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Water is not more dense than brake fluid!! (type 3 and 4) Look up the specs on brake fluid, it clearly has a higher density than water, the specific gravity of brake fluid is about 1.05. Water is 1.0 by definition. There is no debate on this, the spec sheet from all brake fluids has this data. It is irrelevant anyway, because water and brake fluid are compatible and so will mix to form a uniform solution.
 

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It is irrelevant anyway, because water and brake fluid are compatible and so will mix to form a uniform solution.
Love this site for the valuable input of knowledgeable members, in this case corroborated by oldskewel above. (y)

Dave
 

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Vibration can be the VCM or variable cylinder management. The engine shuts down cylinders to help with fuel economy. The savings are very small and mostly cumulative for Honda's corp average, that they have to keep down.
There are several methods to stop the shutdown from happening, From quite simple to more complex. See threads about VCM muzzling. Then do it. (and get that trans fluid changed)
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Now go get the tires balanced! I was guessing axles etc when I had a 75+ vibration...... It was tire balance!!!!!
Got the tires (wheels) balanced yesterday. I don't think there's any change :( I was hopeful. Next plan is to have Honda dealer diagnose.
I think it's light but distinct at 35-50 mph. For a few mph in 70-75 it's the worst, then less at faster. Disappears if coasting/braking.

Vibration can be the VCM or variable cylinder management. The engine shuts down cylinders to help with fuel economy.
What is VCM vibration like? I doubt that's what I'm experiencing - in part because, if it was VCM wouldn't I feel the vibration when "ECO" light is on? Mine seems worst when accelerating.
 

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I think it's light but distinct at 35-50 mph.
Shift down a gear when the vibration occurs. If the vibration changes while the speed remains the same, the source is engine or transmission. If the vibration remains the same, it's drivetrain, possibly CV joints.

Dave
 

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Got the tires (wheels) balanced yesterday. I don't think there's any change :( I was hopeful. Next plan is to have Honda dealer diagnose.
I think it's light but distinct at 35-50 mph. For a few mph in 70-75 it's the worst, then less at faster. Disappears if coasting/braking.
...
The "disappears if coasting" sounds like an important clue. But other general comments:

1. Don't get your hopes up too high about the Honda dealer having some magic goggles that let them see the actual problem. They can sell you stuff, hook up their computer and read stuff off the screen, and replace parts. Diagnosis of things that require thinking rather than reading computer output is just a tough thing to do.

2. Looking for easy things to do (like you already did with getting the wheels balanced), you can try swapping wheels front to back. A wheel/tire that is dynamically balanced perfectly may still be out of round, have varying stiffness, or have a side pull. Road force balancing aims to address the first two. But a front-rear swap is easy to do. Slight issues on rear wheels will not be as noticeable as problems on the front ones.

But with that said, the "disappears ..." I think points to a possible AT (transaxle) issue. Don't be surprised if the dealer hears your story, does a 3x ATF Drain and Fill, updates your AT firmware, sells you a set of new tires, and maybe even a new battery for $900 out the door. And then hopefully the problem is fixed, but maybe not ... at which point it's front struts and CV joints for $2k, with their preferred customer discount. Free coffee and Wi-Fi included. And hopefully ...
 

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Discussion Starter #27
oldskewel and davedrivesody, thanks for the comments.

Just went for another test drive, tried my best to apply my discerning and "listening" skills.
Here's how I would describe it now:
-it seems at any speed greater than 35mph there is something "extra" that is noticeably oscillating and can be felt. It seems more pronounced around 40 mph
-accelerating at expressway speeds really seems to amplify it. For instance, if you were to pass someone on the expressway you would really feel it.
-Unlike what I previously mentioned, I wouldn't really say it has a bad spot at 70-75 mph and the rest is pretty smooth, instead refer to my above 2 points
-I'm less convinced that it flat out disappears if coasting; it's more that accelerating really seems to amplify it at higher speeds. Begin coasting and it really fades. But I don't think the oscillating completely vanishes.
-I did try the "Shift down a gear when the vibration occurs." It seems inconclusive to me. It does seem that more of a "load" makes it more noticeable.

Yes, diagnosis requires good troubleshooting, which is not specially gifted to dealers. I was thinking, though, that if it's something more often seen on a particular vehicle, Honda dealer may have an advantage.

does a 3x ATF Drain and Fill, updates your AT firmware, sells you a set of new tires, and maybe even a new battery for $900 out the door
Well, if that was my "prescription" only the first 2 apply as it already has new tires and battery.

Definitely agree with troubleshooting least complex/least expensive.
Seems like I could:
-swap front and rear tires
-3x ATF drain and fill, it needs it anyway

What else?
 

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VCM & the ECO light do not necessarily go together.
I also recommend changing the trans fluid. That and muzzling the VCM. Do it at the same time and never know which one it really was, just enjoy a smooth ride.
 

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Chang
Hi everyone, newebie to the forum, would like to tap into your collective wealth of knowledge regarding a 2013 Ody that I'm looking at purchasing.

I was able to find out quite a bit about the maintenance history from Carfax and from calling the repair shop that regularly serviced it most of its life (25k - 85k).
It currently has 99k miles on it.

The good news is I can see it has had regular oil changes/service most of it's life.
The bad news is that so far as I can gather:
it has never had the brake fluid changed (should be changed every 3 years it looks like, so says Honda)
it has not had transmission fluid changed since about 30k miles.
(not sure about air cleaner.)

I'm figuring that based on its mileage that the Maint. Minder #4 to replace spark plugs, timing belt, water pump etc hasn't triggered yet but will soon.


My questions:
How significant to the longevity of the vehicle after 100k miles are the brake and trans fluid changes over its life so far?
(I would change them on schedule if I own it)
Is there anything in particular you think should take note of when test driving or visually inspecting the vehicle for this gen Ody at this mileage?

I would plan to be looking at it this Fri (10/4) midday so if you guys have any thoughts before then, please share.

Thanks!
-John
Change your brake fluid AND auto tran fluid NOW , and every 50,000 miles from now on the tranny and every 3 years on the brake fluid!
 

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The MID will set code 3 for a normal drain & fill (1/3 of the fluid ) every fourth oil change or every 30,000 miles. The New ZF trans (2018+) has a 50k interval. Dealers performing the service bulletin do 3 drain & fills with simulated driving on a lift. One can do that by changing the fluid on three successive weekends (if dyi) or maybe each of the next three oil changes if not. The 3X is mainly necessary if the fluid has been neglected or there are symptoms to address.
 

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Timing belt service is due every 105k or 7 years so it's not overdue yet. Not like it's going to snap when he hits 105001 miles either. I had mine done at about 120k..

Supplying info to Carfax is entirely voluntary, some shops/dealerships send the data in, some don't, it's as simple as that.

Most used cars that you are buying from dealerships were purchased by them at auction so they don't have the maintenance history details on hand. Yea, they probably have the ability to look it up in some cases, but they're not going to waste their time doing that for every person that inquires about the car over email.

MM calculates your oil life based on some algorithm and the other codes pop up with they align with an oil change. In my experience and driving habits(~60/40 highway/city), the MM comes on every ~7-8k miles. I rotate the tires and change the oil filter every oil change so don't really pay attention to B or #1 codes. #2 and #3 show up about every 30k. #4 at 105k. I believe #5 (coolant) came on along with #4. The coolant gets drained to do the timing belt and water pump anyway.
Re: Auction-purchased cars on new car dealer lots? Not so often. Dealers keep the good trade-ins and the off-lease cars for their used car lots. It's the "lemons", the ones that look bad from lack of care, that usually will go to auction. Dealers also trade cars among other area dealers. The people that do these trades take only a few minutes to test drive a car before making a trade. When you get a car on a dealer lot, chances are it's OK.
 

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I'm not a Honda mechanic, but I play one on TV. Here is my $0.02. I had a '99 Ody with the bad tranny. I would get brown ATF before 30k miles. I changed the ATF drain & fill to 15k miles and would still get red ATF. Now its a habit and I still do it on all my other Honda's. I think there is a requirement to do a ATF flush at 60k miles. IMO, 4x15k mile drain fills is about the same as a 60k flush. Only use Honda brand ATF. Brake fluid replacement...Every time I put new brake pads on, I suck the reservoir with a turkey baster and refill, then bleed the brakes I just replaced pads on (front or back). This keeps fresh fluid continuously moving thru the system. Only use Honda brand brake fluid. Also only use Honda power steering fluid (if your car still has a hydraulic rack). I was stung with a leaking steering rack once and have since changed to Honda fluid only. BTW I have no problem with non-Honda coolant. I change this every 60k miles. Non-Honda oil is OK also, but I use it because by buying it at the dealer, it keeps my dealer parts discount going (I have to use it at least once a year). Timing belt is not going to explode at 105k miles. This number is used because 1 or 2% of them will. Are you feeling lucky, punk? Keep your cabin air filter changed every 30k miles and you will never have to replace an evaporator.

How do I know all this? I have maintained 7 Hondas (going back to my first '87 Accord) for a total of over 1,100,000 miles.

Todd K.
 

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Re: Auction-purchased cars on new car dealer lots? Not so often. Dealers keep the good trade-ins and the off-lease cars for their used car lots. It's the "lemons", the ones that look bad from lack of care, that usually will go to auction. Dealers also trade cars among other area dealers. The people that do these trades take only a few minutes to test drive a car before making a trade. When you get a car on a dealer lot, chances are it's OK.
When I say auction, I mean dealer only auctions not public auctions. They will keep good trade-ins but that's only a small portion of their inventory. These aren't lemon cars or bad cars at dealer auctions. And the off-lease cars you mentioned - where do you think they get those from?
 

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When I say auction, I mean dealer only auctions not public auctions. They will keep good trade-ins but that's only a small portion of their inventory. These aren't lemon cars or bad cars at dealer auctions. And the off-lease cars you mentioned - where do you think they get those from?
Maybe things have changed. Maybe the "auction" back then served a slightly different purpose than it does now? In the late 80's, where leasing was not quite so common, I had a friend who made a very good living "moving" or facilitating trades of newer used cars among a number of local dealerships. Area new car dealers would end up with a surplus of certain used cars and other dealers felt they could sell them. He "moved" maybe 15 cars per week this way, plus or minus. The dealers he worked with trusted him. If he moved a car with issues he was responsible, but that very seldom happened. It took him only a few minutes to test drive and then make a decision about whether or not to "move" a vehicle. He was not a mechanic. He didn't fix his personal cars. But this worked well for him. I found all of this quite interesting.

Back then, we had a local (dealer-only) auction, but my friend didn't participate in that auction. I can assume what he did was to bypass that auction for the dealers he worked with, thereby saving them time and money. What he did say is, that if he rejected a vehicle because of its condition, it would most likely end up at that auction. He didn't call them "lemons". Perhaps I misused the term "lemon". This is the information he passed along to me at that time, as I remember it.
 

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Brake Fluid: Get a Mity-vac pump and remove the brake fluid cap suck it out and refill. That's all the dealer does. I did finally bleed my last fall for the first time. Fluid was very clean because I did do the "suck & refill" yearly.
Power Steering fluid: Same deal.... "suck & refill" yearly. Takes minutes to do while your doing the brake fluid.
If that is what your dealer does, find a new dealer. You need to do a complete flush of the system. That means getting all the old fluid out and replace with fresh fluid. If you don't do that the water in the system will rust the metal parts of the system and cause them to fail.

The way I flushed my system was to suck out as much old brake fluid from the reservoir as I could. I then filled it with fresh fluid. Then starting with the right rear wheel I bleed the system at each wheel till fresh fluid came out at each caliper. I don't think you need to do this every 3 years, but you should do it at least every 5 years.
 

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If that is what your dealer does, find a new dealer.
To add to that, the dealer should be using the tool to bleed the ABS system also. Even with a full standard flush at home, there will be old fluid left in the ABS actuator/pump assembly.

-Charlie
 

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I pulled the trigger a few days ago on a 2013 with 144k miles. I've since put about 700 miles on it, and it performed well.

Happy with the purchase so far.

I'm wondering what is excessive shuddering on acceleration though. I have some but suspect that a VCM override solution will cure it.
 

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I'm wondering what is excessive shuddering on acceleration though. I have some but suspect that a VCM override solution will cure it.
VCM is not active during acceleration. If the RPMs don't rise constantly (in between shifts) while accelerating, you are having the 'shuddering' as described. Get the trans fluid replaced. Heck, get it replaced anyway - the trans probably been 'underserviced' its whole life.
 
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