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I know I'm picking a nit, but I feel that it's important to clarify that statement.

The muzzler doesn't manipulate the sensor, it manipulates the signal that the sensor sends. As you know, there is no interaction with the sensor itself and I think that that is a key distinction. The sensor still outputs ("reports") the correct value, the muzzler then attenuates it a little on it's way to the ECU.

Manipulating the signal sounds so much more benign that manipulating the sensor itself. :)
Nit pick to the nit pick for anyone wanting a fuller story ...

The ECTs are NTC thermistors. That means they are resistors (BTW, about the simplest, most robust electrical device other than a wire) that have a negative temperature coeficient (NTC) so as they warm up their resistance drops (which is not how things usually work for most materials).

Similarly, this is about the simplest sensor you will ever find anywhere. If it could think, it would be flattered that it was credited with "reporting" the correct value, but sadly it's just a humble temperature-varying resistance in a circuit driven by its boss, the PCM.

Here's that circuit, shown here from the 2011 service manual, for both ECT1 and ECT2.
152262

So the PCM (ECU) provides a regulated 5V to a known, fixed resistor, measuring the voltage on the downstream side of it. That measurement will let it know the current flowing through the complete circuit, which will let it infer the resistance, and therefore the temperature at the ECT.

The current, after flowing through that reference resistor, flows through the variable resistance of the ECT thermistor. As the ECT resistance changes with temperature, the measured voltage on the upstream side of it will change. That voltage measurement is what the PCM actually uses.

The VCM muzzlers (not sure about the newest ones) adjust things by putting an additional resistor in series with the ECT thermistors. Resistances in series add, so it makes the PCM think the ECT's resistance is higher than it really is, which means it thinks things are colder than they really are.
 

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Ok. So just to make sure I understand. If I was to change out the ATF with proper fluid and as carefully as possible and not tell the dealership so it doesn’t void warranty. No one would know but me and the good lord?
You can drain and fill with Honda DW-1 without anyone knowing.

When I had warranty coverage, I always used Honda fluids. I always did the work on my cars, and would bring in receipts of buying Honda ATF by the case when making claims for an AT warranty replacement (that was all for my '99; my 2011 has had no problems).

And yes, that's exactly what I would do. Buy Honda DW-1, D+F it until it looks good.

However, anything that was ever put in your AT will partially remain there forever (or until disassembly), since when you drain, you only get a fraction of it out. So in theory, if somebody at one point put in a non Honda fluid, and your AT failed and they analyzed things (not likely, usually they just look at the codes and that's enough for them), they could drain the fluid and find traces of whatever was in there before.

For example, off the top of my head, even after 4x 3+ quart drain and fills, you still have about 10% of whatever was in there before your first drain.
 

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Changing your ATF wouldn’t void the warranty at all, no worries on that front. Quite the opposite. If you had a transmission problem and they tested the fluid and it came back as dirty or deteriorated, that would be a reason to deny warranty coverage. Get that stuff as clean as possible :D

Unless I missed something I don’t believe you have warranty coverage at 80k miles anyway.
 

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well I thought it was a Honda dealership but now I’m looking it up and it’s actually Chrysler. This was just a trade in.
Don't take it back to a Chrysler dealership to have this done. They might try a flush using a powered fluid exchange machine and that is bad for Honda transmissions. As a matter of fact, Honda so strenuously advises against using powered flush machines that they don't even let their own dealer mechanics do it. A Honda dealer service department will only do drain-and-fills on Honda transmissions.

If you have the capacity to do the job yourself, it would be FAR better for you to just take care of it. You won't have warranty troubles, especially if you use Honda DW-1. The process is very easy. You don't even have to raise the front of the van because the transmission drain plug is well within arm's length from the front bumper (I'm 5'8" so my arms aren't all that long and I still reach the drain plug comfortably). If you've never done it before it might be a little tough to see but once you gain some familiarity you can do it quickly and easily and (to be honest) better than a dealership or service shop. Not to mention way cheaper.

I happen to live about 5 minutes away from our friendly neighbourhood Honda dealership, so getting factory parts is rarely a problem for me. They offer me a discount if I buy things like ATF in bulk quantities (like a case at a time) instead of piecemeal. If you're going to do a triple drain-and-fill, you will need 11-12 quarts of ATF anyway so buying a whole case at once could be to your advantage. Doesn't hurt to ask, right? :)
 

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The Lord and the Dealership will both be pleased by proper maintenance my son... ;)

If you want them to own the problem, let them do it fluid swaps. I would do the Muzzler for your own benefit and remove it when it goes in and out of there to avoid any potential BS from them. But you will notice an improvement there too I have little doubt.

I drive our '16 about once a week (it's the wife's car!) and I drove it about 15 miles in start, stop, up to 60 mph and back down again traffic last night; and what I can say is this vehicle is a total pleasure to drive. With the S-VCM installed, better front brakes and pads (non-OEM crapola!) and fluid swaps on the transmission this thing is smoooottthhhh. You barely know the transmission is there at all. That is not what I experienced when we bought it... So there is hope.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Ok. Thanks guys. More than enough help. I was worried I would void warranty by doing it myself but now that I know it will not then I’ll pick up the ATF from a Honda dealership. Plus it will save me 2 hour drive. I’ve done all the maintenance on every vehicle I own so this will not be a problem to do it myself. I just kept thinking about salesman saying anything to be serviced on vehicle needs to be documented so warranty isn’t voided. Will let y’all know if she purrs or growls after I change the ATF. And do you think I should take in to see if it needs any software updates? Or not that critical?
 

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Did you actually pay the Chrysler dealer for some warranty or is this some incentive they offer? I think I might take their warranty with a grain of salt. There are plenty of trans fluid change threads around here, I suggest you read a few to get familiar. Once you do the fluid change three times (maybe on three weekends, you must drive in between) you might consider having the actual Honda dealer connect your van to their computer and do the software updates. And Muzzle the VCM of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
I did not pay for extra warranty. The Chrysler dealership said powertrain came with warranty forever program that only certain dealerships can offer.
And understood on doing 3 drain and fills on ATF then take in and see if Honda dealership needs to update software. Thanks everyone.

Going to order a case of ATF DW-1 off amazon for 88.03.
 

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Ah, the “lifetime” warranty. The Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealer here does that too. Usually requires all normal service to be done at their dealership. Do this transmission crap on your own and bring it back there for oil changes and stuff if you want to keep up with their program. As another poster stated, run away screaming if they try to hook up something to your transmission to “flush” it at future visits.
 

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The Lord and the Dealership will both be pleased by proper maintenance my son... ;)

If you want them to own the problem, let them do it fluid swaps. I would do the Muzzler for your own benefit and remove it when it goes in and out of there to avoid any potential BS from them. But you will notice an improvement there too I have little doubt.

I drive our '16 about once a week (it's the wife's car!) and I drove it about 15 miles in start, stop, up to 60 mph and back down again traffic last night; and what I can say is this vehicle is a total pleasure to drive. With the S-VCM installed, better front brakes and pads (non-OEM crapola!) and fluid swaps on the transmission this thing is smoooottthhhh. You barely know the transmission is there at all. That is not what I experienced when we bought it... So there is hope.

Good luck!
It takes a little bit of work to get these vans sorted out properly but once you do they truly are great vehicles. Fortunately the good folks on Odyclub know how to do it and are happy to share. :)
 

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They are also not going to have actual Honda ATF on the shelf.
This is a noteworthy observation. Having the right stuff available is a big deal with these transmissions.

There are definitely good alternatives to Honda DW-1, but I've read where Lubegard Black is promoted to commercial shops as a way to convert Dexron/Mercon to a DW-1 compatible fluid so that they don't have to stock a variety of different ATFs. I'm not sure if totally buy into that, and I sure as hell wouldn't want anyone experimenting with making the mixture on my van.
 

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Look at this on drain plug
Yikes - that's a lot! My drain plug has never had that much gunk on it. You got in there in the nick of time.

I think you'll be surprised by just how much of a difference a new load of ATF makes in these vans.
 

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Yowza that’s dark. I would be surprised if that’s never been changed. After a 3rd drain and fill I’d consider swapping out the “lifetime” external filter for a new one under the battery on the return line. If the trans had been drained and filled at 30k and 60k on schedule the filter wouldn’t have had to deal with all that funk in the fluid for its entire life. With 80k I’m a little worried it could restrict the flow of the fresh fluid your putting in.
 
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