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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
tempImageSohA2r.jpg l

Looks like my radiator failed and ATF mixed with coolant and frothed up. Drained trans, no pink in there, I think that's the lucky break.

Replacing radiator, hoses, ATF lines, thermostat, etc. Lots of rust but everything is out.

Gonna be hard washing all that pink goop out of the coolant system.
 

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Ah man, you got a plan to clean it out?
 

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You're probably going to have to use some kind of non-foaming degreasing solution (not sure what to suggest here) to attempt to flush the cooling system, drain it, then fill with water, run it some, then drain again. Do this several times until you're getting clean water out. Then drain and refill properly with coolant. Never heard of the transmission cooler in a radiator failing like that.
 

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Dawn dish soap works very well. Fill system with water and a good healthy squeeze or 2 of dawn. A spill free funnel is handy for this operation. Start and let it run with the funnel on the rad, the trans fluid will float up into the funnel as the dawn breaks it up. It going to take awhile, generally takes 2 or 3 hours. Make sure the heat is set to hot so the core shut off is open. After you drain the funnel a few times and aren't getting any more trans fluid coming up into it, take the rad return hose off at the block. Beware as it will be flowing hot water. Stick a garden hose in the funnel, start the engine and let it run. Turn the hose up enough that the funnel is overflowing, run like this for 30 or so minutes. You should now have a clean cooling system. If you open rad drain, and block drain you will get 95% of the water out, and be ready to fill with coolant.
 

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Dawn dish soap works very well. Fill system with water and a good healthy squeeze or 2 of dawn. A spill free funnel is handy for this operation. Start and let it run with the funnel on the rad, the trans fluid will float up into the funnel as the dawn breaks it up. It going to take awhile, generally takes 2 or 3 hours. Make sure the heat is set to hot so the core shut off is open. After you drain the funnel a few times and aren't getting any more trans fluid coming up into it, take the rad return hose off at the block. Beware as it will be flowing hot water. Stick a garden hose in the funnel, start the engine and let it run. Turn the hose up enough that the funnel is overflowing, run like this for 30 or so minutes. You should now have a clean cooling system. If you open rad drain, and block drain you will get 95% of the water out, and be ready to fill with coolant.
The block drain is the plug to the right of the front cat?
 

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Rear of block on the pass side, 12mm head, looks like a big bleeder screw. Not sure on a 16+, haven't needed to find it yet.
Thanks for this. Always heard of one but never knew where.
 
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Wow 🍀 lucky break for you! Definitely would perform multiple ATF flushes to ensure that nasty coolant is removed.
Agree.
When the Transmission pumped all the ATF into the radiator, it eventually would run dry. The milkshake could have backflowd at that time, when pump pressure was lost . Possibly.
I'd run at least one extra bottle of MaxLife ATF through it and inspect the fluid closely.
 

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Never heard of the transmission cooler in a radiator failing like that.
Funny, I've read it, heard of it and I just started this forum and doing better maintenance.

I actually think it happensmostly IIRC to some of the pre 06 radiators?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the advice, comments and encouragement! The milkshake does not seem to have entered the trans. The trans was pretty much out of ATF, but the quart or so that drained looked like standard used ATF! I think I am lucky on that one.

I'm was planning on running that Prestone degreaser and maybe some Cascade dishwashing soap (low sudsing) and do repetitive drains of the coolant. I will also re-read the Dawn detergent advise and perhaps try that. Thanks Slvr7! The Trans I will fill, check function, drive a bit, then flush.
 

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As someone who has probably done over 100 of these, your wasting your time with almost anything but dawn. Drain/fill will take forever and you'll be getting trans fluid in your overflow tank for the next year. If you want to get it all out the first time, a spill free funnel, dawn, and an afternoon will do it.
One a side note, I think we have only had 1 trans not survive a rad/cooler failure, and it had 450k at the time.
 

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As someone who has probably done over 100 of these, your wasting your time with almost anything but dawn. Drain/fill will take forever and you'll be getting trans fluid in your overflow tank for the next year. If you want to get it all out the first time, a spill free funnel, dawn, and an afternoon will do it.
One a side note, I think we have only had 1 trans not survive a rad/cooler failure, and it had 450k at the time.
Perhaps you work at a Honda shop, or an independent?
Please keep sharing your experiences on things like this remedy for remedying the Strawberry milkshake.
I'm sure you have real experiences with many f the other problems and some 'insider fixes' too!
I see that you joined the group 6 months ago. Longer than me, only a few months for me.
Do stay around and 'help' us by sharing your experiences.
Thanks
 

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OP, sorry for your troubles, but if your transmission is salvageable you've been lucky in your misfortune. And thank you for providing this forum with one of its best, most graphic, high definition photos of the legendary strawberry milkshake. :)

Dawn dish soap works very well.
It is what they use on those poor birds that get all gooped up after an oil spill. Ironically, Dawn's secret ingredient is petroleum.

Why Dawn Is The Bird Cleaner Of Choice In Oil Spills









I am one of the hated dealer techs. :cool:
We very much appreciate an experienced tech who shares his knowledge. (y) It's not you we have a bone to pick with as much as your corporate taskmasters.
141898
141899
 
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