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I've done one drain-and-fill session, and will do at least two more to make sure I've flushed most of the old black fluid that's in there now. At what point should I change the filter? If I put a new filter in now, then it'll have all that mucky old fluid running through it until I'm finished with all the drain and fills. I figure I need to drive at least a little bit in between swaps to make sure the old mixes thoroughly with the new. So should I wait till the last drain and fill and then put the new filter on?
 

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Ideal would be each time :) but if that's too onerous then I'd do it the last time.
 

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I’d change the filter after the last drain, before the final fill. That might help reduce spillage.
 

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I've never messed around with the fill plug, on the Pilot or the Ody.
I use a Flotool 10704. I slip out the stopper on the end of the tube and it's a near perfect fit over the dip stick tube. I have put on a tapered coil spring over the tube and push that down for a tighter fit on the dipstick tube. A spring loaded hose clamp could do the same, but the spring trick is just quicker, easier to reach.
A qt. drains pretty quick using this.
 

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Remember folks, there's a poll you can vote in. :)

 

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I took it for a drive today, the first time since the first drain-and-fill. The old fluid was very black and hadn't had any service done in a couple years and about 20k miles, according to the previous owner's service records. I used 3.3 quarts of Honda DW-1. I never really noticed the transmission shifting between gears before, so maybe I just wan't paying attention before, but today I could definitely feel hesitation between shifting gears on the way up, and little revs when shifting down during decelerations. I don't remember the transmission feeling this clunky before. Should I drive it a little further, then do another round of drain-and-fill, or should I stop with the DW-1 and switch to Valvoline Maxlife?
 

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I took it for a drive today, the first time since the first drain-and-fill. The old fluid was very black and hadn't had any service done in a couple years and about 20k miles, according to the previous owner's service records. I used 3.3 quarts of Honda DW-1. I never really noticed the transmission shifting between gears before, so maybe I just wan't paying attention before, but today I could definitely feel hesitation between shifting gears on the way up, and little revs when shifting down during decelerations. I don't remember the transmission feeling this clunky before. Should I drive it a little further, then do another round of drain-and-fill, or should I stop with the DW-1 and switch to Valvoline Maxlife?
I would switch just simply based on your diagnosis.
Then it depends on how much your willing to spend. Wal-Mart is just under $18 for a gallon of MaxLife. As with all my Honda's, they get a 3 time drain, fill and drive if they are bought used. That costs me $54 + tax. That gets 80% of the old fluid out. If you did a 4th it gets you to 90%. It will not hurt your transmission to drive with one service with MaxLife if you don't want to do it all at once. But I would want all that black fluid out. You will see a change in your transmissions performance.
Be sure to jack up your rear drivers side to remove an extra .4 if you let it drip until it stops. You should be able to fill 3.8 quarts.
 

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I had the same issue on my brother's Pilot a couple weeks ago. The ATF fill bolt was torqued way too tight by the last shop we took it to, and accidentally stripped it with a socket + extenders.

Solution: took it to a shop, they had no issue getting it off with an impact driver. 10 minutes of shop time. $20 and I was out of there. Ordered a new ATF fill bolt (~$15), installed it, and made sure not to overtighten.

--Chris N.
 

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You will be surprised how tight that bolt gets even when you torque it to the correct value. 15k miles later and you still have to be Heman to get it to budge.
 

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Thanks everyone! I was able to get it loose, I used multiple extensions.
A side note, I went to the Honda dealership and asked for 4 qts of DW
-1. They rang me up and after I paid he handed me a crush washer. I looked at the invoice and I was charged $6 for that darn thing. Last time I did a drain and fill I didn’t replace that. Gah that made me mad.
Japan's Premier Lubricant Company Idemitsu 5-quart jug "H Plus" ATF will cost a little less, its OE factory fill and full synthetic! Available at Amazon or eBay. 🚗
 

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Japan's Premier Lubricant Company Idemitsu 5-quart jug "H Plus" ATF will cost a little less, its OE factory fill and full synthetic! Available at Amazon or eBay. 🚗
Also many people complain about how the factory fluid performs within a short amount of mileage... Don't hear that complaint as often with Maxlife. I've been on plenty of Honda forums over the years and never seen anyone who really likes the DW-1 OEM fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Japan's Premier Lubricant Company Idemitsu 5-quart jug "H Plus" ATF will cost a little less, its OE factory fill and full synthetic! Available at Amazon or eBay. 🚗
Well I already have the Honda PS fluid. I don't really need to save that money so I'll just stick with Honda brand.
 

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Please post proof of this product being full synthetic.
Thank you.

My 2004 EX-l with 167K miles began shifting into neutral (from D4 or D3) when coasting to a stop or slowing down under 10PMH - after doing 1 drain and fill with "Castrol Transmaxx" High Mileage ATF. Last ATF service was a "Transmission Flush" at the nearby Honda dealer at 44K miles - somewhere in 2008.
I immediately thought my Pilot will eventually get used to this "Highly Advanced" fluid from a major oil lubricant company. Castrol did recommend their fluid for transmission requiring ATF-Z1. Well, weeks went on by and eventually I still found myself shifting into 2nd gear to get going! I decided to go to my local Honda dealer and purchase 5 quarts of the OEM fluid they had on the shelves. I did a "drain and fill" with 4.3 quarts I purchased but, I was still doing the 2nd gear downshifting when approaching a stop. I began to do some research from other Honda owners which they reported these transmissions were 'WEAK" after 150K miles. I said, "never again will I buy a Honda SUV!
Decided to do more research and someone with a Honda on YouTube mentioned that the main cause for this symptom was "early failure of the low one way clutch sprag and/or the inner sprag race". Transmissions with a BVGA code would qualify for this premature failure. more info at: www.atra.com
After a couple of weeks of finding out who made Honda OEM fluid, another Honda owner mentioned this company called: Idemitsu Lubricants of Japan. I immediately went on the USA website and found the right ATF fluid for my Pilot. That same evening, I ordered a 5-quart jug of "H-Plus" from Amazon for less than the fluid I purchased at the Honda dealer! As soon as it arrived, I did a 'drain and fill" with the new fluid using 4.2 quarts approximately. I also replaced 3rd and 4th gear solenoids which were working fine as well as the two linear solenoids which sit at the top and the front of the transmission housing. I said" Maybe the solenoids don't like Castrol transmaxx ATF fluid".
After 1 day of city and highway driving, the issue Stopped!!! I said to myself: this fluid has erased a $3,000 invoice which I had coming my way! It has been WELL OVER a month now and the transmission feels stronger at initial movement as well all other gear shifts are almost seamless! NO MORE CRUISING LOOKING FOR A PARKING SPOT AT THE GROCERY STORE IN 2ND GEAR! I do have a little shudder at 60MPH which is less than before but I CAN LIVE WITH IT FOR NOW!
If Idemitsu's ATF fluid is not synthetic, their proprietary advanced chemistries are as close to “synthetic” as you are going to get! I could not be happier and be more restful at night knowing that a $3K rebuilt transmission IS NOT on my wallet’s horizon! :)
 

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I also replaced 3rd and 4th gear solenoids which were working fine as well as the two linear solenoids which sit at the top and the front of the transmission housing.
Glad it worked for you. I would credit the above at least as much. But the important thing is that your problem is solved. (y)
 
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