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Today, I used around 3 quarts of Honda ATF DW1 fluid that has been on my garage shelf for a couple of years. I drained almost 4 so I got some Valvoline fluid to top it off. I noticed the old stuff had a bit of an astringent smell. The new stuff smelled more like axle grease. Should I have used the old fluid? Does anyone have experience using old fluid? What is the shelf life of this stuff? What I drained looked clear red so I am not sure it even needed changed.
 

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Different flavors of ATF, but as long as they're unopened a couple (2) of years of shelf life should be OK.
 

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Today, I used around 3 quarts of Honda ATF DW1 fluid that has been on my garage shelf for a couple of years. I drained almost 4 so I got some Valvoline fluid to top it off. I noticed the old stuff had a bit of an astringent smell. The new stuff smelled more like axle grease. Should I have used the old fluid? Does anyone have experience using old fluid? What is the shelf life of this stuff? What I drained looked clear red so I am not sure it even needed changed.
All I can say is that Honda recommends changing it at 15,000 miles or sooner if you live in the mountains. When I bought mine a noticed the leasing company changed it at 45,000 miles. Since I had 96,000 I figured it would be a good idea to change it even though the car ran great with no noise. What a mistake that was! I paid the $29 for the Honda rear end oil, drained mine that looked as good as new. I even drained it through a white cloth to see if there was any metal filings or crud. Nothing there. I put the new oil in and did the slow figure eights in the parking lot many times forward and backwards to get the oil into the clutches as the dealer instructed. Now it is noisy when you are slowly making a tight turn like when you come out the driveway then no noise after 20 MPH. A week later I did the oil change again and double check the level, cleanliness and did the figure eights. Drove to the dealer who said I should have never touched it, Honda short service cycles is how they make money. Looks like I have to live with the noise. May do it a 3rd time in the Spring and use the compressor the blow oil into the clutches or up the drain to dislodge any crap.
 
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