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Valvoline MaxLife ATF helps with conditioning seals. I wouldn't add anything else. VML will not cause the clutch plate to slip . Just the opposite. It be more likely to cause firmer shifts.
 
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So my plan as of now is to have my mechanic top it off with AT-205 after the 3rd D&F. I already bought the bottle. AT-205 rejuvenates seals but I don't think it does anything for slipping. Should I proceed with that, or go with LubeGuard or something like Lucas Transmission Fix? Or both?

And I already bought a new transmission filter.
Personally, I would see how it feels and how the seals are holding up after 3 drain and fills. If the shifts are a little off or you are getting some new weeping at the seals, add your transmission fluid helper of choice. I would only add one though, I don't have experience with any of them so whichever your research tells you is best.
 

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As much as I'm a recognized fanboy of AT-205, as regular members will attest. I'd say do the 3x Valvoline Maxlife ATF D&F first. Maybe Lubeguard after that if needed. Unless your transmission is actually leaking, I'd only try AT-205 as a Hail Mary after that.
 

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2003 Pilot EX-L silver
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Discussion Starter · #144 ·
I just dropped my car off a few hours ago. I'm having the ATF replaced, no helper fluids, just The Valvoline Max life. New filter as well. I put my ATF-205 in the engine oil because why not. He's doing some other work as well, so I should have it in a few days. So now it's just the waiting game. Hoping for the best
 

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Discussion Starter · #146 · (Edited)
I wish I had better news. So for the first hour or so everything was fine. Transmission shifted better, and it wasn’t nearly as jerky when shifting into reverse.

Then I noticed a little slippage. Figured that would be the worst of it. But it got progressively worse. Then the check engine light came on, it got really bad and the D started blinking. I have a Bluetooth scan tool plugged in at all times.

I pulled into a Wawa parking lot and it’s P1750, Clutch Pressure failure. Would some Lucas stop slip fix this or does this require more work now?

Edit:
I also got:
P0740 - Torque Converter Clutch Circuit/Open
P0730: Incorrect gear ratio

Not gonna lie, I regret changing the fluid now. Hoping this can be fixed with some Lucas stop slip or something.
 

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I wish I had better news. So for the first hour or so everything was fine. Transmission shifted better, and it wasn’t nearly as jerky when shifting into reverse.

Then I noticed a little slippage. Figured that would be the worst of it. But it got progressively worse. Then the check engine light came on, it got really bad and the D started blinking. I have a Bluetooth scan tool plugged in at all times.

I pulled into a Wawa parking lot and it’s P1750, Clutch Pressure failure. Would some Lucas stop slip fix this or does this require more work now?

Edit:
I also got:
P0740 - Torque Converter Clutch Circuit/Open
P0730: Incorrect gear ratio

Not gonna lie, I regret changing the fluid now. Hoping this can be fixed with some Lucas stop slip or something.
How many cycles of drain and refill did the shop perform?
Which ATF did they use?
 

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The thing is, I’m about 30 miles from home. I have 2 options. I can call for a tow, or limp home. Would limping home cause more damage?

And I have 2 options if I drive home. One route gets Me into New York State in 1 mile (so I can avoid an interstate tow) but it’s a bridge uphill with no shoulder. (Outerbridge crossing). Plus the speed limits are low.

Another Route gets me into NYS in 11 miles, with shoulders the whole way, but it’s a very high speed road (NJ Turnpike & Goethals bridge).
Trans slippage creates heat and more burn which can result in more slippage thus I would get the Pilot towed home or to the shop.
 

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Sounds like you may have the low pressure pump problem too. You may want to use a higher viscosity ATF. I wouldn't use any treatment. VML itself prevents slipping providing firmer shifts.
 

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** MAJOR UPDATE!!!!!! TEST RESULTS ARE IN!!! **

So the test results are in. I've attached the PDF. I'll also quote their comments:



Iron levels were 332 PPM, whereas the average is 73, which they chalk up to time rather than poor wear. They recommend I change it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Also, I did notice there was a slight RPM surge on upshifts from 2nd to 3rd, and my mechanic didn't like it when he saw it. The car doesn't shake or anything, and someone who isn't paying attention or who doesn't know how cars work probably wouldn't even notice or care. Here is a link to a video I took of it


I find that line of thinking to be a bit fallacious, at least in my case. Lets say I bought one with half the mileage, 140K. I'd likely still need to do a lot of major servicing to it (plugs, timing belt, suspension, valve clearance, transmission fluid, brakes etc). Also, there would still be a fair amount of depreciation left to go. Whereas my Pilot is pretty much at the bottom of the depreciation curve, so it's not something I have to consider. And if anything, the work I've put into it adds value. The last owner, who I know personally, got oil changes every 3000-4000 miles (as opposed to 7500 per the schedule) and the engine is in great shape. Whereas it's rare to find comprehensive maintenance records for cars this old with this high mileage, and they're often on their 3rd or 4th owner by now, who probably care less and less about maintenance. Say what you will about the previous owner never changing the transmission fluid, he put in brand new shocks shortly before I bought it and otherwise took care of it pretty well.

Also, it's not like it's a F10 BMW 550i, whose engines will leak and break down, and be money pits no matter what you do. These engines will take care of you if you take care of them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I really don't forsee any catastrophic and/or expensive repairs/maintnence going forward for the next 100K. It seems to me like anything that will need to be replaced in the future are just wearable parts anyway (filters, tires, shocks, etc). The exception being the transmission. If it goes bust down the road, I can either part it out and make a fair amount back, or get a re manufactured one for a few thousand, and yielding me a car with an engine and transmission in great shape.

I get that my car isn't free, as I indeed incurred costs bringing it up to snuff, but I needed a car anyway, and this was perfect timing for the summer. If I didn't get this car for free, I would have likely bought a more expensive one anyway
Maybe I was misunderstoid ... spending the equivalent of a lower mileage Pilot upgrading the free one with lipstick without first determining the condition of the transmission with the suggested $17 test may have been advice to not get emotionally involved with the car that came too late.

New atf will have a much lower vicosity than old shredded friction material filled atf. Between worn clutch plates and lower hydraulic pressures, friction modifiers may not save the day but you may have nothing to lose trying. Or try a higher viscosity atf.

There may be more than you realize typically in store for replacement in the next 100k miles on a high mileage Pilot that old. If the transmission is toast depreciation isn't a factor selling it with or without new tires, timing belt and suspension parts.
 
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