Honda Transmission Fluid Change

Honda Transmission Fluid Change

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A Honda transmission fluid change needs to take place every 50,000–100,000 miles. You can either drain or flush the transmission fluid; however, we recommend draining it.

Honda Transmission Fluid Change

Transmission fluid replacement is a maintenance service you should perform every 50,000 to 100,000 miles for your Honda. It will make for smoother shifts and the most important reason is it will extend the life of your transmission. It is advisable to visit your local Honda Service Center for a Honda transmission fluid flush. Draining the transmission fluid takes around 30 minutes. 

DIY Honda Transmission Fluid Replacement 

Check your car’s owner’s manual to see when you are due for a transmission fluid replacement. Alternatively, you can check the state of the transmission’s fluid by yourself. It should be part of the regular maintenance. The transmission dipstick is red-handled, and you will spot it under the hood. If the transmission’s fluid is brightly colored pink or looks clean, but fluid level level is low, you can add more fluid. Use a clean rag to wipe the transmission dipstick and replace it. If the transmission fluid is brown, it’s time to change it.

Steps for Honda transmission fluid change

  1. The first step is to purchase transmission fluid and safety gear. Make sure you have gloves and safety glasses. The ATF-DW1 is specially designed to meet Honda’s quality standards. One change will require approximately 3,000 ml (3l or 3.3 US quarts). 

  2. Park your Honda on a flat surface with a parking brake on and switch it off. We recommend that you use jacks to elevate it. Add wheel chocks to stop it from moving while you are at work. Steel wheel ramps would do the trick too. We also advise letting the cars cool down for about 10 minutes. 

  3. Locate the drain plug on the plastic pan under the front bumper. The pan is located on the lower side of the transmission with six to eight bolts, so it’s pretty easy to spot. The pan can have a drain plug, so you don’t need to undo the whole pan. If there is no drain plug, find a container the size of the pan to empty the fluid.

  1. Loosen the drain plug with a 1 cm ratchet and put the drain container below to catch the used transmission fluid. Completely free the pan until it has all run out. Check the drain pan for large pieces of metal shavings. It is normal to spot small pieces of metal shavings; however, bigger ones could indicate a problem and a need to take your vehicle to a Honda Service Center.

  2. Inspect the magnet on the drain plug; if necessary, you can change it. The owner’s manual recommends replacing the aluminum crush washer to prevent leaks. The filter might also require replacement.

  3. Put back the pan and the drain plug. Align the pan according to the bolts and fit them snuggly using a wrench. Tightening the bolts too much can lead to warping and cracking, which can damage the pan. 

  4. Reposition your vehicle back on the ground again and open its hood. You will spot a red dipstick, which is where the transmission fluid port is located. Use a funnel to refill the transmission liquid to avoid any spillage. We also love to use this Automatic Transmissions Kit, which makes it quick and easy to refill it.

  5. Switch the Honda back on and let it run for a few minutes. Confirm that the transmission liquid is at the correct levels using the dipstick. Manufacturers recommend repeating this process up to three times, ensuring the oil has traveled through the transmission hose, valve body, and converter. 

  6. Finish the process by checking for any transmission fluid leaks. You can test if there are any leaks by putting cardboard underneath and leaving the car running for a bit. If there are any leaks, getting back under the hood and correcting them is essential. Possible causes of the leaks could be issues with replacing the pan bolts or pan gasket. If there is damage to the pan, you should replace it entirely.  Check your Honda owner’s manual for more information.

Honda Transmission Fluid Flush

With continued use, metal shavings, dirt, and other contaminants reduce the quality of the transmission liquid, which could result in system failure. The best course of auction is flush of a cars transmission, which includes adding chemical detergents and solvents into the transmission to clean it out. This flush needs to be done through a reputable Honda Service Advisor.

 A transmission flush includes:

  • Removing old and dirty transmission liquid

  • Cleaning the cooler lines with a special solution

  • Replacing the filter

  • Refilling the transmission

A transmission flush will ensure efficient cooling and the clutches, bearings, and gears working optimally. You will also notice that shifts are easier and it eliminates the contaminants and sludges.

Wondering whether to choose a transmission liquid change or transmission flush? Well, it depends; however, a flush cleans the transmission parts more efficiently than a drain. With a fluid drain, some of the old material remains and mixes with the new fluid which can reduce your car’s performance. 

Note that flush will cost more than draining because of the work and special equipment used. Whichever you choose, it is very critical to undergo regular servicing to avoid poor gas mileage, damage, and lousy performance. 

Your Honda requires flushing if it showcases signs such as slipping gears, hard-to-shift gears, vehicle surges, and odd noises from the transmission. 

We advise you to only get transmission flush if it is completely necessary. In the 2018 Honda service briefing, the manufacturer advises against getting flushes if not required. The transmission fluid can get dirty, meaning it’s doing its work; however, the transmission remains clean. If there is any debris in your transmission, a flush might not be the real fix. It is a good indication that the system might fail soon. Among the reasons for this is that the external machines used for the flush can cause damage to other passages inside the transmission resulting in damage; that is, the pressure can go down the wrong passages causing a blockage or damage. 

Therefore, regular flushes can affect the durability and performance of your car and you might need a honda transmission repair. Note that even though draining does not eliminate all the fluid in the transmission, the manufacturers are aware of it and have made their maintenance schedule account for it.  Check your Honda owner’s manual for more information.

Recommended Transmission Fluid for Honda Vehicles

The ATF-DW1 is the transmission fluid dedicated to Honda vehicles. It is suitable because:

  • Guarantees efficient operation even in extreme temperatures

  • Low viscosity to ensure efficient fuel consumption

  • Maintains quality over a long time

  • Low oxidation levels

  • Specially made for Honda vehicles

You can also find transmission fluid for Honda labeled Honda OEM automatic transmission fluid or ATF-Z1. 

Importance of Regular Honda Transmission Fluid Change

Regular transmission fluid changes for Hondas are very important. Here is why:

  • Eliminate transmission issues such as inadequate cooling and lubrication

  • Regular transmissions fluid changes can help your car become more fuel efficient

  • Better transmission and engine output. A well-lubricated engine will travel longer distances with lower fuel. 

  • No need for transmissions replacements and maintenance which can go up to thousands of dollars.

  • Smooth gear shifts so that you can accelerate and decelerate without any problems. Dirty transmission fluid can clog the gears causing them to get stuck.

Signs it’s time to change transmission fluid in a Honda

Transmission fluid is often transparent red however, the color changes when it begins to break down. Darker colours is your first sign that you require fluid change. We advise you to get it checked every time you go in for an engine oil change. Using old transmission liquid can be very damaging to your car therefore it is imperative to be aware of your maintenance schedule. 

If you are using old transmission fluid on your Honda, here are the warning signs to change it as soon as possible!

Old transmission fluid

Good transmission fluid is clear or transparent pink. Therefore, if you see darker red or brown fluid, then it is time for a fluid change. Changing it is important to ensure the health of your transmission system. 

You can check the state of your transmission fluid by assessing its color. For those who own an automatic transmission, you can check by pulling the dipstick from the transmission. Apart from color change, if you notice dirt and debris in the transmission fluid then it’s about time to change it. 

Unusual odor from the transmission

An odd odor is your first indication to change the transmission fluids. A mechanic can help you identify the smell as you can easily confuse it with radiant coolant. 

Gears working inefficiently

Low transmission fluid can cause your vehicle to slip out of gear. That is, you may retain the current speed but you notice your car shifts to a lower or higher gear. Additionally, if you accelerate but the speed remains the same, the transmission could have stayed in gear due to a lack of hydraulic power. Drivers with manual transmission can typically feel that the gear is stuck.

Transmission whine

If your Honda has low transmission fluid, it will whine when in gear. The transmission whine is a result of inadequate lubrication of the internal parts of the transmission. If it whines when you are in reverse, there is an issue with the transmission fluid line or the transmission fluid is dirty. If it happens when you drive forward, then there is an issue in the torque converter, which requires immediate intervention. 

Odd noises from the transmission

Dirty or depleted transmission fluid can result in grinding noises. If you notice any odd noises we recommend you check the state of the fluid and its level. Old fluid cannot lubricate the internal parts properly which results in these noises. 

Also, if your vehicle produces loud noises when idling the transmission fluid could be the problem.

Random surges

If your Honda randomly moves forward it is time to check your transmission system. Dirty transmission fluid is most likely the cause of these random lunges.

Additionally, if you experience delayed acceleration, your transmission fluid might need to get checked.  

Hot engine

The wear and tear in the transmission can add heat to the engine. Additionally, if there is inadequate fluid, it will not flow to the cooling tank to cool properly, leading to high temperatures. If the cooling system of the car is working well, then the transmission fluid could be the issue.  

Manual Versus Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

Generally, automatic transmissions fluids are thin in consistency and have red or green color. On the other side, manual transmission fluids is viscous since it has extra work of lubricating the gearbox and other components. Gear shifting in manual Honda produces a lot of friction, therefore a lubricant with high viscosity is best. Automatic transmissions emit much more heat therefore, the transmission fluid might get depleted a bit faster than in manual transmissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should I change the transmission fluid in a Honda?

For a Honda, the manufacturer recommends a transmission fluid change every 50,000- 100,000 miles. Hondas with a manual transmission may require change sooner than their counterparts. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, just visit the nearest service center and they will help you. 

Also, Hondas that carry heavy loads, go through constant traffic, or operate in extreme weather conditions are considered to be working in higher friction environment, so may require a fluid change sooner. 

It is advisable to routinely change fluid and not leave it for long intervals of time as it can result in system failure and overheating. You will also have a hard time accelerating and shifting gears. Failing to replace transmission fluid can lead to maintenance issues that can cost a lot of money.

Honda transmission fluid change interval is every 100,000 miles or for around 10 years for regular drivers and around 50,000 miles for extreme drivers to ensure your Honda running smoothly. Experts say that flushing or draining a Honda that hasn’t been in service for 20 years would result in more problems. This is because the new transmission acts as a cleaner and therefore ends up with buildup varnish resulting in issues in the valve system. 

Q: How much does it cost to change the transmission fluid in a Honda?

While it depends on the the country you are in, most transmission services should be no more than a few hundred dollars. The price of the fluid can make up a good part of it as.

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