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So it is. :)

They claim the use of VML comes with the risk of loss of warranty coverage. Is that really true?

What I'd really love would be a Project Farm comparison.
Just like when he does multiple test with engine oil, using new out of the box lawn mowers..., I'm sure if he was sent 2 identical Pilots and the ATF, he'd run the test for us. Maybe loan him a couple of Pilots? 馃槒
 
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They claim the use of VML comes with the risk of loss of warranty coverage. Is that really true?
For MY 2003, the owner's manual stated:
"Always use Honda ATF-Z1 (Automatic Transmission Fluid). If it is not available, you may use a DEXRON III automatic transmission fluid as a temporary replacement. However, continued use can affect shift quality. Have the transmission flushed and refilled with Honda ATF-Z1 as soon as it is convenient.
(How temporary is "temporary" and how soon is "as it is convenient"?

To thoroughly flush the transmission, the technician should drain and refill it with Honda ATF-Z1 (Automatic Transmission Fluid), then drive the vehicle a short distance. Do this three times. Then drain and refill the transmission a final time."
(Note that's a total of four drains and refills - not three, as some like to recommend.)
DW-1 is Honda's replacement for Z1.

For MY 2015, the owner's manual stated:
"Specified fluid: Honda ATF DW-1 (automatic transmission fluid).
NOTICE: Do not mix Honda ATF DW-1 with other transmission fluids. Using a transmission fluid other than Honda ATF DW-1 may adversely affect the operation and durability of your vehicle's transmission, and damage the transmission. Any damage caused by using a transmission fluid that is not equivalent to Honda ATF DW-1 is not covered by Honda's new vehicle warranty."

So, does that suggest if the non-OEM ATF manufacturer claims that their product is "equivalent to DW-1" AND you do a four D&F "flush" to remove (almost all) of the DW-1. then you can you use a non-OEM ATF?
Interpret the information Honda provides as you see fit.
 

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Interpret the information Honda provides as you see fit.
That's exactly what I've done. Six years later, better than ever. Granted, data sampling of one: me. :)
 

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For $40 a year, I'll use the DW-1.
After having aftermarket fluid crap out my power steering pump, I'd rather spend extra money on fluid than take a chance on damaging a $3000 transmission.

But I'm just an ASE Master Mechanic so what do I know? ;)
 

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For one thing, you should know that a Pilot does require OEM Honda PSF.

1st Gen Pilot Fluids -- Offficial and Real World

But I feel your pain, and I respect your right to choose. Especially if you think you can get a new transmission swapped in for only $3000.
Yes, I'm aware of the fluid spec. It had the wrong PSF in it when I bought it. I'm running OEM now.

$3000 is the cost of a reman trans. I can do the work myself. That's why I said "$3000 transmission" and not "$3000 transmission replacement job". And $40 a year on DW-1 is still cheap insurance to not have to mess with it.
 

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I'd rather spend extra money on fluid than take a chance on damaging a $3000 transmission.
18+ year tech myself. Ive NEVER seen a failure in all that time because of a brand of fluid unless it was just plain not compatible (like the PS fluid or VTM-4).
 

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The best cheap insurance for the Achilles' heel of our Pilots -- the transmission -- is to change the ATF regularly, whether you go with OEM or VML. It might be overkill, but I do a VML drain & fill every second oil change. Been doing it for six years now, and my transmission loves me back.
 

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For $40 a year, I'll use the DW-1.
After having aftermarket fluid crap out my power steering pump, I'd rather spend extra money on fluid than take a chance on damaging a $3000 transmission.

But I'm just an ASE Master Mechanic so what do I know? ;)
Yes, I'm aware of the fluid spec. It had the wrong PSF in it when I bought it. I'm running OEM now.

$3000 is the cost of a reman trans. I can do the work myself. That's why I said "$3000 transmission" and not "$3000 transmission replacement job". And $40 a year on DW-1 is still cheap insurance to not have to mess with it.
My reply to your post is not to try and convince you to change to an aftermarket ATF. Just know that as we speak millions of miles are being logged by vehicles that are using aftermarket ATFs and in many cases with better results than non full synthetic OEM ATF such as DW-1. We're proving it daily that an aftermarket ATF such as Full Synthetic Valvoline MaxLife will not destroy your $3000 transmission. So my reply is to stop the fear mongering by certified mechanics. Many mechanics will alway revert to OEM ATF to avoid confrontation with the vehicle owner. "I used what the manufacturer recommended. Sorry, but you need a new transmission." I know the game. A warranty on a rebuilt transmission, taking the monkey off your back is what a shop owner seaks.
 

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I'm not trying to convince anyone to NOT use whatever fluid they want. But here's the ingredients of the "full synthetic" MaxLife multivehicle ATF. If it was truly FULL synthetic, it wouldn't be $18 a gallon.

View attachment 153505
Of course VML is made from petroleum. So are full synthetic engine oils. VML is not a semi blend like DW-1.
 

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You must be using the wrong repair shops if you keep getting "gamed".
Believe me when I tell you that the same game occurs at a dealership. Probably more. They want you to trade in.
 

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Of course VML is made from petroleum. So are full synthetic engine oils. VML is not a semi blend like DW-1.
And unless you live in the arctic and need to worry about pour point, that's mostly irrelevant for a transmission. This is not an engine with its nasty contaminants like acidic water, combustion by-products and ethanol dilution. It's a sealed system with the only contaminants being clutch material. If Honda says that DW-1 is best at minimizing that and prolonging the life of my transmission, then there's no reason to not use it. But again... my vehicle, my opinion. IDGAF what you or anyone else uses in their own vehicles. Hondas are known to be finicky about fluids, so I'll just use the recommended ones. I use Honda fluid in the rear diff, too. I'm sure you probably have a cheaper alternative to that, as well... but I'm still gonna use Honda fluid.

If you want to feel better about taking risks and saving a few dollars a year, have at it and best of luck. (y)
 

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I'm not trying to convince anyone to NOT use whatever fluid they want. But here's the ingredients of the "full synthetic" MaxLife multivehicle ATF. If it was truly FULL synthetic, it wouldn't be $18 a gallon.
Just because there鈥檚 petroleum listed in the ingredients doesn鈥檛 mean it鈥檚 not a synthetic. It comes down to hydrocracked base oils vs a PAOs. There鈥檚 nothing wrong with either and both can be considered full synthetic depending on the makeup. I haven鈥檛 dived too far into Valvoline鈥檚 makeup but the only advantage comes from the life you can get out of them and tolerance to extreme temperatures. The actually additives and friction modifiers are significantly more important than the base oil imho. Regardless if one picks Honda or Valvoline, the key is frequent changes.
 

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One of the things people don鈥檛 debate on this forum is which fluid to use for the VTM-4. Nobody on here, as far as I can recall, has recommended non-OEM for that, and those who have unintentionally used non-OEM have quickly drained and filled with the OEM fluid.
 

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Just because there鈥檚 petroleum listed in the ingredients doesn鈥檛 mean it鈥檚 not a synthetic.
But, the individual who keeps pushing VML on this forum wants us to believe that, because it's full synthetic, it doesn't contain petroleum.
 
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