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Discussion Starter #1
My MDX had displayed the A123 service due reminder recently as it was approaching 28K on the odometer. Since I surprisingly had some free time and I was curious about poking around my vehicle, I decided to knock out some of the service items myself. While there were a few differences from the other Hondas I've owned in the past, the process was still pretty much straightforward.


Here are the tools I used:
-Floor jack, jack stands, and wheel chocks;
-1/2" socket breaker bar with 3/8" socket adapter;
-Flat head screwdriver;
-Large phillips head screwdriver (not sure exactly what size, maybe #3).
-3/8" socket wrench & 10mm socket;
-Long thin funnel;
-Fluid pump;
-Drain pan.


Here's what I bought:
-4 quarts DW-1 ATF;
-1 quart Honda HGO-1 hypoid gear oil;
-One 18mm crush washer (90471-PX4-000);
-Two 20mm crush washers (94109-20000).
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Step 1
Raise the vehicle to your heart's desire. For me, this means having enough room to maneuver underneath. There is a metal underbody shield that restricts access to the transmission and transfer case. Honda uses an interesting mix of fasteners to keep it in place. In the front they use a plastic clip and a phillips head screw with a huge head. On the driver side there is one clip and a 10mm bolt. In the back, they use a 10mm bolt and one clip.


Using the flat head screwdriver, I removed the plastic clips. I also removed all of the 10mm bolts with the socket wrench. During this step I did not fully remove the large phillips head screw; instead, I just loosened it enough so that I could rotate the metal shield out of the way. I actually didn't have a screwdriver that was big enough to fit the phillips head screw on the underbody shield. So instead I used my impact driver, which had a bit that was the perfect size.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Step 2


Using my breaker bar and adapter, I broke loose the drain plug. Surprisingly, it didn't seem like it was overtorqued from the factory. The plugs seem to be made of a soft metal, so it's possible that the heads can get stripped. Be sure that the 3/8" socket head sits in as deep as it can go. Prior to fully removing it, I removed the dipstick to help it drain out. I always like to hold my drain pans up near the drain bolts when I'm just about to remove them. This has helped me to avoid many messes, as sometimes the fluid likes to shoot out pretty far.


Here's how my fluid and drain plug magnet looked. After letting it drain out and cleaning the plug, I put on the new 18mm crush washer and reinstalled the plug. I don't recall the torque value, but I used my 3/8" socket wrench instead of the breaker bar so that I wouldn't overtighten the drain plug. I turned it just enough to compress the washer a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Step 3


I removed the portion of the air intake that covers the battery. This made it easier to get my funnel into the dipstick hole. My MDX was on a slight decline and the transmission drained out a full 4 quarts, so that's how much I refilled with. YMMV. Once that was done I put the dipstick and intake tube back into place.


I'm happy that Honda had put in a wider dipstick tube here, as they used to do on their 4 cylinder models. The V6 models used to have the smaller dipstick tubes. While I was able to find the ATF fill bolt, I don't think I'd be able to get it loose. There's a bunch of stuff in the way that makes it difficult to get a socket and extension securely on the fill bolt head.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Step 4


Moving on to the transfer case...


Again, using my breaker bar / adapter combo, I loosened the fill plug first. Then I moved onto loosening and removing the drain plug. The used transfer case fluid appeared to be in much better shape than the ATF. The drain and fill plug are the same on the transfer case, and I replaced both 20mm washers on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Step 5


After resinstalling the drain plug with my 3/8" socket wrench, I used my fluid pump to fill the transfer case. Since my MDX was on a decline, I had to raise the front end a bit to level the vehicle. This ensured that it was filled with the proper amount of fluid. I stopped pumping once the fluid started to spill out of the fill hole. In all I ended up using just about a 1/2 quart of the Honda gear oil. Then I put the fill plug back in and snugged it in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Step 6

I reinstalled the metal underbody shield here. Prior to reinstalling the bolts for the underbody shield, I threw on some anti-seize on the threads. They already had a little bit of rust on them. I also ended up removing the large phillips head screw and did the same.

After bringing the vehicle back down on the ground, I took it for a test drive around the block and the car drove as expected.

Other notes:
-I also did the tire rotation, but I didn't think it was worthy to document. While the wheels were off, I used my impact driver to remove the rotor screws and coat them with anti-seize as well.
-If I have time, I might try to squeeze in another ATF drain and fill. The fluid didn't appear to be in the greatest shape when it drained out. The process of changing the ATF in the 6 speeds is very DIY friendly and appears to be a bit easier that that of the 9 speed ATs.
-I actually did bring the car in to the dealership for the oil change. The oil, filter, multi-point inspection, and wash/vacuum isn't too bad of a deal. I also picked up an engine air filter and wiper blade refills while I was there. Both of these are really easy to change. I'm not sure when I'll attack the cabin filter; maybe one of these days.

I'm open to any comments, questions, criticisms, etc.


Thanks for reading.
 

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FWD doesn´t have a Transfer so nope and....
For the Transmission it only applies to the 6 Speed Auto not the ZF 9 Speed that is why the Title only Covers 2014-2015 since in 2016 the 6 speed was dropped for the ZF 9 Speed.

For 2014 and 2015 the FWD and AWD shared the same type of trans so the procedure is the same, they hold the same amount of ATF Too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My MDX is an SH-AWD model.

Also I didn't change the rear differential fluid this time because it wasn't due at this service interval.
 

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Thanks! That's good to know and also great DIY write up. I have a 2015 AWD so I will be following this at my 30K interval.

Seems pretty simple to drain completely and fill the transmission with 4 quarts. I came from a bmw where you have to fill the tranny at the fill port with the car running warmed up to a certain operating temp until it starts to overflow, I thought most car did it this way to get more fluid in due to the torque converter.
 

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@OP: why not do another ATF change via dipstick? I've been doing most of my oil changes and ATF changes this way for years. Much easier and cleaner than draining, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks! That's good to know and also great DIY write up. I have a 2015 AWD so I will be following this at my 30K interval.

Seems pretty simple to drain completely and fill the transmission with 4 quarts. I came from a bmw where you have to fill the tranny at the fill port with the car running warmed up to a certain operating temp until it starts to overflow, I thought most car did it this way to get more fluid in due to the torque converter.
I have a feeling that the 9 speed uses a similar process. I'm not sure who else does this, but I know Infiniti and Toyota have started doing the same.


Can you list what prices you paid and where for the ATF and Gear oil if you don't mind?

I don't have my invoice on hand, but here's my best guess for the prices.


I bought the ATF and gear oil from my local Honda dealership (Northern NJ).
~$8.32/qt. for the DW-1;
~$19.88/qt. for the HGO-1;
~$4 for the 3 crush washers.


Also, here is what I paid for the parts I picked up at the Acura dealership:
~$25.92 for the air filter.
~$6.32 for each wiper refill.


I bought locally because I decided to do things last minute; so add another 7% in sales tax. I knew going in that the parts would be more expensive at the Acura dealer, but the pricing wasn't too bad. The wiper refills were actually cheaper than I expected.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@OP: why not do another ATF change via dipstick? I've been doing most of my oil changes and ATF changes this way for years. Much easier and cleaner than draining, IMO.
I've never done a fluid change via the dipstick. I'm not against it, but I don't really have a desire to do it that way. Plus, I'd have to get myself a fluid extractor and fuss around with learning a new procedure. Sure, it's probably super simple, but I just feel comfortable using the drain plug since it's so familiar to me. And knowing myself, I'll probably end up making more of a mess somehow pulling out the fluid from up top :) .

If you can give me a good hard sell about switching, then I might consider it ;) .
 

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My MDX had displayed the A123 service due reminder recently as it was approaching 28K on the odometer. Since I surprisingly had some free time and I was curious about poking around my vehicle, I decided to knock out some of the service items myself. While there were a few differences from the other Hondas I've owned in the past, the process was still pretty much straightforward.


Here are the tools I used:
-Floor jack, jack stands, and wheel chocks;
-1/2" socket breaker bar with 3/8" socket adapter;
-Flat head screwdriver;
-Large phillips head screwdriver (not sure exactly what size, maybe #3).
-3/8" socket wrench & 10mm socket;
-Long thin funnel;
-Fluid pump;
-Drain pan.


Here's what I bought:
-4 quarts DW-1 ATF;
-1 quart Honda HGO-1 hypoid gear oil;
-One 18mm crush washer (90471-PX4-000);
-Two 20mm crush washers (94109-20000).
--Very nice write up.

A question for you though: did you implement the following TSB (http://www.mdxers.org/forums/94-third-generation-mdx-2014-present/91865-tsb-s-2014-mdx-4.html#post1185513) while under there? Just curious as i might just do that and the fact that you were already down there, you could have performed a full flush.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #17
--Very nice write up.

A question for you though: did you implement the following TSB (http://www.mdxers.org/forums/94-third-generation-mdx-2014-present/91865-tsb-s-2014-mdx-4.html#post1185513) while under there? Just curious as i might just do that and the fact that you were already down there, you could have performed a full flush.

thanks
I didn't think about doing a flush this time around. The transmission was shifting fine without any issues and there was absolutely no evidence of torque converter clutch shudder. If it had, my wife would have definitely let me know and we would have put in a warranty claim with Acura.

I was also trying to at least get the drain and fill done for both the ATF and transfer case, as well as the tire rotation done. I've done 3x3 flushes before on my old Hondas, but I really didn't have much more time to work on the car this time around. I don't think my MDX needs a full flush at this time, but it could probably benefit from another D&F sometime in the near future.
 

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I've never done a fluid change via the dipstick. I'm not against it, but I don't really have a desire to do it that way. Plus, I'd have to get myself a fluid extractor and fuss around with learning a new procedure. Sure, it's probably super simple, but I just feel comfortable using the drain plug since it's so familiar to me. And knowing myself, I'll probably end up making more of a mess somehow pulling out the fluid from up top :) .

If you can give me a good hard sell about switching, then I might consider it ;) .
interesting method. however, how do you know the tube you're using to vacuum the fluid is able to get to... say as far down the transmission (i.e. where the drain plug is) to get all the old fluid out? otherwise, youd have to flush and re-flush to get all of the old fluid out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
interesting method. however, how do you know the tube you're using to vacuum the fluid is able to get to... say as far down the transmission (i.e. where the drain plug is) to get all the old fluid out? otherwise, youd have to flush and re-flush to get all of the old fluid out.
I've never used that method, so I'm not sure why you're asking me. :)

Maybe you can direct your question to VMDX, who recommended it. He said he has used the vacuum method quite a number of times.
 

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AFAIK either "normal" method, drain plug or dipstick tube sucking, only gets about half the fluid out in a single pass. Lots of ATF stays in the torque converter and other nooks and crannies. Hence the 3x3 method ( 3 cycles of about 3 quarts each ) if you are worried about contamination or degradation. To do it right, you should drive the car a bit between cycles, to mix the fluid and re-suspend the gunk. Sorry if I am stating the obvious.
 
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