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Old 06-06-2012, 02:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to change a 2008 MDX's Transmission Fluid


Here is a video I made for those who want to do a transmission fluid change on a newer gen MDX. The procedure is the same for the first gen as well. Feel free to respond, how you would tackle the job, or would you do anything differently. Another topic of discussion would be design flaws of honda transmissions. Thanks for watching.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's awesome!

I recently changed my transmission fuild (3.5L) and thought to myself "How does this make sense to leave more than half of the old ATF in there?". I may try your method next time.

I would suggest to use the DW-1 fluid if you are still under warranty as Honda may not cover your transmission IF there's a problem. Also, would it make more sense to keep adding the new ATF into the transmission while draining? This way you would have a less chance of running dry and cause damage.

Looking forward to more videos from you.
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's awesome!

I recently changed my transmission fuild (3.5L) and thought to myself "How does this make sense to leave more than half of the old ATF in there?". I may try your method next time.

I would suggest to use the DW-1 fluid if you are still under warranty as Honda may not cover your transmission IF there's a problem. Also, would it make more sense to keep adding the new ATF into the transmission while draining? This way you would have a less chance of running dry and cause damage.

Looking forward to more videos from you.
How will Honda tell the difference between Castrol and DW-1?
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks for the effort in making this video.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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How will Honda tell the difference between Castrol and DW-1?
By the sales receipt. Fortunately, I have not had personal experience with this; but, if you have a trans issue during warranty, especially a major problem, i am pretty sure Honda will make you prove you have been using factory fluids.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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By the sales receipt. Fortunately, I have not had personal experience with this; but, if you have a trans issue during warranty, especially a major problem, i am pretty sure Honda will make you prove you have been using factory fluids.
That's true in my case. I asked the service manager if there was any issue with servicing the MDX myself and he said as long as you maintain all the records and keep all the receipts.

I think most of us will pay a few extra bucks for the DW-1 instead of the possible hassle or head aches IF something goes wrong.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's true in my case. I asked the service manager if there was any issue with servicing the MDX myself and he said as long as you maintain all the records and keep all the receipts.

I think most of us will pay a few extra bucks for the DW-1 instead of the possible hassle or head aches IF something goes wrong.
You can service anything in your car. The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act of 1975 allows you to do this FYI.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You can service anything in your car. The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act of 1975 allows you to do this FYI.
I have heard about this Act but I wonder if it will protect you when you use generic fluids which the car manufacturer specifically tells you, in writing, to not use because they will damage your car and void your warranty?
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have heard about this Act but I wonder if it will protect you when you use generic fluids which the car manufacturer specifically tells you, in writing, to not use because they will damage your car and void your warranty?
First, if a manufacturer tries to deny you service under warranty, they must prove beyond a doubt that your labor or part damaged the vehicle. The Castrol fluid is compatible with DW-1 fluid, therefore it cannot damage the transmission. Besides, How can Honda's service techs distinguish between fluids?
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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First, if a manufacturer tries to deny you service under warranty, they must prove beyond a doubt that your labor or part damaged the vehicle. The Castrol fluid is compatible with DW-1 fluid, therefore it cannot damage the transmission. Besides, How can Honda's service techs distinguish between fluids?
I agree you can lie about it, ie don't tell Acura that you changed the fluid. But, I don't do that. But, I hope you are correct when you say the Act puts the burden of proof on the car maker. One of these days I am going to read the Act, you know when I don't have anything better to do, lol.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Is the hose you used to drain it something you bought? If so what size is it? Did you just disconnect the bottom hose at the transmission and connect your own to drain? Kinda hard to see from the video. Plus i need to look under the car and see whats going on.

Any other tips?
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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yes, i agree with OP this cooler hose atf change is probably the easiest, and efficient. the hose size is 3/8", you can disconnect it from the a few point. I use the same method, and add a few feet of atf hose to have a external filter next to the airbox, i disconnect the external filter connector and collect used atf there. the 2nd mdx, there are a few points you can disconnect to collect used fluid, but i found exit of AT, entry of AT to be easiest.
the OP's 2008 may be out of warranty, 2007-2009 MDX was filled with ATF-Z1 at factory, and I think either Maxlife ATF or Castrol Import ATF are an superior fluid to ATF-Z1.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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yes, i agree with OP this cooler hose atf change is probably the easiest, and efficient. the hose size is 3/8", you can disconnect it from the a few point. I use the same method, and add a few feet of atf hose to have a external filter next to the airbox, i disconnect the external filter connector and collect used atf there. the 2nd mdx, there are a few points you can disconnect to collect used fluid, but i found exit of AT, entry of AT to be easiest.
the OP's 2008 may be out of warranty, 2007-2009 MDX was filled with ATF-Z1 at factory, and I think either Maxlife ATF or Castrol Import ATF are an superior fluid to ATF-Z1.
Im planning on running DW1 which i just bought at the dealer. Would you advise pouring fresh in at the same time as its coming out with the engine running? Dipstick method or fill hole?

Ill probably tackle it this weekend. Im only worried about running the engine without adding fluid at the same time. But this seems the best and fastest way to remove almost all the old with new.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i did not try filling while old fluid was being pump out. the unit pump out fluid very very fast, and i don't think you can fill the fluid at the same rate. keep in mind this is NOT the usual "Honda Approved" way to change ATF.
you can do the "Honda approved" method with drain and fill if you concern of damage the unit. I choose this cooler flush after lots of reading, and myself, also does not want to waste expensive ATF doing drain and fill. the 2007-2008 mdx has a serviceable external filter, but in 2009 model, Honda move the filter into the AT housing, I added a new aftermarket filter to the atf cooler line.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i did not try filling while old fluid was being pump out. the unit pump out fluid very very fast, and i don't think you can fill the fluid at the same rate. keep in mind this is NOT the usual "Honda Approved" way to change ATF.
you can do the "Honda approved" method with drain and fill if you concern of damage the unit. I choose this cooler flush after lots of reading, and myself, also does not want to waste expensive ATF doing drain and fill. the 2007-2008 mdx has a serviceable external filter, but in 2009 model, Honda move the filter into the AT housing, I added a new aftermarket filter to the atf cooler line.
The "Honda Approved" method is a waste of time, mixing old fluid with new fluid doesn't make any sense at all. Just plain stupid. The transmission won't be damaged, since you aren't moving, the TC isn't even locked yet. The 08' doesn't have a removable filter, I checked, and there isn't one. The dealer's parts dept. confirmed that for me.
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