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I recently bought a 2008 MDX it has been great in the week and a half I have owned it.

Is it really putting much wear on these things towing about 1200 lbs around town? It does between 500lbs and 1200lbs. It really doesn’t feel like it’s towing anything but I was wondering if anyone had any transmission advice. I 3x3 the fluid and just ordered pressure switches. Just want to keep it fully maintained to get all the life out of it since I am towing.
 

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As long as the transmission is in good shape now it shouldn't be problem. The 2nd Gen has the heavier 4 shaft trans that was initially designed for the Honda Ridgeline and it was the first transmission Honda rated for 5,000 lb towing. Doing what you are doing is fine IMO, but if you ever decided to bump that to 2,000 lbs + and run at highway speeds for any distance I would add a transmission cooler. I towed extensively with my Honda Odyssey at 3,500 lbs (same transmission - got totaled at 166K) and never had an issue, though I did switch to synthetic trans fluid and did a 4X drain and fill annually.

The pressure switches are overkill if the fluid got changed regularly IMO, and if it didn't you still aren't preventing some of the other issues that could arise from lack of service causing varnish build up and stickiness of check valves and such. If you don't know the service history or do and know it wasn't done, I would be doing a 1X drain and fill every oil change with a synthetic trans fluid to get it cleaned out. The 1X at intervals is to keep from "shocking" the system and breaking loose too much crude at one time which can clog switches and valves. I have used both Valvoline MaxLife and Mobil 1 full synthetic transmission fluid that are Honda/Acura compatible for well over 100K miles with great results.
 

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^ An extra transmission cooler you mean? because the Early 2G MDX came with an OEM ATF Cooler as standard even without the trailer package.

The one on the left is the OEM ATF Cooler and the one on the Right is my Extra ATF Cooler:
 
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Discussion Starter #4
As long as the transmission is in good shape now it shouldn't be problem. The 2nd Gen has the heavier 4 shaft trans that was initially designed for the Honda Ridgeline and it was the first transmission Honda rated for 5,000 lb towing. Doing what you are doing is fine IMO, but if you ever decided to bump that to 2,000 lbs + and run at highway speeds for any distance I would add a transmission cooler. I towed extensively with my Honda Odyssey at 3,500 lbs (same transmission - got totaled at 166K) and never had an issue, though I did switch to synthetic trans fluid and did a 4X drain and fill annually.

The pressure switches are overkill if the fluid got changed regularly IMO, and if it didn't you still aren't preventing some of the other issues that could arise from lack of service causing varnish build up and stickiness of check valves and such. If you don't know the service history or do and know it wasn't done, I would be doing a 1X drain and fill every oil change with a synthetic trans fluid to get it cleaned out. The 1X at intervals is to keep from "shocking" the system and breaking loose too much crude at one time which can clog switches and valves. I have used both Valvoline MaxLife and Mobil 1 full synthetic transmission fluid that are Honda/Acura compatible for well over 100K miles with great results.
Great info! Thank you. I also added lubeguard synthetic. It does amazing, shifts flawlessly. I want to add a second trans cooler on just to have it as well.
 

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I was not aware of the external transmission cooler from the factory as my recent purchase is a 2007 MDX, though extensive experience with my Odyssey with the same trans. My 2nd Odyssey is now at 201K with no trans issues.

With the external cooler and synthetic fluid you should be good to 3,500 lbs IMO. Maybe only worry about an additional cooler above 3,500 lbs.
 
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