That's a loaded/difficult question...2016 MDX Sh-AWD Advance/Entertain, 53020 miles
I'm getting transmission and transfer case fluid change done at a Honda dealership. How do I make sure if they were done properly?
I've specified ATF Type 3.1
If any shop quotes $160 for a ZF9HP48 transmission fluid change, then RUN AWAY. They are not using the correct fluid, and probably do not have experience servicing this transmission.I have heard quotes of 160.00- 350.00 for just trans oil changes. so ask around.
It is my intention to DIY the fluid change on my ZF9HP48 and to build a step-by-step guide, with pictures. However, I'm only at ~15k miles, and I don't plan on changing the fluid until 30k... So I've got about another year or 18 months to go.My understanding is that the equipment needed is overly expensive? If this is not the case i and others would like the DIY procedure for these transmissions that is safe and reliable that we can perform ourselves? A list of equipment and detailed procedure appreciated.
Unless you stand there and watch the person do all the changes you won't know for certain. If your trans has a dipstick you could use it to check the fluid before and after to at least see if you notice a change to a fresh color and that the level is correct, but I thought the 9 speed doesn't have a dipstick so this method is out if that's the case.How do I make sure if they were done properly?
I have no problem with dealers making a profit. Someone has to pay for for all those loaners sitting out there. If you choose to DIY fine. But I wish people would stop complaining about dealers trying to make money.DIY. Problem solved.
This is not a new thing. Dealer service departments have been "profit centers" for a looooong time.
Im fine with dealers (or any business) making money.I have no problem with dealers making a profit. Someone has to pay for for all those loaners sitting out there. If you choose to DIY fine. But I wish people would stop complaining about dealers trying to make money.
Is this an actual Acura/Honda procedure? I ask because it sound a bit over complicated. I've done a fair share of transmission fluid changes on German cars and none had that many steps.It is my intention to DIY the fluid change on my ZF9HP48 and to build a step-by-step guide, with pictures. However, I'm only at ~15k miles, and I don't plan on changing the fluid until 30k... So I've got about another year or 18 months to go.
Here's a brief synopsis:
For #2, there are several approaches to reading the transmission temperature from the CAN BUS:
- Standard hand tools (sockets + wrench)
- Device for reading transmission temperature from the CAN BUS
- New drain plug (MSRP $26.19, can be found for ~$20)
- New fill plug (MSRP $26.19, can be found for ~$20)
- 4x US Quarts Acura ATF Type 3.1 (MSRP $48.52 each, can be found for ~$36)
So if you don't already have a device to satisfy requirement #2, then the ScanGauge II is currently the most economical option, imo.
- Acura has HDS (Honda Diagnostic System). I won't go into much detail about it, but it is possible to buy the necessary computer interface and download the software to replicate HDS.
- Use a third-party scanner with CAN BUS support. There are many on the market, by companies such as Autel, Launch, Bosch/OTC Evolve, Snap-On, etc. These typically range in price from $700 up to $4500. They're expensive, but they are powerful. If you're a serious DIYer, you may want something like this for more than just transmission fluid changes.
- Use a ScanGauge II. It's available at local auto parts stores, as well as online. MSRP $169.95.
$144 - Acura ATF Type 3.1
$40 - Drain/fill plugs
$170 - ScanGauge II
$354 DIY cost, first time. (cheaper than paying a dealer + you know it's done carefully)
$184 DIY cost, subsequent times. (much cheaper than paying a dealer!)
If you decide you don't like the ScanGauge after you change your transmission fluid, I suppose you could return it and get that money back. I don't condone that sort of thing... But hey... Options.
The procedure for changing the transmission fluid is:
How to enter VSA Maintenance Mode: These steps must be completed within 30 seconds:
- Lift vehicle and place on jack stands so all 4 wheel are off the ground.
- Remove drain plug from bottom of transmission housing and drain all fluid (approximately 3.5 US Quarts).
- Install NEW drain plug.
- Remove the level-check/fill plug from side of transmission housing.
- Refill transmission with Acura ATF Type 3.1 through the level-check/fill plug until the ATF overflows. (Approximately 3.5 US Quarts).
- Temporarily install the OLD level-check/fill plug.
- Turn the vehicle ignition ON without starting engine.
- Enter VSA maintenance mode* (See description, below, for that procedure)
- Start the engine.
- Shift transmission to D position, then select Sport in IDS
- Run the vehicle through gears 1, 2, 3, and 4 for at least 10 seconds, each. Slow down, and stop the wheels. (DO NOT GO PAST 4TH GEAR WITH WHEELS OFF THE GROUND)
- Shift transmission to P position.
- Raise engine speed to 2,000 RPM for a few seconds
- Run the engine at idle speed until ATF temperature reaches 104 degrees F
- Remove the level-check/fill plug to assess fluid level. If ATF is pouring out, wait until the ATF starts dripping from the hole. If there is no ATF coming out, add ATF through the hole until it overflows, then wait until the ATF starts dripping.
- Install NEW level-check/fill plug.
- Turn engine off
- Vehicle ignition must be ON, engine OFF.
- Release parking brake, and hold down the brake pedal.
- While holding down the brake pedal, press and hold the VSA OFF switch (traction control). When the VSA OFF indicator turns on, press and hold the VSA OFF switch again until the VSA OFF indicator goes off.
- Release the brake pedal and apply the parking brake.
- While the brake pedal is released, press and hold the VSA OFF switch. When the VSA OFF indicator turns on, press and hold the VSA OFF switch again until the VSA OFF indicator goes off.
- Hold down the brake pedal while applying the parking brake.
- Press and hold the VSA OFF switch while both brakes are applied. When the VSA indicator turns on, press and hold the VSA OFF switch again until the VSA OFF indicator flashes and the VSA indicator turns on.
- While the VSA OFF indicator is flashing, you are in VSA Maintenance Mode.
I put it in my own words, but I do have the actual procedure from Honda Tech Info, and yes, that’s basically it.Is this an actual Acura/Honda procedure? I ask because it sound a bit over complicated. I've done a fair share of transmission fluid changes on German cars and none had that many steps.
Normally I’d agree, but Acura doesn’t list it that way, for some reason. I wanted to post the procedure to match what Acura recommends.BTW: always remove fill plug first.
The parts fiche does show 3 plugs. However, the official procedure in Tech Info mentions only the drain and level check plugs. It states that the transmission should be filled through the level plug.
It is my understanding that the transmission temperature information is published on the CAN BUS. I'm not aware of any free/cheap software to read it. The Scan Gauge II is the cheapest "easy" option that I have found. It has been my intention to attempt building my own reader, specifically for Honda/Acura transmission temperature... But I haven't gotten around to it, yet.I believe that it is possible for other OBD2 devices/apps to read the ATF temp. It requires programming the proprietary code. I had collected the data to do it but accidentally lost it. I'm too busy right now to pursue it but I will follow up in the fall.
Ultimately, it is up to each owner to decide how they want to service their vehicle. Personally, I feel that I am less likely to cause a failure than a shop, so I'll be doing the procedure, myself. My VIN is not included in the ATF warmer recall, and I did not receive an extended warranty. I suggest you read the letter carefully... It is my understanding that the extended warranty is extremely limited -- only providing coverage if the ATF warmer fails. In other words, the warranty is not extended for any other failure.The biggest problem with DIY ATF changes for the 9-speed is the risk to the warranty. IIRC I received a letter extending the warranty as a result of the fluid interchange in some warmers (heat exchangers). I wouldn't want to provide an excuse to deny coverage.
Chrysler is an odd case. Some of their vehicles (primary V6 applications) use a ZF9HP48, manufactured by ZF. However, most of their vehicles (primarily L4 applications) use the 948TE, which is mostly a ZF9, but with some changes, manufactured by Chrysler, directly. Many parts interchange, but some do not.Chrysler has a different procedure for their 9-speed ZFs: they use an aftermarket dip stick, measure the height and temp, then look up in a table the desired height for that temp and adjust. This may not work for us as they may be using a different ATF. But the important point is that getting the right quantity for the temp is critical, and is not just a matter of filling to a dipstick level.
It honestly doesn't seem like a terrible procedure, to me. I think the community will warm up to the idea once we build a photo-walk-through and a few of us have success with the procedure.I started out wanting to stick with the dealer for all service during the warranty period. Then they screwed me. Now it is DIY and an independent mechanic. But even he won't touch this transmission. So as I near 30k I am cringing...
I guess no new mdx upgrade for me if this is how they corral owners into their service center!