Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I did the ATF fluid "change" at 31k, per the recommendation.

I was not impressed with just changing 3.5 Qts out of 8.7 total.

The condition of the fluid was also such that I was concerned. The fluid was still red, but noticeably darker than fresh. Kind of red-brown.

When I did the ATF during the 30k service, I didn't have time for anything other than the partial drain and fill.

This afternoon I had some time- In between washing cars and cutting grass- so I did a 'triple change':

drive to warm up,
drain 3.5Qt,
fill 3.5Qt

repeated 3 times. Important to drive the car in all gears and at temperature. Each fluid exchange resulted in a marked improvement to the fluid color.

(Changed engine oil and filter too while I was down there. Only PITA was working with hot ATF and engine oil...)

If you are just looking to get to the end of the lease, or you'll get rid of the car by 60k miles, don't worry- the factory recommendations will probably get you there.

If you think your kid might someday get this car, and you are looking for 200k, either do a flush or do the multiple changes. Once I find a shop who will do a flush with Honda ATF Z1, I'll probably do that.

Fanatically yours,

Ard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
Ard,
Should take up golf and let someone else change your tranny fluid since you obviously have to much time on your hands to go through this ritual. :D No wonder you are disposition challenged dealing with hot transmission fluid. ;) What do the wizards at Acura recommend for a change interval and how do they get the full 8 quarts + out? Do they drop the pan? Most cars I have had in the past 10 years with automatic transmissions recommend doing a transmission fluid changeout at 30K or 2 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
ATF change recommendation

I change my ATF on ALL my vehicles everytime I change the oil (7500 miles for the Acuras, 15000 for the Porsche).

ATF's cheap, and with the ease of accessibility of the drain plug (rather than having to drop the pan as on older cars), it's really inexpensive "insurance" against a problem occuring in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,732 Posts
Ah, that's an interesting approach, you are essentially doing the 'change +3' as you go along.
Not bad.
I plan to look for a reliable place to do a flush at 30K and replace all the fluid with full synthetic.
From that point just do a std. drain or maybe drain +3.
All these approaches maybe be overkill to some extent, but certainly are good insurance against transmission break down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Where I live it takes me 30 minutes to get anywhere, an hour if I go to Acura each way. it just is more time/cost effective to do it... besides, I'm in mourning over the end of the ski season at the local hill...

Anyway, Acura DOES NOT recommend a total replacement! Their interval is 45k normal/30k severe... and then it is drain 3.5qt and fill.

I use Mobil 1 synthetic ATF in my other two vehicles, but acura recommends ONLY Honda ATF Z1... with an ominous warning "...using any other fluid may affect shift quality".. (or something like that)- weasle words for warranty claims.

delta- an EXCELLENT idea! It really is easy- easier than the VTM4 even. If you did it often enough the need for a complete flush/fluid change is much reduced or eliminated.

Oh, there was also quite a bit of grey metal on the magnetic plug... not enough to be alarmed, but at the next change I hope to see MUCH less.

Ard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,732 Posts
Weasel words alright. If the transmission fails, the first thing they look at is the condition of the fluid, and especially if it is too low. And of course service records to see if you kept it changed. At that point they MIGHT see 'use customer's oil' (so what? it could be honda fluid..) or worse 'use customer's synthetic'....
which would get the dealer off the hook...
Oh, well, guess I have time to 'worry' about it. I might adopt 'delta's' procedure in the interim. I would go for a flush at 30K regardless of fluid used. Same goes for the power steering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Just so you know what my shop looks like...

I did the service on my Kubota tractor- Took 10 GALLONS of Hydraulic Fluid, 2 gallons of gear oil, 7 quarts of motor oil.

That's some SERIOUS waste oil recycling. ("Yes Sir, this is all from my household")

Definately no way to drive farm tractors in for service.

A
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,282 Posts
ardvarkus...

Just wondering, do you have a transmission cooler? If so do you do a lot of towing? I'm wondering why your ATF was discolored.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Ocean-

Zero towing. But yes, I have the tow pkg.

Yes to the coolers.

I've yet to hear anyone else's report on ATF color, so I'd have no idea if this is unusual or not. It is 1.5 years of service in "semi" severe service (heat).

As I said, it was still red, but somewhat dark. I am glad I did it at 30k.

Any other reports on fluid color.

Dale- $119 is an excellent price- If my local dealer did flushes I'd have him do it for that price. Plan a warranty visit and add that on...

Ard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Drain/fill

Sort of a dumb question here......

The drain plug is in the front (right?:) ), judging by the crush washer on the plug.

Do I put the fluid in the dipstick, like the last time I did this 20 years ago?:confused: I have not messed with transmission fluid in a long time, but am going to follow deltajetfixer's recommended drain and fill with each oil change. I have done the VTM-4 every time and figure I might as well get in the habit with the ATF too (at almost 6 bucks a pop from the dealer.)

BTW, VTM-4 plug had much less particulates this time around (22,500) and the fluid looked brand new. It was slightly discolored at 15,000.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,732 Posts
I don't know about the 2001 owner's manual, but the 2002 is funny about putting ATF in the tranny.
It tells you how to check it, and then says if it is low, and you are not sure where to add fluid, take it your dealer.
(Kind of like, "Sorry, you failed the test. Pay the $100 and go straight to Jail.")
It can be added through the dipstick holder or the white screw-in plug a few inches behind it.
You should have a replacement washer for the plug if you go that route. The plug would be my choice, as a larger opening, but certainly no time to be wearing a loose ring....:13:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Thanks

I think anything having to do with fluid change/replacement should be included in the owner's manual.....but, they obviously want to make sure you go to the dealer for this. I thought it was kind of funny that they explain that a complete fluid change involves "the technician" repeating the drain/fill three times.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top