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I recently had my transmission fluid changed by Valvoline Instant Oil Change. They had advised me in advance that they had the Honda fluid (I was skeptical and asked 3 times), but after they finished the job I found them to have used their own Valvoline MaxLife fluid with the statement that it had been approved for use by Honda. Has anyone had any experience with this fluid?

I know the Valvoline fluid isn't the same because the transmission now shifts different...snappier, which I'm not sure is better, or worse for transmission wear.

Does anyone know if the Honda fluid is a synthetic or synthetic blend?
 

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No one is really sure what the Honda ATF is. Could be a syn or a syn blend. What we do know is that absolutely nothing else except the Honda ATF is approved for use in the tranny. Not only does Honda specifically state that only Honda fluid should be used (except for brief periods of time, primarily for topping off if Honda ATF is not available), even the tranny fluid manufacturers don't pretend to state their fluid is acceptable.

You're gonna have to do a power flush (preferable) or a 3x/4x drain+fill to get that Valvoline crap out and have the Honda ATF put in.

I'd check your local Honda and Acura dealers (and local independent H/A-specific shops) to see if they've got the gear for a power flush, since that'll get it all out. A 3x drain/fill will get ~80% out, and a 4x will get 90% out.

You're looking at $150 to $200 to do either, IIRC.

Good luck. Let us know what the Valvoline oil change guy has to say about your refund and reimbursement.
 

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This is an important issue. By way of example one of the leading causes of failure of Chrysler transmissions is the use of incorrect transmission fluid. Even some Chrysler dealers are unaware of this. I would get the Valvoline out and have Honda fluid put in.

http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html
 

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hey all. i work have a friend that works for honda and he said that it is bet that you drain that out of the tranny and add the honda fluid. the other stuff will void any warranty that you have. hope these helps. 03 white EX-L
 

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take it back to that place and demand that they flush out (flush, not drain and refill) their valvoline fluid and replace with honda fluid. show them the manual where it says ONLY honda fluid. or demand they pay for a power flush that you will have done at the honda dealer. or make them give you a signed written statement from the owner or something that they will fork the bill when your tranny craps out cuz of non honda fluid they put in it.

haha...i dont know. just saying whatever pops into my head. :p
 

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Does anyone know if the Pilot torque converter has a drain plug? My Taco and Civic do not. This makes the drain/fill much easier.

I'll add my 'get that Valvo ATF out ASAP' vote to the list.
 

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Don't have an answer to your question, Threadhead, but just wanted let you know that its nice to hear from you again!

In fact, your threads helped to confirm my ultimate decision to go with Sandstone.

Welcome back!
 

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supo said:
In fact, your threads helped to confirm my ultimate decision to go with Sandstone.
Sure is a great color, isn't it :5:
Welcome back!
Never really left, just kinda of fell back into maintenance mode. My wife now usually drives the Pilot now, so I only get to see it for bath time.
 

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Since I run a transmission shop, I can shed a little light on this.

1. Use of Non-Honda fluid in transmissions general does not adversely affect or damage the transmission, except for the firmer shifts. The firmer shifts are a result of the higher friction coefficient of Dexron fluid. Honda fluid has an additive that reduces friction. This is why firmer shifts will be noticed.

The only torque converters that have drains anymore are Ford trucks.

Honda transmissions can be adequetly flushed by draining the trans, refill to proper level, and drive 5 miles. Repeat three times.

Chad
 

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sfdude said:
Since I run a transmission shop, I can shed a little light on this.

1. Use of Non-Honda fluid in transmissions general does not adversely affect or damage the transmission, except for the firmer shifts. The firmer shifts are a result of the higher friction coefficient of Dexron fluid. Honda fluid has an additive that reduces friction. This is why firmer shifts will be noticed.

The only torque converters that have drains anymore are Ford trucks.

Honda transmissions can be adequetly flushed by draining the trans, refill to proper level, and drive 5 miles. Repeat three times.

Chad
sfdude, thanks for your insight into this matter. Your expertise certainly is appreciated.

I was wondering, does your shop use one of those transmission fluid flushing machines, such as T Tech II? I'm thinking of having my tranny flush done and would very much appreciate it if you could provide your opinion on them. If not a T Tech II, then what other tranny fluid flushing machines are out there that you'd feel comfortable using on your own car?

As well, would you be so kind as to roughly explain how these machines work? Does it work like a vacuum in that it sucks all the old tranny fluid out or??

Are there certain things I can mention or ask the technician when I'm getting a tranny flushing job done using one of these so it doesn't make me look like the total ignoramus that I am when it comes to these things and perhaps ensure that a more careful attention will be given to my Pilot? :D

Thanks for your time and courtesy.
Steve
 

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Steve,

The type of machine you are refering to use the transmission cooler lines to perform the flush. Both cooler hoses are disconnected, and connected to the equipment. The vehicle is started, and as fluid is pumped to the cooler, it is collected in a tank, and new fluid is pushed in to the coller return hose. This works OK(in fact, it is the only way to flush a transmission such as the Pilot which has no pan), provided enough fluid is exchanged. Generally, it will take 10-12 quarts to provide an adequate service.

DO NOT go to quick lube places to have this done. Do you really want a youngster who generally knows nothing about that 4,000 dollar highly sophisticated piece of machinery attached to your engine flushing it for you? Go to the dealer, or better yet, a transmission specialist. Yes you will pay more, but very well worth it.

As far as any questions, just make sure they use the proper fluid(Honda ATF) . Make sure the equipment looks clean, and well maintained. Is it a clean, organized facility? Look for certifications hanging on the walls. Ask if you can watch the service be performed(remember to never hover, or hang over the techs).

Chad
 

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Chad, sorry for having missed your reply until now. I kept an eye out for the thread whenever I clicked on "new" posts, but I guess I missed it. And thanks for all your information.

I'm going in tomorrow to have the tranny fluid flush performed using one of those T-Tec machines at a shop in town. I haven't personally seen this place, but this place came recommended by a fellow church member and he used to be mechanic so, I'll take his word for it. And it's not one of those quicklube job places, so I guess that's comforting.

On the phone, the technician said that if I were to bring 12L (12.68qt) of Honda's ATF, it should be enough. But I'm taking 15L (15.85qt) with me, just in case. I can take the unused bottles back to the dealer for a full refund anyway.

I'll report back here tomorrow after I get it done. Thanks again, Chad.
 

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so the transmission change should be 3.2 L.I filled it with 3.5L hope I am ok:(
 

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That little bit of fluid will not hurt anything.

As far as Honda ATF, it is motor oil based. It has very different friction properties than standard Dexron/Mercon ATF. Dexron can be used with the proper friction modifier.

Chad

The Tranny Guy
 

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tangotango99 said:
so the transmission change should be 3.2 L.I filled it with 3.5L hope I am ok:(
Mine took around 3.8L. I didn't have the pump tight so I may have lost 0.3L. I just kept checking and adding. It was a pain.
But check yours after a days driving, and let is sit for a while and see where you are at.
 

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sfdude said:
That little bit of fluid will not hurt anything.

As far as Honda ATF, it is motor oil based. It has very different friction properties than standard Dexron/Mercon ATF. Dexron can be used with the proper friction modifier.

Chad

The Tranny Guy
You sure you are not talking about Honda MTF, not ATF.

The ATF seems quite a bit lime traditional ATF, (Color, smell, etc) but is obviously just enough different in spects not to be interchangeable.

They even say you can use DEXRON in an emergency, but to flush after.

Honda manual transmissions do say to use 30W motor oil in an emergency.
 

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Sunday Rider said:


Mine took around 3.8L. I didn't have the pump tight so I may have lost 0.3L. I just kept checking and adding. It was a pain.
Simply measure what you drained out and replace that quantity. No need to keep checking and adding. Take it for a test ride and double check via the dipstick.
 

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thomasj2 said:


Simply measure what you drained out and replace that quantity. No need to keep checking and adding. Take it for a test ride and double check via the dipstick.
Funny that is what I did by accident. After I drained the fluid, I put it in a clear windshield washer container (to recycle), that was 4 litres. It came up a fair way to the top. The repair manual said 3 litres, which is not correct.
 

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I also see 4 quarts drained when the manual says 3 and change. I do other service while the tranny and engine oil drain, (tire rotation, rear diff, air filter, etc).
 
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