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I purchased an 08 Pilot in April. It had lots of maintenance records and I’ve been pleased with the car. Ever since I bought it, the transmission will wind when accelerating under 30 MPH mostly when cold. It’s a little sluggish when shifting. Sometimes delayed and sometimes not the smoothest. I assumed it’s just a Honda transmission (they aren’t my favorite). The transmission has been serviced, and I had it drained and filled once in June. I can’t seem to shake my nerves that somethings wrong with the transmission. I know 08s didn’t have many failures but 179,000 miles on any car definitely causes wear. I’m about to take the car with me to college and obviously a $4,000 bill would be rather devastating (to a student).
So if anyone could give me some insight, advice or just calm my nerves I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
 

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You might try a 3x drain and fill so that you replace most of the old fluid. Drive a few miles in between each drain and fill. Personally I would just use the OEM fluid, but others have had good luck with Valvoline.
 

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By all means do a couple more drain and fills. IMHO, the Valvoline Maxlife synthetic ATF is a good choice, especially when you price the Honda fluid. Fresh fluid may improve shifts. It did on my 2003.
 

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+1 for Maxlife.

A few people allege that Honda DW1 degrades very quickly and causes problems itself. IDK enough but I do know I prefer the way Maxlife shifts.

Heard good things about Red Line.
 

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I don't know about your region, but for a while Valvoline Maxlife ATF was in short supply. Recently, however, I've been able to find it regularly in stock on the shelves of most Walmarts I've checked. I did stock up (in fact if I'm being honest, hoard) in case the supply goes USSR toilet paper again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone for your feedback. I will do a few drain and fills this weekend. What I'm hearing is that what I am experiencing is typical with older fluid and an older car in general?
 

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When anyone changes ATF, only about a third of the current fill drains out. So even if the original owner did the 15 and 30k changes, a good amount of the original ATF fill is still present at the 60k change.

At least check the ATF level. BTW, as a new to you car, check all fluid levels and condition. Its a great College car-thats the life my 05 lives.
 

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Thank you everyone for your feedback. I will do a few drain and fills this weekend. What I'm hearing is that what I am experiencing is typical with older fluid and an older car in general?
Seems to be typical of the Honda 5 speed auto transmission. Honda's tranny relies on solenoid valves to control the internal spool valves, all computer controlled and capable of smooth, well modulated shifts--when it works right. Fresh clean ATF is especially important for this design.
 

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I too am having a similar problem, mainly between 4th and 5th gears. A ton of research suggests to clean or replace the shift solenoids A,B,and C. Seems relatively easy for the home mechanic.Thoughts anyone?
 
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