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I am starting to tow a tent trailer with my 2000 Ody. I will be following the "severe" maintenance schedule in the manual. I have noticed Honda specifically requires the use of Honda ATF. Has anybody tried a synthetic ATF product in an ODY ??
 

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I have not tried a synthetic in my Odyssey (or any other Honda I've owned) based on the warning of a Honda serviceman; he told me using a synthetic would probably screw up the shifting characteristics of the transmission. Was he B.S.ing me or ill-informed? Probably not-he seemed sincere, and I figured, "what's to be gained?" I use Honda ATF, and try to change it every 15,000 miles or so since it's so easy to do.
 

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That sounds like bull.
Most people think synthetic oils are so good because they are "super-slick". That way the transmission will want to move more But the truth is just the opposite. Syn oils viscosity is the same with the petro oils if the the are the same grade. Syn oils are better because they "cling" to the parts better when you shut down the engine, so there is still some measure of lubricity during startup. Also syn oils tend to run cooler, due to the reduced friction. While also being able to withstand higher temperatures without shearing. And of course as good ultra low temp oil due to its ability to stay liquid at very extreme cold.

We used Redline Oils in our Auto Tranny of a '87 Acura Legend(my mother's car). Honda's back in the 80's had notoriously weak auto trans back then. And the Legend was even worse since it was an Accord tranny fitted to a larger motor. Many folks were reporting tranny failure at 20-30k miles. We switched the cars tran fluid to Redline, and immediately noticed crisper shifts, even after running hard in the mountains and hills. Usually if the tranny ran hot, then the shifting would get very very rough. Never again after the switch to synthetic.

All my current cars now run either Mobil 1(engine) or Redline(tranny, differentials). That and good safe tires, and tire pressure are such a cheap insurance for a "family" vehicle. What is your inconvenience worth, even if you only run into a major mechanical catastrophe once in your life?

Tej
 

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Be careful with transmission fluid-

What tej says is true, but there is another concern. Transmission fluids are designed with specific friction modifiers and additive packages. Unlike oil, where anything with the proper grade and API certification can meet warranty requirements, transmission fluids can be very specific. Most synthetic transmission fluids are compatible with GM Dexron fluids. If you do use a synthetic transmission fluid, please make sure it meets the requirements in your owners manual. Otherwise, it is something that could void your warranty in regard to a transmission failure. One has only to look through the Google usenet archives to see the Chrysler owners who had problems using Dexron compatible transmission fluids instead of ATF+ Mopar compatible fluids.

Dexron III is acceptable as a temporary substitute. It may be just a ploy to force you to use Honda fluid, but this link has some details:
http://www.honda2001.com/owners/service_parts/faqs_fluids.html


Our Subaru is compatible with Dexron III, and I do use Mobil 1 ATF and Mobil 1 Gear Oil in the differentials. I may change our Odyssey's transmission fluid at the next oil change (11,250 miles), but if I do it will probably be with Honda fluid. Next to the electric sliding doors, the transmission seems to be one of the next highest systems for complaints. The fact that Honda went with a different transmission for 2002 also adds to my hesitiation. I don't want to give them any reason not to honor the warranty.

Just my 2 cents.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 08-15-2001).]
 

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Caviller-

That advice is worth at least four cents. I have a lot of experience around the Chrysler problem and would never use anything that could not be proven to equal the OE specs. Those electronic ATs are way to expensive to allow experimentation. With the wrong friction properties, lots of things can get wierd in a hurry!

Jerry O.
2001 GG LX
 

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I don't own an Odyssey yet, but along this topic, I use Golden Spectro synthetic w/the same weight characteristics called for in the Helm manual in my Acura Integra. Shifts like butta....

Michael
 

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Is that Integra a manual or automatic? Big difference!

Jerry O.
2001 GG LX
 

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Previous posters are right in making sure your new tranny fluid meets the same specs.

I had an '80 Supra that called for Type F ATF fluid. A repair shop did some extra maintenance and changed the trans fluid as well. Within a day, my overdrive went out. The shop had used Universal ATF fluid that was supposed to work for Dextron II and I and Type F. I made 'em change it out several times with Type F and within another day the overdrive came back.

Only problem...six months later, the transmission died a slow death. In one day the transmission would disengage at high rpm, then lower, then lower. Finally, at the end of that bad day, I finally limped home by driving between 800rpm and 1000rpm. the car idled at 800 rpm and the engine would slip above 1000 rpm.

Moral of story...never use a "universal" type fluid. I'll only use ATF fluid that is only made for the particular spec.
 
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