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Discussion Starter #21
Hey guys,

I just found this on YouTube. So by using this method without the "Scan Tool"? Once I'm in VSA Mode i don't have to use the scan tool to check temperature? Is it correct?

 

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Discussion Starter #22
So, after I found the video on YT. I am thinking to DIY :).
Which is the best scan tool out there to check the Transmission Temperature?
 

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I just found this on YouTube. So by using this method without the "Scan Tool"? Once I'm in VSA Mode i don't have to use the scan tool to check temperature? Is it correct?
NOT CORRECT.

Entering VSA mode disables the traction control, which is important so you can run through the gears while the vehicle is on the lift. This is a pre-requisite for the fluid check procedure, but is not part of the level check, itself.

The transmission temperature is critical when checking fluid level! Honda/Acura ATF Type 3.1 expands when it gets warm. Technically all fluids change volume, in some way, but ATF Type 3.1 changes enough for it make a difference in the level check. The location of the fill/level-check hole is only useful within a narrow range of temperatures.

You MUST ensure the transmission is at the appropriate temperature when checking the fluid level -- and that requires reading the transmission temperature sensor data reported on the CAN bus.
 

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So, after I found the video on YT. I am thinking to DIY :).
Which is the best scan tool out there to check the Transmission Temperature?
The cheapest option that I've confirmed to work is the ScanGauge II. If you're a DIYer who wants a budget option, then this is probably the route I'd recommend. It runs about $160 https://www.scangauge.com/products/scangauge-ii/

If you're a prosumer or hardcore DIYer and want a serious scanner with bi-directional support then you can look at some nicer options. These are over-kill for just checking transmission temperature... They'll let you do almost anything a dealer/shop could do. If you work on several brands of vehicles, or are that "go-to" person who services your friends/family vehicles, then these can be worth the investment:

Autel MaxiSys PRO MS908 $1800-2200 http://www.autelscanner.com/products/Autel-MaxiSys-Pro-(MS908-Pro)_804.html

Bosch/OTC Evolve: $2500-3000 https://www.amazon.com/OTC-3896-Bosch-Evolve-Diagnostic/dp/B01MSMUWXA
 

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Mechanics often act like they know better than the engineers. The number of mechanics who still believe in power-flushes and the "3000 mile" oil change interval and pretend they don't know what a torque wrench is:
Hey, I resemble that!

Good thing I'm not a mechanic, I just play one in my garage... :wink:
 

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I'm not in a place where I can easily check Honda Tech Info.... However, I do believe that Honda/Acura recommends against re-using the drain bolt. I would replace it.

The Honda ATF 3.1 can be purchased online for around $38/qt.
Drain plug is just under $19 (part number 06237-5J4-000)



This can be a DIY job... IF you have access to the tooling to read transmission temperature data off the CAN bus. (Many scan tools have CAN bus support)
I'm a former Master Acura Tech. Flat Rate makes you creative. No need for a scan tool. Drain the old fluid into a measured container, and simply add as much as you've drained, pretty simple. ZF does recommend replacing the plugs you remove. Technically there are 3 to replace. My method requires 2. I guarantee few techs use the scan tool. This is a service we got paid 1.5 hours to do and it's a money maker using this method.
 

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wow, looks like another advantage to the hybrid with the 7 speed DCT. fluid change is drain and fill to the top of the fill plug, run engine for 30 seconds after going into maintenance mode, check fluid level is at the top of the fill plug, if not add till full. Done. Now it does require the car to be level during the fill process which means some form of lift or 4 jack stands. And only needs the DW-1 fluid. A couple of DIY changes vs. dealer and I'll have paid for the cost of the hybrid!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I'm a former Master Acura Tech. Flat Rate makes you creative. No need for a scan tool. Drain the old fluid into a measured container, and simply add as much as you've drained, pretty simple. ZF does recommend replacing the plugs you remove. Technically there are 3 to replace. My method requires 2. I guarantee few techs use the scan tool. This is a service we got paid 1.5 hours to do and it's a money maker using this method.
So wait, you said the tech not using the scan tool to check the temperature to fill the fluids? without checking the fluid temp, anything can go wrong? do we have to reset the software when replacing the transmission fluid? I am on a 2016 model ZF 9-speed Trans.
 

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So wait, you said the tech not using the scan tool to check the temperature to fill the fluids? without checking the fluid temp, anything can go wrong? do we have to reset the software when replacing the transmission fluid? I am on a 2016 model ZF 9-speed Trans.
We did this way since the 9 speed came out. Most require 3.2-3.3 qts. I used to put 3.5 qts in to be safe.

More important is making sure your vehicle has been repaired under the warranty extension / recall for the transmission fluid warmer.
 

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I just replaced the transmission fluid myself and paid $98 including shipping for Honda ATF 3.1; it’s the same thing as Acura but at lower price.

Took 30 minutes for the process. Only thing you will need is a scan tool capable of reading transmission temperature as the fluid needs to be around 104*F for a correct reading.

There are a lot of resources here and online that shows how to disable the traction control and shift the transmission safely while on jack stands.

The dealer is ripping people off in labor and fluid price.
 

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We did this way since the 9 speed came out. Most require 3.2-3.3 qts. I used to put 3.5 qts in to be safe.

More important is making sure your vehicle has been repaired under the warranty extension / recall for the transmission fluid warmer.
This is my biggest ordeal with my 16. I've been trying to get a dealer to do something about the chirping sound at the gear shift around the 20mph mark which is indicative of the transmission cooler issue with multiple dealers, but they all say that it doesn't happen frequently enough to do anything about it. To add complication, ACR claims one of the dealers marked this issue as "fixed."

And then now the MDX makes a wheezing sound after accelerating and letting my foot off the throttle in a somewhat spirited manner (e.g. coasting without throttle input after passing). So tired of this car sometimes.
 
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