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I recently purchased a 2004 Odyssey EX with 40,000 miles. Being acutely aware of the Odyssey transmission issues and not knowing the history of the transmission on this vehicle I decided it would be prudent to completely flush and refill the automatic transmission fluid.

For purposes of background, this vehicle was not subject to the now infamous oil jet recall. I also decided to error on the cautious side and purchased a case of ATF-Z1 from a local (San Diego) Honda dealer and paid $4.25 per quart.

Having read this board regarding the merits of the Honda recommended 4X drain and fill, I decided there had to be a better method that was more time and fluid efficient. I decided purging the fluid by disconnecting the oil cooler hose at the radiator was a technique which was worth investigating. I thought that posting my experience might be helpful to others who are considering this approach since I did not find much first hand experience in this technique by searching this board.

By studying the transmission cooler installation instructions from www.handa-accessories.com is was easy to determine that the correct hose to disconnect is the one closest to the left hand (driver’s) side of the radiator-just below the front corner of the battery. The procedure I used was roughly:

1. Warm up engine/transmission.

2. Jack up van. Remove left hand side splash guard. Remove drain plug – drain oil to pan. Clean plug (the plug was covered by what could most accurately be described as a black sludge) and then reinstall. Measure oil collected (about 3 qt as expected) and collect sample (#1) of drained oil.

3. Disconnect oil cooler hose at radiator. Very little oil was spilled in this step. Using flexible (silicon) tubing, connect outlet pipe to a waste bucket. Plug free end of hose to prevent drips.

4. Start engine and turn OFF traction control. I realize this may be somewhat controversial, but I reasoned that with absolutely no load on the transmission, no damage could result in the little time that would elapse while the engine was running and there was no ATF in the transmission case. The engine was running for only about 30 seconds and only 1 additional quart of fluid (a grand total of 4 quarts had now been drained) was extracted. I did try shifting from PARK into DRIVE and REV, but I do not think this had much of an affect. Word of warning: during this step the Check Engine light came on. More on this below.

5. At the end of 30 sec the fluid coming into the waste bucket was sputtering so I reasoned that extracting more fluid would not be prudent and that the pump needed to be primed so to speak. Hence, I removed the ATF fill plug and added 3 qt of new ATF and reinstalled the plug hand tight.

6. I then repeated the process. Start engine and turn OFF traction control. With the “pumped primed” I quickly extracted another 2 quarts of ATF (a grand total of 6 quarts had now been drained). The flow rate of old ATF into the bucket was rather brisk however there was no back pressure on the waste tubing. In fact, I did not even secure the tubing to the outlet port with a hose clamp. I collected the 2 quarts in about 30-40 seconds. Although I did try shifting from PARK into DRIVE and REV, it did not seem necessary to shift the transmission out of PARK as fluid was pumped out with the transmission in PARK. Again, at the end of the time period, the fluid coming into the waste bucket was sputtering. Finally, I collect a sample (#2) of fluid.

7. Again, I removed the fill plug and added 3 qt of new ATF (now having added a grand total of 6 quarts new ATF) and reinstalled the plug hand tight.

8. I then repeated the process. Start engine and turn OFF traction control. Again, I quickly extracted another 2 quarts of ATF (a grand total of 8 quarts had now been drained). Again, I collected a sample (#3) of fluid. At this point, I reasoned I had completely flushed (as much as possible) the old fluid.

9. I reconnected the oil cooler line to the port outlet at the radiator. Reinstalled the hose clamp. Reinstalled the splash guard. Lowered the van from the jack stands. Topped off the ATF with an additional 2 ½ quarts (now having added a grand total of 8 ½ quarts new ATF) and collected a sample (#5) of new ATF.

10. Test drive van. Collect a sample (#4) of fluid from the transmission by threading a plastic, disposable pipette down the dip stick tube.


The photo shows (from left to right) the color progression of the 5 samples I collected.
1. Fluid drained from pan (extracting 3 quarts)
2. Fluid after extracting 6 quarts
3. Fluid after extracting 8 quarts
4. Fluid from transmission after completion and test drive
5. New fluid

It may be difficult to discern from the photo, but samples 1 and 2 are about the same color (black). Sample 3 is slightly lighter in color. Sample 4 is the lightest, but still slightly darker than the new fluid sample. I am convinced that the color progression of the samples proves the efficacy of this method.


Regarding the Check Engine Light:
Using an ODB II scanner, an error code of P0720 – Output Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction -was diagnosed. This error code was easily cleared and the issue has not reoccurred. I wonder if I had always just left the transmission in PARK if this error code would have been set?

Alan
 

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Not bad. Good job.;)

I too have been collecting samples every time I change my ATF, but have not seen that drastic of a change in color yet. I do a drain and fill X2 every 7500K oil change (I'm trying to catch up for what looks like the previous owner did not do often enough). I have done the X2 drain/fill 2 times (12 quarts) and once at the dealer (total of 5 drain/fills in ~30K) and my color still looks between your number 2-3. :( I'm hoping my next drain/fill will look like your number 3 or (I'm being hopeful here) number 4! :stupid:

If this is the case it will of taken me 18-21 quarts and 37K miles to get the same color as you got in just 8 1/2 quarts!:stupid: :(
 

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I won't be waiting till 40K

From the looks of that 40K sample i am glad I plan on doing a 2X (maybe 3X) drain and fill at 15K.

I have about 11K on my 2004 now.

Requested a oil analysis kit from Blackstone labs since I want to have that 15K sample tested...
 

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I really like the idea of taking samples. I just never tried yet so I didn't know how. I'm not sure what a "disposable pipette" is or where to get some.......

Thanks for the great explanation 88acclxi04odyex.
See ya,
Roger
 

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Get a sample when you drain

I will be taking a sample when I do the first drain. Easy to catch enough on the way out of the drain plug to fill one of those sample tubes...
 

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I recently purchased a 2004 Odyssey EX with 40,000 miles. Being acutely aware of the Odyssey transmission issues and not knowing the history of the transmission on this vehicle I decided it would be prudent to completely flush and refill the automatic transmission fluid.

For purposes of background, this vehicle was not subject to the now infamous oil jet recall. I also decided to error on the cautious side and purchased a case of ATF-Z1 from a local (San Diego) Honda dealer and paid $4.25 per quart.

Having read this board regarding the merits of the Honda recommended 4X drain and fill, I decided there had to be a better method that was more time and fluid efficient. I decided purging the fluid by disconnecting the oil cooler hose at the radiator was a technique which was worth investigating. I thought that posting my experience might be helpful to others who are considering this approach since I did not find much first hand experience in this technique by searching this board.

By studying the transmission cooler installation instructions from www.handa-accessories.com is was easy to determine that the correct hose to disconnect is the one closest to the left hand (driver’s) side of the radiator-just below the front corner of the battery. The procedure I used was roughly:

1. Warm up engine/transmission.

2. Jack up van. Remove left hand side splash guard. Remove drain plug – drain oil to pan. Clean plug (the plug was covered by what could most accurately be described as a black sludge) and then reinstall. Measure oil collected (about 3 qt as expected) and collect sample (#1) of drained oil.

3. Disconnect oil cooler hose at radiator. Very little oil was spilled in this step. Using flexible (silicon) tubing, connect outlet pipe to a waste bucket. Plug free end of hose to prevent drips.

4. Start engine and turn OFF traction control. I realize this may be somewhat controversial, but I reasoned that with absolutely no load on the transmission, no damage could result in the little time that would elapse while the engine was running and there was no ATF in the transmission case. The engine was running for only about 30 seconds and only 1 additional quart of fluid (a grand total of 4 quarts had now been drained) was extracted. I did try shifting from PARK into DRIVE and REV, but I do not think this had much of an affect. Word of warning: during this step the Check Engine light came on. More on this below.

5. At the end of 30 sec the fluid coming into the waste bucket was sputtering so I reasoned that extracting more fluid would not be prudent and that the pump needed to be primed so to speak. Hence, I removed the ATF fill plug and added 3 qt of new ATF and reinstalled the plug hand tight.

6. I then repeated the process. Start engine and turn OFF traction control. With the “pumped primed” I quickly extracted another 2 quarts of ATF (a grand total of 6 quarts had now been drained). The flow rate of old ATF into the bucket was rather brisk however there was no back pressure on the waste tubing. In fact, I did not even secure the tubing to the outlet port with a hose clamp. I collected the 2 quarts in about 30-40 seconds. Although I did try shifting from PARK into DRIVE and REV, it did not seem necessary to shift the transmission out of PARK as fluid was pumped out with the transmission in PARK. Again, at the end of the time period, the fluid coming into the waste bucket was sputtering. Finally, I collect a sample (#2) of fluid.

7. Again, I removed the fill plug and added 3 qt of new ATF (now having added a grand total of 6 quarts new ATF) and reinstalled the plug hand tight.

8. I then repeated the process. Start engine and turn OFF traction control. Again, I quickly extracted another 2 quarts of ATF (a grand total of 8 quarts had now been drained). Again, I collected a sample (#3) of fluid. At this point, I reasoned I had completely flushed (as much as possible) the old fluid.

9. I reconnected the oil cooler line to the port outlet at the radiator. Reinstalled the hose clamp. Reinstalled the splash guard. Lowered the van from the jack stands. Topped off the ATF with an additional 2 ½ quarts (now having added a grand total of 8 ½ quarts new ATF) and collected a sample (#5) of new ATF.

10. Test drive van. Collect a sample (#4) of fluid from the transmission by threading a plastic, disposable pipette down the dip stick tube.


The photo shows (from left to right) the color progression of the 5 samples I collected.
1. Fluid drained from pan (extracting 3 quarts)
2. Fluid after extracting 6 quarts
3. Fluid after extracting 8 quarts
4. Fluid from transmission after completion and test drive
5. New fluid

It may be difficult to discern from the photo, but samples 1 and 2 are about the same color (black). Sample 3 is slightly lighter in color. Sample 4 is the lightest, but still slightly darker than the new fluid sample. I am convinced that the color progression of the samples proves the efficacy of this method.


Regarding the Check Engine Light:
Using an ODB II scanner, an error code of P0720 – Output Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction -was diagnosed. This error code was easily cleared and the issue has not reoccurred. I wonder if I had always just left the transmission in PARK if this error code would have been set?

Alan
Your method seems a bit more difficult than sticking a pan under the transmission and removing the drain plug.Of course I haven't tried it so don't have your experience. A normal 3/8" drive fits into the drain plug but I usually put on a few extensions because it is very hot when I first stop and drain it. I was thinking about filling it a gallon over to hopefully get that much additional old ATF flushed out at the same time. Do you think adding extra fluid before draining might work to flush more dirty fluid out?
 

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The cooler line method might be OK for regular maintenance (we had one member who would do this after towing) but to really change the fluid, you must drive in between drain & fills. Three times seems to be enough. It is popular around here to just do a drain & fill every weekend for three weeks. Don't forget the fresh crush washer!
 

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Yeah, driving between drain and refills results in a more uniform fluid condition.

Increase the amount of driving between each drain/fill if the old fluid is in bad shape. That weakens the fluid's cleaning additives so that any buildup of debris inside the transmission will be gradually dissolved into the fluid and harmlessly (hopefully) drained out next time.

The cooler line method is the polar opposite of this strategy. It's like sending in the SWAT team. It will get the job done quickly, but with a higher chance of collateral damage.
 

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Yeah, driving between drain and refills results in a more uniform fluid condition.

Increase the amount of driving between each drain/fill if the old fluid is in bad shape. That weakens the fluid's cleaning additives so that any buildup of debris inside the transmission will be gradually dissolved into the fluid and harmlessly (hopefully) drained out next time.

The cooler line method is the polar opposite of this strategy. It's like sending in the SWAT team. It will get the job done quickly, but with a higher chance of collateral damage.
The cooler line method does not exchange the oil in the torque converter, AFAIK. You need to get into TC lockup to get that fluid moving and to do that you need to drive or have the vehicles front wheels off the ground so that the tranny can shift into TC lockup.
Anyone know how much fluid stays in the torque converter?

People that push that method don't seem to know about the old dirty fluid in the TC just staying there.
So, NO, you are not replacing ALL the ATF using that method. :eek:

Also, many say that if the fluid is really dirty, putting all clean fluid in there at one time, without driving time in between, could cause some buildup to be cleaned to quickly (due to new cleaner additives) and actually clog up passages and solenoid screens. Does it ?
I don't know. On the 2003 Ody, a 'service flush' was actually 4 drain and fills with driving time in between (10-100 miles between the 1st and second and and longer between the next 3.
On a 2003 Ody,
3 1/2qt/drain and fill: 42,66,81,89 ----14 qts total
The 42,66,81, and 89 are the percentages of NEW fluid with each of the 4 drain and fills using 3 1/2 qts for each one.
Buffalo4
PS: If you like your ODY, do NOT ever use Z-1, the recommended 'one and only' ATF Honda recommended before they learned their lesson and came out with DW-1, Z-1 was ok for the lighter Civic and CRV, but not for the heavier Ody.
 

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People that push that method don't seem to know about the old dirty fluid in the TC just staying there.
The old fluid remaining inside the transmission will easily mix with the new fluid during normal driving. That's not a problem.

The problem is that the owner may wait too long for the next service, being under the false impression that all the fluid is new like it was right out of the factory.
 

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The old fluid remaining inside the transmission will easily mix with the new fluid during normal driving. That's not a problem.

The problem is that the owner may wait too long for the next service, being under the false impression that all the fluid is new like it was right out of the factory.
I understand that, but what many actually think is that they now have ALL new fluid in the tranny, like you mentioned.
I prefer the drain, fill, drive, drain,fill, drive etc method. Then do a single drain and fill around every 30k miles, more or less and keep an eye on the color and transparency and smell of the ATF on my 2003 2nd gen Ody.
But I guess you could use a combo of the two methods. :)
Dave, do you know how much atf is in the TC?
Buffalo4
 

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I don't trust Honda on their fluids or transmission. If Honda did good testing or analysis of their 2nd Gen transmission and fluid it wouldn't have so many issues when following recommended maintenance. I have moved on to Valvoline MaxLife Full Synthetic and have only good experiences and reports from myself/others on it.
 

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The only reason this thread references ATF Z-1 is because it is very old, like from 2006.
had my transmission replaced on my 2001 EX, and the rebuilder said use nothing but Valvoline Maxlife in that unit.
BTW, my original transmission was so destroyed, he had to get one from the wrecker and rebuild it for me.

All the gears and splines were out of alignment due to the aluminum case twisting, and the gears ate each other apart over time.

explained the huge metal filings on the drain plug at each drain and fill!
 
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