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Discussion Starter #1
At a time when I was actually considering the value of a 98-99 Windstar, it was recommended to change the transmission fluid frequently to help prevent the innevitable tranny breakdown at 70-80,000 miles.
Having read that the trannies too in the Odysseys may also have this flaw, would it be wise to change the Transmission fluid more often?

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Maybe some preventive medicine for the tranny is in order. Such as: (1) transmission fluid cooler and/or (2) more frequent fluid changes, or a switch to synthetic...


Ther I found that In "problems and concerns"..
"Freaked-out about trannys"

Now How much more frequently is my question?
 

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As I talked with my mechanic while he did the 02 subframe shuffle (drifts to the LEFT this year, just to keep them on their toes), he was joking about the transmissions. They've done a *bunch* of transmission replacements over the years, and one just recently.

He asked if the owner's manual now says anything about "30,000 miles: change transmission." We laughed about the thought of people assuming it was a typo...

I wonder if Honda is replacing these transmissions so readily because they don't want the reputation that Chrysler and Ford have gotten on the same issue.
 

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My guess is that a 15K transmission oil "change", such as DC uses would be beneficial. I do not feel good about not having a filter which can be serviced, and I wonder when and if that will become a problem. Of course, one could add an in-line filter, such as is sold by one of the transmission cooler companies. I think I will go with the 15K scenario and hope for the best. That change is just like an oil change, on these. You just drain it out and pour the same amount in.

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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I use a family-owned business just about a mile from me for all my oil changes and minor repairs - nice folks; remind me of the service station in my hometown in Texas where my parents used to buy all their gas (you remember when an attendant would clean your windshield and check under the hood as he filled the tank?). Anyway, this place has a machine that flushes and refills the automatic transmission fluid completely. They disconnect the tranny cooler lines and attach the lines from their machine to the connections on the car. Then they start the car and let the old fluid pump into a holding tank as its replaced by new fluid. They charge $69.95 for this. I've had two vehicles done; benefits I see are: 1.) They don't have to take off the transmission pan, thus reducing risk of a leaking gasket; 2.) *All* of the transmission fluid is replaced, not just what drips out underneath with the pan removed. Only disadvantage I see is that on cars with filters in the transmission, the filter is not replaced. They claim it's flushed out during this process, however. I am very impressed with the results - the fluid on the dipstick is absolutely clean and fresh looking. Might be an option for the Ody.
 

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If you have someone do the "complete" transmission fluid change, you MUST be sure they use the Honda fluid. With that in mind, I would wonder whether they could and would purge all the Dexron or whatever is in the machine before filling it with the Honda stuff. My guess is not. I also would doubt that the fluid change would do anything toward cleaning the filter, unless the fluid is flushed in a reverse flow manner. I would be suspicious of anyone who said such a thing, unless he could back it up with science. One of our local fast lube places has such a machine and when I asked whether he could do Mopar fluid, he just blew it off and said that he used Dexron in all the Mopars and it was fine. NOT!! Putting the wrong fluid into a modern automatic transmission is a sure recipe for trouble. Good luck....

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jerry O:
My guess is that a 15K transmission oil "change", such as DC uses would be beneficial. I do not feel good about not having a filter which can be serviced, and I wonder when and if that will become a problem. Of course, one could add an in-line filter, such as is sold by one of the transmission cooler companies. I think I will go with the 15K scenario and hope for the best. That change is just like an oil change, on these. You just drain it out and pour the same amount in.

Jerry O.

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If I understand the manual,at each draining, you are only replacing 1/3 of the fluid. 2.7 qts. of 7.1 total. I think the Honda owners manual recommends you do this 3 or 4 times in a row and take a short drive between drains for a "total" change. (which is bogus because you will always be mixing the old with the new between drains).

Al
 

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It has always been the case that you only remove around a third of the transmission fluid with the standard "pan off" method. I guess there were some cars which had drain plugs on the torque converters, but most of them do not.

Yes, a complete change would be the best thing, especially if you run your van hard or tow something. One thing my Honda tech warned me about is that some of the full change systems use a "flush" and that Honda does not want that stuff put into their transmissions. I do not know if there would be a warranty problem over this, but, I would hate to take that chance.

As for the "Mopar method", I am familiar with that stuff, since I spent many a day on that site. If you want to take a chance and do that, go for it, but, for me, there is too much chance of injuring a very expensive gearbox, and I will pass.

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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The Honda tech I spoke to said that the problems with their transmission seem to be related to "stuff" getting into the critically small passages and causing the transmission to fail to function properly. There were some posts on the Edmunds board alluding to the same thing. I don't know if an inline filter would be helpful with this problem, but, it could not hurt. There seemed to be a feeling that some of the case material was sloughing off and getting into the fluid and, thence, into the mechanism. Maybe they put the battery acid into the trans., Hee! Hee! Wouldn't ya think they would have checked the compatability of the material of the case and the fluid? ? ? ? ? ?

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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If you do indeed drain one-third fo the fluid from the plug, and can get complete mixing after a short drive, then you would have 33% "new" fluid after one change, 56% after two, 71% after three, 80% after four, and 87% "new" after five drain-and-fill type changes. For anyone wishing to do better, this is the forumula if I did it right:


% "New" fluid = 100% * ( 1 - (2/3)^n ), where n is the number of changes where 2/3 of the "old" fluid remains after a change.
 

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So, what is the concensis? Change fluid the old fashioned way? If hooking it up to a machine and flushing all the fluid out is the way to go, why wouldn't all the major Honda dealers have them? My Dodge Caravan tranny is so picky, I wouldn't think of using anything but recommended fluid, although I am forced to get what they call ATF 3+ now instead of Mopar 7176. I would think that they can flush the machine and use the correct fluid for the application (they charge about $150 at a local tranny shop here). If they refused to do that, I would just do it myself.

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The first question to ask is whether they HAVE any Honda fluid. I would want to see the machine flushed, to avoid contamination with other fluid. Yes, the DCs are very particular and I imagine the Hondas would be the same, since they also use a friction modified fluid (super slick stuff). I know some of the DC guys claimed they would rather run a little low until they could get the "right stuff", than to top it off with Dexron.

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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Honda requires different automatic transmission fluid than Dexron. Actually, it is Dexron with an additive which can be purchased at auto supply stores. Get a bottle of a product called "Smart Blend". It's made by a company called "Life Products". Be sure to get the black bottle as it is specially designed to convert Dexron over to Honda fluid. If you can't find it then try Lube Guard, and again use the black bottle. Both products have red bottles and I think also a blue one, too, but stick with the black. After you have had the tranny flushed with regular Dexron, drain it again and replace with genuine Honda fluid. Then put the "Smart Blend" into the tranny to convert the remaining Dexron and you're set. "Smart Blend" reduces operating temps and it is a friction modifier that will reduce clutch pack chatter as well as help with converter lock up.
 

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Why wouldn't you just do the whole thing with Honda fluid? I used LubeGard, red bottle, in my DC transmission along with the proper Mopar fluid and never had a transmission problem. I have considered using the red bottle protectant in my Odyssey, too. I would not use Dexron, no matter what the mix, in the Honda transmission. Doesn't make sense.

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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Definitely if they'll flush it with Honda fluid, great! The problem is that the Dexron is a lot cheaper and more cars use that than any other, so most shops buy big drums of it inexpensively and use it. Maybe you can find a Honda dealer that will flush it with Honda fluid, but since some of it is wasted in the flushing process it doesn't make financial sense. Price the two types of fluids and you'll see what I mean.
 

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I have not had the complete "transfusion" done on a transmission, but, I have assumed that they only run enough fluid through to assure that all has been changed. I do know that the Wynn's system uses some sort of a flush chemical and I do not know how that is delivered. It may just be introduced into the system before the new fluid, but, it may involve a longer fluid, plus additive, flush. I do know that, at least in the case of my dealer, that they do not want that flush chemical put into the transmission. I will not have such a job done until a Honda dealer has the equipment, thus not leaving them and "out" re the warranty.

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 
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