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2007 transmission fluid

18812 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  road2cycle
Hello everyone- first post here. I plan to post more often as I have a high mileage pilot (116k) that carts around my wife and kids. I am trying to take a more hands on approach to routine maintenance to get the most life out of the car.

Recently, I checked the transmission fluid and noticed it is dark brown. I honestly am not sure if the fluid has been changed before. We bought with 88k and I suspect my wife probably paid an express oil shot to do a "flush" at some point, but I would think the fluid would be lighter. Currently, it does not smell like it's burning, but more like a gasoline scent. We have experienced no transmission problems that I have noticed.

My question is should I drain and refil the fluid at this point? If so, what type of fluid should I use? This topic seems to be polarizing as I have one hot rod/car guy friend who says not to touch it, but others who say I should definitely change out. The forum responses seem to follow the same pattern.

My biggest concern is wanting to extend life of car for family and confidence in taking it on road trips.

Thanks!
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Honda recommends an ATF change (drain and refill only, no flushing) every 30K miles.
If it looks brown, it should probably be changed. Normal color is red.

Honda recommends using only their ATF (currently DW-1 formula).
Some have reported using Valvoline MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF without any adverse issues.

One cycle of drain/refill only changes about 1/3 of the total fluid, so a "complete" change requires four drain/refill cycles, with some driving in between each cycle. Periodic maintenance specifies just one drain/refill cycle. See how the fluid looks and the car drives after that.

If your Pilot is AWD/4WD, then the front transfer case and rear differential fluids are due for a change now, too.
The front transfer case uses 80W-90 gear oil. 75W-90 supposedly works fine, as well.
Valvoline and others have a suitable product.
The rear differential takes only Honda's specific VTM-4 fluid.

The timing belt is typically due for replacement at 105K miles or after 7 years.
Has it been replaced, yet, on your car?

If you don't have an owners manual, download a copy here: Owner's Manual | 2007 Honda Pilot | Honda Owners Site
Familiarize yourself with the operation of the maintenance minder.
 

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Everything xGS says is spot on. I'd add that while you're at it, you might want to check the coolant, replace the brake fluid if you're due for a brake job, and some folks turkey-baster the power steering fluid out and put in a fresh refill. Especially if you're in a northern clime, check how old the battery is and what condition your tires are in.
 

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While you are at it, if you do end up going for the timing belt, don't forget the waterpump at the same time. And DONT let anyone ever mention the word "FLUSH" when you take your car in for service, a 3-4 times drain and refill with a drive cycle in between on the ATF should put enough clean fluid in the system that it wouldn't need anything else. Honda never recommends a flush. The oil change joints out there always tell you "Well, of course Honda is not gonna recommend a flush, they want the transmissions to go bad so you buy new vehicles sooner", its bull crap. Drain and Refill. I own a pilot with 100K miles and love it...maintain it and it'll always show up for work.
 

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While you are at it, if you do end up going for the timing belt, don't forget the waterpump at the same time. And DONT let anyone ever mention the word "FLUSH" when you take your car in for service, a 3-4 times drain and refill with a drive cycle in between on the ATF should put enough clean fluid in the system that it wouldn't need anything else. Honda never recommends a flush. The oil change joints out there always tell you "Well, of course Honda is not gonna recommend a flush, they want the transmissions to go bad so you buy new vehicles sooner", its bull crap. Drain and Refill. I own a pilot with 100K miles and love it...maintain it and it'll always show up for work.
Any idea why my fluid is darker , trans seems too hot, and fluid smells burnt, AFTER my first change of transmission fluid?

The fluid didn't even look that bad the first time I changed it, or smell.

1st change fluid seemed a little low, so I topped off with a extra half quart (4 total)

2 fluid change it all just seems worse, I'm at a loss. 07 pilot has 148k miles
 

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I have a 2007 Honda Pilot (174,299 miles) that I’ve had since 2019. Unfortunately it sat for 6 month (that’s a whole different story) I never had a problem with it prior and everything was fine once it was back on the road. I use my vehicle for work doing deliveries. About two weeks ago after doing a delivery the “D” started flashing. I pulled over to see what it could possibly mean and one suggestion stated it could be low on transmission fluid. I bought a bottle of transmission fluid (Cas honda Nissan toyota) drove home everything was fine. A couple days later after driving for a while the “D” started blinking again. I just went straight home and parked it. Next day bought more transmission fluid and a bottle of transmission fix. I thought it would help. There is t no sign of any leaks. Drove it throughout the day.. but on my way back home now being late afternoon early evening the A/T temp light came on. The temp gauge wasn’t overheating but it was Smokey under the hood. I pulled over looked it up and sat until my car cooled down. No blinking “d” light. Car sat for about three more days with me turning on the car per day to warm the car and see if the A/T temp went back on or the “d” started blinking again… neither one happened. So the next day went to gas it up and go for a delivery and the “d” started blinking again. No lights on the dashboard. Car drives normal. It doesn’t slip, the dipstick isn’t smelling like burnt; I don’t know if it’s bad transmission fluid being that it wasn’t just for Hondas. Idk whether I should get a diagnosis for it and trust that I’d be given the right information.
 

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Blinking D, should have a trouble code stored in the computer. It’d be good to OBD II scan for the code(s). if there is smoke, something’s getting hot. Are both cooling fans working?
There are aftermarket ATFs out there that are safe to use. Not familiar with what you used.
 

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Did you check the level of the tranny fluid, per instructions in the owners manual, prior to adding more fluid?
What was the reason why you decided to add a bottle of tranny fix?
Typically the flashing D has been an indication of the 3rd and/or 4th gear pressure switches needing to be replaced. The other typical fault is the temperature sensor. As mentioned above, checking the diagnostic codes is a good idea.
 
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