engine, shift into Drive, and release the parking brake.
4. Push down on the accelerator pedal to raise the vehicle speed to 2,500 rpm.
• If the trans shifts past 2nd gear, go to step 5.
• If the trans won’t shift past 2nd gear, keep the engine speed at 2,500 rpm and shift from Drive to
Neutral and back to Drive. Then go to step 5.
5. Make sure that the trans shifts through all the forward gears and goes into torque converter lockup.
6. Let off the accelerator pedal, and press the brake pedal to drop the vehicle speed to zero. Shift into
Reverse and then into Neutral.
7. Shift into Drive, and repeat steps 4 thru 6 four more times.
8. Set the parking brake, and repeat steps 2 thru 6 two more times.
9. Drain the trans, and reinstall the drain plug with a new sealing washer.
10. Refill the A/T with ATF-Z1."

If you can just run the vehicle in neutral while the ATF is pumping out of the cooler return line to replace all the fluid, why does Honda recommend the above, shifting gears and all?
Thanks,
Buffalo4
 

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I might be wrong but I believe Honda recommended this procedure because the ATF in the transmission oil pan is totally new and clean but the ATF coming into the transmission oil pan is old and dirty, so the procedure might just be the best way that they know of to mix the old and new ATF up really well in the shortest time possible. Perhaps you shouldn't read too much into this.

The difference between honda's procedure and the cooler line method is that for the cooler line method, clean and new ATF is always flowing out of the transmission oil pan but no dirty ATF is coming in.

btw... think about this, even if there is a bit of new ATF left in the cooler line method, it is probably not more than the old ATF left in the 3x/4x drain/refill method.
 

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i just did a 3 x drain and fill when i changed my fluid. drove for 10 minutes between each change (on the highway to lock up TC). got most of the old fluid out and fluid still looks good. good enough for me
 

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The drain/refill method gets more and more inefficient as you proceed because you are draining out more fresh ATF than old ATF.

Lets take a simple example of 3 QT in oil pan and 6 QT in transmission/torque converter (Total of 9 QT). Using the cooler line method, you need about 10 QT and you end up with mostly clean ATF, i.e., 99% new ATF.

Using the 4x drain/refill:
1st drain/refill: 66.6% old ATF
2nd drain/refill: 44% old ATF
3rd drain/refill: 29% old ATF
4th drain/refill: 17% old ATF

For the 4x drain/refill method, you used 12 QT in total and started draining out more new ATF than old ATF starting at the 3rd drain/refill and end up with 17% old ATF after the whole procedure.
 

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Yes, I understand the ratio when doing the 4x stuff.
My questions is about whether the torque converter and the rest of the tranny gets flushed of old fluid while just letting the vehicle idle in neutral and using the return cooler line method.
Hopefully it does.
I will probably do it that way next time (cooler line).
Buffalo
PS: It just sounded like if you changed the fluid the 4x way and didn't drive it between changes (just letting it idle in neutral) than the fluid wouldn't get 'blended' properly;ie: some fluid remains in different locations and doesn't circulate unless you shift it and drive it until the torque converter locks up.
 

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I highly encourage you to try the Amsoil ATF. They're full synthetic stuff, when I drain the ATF after 100k miles, the Amsoil ATF is still pink and nice and at that point, I'm sold for life... imagine the color of the Honda ATF after 100k miles... :)

I'm not an Amsoil dealer btw... :p
 
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