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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to change the front transmission fluid myself since my car has over 30k miles.
I already changed the rear transmission fluid myself, but I am having a hard time to locate the drain and fill plugs of the front transmission.
Where can I find them? Does anyone know how to change the transmission fluid in the front?
 

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you meant the Transmission Fluid and Transfer Case?
if yes, In your case 30K is still too early to change.
 

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Follow the rear driveshaft forward to the transfer case. It takes hypoid gear oil, GL-4 or GL-5, 75-90W or thereabouts IIRC.

You do NOT want to open any ports into this automatic transmission! The transfer case is attached to the right ( passenger ) side of the transmission, but it is a separate assembly.

Rear differential seems to have a service interval of 15k miles, then every 30k miles thereafter.

Transfer case fluid is usually replaced on the same schedule as the ATF ( transmission fluid ), even though they are separate fluids.

transfer_case.jpg
 

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I am trying to change the front transmission fluid myself since my car has over 30k miles.
I already changed the rear transmission fluid myself, but I am having a hard time to locate the drain and fill plugs of the front transmission.
Where can I find them? Does anyone know how to change the transmission fluid in the front?
I get why you are doing this, but proceed with caution. When my ZF9 gave up the ghost at 50,000 miles, I was told that it would be covered only due to my strict following all scheduled services with all records. It is possible they would have covered the replacement if I had done the ZF9 fluid myself? I guess, but I'm glad I didn't have to go down that road.

Anyway, isn't 30,000 way too early for that service? I wouldn't open that tranny unless absolutely necessary.
 

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I wouldn't open that tranny unless absolutely necessary.
In case this point hasn't been driven home yet, there is now a recall underway for some Pilots and MDXs with this 9-speed automatic transmission. Entire transmissions and sometimes engines are being replaced. I'm usually a DIY guy, but you don't want any impediments to warranty coverage on this transmission. As for transfer case and rear diff, knock yourself out. Truth be told, that transfer case could probably go a very long time without a gear oil change. Rear diff, not so much.

http://www.mdxers.org/forums/94-third-generation-mdx-2014-present/151673-2016-zf9-failure-due-cross-contamination-atf-coolant-tracking.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks a lot for your replies.

What is the ATF change schedule? I thought it was 30k miles.
It is not still clear to me.
 

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It's technically whenever the service minder calls for the service. ZF recommended 60k for normal driving. 30k intervals will burn a hole in your wallet once you see the fluid cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I get it.
By the way I have another question.
I cannot find any video (or instruction) about 2016 MDX transmission fluid and transfer case oil change from Google.
I do not find the same type of fill and drain plugs in 2016 MDX as those in the previous models.
2016 MDX does not have a transmission dip stick.
Does anyone know where I can find those plugs?
I am not changing ATF now, but I am still curious about how to change ATF.
 

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2016 MDX has the ZF 9-speed transmission. This has no ATF level dipstick and requires an elaborate procedure to check the level through a side port after the transmission is brought to the proper temperature. The fancy and expensive ATF used in this trans expands a great deal with temperature, so the temp has to be within a rather narrow range to check the level. This is NOT a project for a novice DIY mechanic.

The Honda 6-speed transmission in previous MDXs is very different, and has a conventional ATF level dipstick. Same with the Honda 5-speed before that.

I change fluids in the family fleet 6-speed and 5-speed equipped AWD MDXs all the time. No worries. But my current daily driver is a 9-speed equipped Honda Pilot, and I will not touch the trans. AWD fluids I am OK with.

BTW, my Pilot got a brand new 9-speed transmission at 40k miles, so I have good cause to be paranoid.
 

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Agree with others: get the ATF change done at an Acura dealer, in spite of the high prices. It is too early yet to know the failure rate of these transmissions, but it does seem that it could be high. The ATF itself is special, and there was (is?) a question whether the fluid available at Acura dealers was (is) actually the same, or good enough, as the stock fluid. Also, fluid level is critical and could contribute to problems. So for the savings it isn't worth putting at risk the warranty by going anywhere but Acura. This does not please me, but it is reality.
 

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Well, my 2017 SH AWD is in for a horrible bang going from 4th to 5th (first dog clutch engagement I would guess). This after a few thousand miles of *tolerable* shift performance after the transmission cooler was removed due to the unbearable clunking it has been confirmed to produce. Now here is the kicker and relation to this thread: the dealer had it today to fix the new bang from 4th to 5th and called to inform me I had too much fluid and that they adjusted to the proper level and I could pick it up later tomorrow....because...wait for it.....they wanted to check the fluid level when the engine was cool and wanted to wait overnight.

I'm terrified to see what I experience after this installment of "as the ZF turns".
 
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