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Discussion Starter #1
So I just bought a used 2014 Odyssey and during slow acceleration, it feels like the transmission slips just a bit. I can sometimes even see the RPM gauge jump and fall a little. The Honda dealership said that it is time for a transmission fluid flush. My question is, does anybody recommend using the Lucas Transmission or similar additives when having this done? Do you guys think that a flush will actually fix the problem?
 

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Yes, changing the ATF will really fix the problem. And no, you probably don't need any additional additives for now. I use Lubegard Red as extra protection based on the advice of some of the oldtimers around here, but I think you should avoid introducing too many variables into the transmission service until you are more certain that everything really is OK. Simply changing the ATF should do it for you.

If you're inclined to DIY, changing the ATF on a 2014 Odyssey is extremely easy. It's less complicated than changing the engine oil and filter.
 

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If you're inclined to DIY, changing the ATF on a 2014 Odyssey is extremely easy. It's less complicated than changing the engine oil and filter.
Yes! I'm pretty handy and have changed my engine oil in the past on some other vehicles. But I don't have a lift in case that's needed (read somewhere that you have to rev the engine to allow it to cycle through some gears while on the lift). Also, I was under the impression that flushing is more than just changing the ATF - meaning that multiple changes equal a flush. Can you provide the steps and where to locate the drain?
 

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You don't need a lift. Shops use them to avoid having to drive the vehicle around - you don't have that restriction. You don't even really need to jack up the front of the van; the transmission drain plug can be reached from the front without jacking. You might want to the first time just to give yourself a chance to orient yourself a bit better.

This post turned lengthy but the instructions and pictures at the beginning are very good and thorough.


And yes, three drain-and-fills are considered to have changed out enough fluid for it to be considered fully refreshed. If memory serves, it's actually about 87% of the fluid but it really is close enough for all intents and purposes.
 
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Yes! I'm pretty handy and have changed my engine oil in the past on some other vehicles. But I don't have a lift in case that's needed (read somewhere that you have to rev the engine to allow it to cycle through some gears while on the lift). Also, I was under the impression that flushing is more than just changing the ATF - meaning that multiple changes equal a flush. Can you provide the steps and where to locate the drain?
Never, ever let a shop flush the transmission on the Odyssey. Always a drain and fill, and it's easier than an oil change to do at home. Also, get a muzzler so you don't have VCM issues in the near future.
Watch how easy it is:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. Ok, that looks easy enough. If I get the VCM muzzler, will my gas mileage decrease at all?
 

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Thanks guys. Ok, that looks easy enough. If I get the VCM muzzler, will my gas mileage decrease at all?
No, not within a reasonable margin of error. The difference in fuel consumption I saw was negligible but the difference in drivability and responsiveness and reliability was significant.

VCM was primarily designed to ace the EPA fuel economy test. Honda needed it because they don't sell enough Civics and Fits and HR-Vs to offset the number of Odysseys and Pilots and Ridgelines and MDXs they sell. Toyota gets around this with their outstanding hybrid program - it's why the Tundra can be such a horrible gas pig for all these years and no one seems to care.

If VCM happens to decrease your fuel consumption in real life, that's icing on the cake as far as Honda's concerned - they'll be happy for you if that's the case. But they don't care if it doesn't, so you don't need to feel bad about disabling VCM. Your van will be better for it.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
One final question. Which ATF fluid do most recommend? I could go with the original Honda fluid which is a bit more expensive than the Castrol TRANSMAX for example. The Redline looks like good stuff but is even more than Honda's.
 

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My mechanic highly recommends the Castrol Transmax.

I personally use Valvoline MaxLife. I think that both the Transmax and MaxLife are synthetic fluids. OEM Honda fluid is not synthetic. It's never wrong to go with OEM fluid, but the synthetic fluid works well with our cars and should be more heat-resistant than the OEM fluid.
 

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I’ve only used Honda DW1 OEM fluid. Always do the 3X drain and fill procedure. Running strong at 220K+ miles with zero issues. Just do the 3x CHANGE AT 30-35K MILE INTERVALS.

If you do a lot of stop and go traffic best to also install one of the Tru-Cool transmission coolers. Good time to also change the transmission filter when you do that at the same time. Honda uses an inline filter that I typically replace every other transmission service.
 

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One final question. Which ATF fluid do most recommend? I could go with the original Honda fluid which is a bit more expensive than the Castrol TRANSMAX for example. The Redline looks like good stuff but is even more than Honda's.
have had really good luck with oem Tranny fluid (Dw-1).

I tried the Valvoline full synthetic and when my van started shifting hard almost immediately with that, I went back to oem after 5,000 miles. Oem shifting has been decisive and smooth shifts, even with pulling popup camper (why I looked at switching). I just change oem Tranny fluid every oil change and it keeps it nice.
 

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So...How many miles on this 2014? While you can do the trans fluid changes yourself, it is wise to have the software update(s) done as the service bulletin provides for. If you are well out of warranty, you would have to pay for that.
You should replace all the fluid, but you can do that over time. Like three weekends or the next three oil changes. Most folks report amazing improvements with just one change. Depending on the current miles and previous maintainence (or lack of it) it could be quite past due for some fluid changes. ALL Hondas require regular transmission fluid changes. Most folks don't realize that.
The issue these particular transmissions exhibit is called a "judder" in Honda speak. When combined with the VCM kicking in or out it can seem like big trouble. Probably isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My Odyssey has 63K miles. Probably hasn't ever had the ATF changed. I'm guessing it's out of warranty, but how do I find out? Also, I wasn't aware of a software update either. Does that need to be done?

I will be pulling a small 4x3 covered trailer through the mountains this fall. Would a transmission cooler be recommended and really make that much difference? Also didn't realize there was a filter for the transmission that needs changed but I guess that makes sense.
 

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My Odyssey has 63K miles. Probably hasn't ever had the ATF changed. I'm guessing it's out of warranty, but how do I find out? Also, I wasn't aware of a software update either. Does that need to be done?

I will be pulling a small 4x3 covered trailer through the mountains this fall. Would a transmission cooler be recommended and really make that much difference? Also didn't realize there was a filter for the transmission that needs changed but I guess that makes sense.
Do you have a trusted/well rated dealer nearby? BEFORE you do any fluid changes take your van to the dealer with the old fluid/hard shifting and ask them about the software update and fluid swap on THEIR dime. Once you start to change fluids the bad behavior goes away, you take it to the dealer then and they'll say we can't find anything but we'll do a 3x Trans Fluid swap and software update for $500-750!

If you're towing yes, you need a transmission cooler. What size depends on the weight and loading and where you live (Texas in summer towing versus Quebec are two different things!). No towing in our lives but 5 people in our van in Central Ohio and we're running a TruCool 4454 with a Magnefine inline filter in place too (which I'll replace every 20-25k miles). While I was in there I also did the original OEM Trans Filter, probably unnecessary but since I was already there I thought what the heck.

We're running Valvoline ATF MaxLife, I've not had any issues with hard shifting or the like. But I may go to a DW-1 and MaxLife back and forth swap routine going forward, every other change swap brands/type. That way some of both are in the trans at all times.

Once you've been to the dealer, gotten the 3x fluid swap and software update it's time to MUZZLE that van. Loose the ECO/VCM crapola. On the highway our van actually get better gas mileage with the VCM off, loaded and had highway speeds we've pulled 32 mpg in the Ohio flatlands, a little more hilly and we're still at 30+ mpg. That doesn't seem to be everyone's results but it's what we've experienced (and checked manually at the pump I might add, data not just from the computer!).

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks. I called the Honda dealer and they told me they don't usually do a software update with the ATF flush. They said it's an additional $110 to do that update though if I want it. I'll look into buying a Trans cooler. I presume you mean the 4544 rather than the 4454?
 

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The drivetrain warranty is 5 years, 60k, so you are out of it. The service bulletins are up in the stickies. I am not sure why a Honda dealer would not do that. Is there another dealer you could see?
 

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they told me they don't usually do a software update with the ATF flush.
Of course not - they'd rather charge the customer. If you are having symptoms that are covered by the TSB, then they should be doing it oh Honda's dime instead of yours.

OR, you can just get the fluid change regularly and it'll also be just fine. If you can do it yourself, it is easy and cheap to do as part of your oil change routine (every 2nd or 3rd oil change).

If you are pulling a trailer, put a trans cooler on there. Towing is 'not allowed' unless you have a trans cooler. (I'm sure if you got a ScanGauge II or other OBD-II monitor you could watch your trans temps and know how things are going rather than guess) The OEM trans filter is not a regular maintenance item, but you can replace it if you really want...

-Charlie
 

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The transmission software update was like night and day for my 2011 6 speed. Later 6 speeds hopefully got that same update but sounds like they did not and it’s only applied if the TSB is called out for judder.

If towing the Tru-Cool 4454 is popular and a proven performer. I used the massive 4590 and used the thermostat valve. I was regularly towing a dual axle enclosed trailer so I went big. A good choice if you abuse this thing. Even if you don’t tow I’d seriously consider the 4454 just to keep stop and go temps within reason. For every 10 degrees of temp rise fluid life goes down in a exponential manner. By the time you see 250 degree fluid temps you may be lucky to get 10K miles out of the fluid.

If in any situation you had slip or overheating I would immediately do the 3X change. A single drain and fill works if you have done this from day one. Most folks asking questions like you are have 60K+ miles on their vans. It makes no sense to leave 66% of the worn out fluid in the system. Start fresh then single drain and fill per oil change can work. 3x drain and fill is not just because we like to waste fluid. It takes 3 D&Fs to replace the used fluid trapped inside the torque converter. A standard drain will not drain that converter fluid.
 
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