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I just hit 31,000 miles on my Honda Pilot 2016 and the MM popped up for a B1 service which per the manual is to replace the oil and oil filter as well as rotating the tires. At my local dealer this is about $80-90 for this service. Obviously dealers often have their own set of services based on miles they recommend so they pushed for their own service that includes the recommended B1 along with some other checks and a transmission fluid replacement for almost $600.

This seemed wildly steep to me at that number of miles since it really appeared to be the regular B1 service with a $500 transmission fluid change. I've read a few conflicting things where based on usage you may get a MM for the first transmission fluid change at 45k miles and each subsequent change should be at 30k.

Any clarification someone can provide me on what it should be? Additionally, it seems to me that I would save a lot bringing it to another place to get the transmission fluid work done (Pepboys advertises it at under $200).

Thanks!
 

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I just hit 31,000 miles on my Honda Pilot 2016 and the MM popped up for a B1 service which per the manual is to replace the oil and oil filter as well as rotating the tires. At my local dealer this is about $80-90 for this service. Obviously dealers often have their own set of services based on miles they recommend so they pushed for their own service that includes the recommended B1 along with some other checks and a transmission fluid replacement for almost $600.

This seemed wildly steep to me at that number of miles since it really appeared to be the regular B1 service with a $500 transmission fluid change. I've read a few conflicting things where based on usage you may get a MM for the first transmission fluid change at 45k miles and each subsequent change should be at 30k.

Any clarification someone can provide me on what it should be? Additionally, it seems to me that I would save a lot bringing it to another place to get the transmission fluid work done (Pepboys advertises it at under $200).

Thanks!
Just to clarify, You have a 9-speed transmission? I assume since a 4 year old 6-speed would have likely had trouble by now.
 
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You'll never find Honda's logic or programming for how the MM works in the 16+ Pilot's. So any answer that you get is someone's opinion. Honda thinks they're super smart with their MM system and everyone else is below them. Can you tell I don't like it? I may likely never buy another Honda again if they don't include maintenance guides with their vehicles. With that said...

What model do you have? In 2016 , the LX, EX and EX-L had a 6-spd while the Touring and Elite's had a 9-spd. Each of these transmission take different fluid and there is a BIG difference in the cost of it. Don't quote me on these prices, but fluid for the 6-spd is less than $10/qt while fluid for the 9-spd is over $40/qt. The 6-spd takes about 3.5qt for a drain/fill. Not sure about the 9-spd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just to clarify, You have a 9-speed transmission? I assume since a 4 year old 6-speed would have likely had trouble by now.
You'll never find Honda's logic or programming for how the MM works in the 16+ Pilot's. So any answer that you get is someone's opinion. With that said...

What model do you have? In 2016 , the LX, EX and EX-L had a 6-spd while the Touring and Elite's had a 9-spd. Each of these transmission take different fluid and there is a BIG difference in the cost of it. Don't quote me on these prices, but fluid for the 6-spd is less than $10/qt while fluid for the 9-spd is over $40/qt. The 6-spd takes about 3.5qt for a drain/fill. Not sure about the 9-spd.
Thanks yes this is an Elite model which is the 9-speed transmission.
 

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Thanks yes this is an Elite model which is the 9-speed transmission.
If your not into DIYing. I'd take it to Honda for 3.1 Honda Fluid. Some say they got it done for $350. To save some $, You might buy the fluid and ask a oil chang place to drain and fill it for you.
I believe you're supposed to be able to go 50K between ATF changes on a 9-speed but your vehicle is 4 years old. Are you in a lot of stop-and-go traffic or city driving?
 

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It sounds like Honda is trying to compete with Lexus for "most ridiculous service prices", but without the loaner, amenities, or luxury car that comes with it.
 

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That's not an outrageous price for the 9 speed transmission. Under no circumstances would I attempt to DIY it. You can shop around, but expect to pay a pretty penny to have it done. Or don't do it and risk your transmission failing prematurely. Whether it's $300 or $500, it still beats a new/remanufactured transmission.
I barely even like to do a drain and fill on my simple 5-speed transmission when my mechanic charges about $80.
 

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(Pepboys advertises it at under $200).
If pep boys does it for under $200 better make sure it’s the rite fluid. Cause they ain’t making a profit there. Might cost you more in the long run to go cheap. Not saying to go to the dealer but get it done rite. As I did mine myself it about $32 a quart and you’ll need 4 qrts to do a drain and fill.
 

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I just hit 31,000 miles on my Honda Pilot 2016 and the MM popped up for a B1 service which per the manual is to replace the oil and oil filter as well as rotating the tires. At my local dealer this is about $80-90 for this service. Obviously dealers often have their own set of services based on miles they recommend so they pushed for their own service that includes the recommended B1 along with some other checks and a transmission fluid replacement for almost $600.

This seemed wildly steep to me at that number of miles since it really appeared to be the regular B1 service with a $500 transmission fluid change. I've read a few conflicting things where based on usage you may get a MM for the first transmission fluid change at 45k miles and each subsequent change should be at 30k.

Any clarification someone can provide me on what it should be? Additionally, it seems to me that I would save a lot bringing it to another place to get the transmission fluid work done (Pepboys advertises it at under $200).

Thanks!
$500.00 seems really outrageous if it's just an ATF change. I just picked up my Pilot from the dealer today and they only charged me $108.15 + tax, which also included the genuine Honda fluid, crush washer and the ATF conditioner....Maybe the dealer is trying to plus up the charge with a bunch of things you don't really need.
 

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$500.00 seems really outrageous if it's just an ATF change. I just picked up my Pilot from the dealer today and they only charged me $108.15 + tax, which also included the genuine Honda fluid, crush washer and the ATF conditioner....Maybe the dealer is trying to plus up the charge with a bunch of things you don't really need.
You must not have a 9-spd trans. The OP does.
 

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$500.00 seems really outrageous if it's just an ATF change.
Changing the transmission fluid on the 9-speed is more complex than it is on the 6-speed.
  • ATF 3.1 is three times the price of DW-1
  • New drain and fill bolts are specified which are more expensive than sealing washers
  • A Honda scan tool is used to place the vehicle in VSA Maintenance Mode and measure the transmission fluid temperature which has to be between 99-113°F while checking
$500.00 seems really outrageous if it's just an ATF change. I just picked up my Pilot from the dealer today and they only charged me $108.15 + tax, which also included the genuine Honda fluid, crush washer and the ATF conditioner....Maybe the dealer is trying to plus up the charge with a bunch of things you don't really need.
Speaking of "charging for a bunch of things you don't really need"... :)
 

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Changing the transmission fluid on the 9-speed is more complex than it is on the 6-speed.
  • ATF 3.1 is three times the price of DW-1
  • New drain and fill bolts are specified which are more expensive than sealing washers
  • A Honda scan tool is used to place the vehicle in VSA Maintenance Mode and measure the transmission fluid temperature which has to be between 99-113°F while checking
You have to wonder how many techs actually follow the requirements, though. I had a Nissan with a CVT (that never had problems, amazingly) and went in for a transmission fluid change. There were similar guidelines published that made the procedure sound very complex, but when I picked up the car the service guy explained to me that they don't have the time to do all of that, so they just drain it as much as possible and put a like amount back in, replacing something like 30-40% of the fluid.

I guess the point I'm making is, sometimes the dealer charges expert prices, but performs the service just like a complete novice would in their driveway.

By the way, when I asked why they didn't follow their own guidelines, I was told I would have to pay extra for a "flush" to have all of that done. Nowhere in the manual is any requirement or recommendation to flush anything.
 

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You have to wonder how many techs actually follow the requirements, though. I had a Nissan with a CVT (that never had problems, amazingly) and went in for a transmission fluid change. There were similar guidelines published that made the procedure sound very complex, but when I picked up the car the service guy explained to me that they don't have the time to do all of that, so they just drain it as much as possible and put a like amount back in, replacing something like 30-40% of the fluid.

I guess the point I'm making is, sometimes the dealer charges expert prices, but performs the service just like a complete novice would in their driveway.

By the way, when I asked why they didn't follow their own guidelines, I was told I would have to pay extra for a "flush" to have all of that done. Nowhere in the manual is any requirement or recommendation to flush anything.
A partial drain and fill is all that is necessary for routine maintenance. A "flush" is done only to address a specific problem. For Honda, Nissan, and others, a routine transmission fluid replacement involves only about one-third of the fluid.
 

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So now all we need is someone to gunie pig other ATFs for the 9 speed.
140525
 

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You'll never find Honda's logic or programming for how the MM works in the 16+ Pilot's. So any answer that you get is someone's opinion. Honda thinks they're super smart with their MM system and everyone else is below them. Can you tell I don't like it? I may likely never buy another Honda again if they don't include maintenance guides with their vehicles. With that said...

What model do you have? In 2016 , the LX, EX and EX-L had a 6-spd while the Touring and Elite's had a 9-spd. Each of these transmission take different fluid and there is a BIG difference in the cost of it. Don't quote me on these prices, but fluid for the 6-spd is less than $10/qt while fluid for the 9-spd is over $40/qt. The 6-spd takes about 3.5qt for a drain/fill. Not sure about the 9-spd.

I have done probably a dozen DIY automatic trans fluid changes, and this is not technically correct (though you are right that 3.5 quarts will come out of the transmission), this is why the trans fluid capacity is listed around 10-12 quarts (I have not looked it up for this specific vehicle). After the 3.5 quarts, there is still 60-80% of the fluid retained in the torque converter. SO, if you want to do something close to a total fluid change out, you need to perform this task 3 times in a row. I have done the same process on Toyotas, my GM Saab, Subarus, Lexus', Mitsubishis, and others and then driven 50-60k between changes successfully in all vehicles.

Here is my technique...

-Get a clear or semi-clear plastic container (like a milk jug) or if you want to be super-precise (which never hurt with high tech cars) a graduated pitcher made to hold at least 4 quarts and a sharpie.
-Get a standard "used oil" type container of at least 12 quarts.
-Get Honda or Castrol "Import Multi-Vehicle ATF" fluid in a volume that matches your vehicle's described capacity (or whatever fluid matches your manufacturer's trans fluid specs almost always either Dexron III/Mercon or HFM, and pretty much all Asian brands are HFM).
-Read or watch the refill process for your vehicle or find it YouTube (note, this WILL NOT be the same as the factory process, as they have machines specifically for this purpose, but luckily some enterprising person on YouTube or a forum such as this one has done this for you). You may need things like a small fluid pump, a special type of plastic hose, or special tools to open the fill hole on your vehicle.
-Ready all the usual tools you would need for a DIY oil change.

-Lift the vehicle so you can access the trans fluid drain, and fit the clear jug or pitcher under the drain.
-Remove the bolt and catch all (ALL!) the used transmission fluid. Exactly how much comes out will depend on a wide variety of things like how level your vehicle is, how you lifted it (one side? Both sides? Entire thing?) and other factors. So be sure you catch it all, and then mark exactly* how much with the sharpie or record the number from the graduated cylinder. Dump the used fluid into your used oil container. Wipe the old fluid out of your catch-can out (it does not have to be perfect) then refill to your mark with fresh fluid. Put that exact* amount back into the transmission. Seal everything back up (be sure to put the pan nut back and close the fill hole). Drop the vehicle and drive it for at least 5-10 miles to flush the torque converter and mix in the new fluid. You now have 25-30% fresh fluid.

Repeat this exact process 3 times. This ensures that you have diluted any old fluid to 5-10% and effectively have replaced the entire system. This will cost around $100 to do and takes about 1-2 hours, depending on your speed. I have not done this service to the Pilot yet, as I just got it replaced under TSB 17-014, but for the next change, I will use this procedure. I have absolute confidence (based on my personal experience) that it will be just as effective as a factory flush.

I hope this helps anyone who would like to try DIY Trans fluid change 😁

*These modern, high-tech transmissions are SUPER sensitive to overfilling, so it is crucial that you know exactly how much comes out each time, and put that exact same amount back in. An ounce or two is not going to make a difference, but if you get a half-quart under or over, it can cause problems. So do not screw that part up!
 

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I'm guessing that my 2015, and 08 for that matter will take the Valvoline Maxlife ATF, less that $18/GALLON at Wallyworld. EZ to do a drain and fill myself too.
 
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I'm guessing that my 2015, and 08 for that matter will take the Valvoline Maxlife ATF, less that $18/GALLON at Wallyworld. EZ to do a drain and fill myself too.
I have not personally used Maxlife ATF, but if you look at the spec sheet, it should tell you if it is an HFM trans fluid (I imagine it is). I only have experience with factory ATF, and Castrol "Import Multi-Vehicle ATF" which has performed with zero problems for me.
 

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Guys, can anyone help me out: while cruising in 5th gear in cruise control, then slightly applying gas rpm gauge jumping 100rpm or so and then dropping back and car actually accelerating, is that a sign of transimission slipping or normal operation? Car stays in the same gear, say 5th or 6tg
 
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