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Honda dealer will NOT install Magnefine filter. See reasons why. Any thoughts?

19862 Views 22 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  0dyfamily
Not very mechanically inclined and was going to have local Honda dealership install the magnefine I just received for my 2003 Honda Odyssey.

The local Honda dealer said they would not install this on my Honda Odyssey. They say that the transmission is already delicate enough on the 2003 year model and that any constriction or slowing of flow would destroy the tranny. I explained to them that the product box says it will not restrict flow and I know of many Honda Odyssey owners who swear by the Magnefine filter. Their response was that any fluid sent through a filter medium would cause some slowing of the fluid flow. I did not know how to respond to this. They sarcastically asked me if I poured water through a coffee filter would it not indeed slow down the flow of the water as it passes through the filter?

How do I respond to this and is it true? Obviously I will have to have someone else install it but I was not sure how to respond to what they said and whether or not there was any merit to what they were saying.

Thank you for your help.
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Yes it does have a paper filter element. The picture on the FAQs page is a pretty good one.

First the fluid passes past a really strong donut-shaped magnet that is supposed to collect most ferrous material. Then it passes through the paper element. If that ever clogs, the bypass valve opens to allow flow.

Yes, it is completely normal for air to pass through that filter element with apparently no resistance. It is very different for ATF.

I've been using Magnefines for a while, and have them on the AT and PS on both of my cars that have AT and PS (my third has neither). I checked into it with Magnefine recently and confirmed that even though they may sell a PS-labeled filter, the AT and PS filters are identical. PS change interval is 50k miles or more. I change the AT ones at ~20k miles.

When you remove them, the filter halves can be twisted apart for easy disassembly. You can see how much stuff was in the paper element and on the magnet. I save those magnets because they are seriously strong. You should NOT spin it apart out of curiosity before you're finished with the filter because apparently that seal has not been designed for it, and it will leak (that's what I was told by magnefine when I inquired about replaceable paper elements). Not that I completely believe it.
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I think I might attempt to tackle this myself. I did a search on Magnefine installation using various terms on this forum and am somewhat confused on how to go about this.

I did find a step-by-step with pictures but the pictures were removed. I read some people somehow installing it from up above and most install it while underneath the Odyssey. Some report having to remove the "cowling" and others the "spalshguard". Sadly this confuses me.

If anyone is familiar with how to do this could you please reply with a quick step-by-step on how to complete the Magnefine installation? I would greatly appreciate this.
On my '99, for warranty reasons I wanted to be able to remove it with no trace in case Honda were to give me a hard time about having it installed. And by the way, when I had my 3rd dealer-installed AT put in, I asked them if they thought one should be there and they said no, so rather than try to convince them I put it in myself afterwards.

(all from memory, and I have the Honda AT cooler installed)

Parts: 3/8" Magnefine filter, ~9" generic 3/8" ID ATF hose

I went in through the top, so no splashguard removal is needed here.

(Battery + battery shelf removal is not completely necessary. I just did it to get a better look at everything since I was figuring it out myself at the time, and it makes things easier to do.)

Remove battery, lift out plastic battery tray

Remove the steel battery shelf. This could be the hardest part of the whole operation.

Find the hose going from the AT to the AT cooler (flow leaving the AT). Disconnect it, with a small pan to catch whatever ATF will leak out (not too much). You will then attach a ~9" length of generic 3/8" ID ATF hose and the Magnefine in line here, secured with hose clamps that should come with the Magnefine.

Attach the filter, and place it, using zip ties or whatever to make sure it or the new hose routing is not contacting anything that could cause it to wear through. Also make sure the hoses are not capable of being pinched anywhere.


Now, if you ever need to restore it to original form, it can be done so perfectly.

To change the filter from now on, you can access it by reaching down in the space between the battery and the radiator. No need to remove the battery.

If you just installed it for the first time, it is a REALLY good idea to double check that you got the flow direction right (I got it wrong once, but caught it using this check). Remove one of the fittings on the filter, then have someone crank the engine for a split second to confirm that the flow goes the right way - you don't want to make a mistake on this. The filter's flow direction is clearly marked.

The Magnefine instructions may have information about installing it upstream or downstream of the ATF cooler. It has to do with whether you're concerned with chunks of debris in the cooler coming loose and hitting the AT first or the filter first. There is no difference regarding pressure or flow. I was not concerned with the cooler debris issue and chose this setup based on reversibility and convenience.
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Honda doesnt have external ATF filters on any car that I know of, and if a dealer added one and you had tranny trouble later...what a can of worms! Most dealers arent about to take that risk, and I believe Honda has a big pull in the decision.
Not completely true. Speaking only for the 1999 Odyssey ...

davedrivesody was right when he said it was standard procedure to add an external filter when replacing the AT. This factory filter

is about 1" in diameter (the actual filter is the thing at around 11 o'clock in that photo), attached to the ATF cooler that is built into the bottom of the radiator.

After my latest AT replacement, I disassembled both the Magnefine and factory in-line filters. The factory one is a very fine metal mesh screen, vs. the Magnefine's paper element.

The factory in-line filter is not designed to ever be replaced, although it obviously could be, and is done as part of a dealer-done AT replacement.
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