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Discussion Starter #1
I have recently encountered the "shudder" that many talk about - that led me to check the tranny fluid and it was a bit high. Funny because when I did the 3x drain and fill last month and added a magnefine and cooler, it was dead on when I was done.

Haynes says to get the car warm (ie.. about 15 miles of driving) and check it with the engine off, in park and on a level surface. If the car is hot - ie.. 30+ miles, you should let it cool 15 minutes and then check. Others have told me to check it hot, running in park. While still others have said check it cold.. I am pretty sure you need it hot, but just want a confirmation of the best way to check it. Finally, if there is too much fluid, I have read it can lead to floaming - so my question is, how much is too much? Should the level be in-between the marks on the dipstick or at the high mark?

thanks

Jim
 

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I don't have an answer to your question but I find it hard to get a good read on the dipstick at the best of time. One side of the stick says one thing, one side another (no, I don't have it parked facing uphill on the side of a mountain ;) ).
 

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jimmyt said:
...Haynes says to get the car warm (ie.. about 15 miles of driving) and check it with the engine off, in park and on a level surface. ...
Jim, this mirrors what is in the Helm manual, and the owner's manual. Between the marks (or on the top or low marks).

OF
 

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As ODYFAMILY says it needs to be on level ground with the engine OFF. This conflicts with other cars and in the past but the correct way for any vehicle is to consult the OWNERS manual. Wiyh that I find very little change in level with it hot or cold. I've never checked it cold at 0 degrees though.
 

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My shop manual (the official Helm one) says:

ATF Level Check

NOTE: Keep all foreign particles out of the transmission.

1. Warm up the engine to normal operating
temperature (the radiator fan comes on).

2. Park the vehicle on the level ground. Turn off the
engine.

NOTE: Check the fluid level within 60 90 seconds
after turning the engine off.

3. Remove the dipstick (yellow loop) (A) from the
transmission, and wipe it with a clean cloth.

4. Insert the dipstick into the transmission.

5. Remove the dipstick and check the fluid level. It
should be between the upper mark (B) and lower
mark (C).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks everyone... - joec - I have the service manual too and for the life of me I could never find that page.. as soon as you referenced it I found it! Thanks! Anyway you slice it, I have a little too much fluid in there. I might drain out 1/4 qt and see what happens - I doubt it will effect the shudder, but who knows, I noticed the shutter only after the most recent tranny fluid change.
 

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William Wiles said:
...This conflicts with other cars and in the past but the correct way for any vehicle is to consult the OWNERS ...
Wow, WW, you have a tremendously good memory. I sooooo forgot about this...getting it warmed up, cycling through all gears, leaving it in park, checking it with motor running on level ground for those old American auto trannies. No wonder I always felt kind of funny checking it the way Honda says to. It was always in the back of my mind, "Gee, wasn't there something else I was supposed to do? Hmmm...."

Thanks for the memories!

OF
 

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jimmyt said:
thanks everyone... - joec - I have the service manual too and for the life of me I could never find that page.. as soon as you referenced it I found it! Thanks! Anyway you slice it, I have a little too much fluid in there. I might drain out 1/4 qt and see what happens - I doubt it will effect the shudder, but who knows, I noticed the shutter only after the most recent tranny fluid change.
Since you're down there with your supplies out, I'd go ahead and drain the entire pan, then refill with 3.5 qts(or whatever gets you to the appropriate level).
Definitely wouldn't hurt...
 

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jimmyt said:
good call.. thought about doing another 3x drain and fill.. but will definitely do 1
I think so. We bought our '03 with 102k on the original tranny. I immediately did the 3x drain and fill.
I change the engine oil every 5k.
Every 10k I do 1 drain and fill on the tranny.
 

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I feel like a dipstick (pun intended) for asking but...when you drain 3X do you pour new fluid each time or are you straining as it comes out and running back through??🤦‍♀️
 

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Hehe thanks lol i felt like an idjit asking.
You should do some real driving between each drain and fill. If the fluid is super dirty, drive at least 10 miles (going though ALL the gears including TC lock-up and Reverse) and then do another drain and fill. Now, if the fluid is fairly clean, you can go 100 miles or so for the 3rd one and much more before the 4th one, if you wish. Then do a drain and fill if the fluid starts getting dirty or every 20-30k miles for best results. Clean ATF means a HAPPY tranny..
On an '03, 3 drain and fills gives you approx 81% new fluid (3 1/2qts each time). (approx 10 1/2 qts)
4 drain and fills gives you approx 89% new fluid (approx 14 qts)
1 gives you 42%
2 gives you 66%
Buffalo4.
PS: I,, along with quite a few others, use the Valvoline MaxLife Muti-Vehicle Dex/Merc Full Synthetic ATF. . Around $18/gal at Walmart. Many prefer the also excellent Honda DW-1 ATF.
 

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That sounds good in theory but atm i cant drive much cuz the rpms are revving and jerking...slipping gears ...working on that too...
 

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That sounds good in theory but atm i cant drive much cuz the rpms are revving and jerking...slipping gears ...working on that too...
Wow.
That is not sounding good at all. Doesn't sound like fresh fluid is going to help your problem. Did the old fluid look black and smell burnt?
If it is not a shifting solenoid it is probably time for a rebuild.
Hopefully some others may have something for you to try.
Buffalo4
PS: In another post you said it did the revving after the engine warmed up, That would seem to indicate that the screen in the tranny fluid intake is getting clogged up with particles from worn clutch plates. Basically that means a rebuild.
 

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I think my best option right now is to see about a trade-in at the honda dealer. Hopefully the new tires, motor mount, sparkplugs and power steering pump i put in in the last two months will help outweigh the fact they'll have to replace the transmission.... I got a quote from them but they said the model i have is in high demand....so im praying they'll take it.
 

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Check your Magnefine filter. It may have collected enough debris to restrict the flow. I backwashed mine 2X after I installed it, lots of junk came out. I used Kooler Kleen from O'Reillys.
 
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