How often should I change transmission oil? - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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How often should I change transmission oil?

My MDX 2014 is becoming 3 years (I'm one of the very first buyers). The mileage is not that much, around 24,000 miles. But 70-80% are city driving.

IIRC, I did 2x A1 and 1x B16 maintenance. B16 included the change of rear differential oil.

Recently, I finished A1 service, and the mechanic recommended that I would need to replace transmission oil and coolant, which quotes about $350 or so (I'm in Bay Area, where everything is expensive).

Before spending the money, I'd like to ask you experts. What's the typical frequency of changing transmission fluid for MDX AWD?

Thanks in advance.


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 03:08 PM
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I've been in a habit of doing it every 30k. If not then, at least try every 60k (is probably burnt by then).
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 03:54 PM
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Mine was replaced at 20k miles just last month. It showed B123 service code. 3 being the transmission and transfer case fluid change. I have my car for 2 1/2 years now.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 04:33 PM
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I do it every year, ATF is not that expensive and since I do engine oil on a yearly basis I kill 2 birds on 1 stone.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 06:50 PM
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I do it every year, ATF is not that expensive and since I do engine oil on a yearly basis I kill 2 birds on 1 stone.
Until you get to the 2016's ZF! Technically, ZF usually likes to run "lifetime" fluids, but the DW-1 from the 6 speed I think is not.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 07:08 PM
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ZF has said many times they do not run on lifetime oil...
They even burned BMW for this, They do require a change but every 5 years or so.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 08:06 PM
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ZF has said many times they do not run on lifetime oil...
They even burned BMW for this, They do require a change but every 5 years or so.
Haha yeah hence the quotes. "Lifetime" is usually 100k for ZF. BUT, I still wouldn't go that far. Even as a synthetic fluid, nothing works well for that long.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 08:14 PM
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BMW said "NEVER" not even in 10 years they literally said NEVER to change the fluid on their ZF transmissions...
ZF had to come out and said that BMW was wrong.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-08-2016, 04:11 AM
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Fluid is cheaper than a new transmission!

For 95% of drivers, I'd recommend replacing the transmission fluid with every 2nd or 3rd oil change. That works out to about every 20-30K miles depending on how your driving conditions are.

This way, you can group the service together and don't have to worry about keeping track of stuff.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 03:45 PM
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Mine was replaced at 20k miles just last month. It showed B123 service code. 3 being the transmission and transfer case fluid change. I have my car for 2 1/2 years now.
Wow that seems so soon. Most cars are about 50K miles for transmission service, aren't they? Maybe when you hit 2 1/2 years the A3/B3 service automatically comes up?
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jimihaha View Post
Mine was replaced at 20k miles just last month. It showed B123 service code. 3 being the transmission and transfer case fluid change. I have my car for 2 1/2 years now.


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I am doing B123 very soon (DIY), I would like to ask, where did you get the Engine Filter? I'm thinking about this one "K&N 33-5013 Air Filter" K&N 33-5013 Replacement Air Filter, Replacement Filters
But I am not sure if it will fit on my 2016 MDX/Tech.
About Transmission and Transfer Case fluid, is it easy to do it? I haven't check on my car but where did you find those plugs?


If you done it before, would you mind share some photos?
Thanks
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 05:02 PM
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I don't know about the transfer case but the transmission has plugs with a hex socket (requires an Allen wrench or better in a socket drive). To completely replace the fluid requires repeated flushing IIUC. Topping it correctly requires slightly overfilling then opening a third plug to drain off excess, at a specific temperature. It turns out the TCE (temperature coefficient of expansion) for this ATF results in volume changes that are much greater than the allowed max/min fill levels so without getting the temperature right it might be over- or under-filled. You should probably pay the $10 for a day's look at the online service manual. I gave up and took it to the dealer...
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 05:07 PM
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How often should I change transmission oil?

To Iroboto2099

I had mine serviced by the dealer. But I only asked them to do B13. The filters (code 2)I can change myself without getting ripped-off lol they charged me $160+ for it with all the discounts.

I haven't bought the filters yet but for sure I won't be going with K&N. Too expensive and not much gain. I'll just replaced them with OEM when I buy them online.

I believe there's a thread here or at the other MDX forum (acurazine) where they showed the locations of the drain bolts for the transmission and transfer case and the steps.

I'm pretty sure I can do those myself but I really didn't feel like going under my MDX at that time and I calculated I would only be saving more or less $100 for it.

But I did change the engine oil and rear diff fluid last year and it wasn't really hard if you have the right tools.



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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jimihaha View Post
To Iroboto2099

I had mine serviced by the dealer. But I only asked them to do B13. The filters (code 2)I can change myself without getting ripped-off lol they charged me $160+ for it with all the discounts.

I haven't bought the filters yet but for sure I won't be going with K&N. Too expensive and not much gain. I'll just replaced them with OEM when I buy them online.

I believe there's a thread here or at the other MDX forum (acurazine) where they showed the locations of the drain bolts for the transmission and transfer case and the steps.

I'm pretty sure I can do those myself but I really didn't feel like going under my MDX at that time and I calculated I would only be saving more or less $100 for it.

But I did change the engine oil and rear diff fluid last year and it wasn't really hard if you have the right tools.



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I did change the oil engine and rear diff fluid @ 15K (very easy to do). But need to locate the transmission and transfer case fluid. I'm sure it will be easy too, just need to locate those plugs. I'll take a look when I had a chance.


Thanks for the tips.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-27-2016, 03:08 PM
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Hello All,

Newbie here to MDX. I am due to change the ATF in my 2014 and I was wondering what is the proper way to check the fluid level (I know where the dipstick is)? I have heard you are suppose to do a short drive making sure to shift through all the gears and then checking it within +/- 60 seconds after turning the engine off among several other options.

Unfortunately the manual is pretty useless in this case "Have a dealer check the fluid level and replace if necessary."

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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