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Hi Piloteers,

Need your expertise. I own a 2016 Pilot EXL and am at 43K miles. I just got maintenance minder A36. Completely fine about the oil chance and the rear differential fluid change.

I am posting this in regards to code '3' for the transmission fluid change. The service advisor at the stealership had told me when I went in for service around the 34K miles mark to get my transmission fluid changed. I listened to his advice and got the transmission fluid changed even though there was no maintenance minder code that appeared to have the transmission fluid changed.

I am shocked now that I have received a code to change my transmission fluid. Has my transmission fluid gone bad already? Is this the scheduled transmission fluid change interval that I should have followed? When the dealer changed my transmission fluid, did that signal to the cars computer that the transmission fluid was changed?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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Hi Piloteers,

Need your expertise. I own a 2016 Pilot EXL and am at 43K miles. I just got maintenance minder A36. Completely fine about the oil chance and the rear differential fluid change.

I am posting this in regards to code '3' for the transmission fluid change. The service advisor at the stealership had told me when I went in for service around the 34K miles mark to get my transmission fluid changed. I listened to his advice and got the transmission fluid changed even though there was no maintenance minder code that appeared to have the transmission fluid changed.

I am shocked now that I have received a code to change my transmission fluid. Has my transmission fluid gone bad already? Is this the scheduled transmission fluid change interval that I should have followed? When the dealer changed my transmission fluid, did that signal to the cars computer that the transmission fluid was changed?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
I had black fluid at 19k miles due to the transmission slipping. I wouldn't discourage frequent ATF changes.
If you ever notice erratic behavior of your rpm gauge while your cruise control is set, it's a sign your transmission is slipping. Have you personally looked at your fluid?
 

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2016 EXL AWD Nav with sensing , 2008 Corolla SE
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Check the fluid on the dipstick. If it is dark or black it's time for a fluid change. The computer does not check the condition of the fluid.
 

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The maintenance minder system is pretty "dumb" IMO. The logic is all based off oil changes, not on sophisticated sensor data like it would seem. Changing every 30K miles is a pretty good rule of thumb for Hondas, as their transmissions seem to be sensitive to old fluid, and the OEM fluid breaks down pretty quickly in hot weather or stop and go driving. Lots of owners here change out 3 qts of transmission fluid every other oil change or so. Check the dipstick regularly for color, and don't assume maintenance minder will to tell you what services are due correctly.

(Dealer may have just been upselling you, but in truth probably did you a favor.)

See this thread for better maintenance info: Maintenance Minder - Updated
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Given that I changed the transmission fluid already at 34K miles, do I need to change it again now at 43K miles? This is the first time I have received the maintenance minder to change it.
 

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Given that I changed the transmission fluid already at 34K miles, do I need to change it again now at 43K miles? This is the first time I have received the maintenance minder to change it.
I'd get a white cloth and check the fluid color.
 

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With all this talk about fluid, I thought I'd better check mine as it has been 3k miles since I did the 3x flush. It was comforting to see that it is still a nice red colour and didn't have a bad smell.
 

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I had black fluid at 19k miles due to the transmission slipping
You keep telling this to everyone, yet you bought a wreaked veh, and don't know the history. Not saying that I don't agree with changing trans fluid every 30k, but your experience isn't normal. We go through 2-3 55 gallon drums of fluid weekly, I have yet to see fluid that bad at that low of miles unless the veh. was abused.
 

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You keep telling this to everyone, yet you bought a wreaked veh, and don't know the history. Not saying that I don't agree with changing trans fluid every 30k, but your experience isn't normal. We go through 2-3 55 gallon drums of fluid weekly, I have yet to see fluid that bad at that low of miles unless the veh. was abused.
The vehicle had 19k miles worth of history. Lol. The fluid was black. I entered the VIN into Honda's website and found when the vehicle was bought and of all things, when it was pinstriped, lol. Thats the history. I'm not the only one who found black DW-1 ATF syrup in their transmission. Is 19k miles and 23 months to long for an ATF change?
 

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Do you know how the veh was driven, hours it spent idiling, towing, passes at the drag strip, was the fluid replaced with the incorrect fluid prior to you owning it? All I'm saying is you don't know, and your advising on unknown information.
 

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Do you know how the veh was driven, hours it spent idiling, towing, passes at the drag strip, was the fluid replaced with the incorrect fluid prior to you owning it?
True, I don't know any more than anyone who buys from a used car lot. It did not have a tow hitch. I don't believe the fluid had ever been change because of its black color. It also had a very musty old smell (not burned). As a Honda tech, you probably know the smell. My best theory, the vehicle endured almost 2 years and 2 summers of Houston traffic, 30-40 miles a day.
All I'm saying is you don't know, and your advising on unknown information.
I feel I have enough info with my experience with this vehicle and with what others have experienced. Others have had the black fluid with the erratic rpm gauge. I'm confident in saying that the VCM and old DW-1 was the cause of the transmission having moderate slipping issues. After changing the ATF 4 times, the slipping was changed to just this erratic behavior of the rpm gauge. Most noticeable while in cruise. When I disabled the VCM, it was cured.
 

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Fyi, if you didn't have a slip dtc in the tcm your trans probably wasn't slipping. The tcm monitors shaft and turbine speeds closely, takes very little slip to set and incorrect gear ratio code( Honda way of saying slipping).
You may be correct, your more intense heat might be why yours looked worse then what I see here.
 

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Fyi, if you didn't have a slip dtc in the tcm your trans probably wasn't slipping. The tcm monitors shaft and turbine speeds closely, takes very little slip to set and incorrect gear ratio code( Honda way of saying slipping).
You may be correct, your more intense heat might be why yours looked worse then what I see here.
How is the erratic rpm gauge fixed by disabling the VCM? You could feel it, not just see it.
 

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Vcm effects tq converter operation as well as engine operation. Generally I data log both the engine and trans, then graph the relevant info. During the surging in vcm operation you will see 1-3 cylinders turning on and off, and the tq converter slip command varying slip ratio. You are feeling/seeing one or both of these effects. Most of the time though it's caused by the converter grabbing, not slipping smoothly. Converters aren't like the old days of being locked or not, they are allowed to slip up to 30% to dampen the driver from feeling the shut down cylinders. There is a software update to help address this issue.
 

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Vcm effects tq converter operation as well as engine operation. Generally I data log both the engine and trans, then graph the relevant info. During the surging in vcm operation you will see 1-3 cylinders turning on and off, and the tq converter slip command varying slip ratio. You are feeling/seeing one or both of these effects. Most of the time though it's caused by the converter grabbing, not slipping smoothly. Converters aren't like the old days of being locked or not, they are allowed to slip up to 30% to dampen the driver from feeling the shut down cylinders. There is a software update to help address this issue.
Thank you for this info. I think this grabbing is the source of my fluid turning black.
Someone posted the TSB that I think you speak of. My Pilot was made May / 17 . After this TSB. So I assumed it would have had the updated software.
 

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Thank you for this info. I think this grabbing is the source of my fluid turning black.
Someone posted the TSB that I think you speak of. My Pilot was made May / 17 . After this TSB. So I assumed it would have had the updated software.
You should try driving with the muzzler disabled if it's easy to disconnect. Also I have a question. Does disabling the VCM make a noticeable difference when you take your foot off the gas and start coasting? I drove mine in "S" mode, and it was super jerky when I took my foot off the gas, but it was completely smooth when I was in "D". I also noticed that the car was slowing down much faster in "S" mode than "D". I assume that "S" mode turns off the VCM and "D" leaves it on. Right?
 

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You should try driving with the muzzler disabled if it's easy to disconnect. Also I have a question. Does disabling the VCM make a noticeable difference when you take your foot off the gas and start coasting? I drove mine in "S" mode, and it was super jerky when I took my foot off the gas, but it was completely smooth when I was in "D". I also noticed that the car was slowing down much faster in "S" mode than "D". I assume that "S" mode turns off the VCM and "D" leaves it on. Right?
I'm assuming S mode is a Touring or Elite feature. I'm not the person to ask on this feature.
With S-VCM my 2017 Pilot EX-L doesn't jerk at all letting off the gas.
 

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I'm assuming S mode is a Touring or Elite feature. I'm not the person to ask on this feature.
With S-VCM my 2017 Pilot EX-L doesn't jerk at all letting off the gas.
But do you notice that it slows down much more when coasting between vcm off vs and vcm on? It could just be the transmission in a lower gear which slowed it down much more and caused a jerk, but if I had a guess, it would be that the vcm lets the car coast better. It’s fine if you don’t remember tho lol.
 

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But do you notice that it slows down much more when coasting between vcm off vs and vcm on? It could just be the transmission in a lower gear which slowed it down much more and caused a jerk, but if I had a guess, it would be that the vcm lets the car coast better. It’s fine if you don’t remember tho lol.
Not at all.
I know the feeling your speaking of. I grew up driving a manual transmission.
Yes, A lower gear would cause this.
 
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