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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Have a 2007 with 194k miles; bought her at 137k. I've got what I assume is the old failed rusty radiator tranny cooler connector. Big greasy leak under car discovered after getting home. Pop the hood and there's fluid of some kind all over passenger side pumping out of overflow coolant reservoir.
Read other threads in here about it, looks like a thorough flush, new radiator, and new fluids are in order.
Looks like a common problem with 1st Gens (esp 2005s.) Any one have this happen with 2nd gens?
Having my vehicle towed to my indy mechanic tomorrow.
Any tips on what I should make sure he does with flush and any other part of this job?Should I bother with Acura brand replacement fluids? (Probably selling MDX in the next 6 months.)
Thank you in advance!
M
 

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It's a well known issue. Where are you located if you don't mind sharing?

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a well known issue. Where are you located if you don't mind sharing?

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I'm in Northern MN.
For refilling fluids, since I'm starting from scratch, I assume I'd need the 2.43 gals of type 2 coolant?
How about the tranny fluid? Would I need the total amount of 8.6 arts or the 3.0 for a fluid change?
 

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You can search previous posts in this topic. I think they used more than 8. Probably 11 or 12 qts. After all, fluid is cheap, relatively speaking

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Also in this scenario, they don't just drain and refill. They flush from atf radiator hoses. In this case, it's probably better to use a shop pressure machine to flush. Hopefully, others can chime in.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also in this scenario, they don't just drain and refill. They flush from atf radiator hoses. In this case, it's probably better to use a shop pressure machine to flush. Hopefully, others can chime in.

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Thanks qqcj!
Got 3 gals coolant and 9 qts tranny fluid.
Does tranny fluid usually get contaminated too? Hence the repeated flushes?
 

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Thanks qqcj!
Got 3 gals coolant and 9 qts tranny fluid.
Does tranny fluid usually get contaminated too? Hence the repeated flushes?
Yes

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Crap thing is most modern cars have radiator that warms the trans fluid (and cools too) and cools the engine as well. There are parallel circuits with coolant in one passage and oil in the other. If any of the passages fail and the 2 mix then it can be a bad time. Worst case is new trans and engine if you keep driving like that. Best case is you catch it early enough and just have to swap fluids a few times. HOWEVER, there can be another failure of a fitting causing a leak of trans fluid (pinkish red oil).


Main thing to determine is if radiator fitting failed externally (leaked trans fluid) OR the radiator failed internally (mixing coolant and trans fluid IE Water and oil). If it's the first one, then no issue with simply refilling fluids to right levels. If it's the second (coolant is not blue and is oily/chocolate milkshake looking) then you will need to FLUSH. DO NOT USE A MACHINE TO FLUSH THE TRANS WITH DETERGENTS. You can use a fluid exchanger machine but not one that cleans via detergents or high pressure. Most exchanger machines hook up near the radiator (tube w/ hot fluid going into radiator) and suck in old fluid and push new fluid into the radiator. After the machine sees new fluid coming from the intake side the hoses can be removed and put back to factory.

You can do the drain and refill method but it's going to be VERY time consuming for trans. Cooling system not that bad but still will be some work.

You are going to need some time and a lot more fluids that what you purchased. I recommend 2 cases of trans fluid (each case has 12 quarts) to flush out the coolant from the trans. Honda dealer stocks cases for the same price, if not cheaper than acura. Trans can only drain 3-4 quarts at a time while it holds about 9-10 quarts, so about a 33% change ratio every time. You need to keep diluting the old, contaminated fluid with drain and refills OR use an exchanger machine.

For cooling system, get (10+ gallons) distilled water and flush the cooling system as best as you can. You might have to use some sort of gentle cleaner to get oil out of there, no recommendations. After you are certain there is no oil in the cooling system flush 1x more with distilled water and then add 2 gallons of Honda Type 2 coolant. Be sure to burp the cooling system and make sure heater is on high on front and rear heater to get rid of all the coolant that's contaminated. Also you can unscrew the rear block drain and get a few extra cups of contaminated coolant directly out the block.

Make sure the new radiator is a Denso unit; it is the same brand as the factory one at 1/3rd the price. Make sure the mechanic uses honda type 2 coolant. While you are in this mess, if you have the budget it might be time for the 2nd timing belt service. It should be done around 105K miles, then again anywhere from 165-210K miles depending on how the car is driven and what parts are used. Beware of fake parts sold on ebay, amazon, etc. Buy from local stores with coupons (autozone, orileys, etc) or use reputable source such as rock auto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Crap thing is most modern cars have radiator that warms the trans fluid (and cools too) and cools the engine as well. There are parallel circuits with coolant in one passage and oil in the other. If any of the passages fail and the 2 mix then it can be a bad time. Worst case is new trans and engine if you keep driving like that. Best case is you catch it early enough and just have to swap fluids a few times. HOWEVER, there can be another failure of a fitting causing a leak of trans fluid (pinkish red oil).


Main thing to determine is if radiator fitting failed externally (leaked trans fluid) OR the radiator failed internally (mixing coolant and trans fluid IE Water and oil). If it's the first one, then no issue with simply refilling fluids to right levels. If it's the second (coolant is not blue and is oily/chocolate milkshake looking) then you will need to FLUSH. DO NOT USE A MACHINE TO FLUSH THE TRANS WITH DETERGENTS. You can use a fluid exchanger machine but not one that cleans via detergents or high pressure. Most exchanger machines hook up near the radiator (tube w/ hot fluid going into radiator) and suck in old fluid and push new fluid into the radiator. After the machine sees new fluid coming from the intake side the hoses can be removed and put back to factory.

You can do the drain and refill method but it's going to be VERY time consuming for trans. Cooling system not that bad but still will be some work.

You are going to need some time and a lot more fluids that what you purchased. I recommend 2 cases of trans fluid (each case has 12 quarts) to flush out the coolant from the trans. Honda dealer stocks cases for the same price, if not cheaper than acura. Trans can only drain 3-4 quarts at a time while it holds about 9-10 quarts, so about a 33% change ratio every time. You need to keep diluting the old, contaminated fluid with drain and refills OR use an exchanger machine.

For cooling system, get (10+ gallons) distilled water and flush the cooling system as best as you can. You might have to use some sort of gentle cleaner to get oil out of there, no recommendations. After you are certain there is no oil in the cooling system flush 1x more with distilled water and then add 2 gallons of Honda Type 2 coolant. Be sure to burp the cooling system and make sure heater is on high on front and rear heater to get rid of all the coolant that's contaminated. Also you can unscrew the rear block drain and get a few extra cups of contaminated coolant directly out the block.

Make sure the new radiator is a Denso unit; it is the same brand as the factory one at 1/3rd the price. Make sure the mechanic uses honda type 2 coolant. While you are in this mess, if you have the budget it might be time for the 2nd timing belt service. It should be done around 105K miles, then again anywhere from 165-210K miles depending on how the car is driven and what parts are used. Beware of fake parts sold on ebay, amazon, etc. Buy from local stores with coupons (autozone, orileys, etc) or use reputable source such as rock auto.
Thanks so much for the tips!
Can't get my mechanic until end of this week or next.
Already ordered the radiator (it's an AM auto parts.) Probably selling the MDX this summer. So not going to do timing belt.
Haven't driven it since discovering the leak and had no tranny indicators (shuddering, bad shifting, etc) so I think I caught it before doing major damage to the tranny. Flat bedding it to mechanic once I know when he can fit me in.
I'm going to use a non Honda tranny fluid for first couple flush/fills, then switch to the more expensive Honda fluid.
How much should I drive it between flushes? I live close to town and probably only put on 15-30 miles a day.
Thanks again for all the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Recommended mileage between tranny flushes?
I've read to just start it up on the lift until it gets hot. Also read to drive it around a few days. Opinion?
Would you also replace the filter?
Thanks!
Mpa
 
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