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I finally checked my trans fluid. It looks kinda red kinda brown. I don't know what good fluid smells like so I can't comment on the smell. I was wondering if I should change it. I bought the car with 147,000 and it now has 154,500. I don't know when it was changed last.

What would you do?
 

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You didn't say what year. I would probably recommend, as would others on this board, a 3x drain and fill. It's pretty easy, you just have to be patient with the fill part if you are filling through the dipstick opening (see other posts). I use Castrol multi-import ATF - catch it on sale at the auto parts store, but many others on this board strongly believe in using only the Honda ATF.
 

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Change it sooner, not later, at least 3X with synthetic ATF.

If you get the Hopkins Mfg. "Measu-funnel" at Wal-Mart you can pour the ATF right in the dipstick hole without waiting.

Measu-Funnel with On/Off Spout

 

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Mine is an '01 too (130k with original tranny) I'm not really an ATF expert. Some others seem to think that the Honda transmissions are sensitive to different fluids. The Honda fluid and synthetic fluids are more pricey obviously. I would refer you to other areas of this site for discussion. Opinions vary and you'll ultimately have to make your own decision on it. I have that funnel described above but the end wouldn't fit into the ATF dipstick opening so I rigged a smaller tube to the end of it and just hang it up under the hood while the fluid goes in slowly. Takes a while with my setup, about 10 minutes per quart. You'll drain and refill 3-3.5 quarts each time.
 

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Mine is an '01 too (130k with original tranny) I'm not really an ATF expert. Some others seem to think that the Honda transmissions are sensitive to different fluids. The Honda fluid and synthetic fluids are more pricey obviously. I would refer you to other areas of this site for discussion. Opinions vary and you'll ultimately have to make your own decision on it. I have that funnel described above but the end wouldn't fit into the ATF dipstick opening so I rigged a smaller tube to the end of it and just hang it up under the hood while the fluid goes in slowly. Takes a while with my setup, about 10 minutes per quart. You'll drain and refill 3-3.5 quarts each time.
10 minutes per quart! Santa Cleopatra! I want that part of my life back!

The drain tube on the Mesu-funnel fits over the *OUTSIDE* the dipstick tube. It tends to leak a tiny bit, so you can get a mild spring clamp or else wrap a shop towel around the junction to absorb the minor amount of leakage.

If you want to get it just right, then order a length of 12 mm I.D. poly tubing form McMaster-Carr -- it slips perfectly over the outside of the dipstick tube with no leaks.

With this setup, I just glug the Mesu-funnel full of ATF, and it has emptied into the A/T by the time I return with the next full quart.
 

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It's an '01. Whats the difference in ATF?

Where are you supposed to to fill it from?
Honda ATF (both new and upgraded) has lots of friction modifiers in order to produce little-ole-lady-smooth shifts -- this means lots of slippage between the clutch plates, excessive heat and early death.

You want a DEXTRON III compatible synthetic ATF with fewer friction modifiers. Honda says this can be used as a substitute.

Best I can recall, those in the know are variously using Ami-sol, Castrol, and Red Line D4 synthetic ATF.

Fill the A/T from either the dipstick hole or the dedicated A/T fill hole. Dip stick method is easier with the proper setup.
 

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Hey thanks Sinbad, I will get that 12mm tube since I plan on having my '01 several more years. The tube I used was just some I had laying around so it was free, and I am patient - very patient. Seriously I wasn't just standing there watching it drip. I would usually get other stuff done - like say a long prayer for the longevity of the trans :)
 

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I am a new poster and have a 2000 odyssey with 157000 on the original transmission. My husband and I decided to try and change the fluid ourselves a couple of weeks ago and hit on an easy solution for filling the fluid through the dipstick hole. We took an ordinary kitchen turkey baster (about $1 at Walmart) and took the bulb end off. The small end fit perfectly into the dipstick hole and the end of the funnel we use for oil changes fit perfectly into the larger end of the baster tube. It was long enough to reach the dipstick hole and was easily done by one person. It only took seconds for one quart of fluid to flow through this setup. Very easy and very inexpensive with nothing special to buy. May want to get a separate one for Thanksgiving dinner though:)
 

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I have a 2003 EXL-RES with 138,000 miles. I have been getting a whining sound in my transmission for a while now. All fluid changes have been done at the dealer with Honda ATF. After some research on this site, I decided to do the 3 times fluid flush with MobilOne Synthetic ATF and also change the Trans fluid filter. This is an inline filter I believe was added on the 03's when they went to the 5 speed automatic transmission. I also cut open the old filter to look at it. It was filled with dark metallic fragments and dark fiber looking fragments. Also my drain plug had a lot of metallic fragments on it.
I can honestly say that after flushing it 3 times and changing the filter and switching to MobilOne that the whining is less noticeable, my shifts are a little firmer, but the final upshift at 46 mph when the torque converter locks up is so smooth it is incredible.
The Mobil One was not cheap, almost $9.00 per quart, but 2000 miles later I am happy with the change I made.
 

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I have a 2003 EXL-RES with 138,000 miles. I have been getting a whining sound in my transmission for a while now.
brandlj, what kind of whining sound were you getting? Was it limited to 1 gear?
I think my 4th gear whine started shortly after the oil jet was installed at 22K. The dealer did the normal d/f at 32K and 64K. At 86K and 2 days into a 5200 mile trip, I got a flashing D light - no codes. Fluid looked a little darker than normal. Shifts started getting a little rough. When I got home at 90K, I did a 3x d/f with Honda ATF and changed the external filter. I cut it open and it didn't look that bad. My whine did not improve, but shifts are a little smoother. The whine really worries me and I have been considering trying a synthetic. I'm only at 94K now. Just wish I knew ahead of time that it would help for sure.
 

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My whine is only in 1st gear. It sounds like a differential or gear whine. It is a little quieter now. Shifts are great, gas mileage is great for this Van. I will flush fluid again at next oil change. I will then have about 5000 miles on the new ATF fluid. We'll see what the drain plug looks like then.
 
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