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Reading another thread prompted me to post this, but I figured I’d put it in the same year as my Pilot.
I am planning to do the 3rd and last drain and fill (for a while) since purchasing my 2008 Pilot in April of last year.

I have frequently heard on this and other forums about the Honda DW-1 vs. Valvoline Maxlife debate and it’s got me a bit intrigued. Not because of the cost do DW-1 but because I think my transmission (and Honda transmissions in general) could perform a little better.
I have always understood that you should only use Honda ATF, but during this next drain and fill I really want to use the Valvoline Maxlife. My question is, will it be bad to be running 2 types of fluid in my car? I’d like to not do any more drain and fills until the next 30,000 miles or so. If switching fluids is going to require me to do a full swap of everything (3 d&fs) then I’ll pass this time. If anybody could give me their opinion on this I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
 

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I tried out the maxlife ..it does make the trans shift smoother BUT i found out that even though its great stuff I ended up seeing shorter life span intervals meaning it does not last as long as the OEM stuff. With my pilots, the tell tale sign is when you start getting the hard shift / clunk i would swap out the fluid and it goes away..I had to do the full 3 swap to make it work. Not knocking it since it does make the trans run smoother all i found is when after the constant NY style driving it requires you to swap it out quicker.
 
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I have no problem using MaxLife given the good reports of many users here, but I'd only consider switching to it by doing 4 drain/fill operations to change out 90% of the fluid, per Honda's own "flush" service guidance. I would not plan for a long service interval with a partial mix of two fluids, that's just my opinion. It isnt based on any real data.
 
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If you only do one D&F, you'll only get a fraction of whatever benefits MaxLife ATF may provide. If you don't want to do 3 or 4 D&Fs right away, you could do what I did and do one along with every upcoming 3 or 4 oil changes. More gradual, and worked fine for me. After that, I've been doing the Maxlife ATF D&F every 2 or 3 oil changes, for cheap transmission insurance, and she's been shifting beautifully ever since.
 

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Our PIlot has had 2 D&F's with Maxlife... third should be next year. It likes the fluid and we like it, no need to change anything.

The '08 Sonata also gets Maxlife and likes it. It's had 3 or 4 drain and fills by now.

The Maxlife didn't specifically say it was good for Dex VI and there are a couple Dex VI specific full synthetic options so I use that fluid on the Traverse.
 
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Soooooo......Exactly what is a drain and fill?

Trans
Oil
Diff change at same time?
Drain/Fill is the proper method of changing the Honda transmission fluid. Meaning, no flush, no pump, no pressurized machines.

 
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Soooooo......Exactly what is a drain and fill?

Trans
Oil
Diff change at same time?
We're talking about ATF here, but you do the same with oil and VTM-4 fluids at their recommended intervals.
 

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Drain/Fill is the proper method of changing the Honda transmission fluid. Meaning, no flush, no pump, no pressurized machines.

The only thing I would consider other than a drain and fill on pretty much any transmission is a total fluid replacement by pulling the supply and return line to the transmission cooler. You get 3-5 quarts more than the capacity of your vehicle, fill a bucket, place a rubber hose over the return line and into the bucket, place another hose into an empty container from the supply line. Let the vehicle run until you get new fluid dumping into the bucket. Hook everything back up, check your fluid level and top off/suck out as needed. It sounds complicated but it's not too bad, I'd only consider that if I was starting to get some weird behavior to try and salvage the transmission.
 

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Gotcha. Yeah, its involved, but with time and patience, just about everything can be tackled. I'm good though, my pilot runs real well, just wanted to get more lingo and learn better maintenance techniques.

Thanks for all the help and videos.

YouTube has become one of my most important tools
 

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The only thing I would consider other than a drain and fill on pretty much any transmission is a total fluid replacement by pulling the supply and return line to the transmission cooler. You get 3-5 quarts more than the capacity of your vehicle, fill a bucket, place a rubber hose over the return line and into the bucket, place another hose into an empty container from the supply line. Let the vehicle run until you get new fluid dumping into the bucket. Hook everything back up, check your fluid level and top off/suck out as needed. It sounds complicated but it's not too bad, I'd only consider that if I was starting to get some weird behavior to try and salvage the transmission.
That's exactly how I did it on the F150. Except you don't use a supply line... you drop the pan, change the filter (and pan gasket if needed), clean the pan, then fill the sump to capacity (4 quarts) then crank the engine at idle in park and the built in pump will circulate fluid which pumps out the fluid out of the return line which you disconnected at the tranny. I would not use a supply line and depend on vacuum to draw in the fluid at the same rate needed to supply. I just fill the sump with 4 quarts, crank the engine until 4 quarts is pumped out into a measuring bucket, and repeat. 14 quart capacity and I run 16 quarts through it.

Of course, none of that is applicable to this vehicle. I suppose as long as the circulation pump runs at idle at any fluid temperature, then you could..... but drain/fill is just too damned easy on this tranny to mess with all that.
 

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The Maxlife didn't specifically say it was good for Dex VI and there are a couple Dex VI specific full synthetic options so I use that fluid on the Traverse.
Valvoline (now) recommends MaxLife ATF for GM Dexron VI applications.
Go here and click on the "PI SHEET" link:
 

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That's exactly how I did it on the F150. Except you don't use a supply line... you drop the pan, change the filter (and pan gasket if needed), clean the pan, then fill the sump to capacity (4 quarts) then crank the engine at idle in park and the built in pump will circulate fluid which pumps out the fluid out of the return line which you disconnected at the tranny. I would not use a supply line and depend on vacuum to draw in the fluid at the same rate needed to supply. I just fill the sump with 4 quarts, crank the engine until 4 quarts is pumped out into a measuring bucket, and repeat. 14 quart capacity and I run 16 quarts through it.

Of course, none of that is applicable to this vehicle. I suppose as long as the circulation pump runs at idle at any fluid temperature, then you could..... but drain/fill is just too damned easy on this tranny to mess with all that.
Yea different ways to skin that cat for sure. As long as the cat is getting skinned I am supportive of it!

Valvoline (now) recommends MaxLife ATF for GM Dexron VI applications.
Go here and click on the "PI SHEET" link:
I saw that on the newer bottles when I was researching but I had 8 quarts that had an older label that didn't mention it. It wasn't worth the risk at the time since full synthetic Dex VI was readily available but I may switch to using MaxLife on all of the vehicles when I finish of the Dex VI. Thanks for the link!
 

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Reading another thread prompted me to post this, but I figured I’d put it in the same year as my Pilot.
I am planning to do the 3rd and last drain and fill (for a while) since purchasing my 2008 Pilot in April of last year.

I have frequently heard on this and other forums about the Honda DW-1 vs. Valvoline Maxlife debate and it’s got me a bit intrigued. Not because of the cost do DW-1 but because I think my transmission (and Honda transmissions in general) could perform a little better.
I have always understood that you should only use Honda ATF, but during this next drain and fill I really want to use the Valvoline Maxlife. My question is, will it be bad to be running 2 types of fluid in my car? I’d like to not do any more drain and fills until the next 30,000 miles or so. If switching fluids is going to require me to do a full swap of everything (3 d&fs) then I’ll pass this time. If anybody could give me their opinion on this I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
Do a Drain & Fill with MaxLife at least twice to get started. Leaving some old in the transmission won't hurt a thing.
I tried out the maxlife ..it does make the trans shift smoother BUT i found out that even though its great stuff I ended up seeing shorter life span intervals meaning it does not last as long as the OEM stuff. With my pilots, the tell tale sign is when you start getting the hard shift / clunk i would swap out the fluid and it goes away..I had to do the full 3 swap to make it work. Not knocking it since it does make the trans run smoother all i found is when after the constant NY style driving it requires you to swap it out quicker.
I believe that the longevity of MaxLife is better than DW-1. I drain and fill my 2012 Crosstour V6 2WD every 30k miles and it's still red and smells new. I have 225k miles on it and have been using MaxLife for about 122k. If I jack the rear driver's side up, I can drain about 3.8qts out of it. Drain and fill every 30k has been adequate protection with no issues. I just hope the supposed lifetime filter that Honda hid away between the engine and bell housing truly is lifetime.
 
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