Sorry for the long rantings.ATTENTION!
JUST TO BE CLEAR TO EVERYONE READING THIS THREAD. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR DW-1 ATF TO MAXLIFE ATF IN YOUR 6-SPEED TRANSMISSION.
This is my own experiment on a waranty-less transmission that was already beginning to have shifting issues.
I understood from the get go, that you weren't trying to push others in to following suit. Your reasoning is the same reason I tried a Maxlife swap in my WARRANTY-less tranny. It was a perfect opportunity since the tranny is being pulled anyway on my dime. I was completely in the dark about Honda AT issues until I experienced my own premature transmission failure with DW-1.
My new honda reamnaufactured transmission will have a 3/36,000 Honda warranty. I plan on using DW-1. I'll be doing D&F's at each oil change. Once that warranty is out, I'll be using a SYNTHETIC Fluid. Because of a whole host of reasons, which I think are beaten to death in a lot of threads.
- These transmissions appear to be suffer a great number of shift quality issues and failures.
- The most oft reported reason for transmission issues on these pilots are heat related premature fluid failure, (Dark ugly fluid, that shouldnt be dark and ugly at 20,000 miles) requiring frequent fluid changes. Literally thread after thread of multiple drain and fills, seems to be the norm and apparently solves most of the problems.
- My personal lack of confidence in Honda's DW-1 fluid and quality control. ie. Some older bottles of DW-1 were marked as full synthetic. Newer bottles do not mention anything at all about the base oil, leading me to believe that it could be straight dinosaur oil. Some people on other Honda boards have sent samples for analysis and cite it as semi-synthetic, yet others listed it as straight dino oil. This all means to me that in a very short period of time, Honda is probably changing formulation. Maybe because they don't have confidence that they got it right. I've asked my Honda dealers parts and service department, and was told it is not synthetic.
- Synthetic trans fluid is inarguably more effective in both high an low temperature applications, and does not break down at extreme transmission operating temperatures.
- Dino oil begins breaking down at about 230F. It carbonizes and bakes itself to the surface. (Could be the reason the valve body on my 22,000 mile tranny is clogged up.) Bad things don't start happening to Synthetic oil bases till north of 400F.
- Torque converter normal operating temperatures run around 200F, and the fluid is expected to operate best at sump temperatures of 175F. Under heavy loads hard acceleration those torque converter temperatures generally go over 300F. (That's where Dino and Semisynthetic fluids start to bake themselves into everything they touch.)
- Honda has always been slow to react to change (sometimes good sometimes bad IMHO.) Apparently the rest of trhe auto industry jumped off the Dino Oil base wagon years ago.
- Honda has always built small light cars, the Pilot is neither small nor light. I'm afraid the engineering department is applying institutional knowledge and what they learned on small light cars to their ideology on transmission fluid.
As a young man back in the early 1980's I worked in a Honda Dealership and was admonished for recommending NON-Honda motor oil. To the best of my knowledge, in the U.S. all of Honda's fluids are NON HONDA, they are only Honda Spec provided to Honda by a supplier who currently has that contract. Over the years Honda has bought fluids from multiple suppliers, and are the middleman in the profit stream supplying that fluid to consumers.
This all of course is my OPINION based on my own personal experience. It is not some endorsement of what you should or should not do.