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I'm a little confused. I need to change my transmission fluid soon. A couple of local shops (Firestone and Tires Plus) charge $80-100 for a fluid change and flush. I called my local Acura dealer yesterday and the service guy told me they charge $60 for just a change (No flush) as recommended. When I called the same dealer today, I spoke to a different service guy and he recommended the change AND flush, but the cost would be $175.

I do not pull anything and am not aware of any problems. Do you think the flush is necessary and worth the extra $$?
 

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The MDX, as well as a number of other vehicles, has two level of Tranny service. The basic is a simple pull the drain plug, let drain, refill. This method only gets about 1/3 of the fluid.

The second way can be done 2 ways. One is to use a machine to suck out the fluid or use the 3x method Acura suggests which is to do the basic one three times in a row so as to clean things as much as possible. I have only done level 1. I do not tow and do a lot of straight highway and am not that uptight about the tranny.
 

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Honda is foolish by not allowing a complete passive fluid exchange to be performed... instead they have to recommend a wasteful, time consuming 3x drain and fill.

If you only do 1x drain and fills at the manual recommendatons you are under-maintaining... unless you'll turn the car back in prior to the warranty expiring, I'd be concerned.

Problem with non-Acura/Honda shops is that generally won't fill their exchange machine with Honda Z1 ATF... so you get some other fluid.

If you can change your own oil, you can change the ATF.....

A
 

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Technically...we do have a machine to do it. Ever Honda/Acura dealer should have it since it's a factory required tool. It's supposed to be used to flush out the cooler and lines when we replace a transmission. I can't see why it couldn't be used to flush to entire transmission...if it has remote cooler lines. But we still do the standard triple flush. I've had some transmissions where the fluid still isn't quite new looking even after the third fill, but I've never been able to sell an additional flush. Hard enough getting people to pay for one.
 

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SuperTech said:
Technically...we do have a machine to do it. Ever Honda/Acura dealer should have it since it's a factory required tool. It's supposed to be used to flush out the cooler and lines when we replace a transmission. I can't see why it couldn't be used to flush to entire transmission...if it has remote cooler lines. But we still do the standard triple flush. I've had some transmissions where the fluid still isn't quite new looking even after the third fill, but I've never been able to sell an additional flush. Hard enough getting people to pay for one.
Does Acura/Honda condone/approve the use of the machine for changing the fluid?

Is there an (easy) way to rig up a system to use the fluid pump in the tranny to just passively exchange the fluid? Like disconnecting the cooler lines, running one into a bucket and another to a tub filled with clean ATF? Is there sufficient suction, or is it a pressurized system? Could you use gravity to feed the fresh fluid in? (Like put the tub up 6-8 feet and feed the hose from the bottom.

A poor man's flush. MUCH easier that 3x...Heck, never even undo a drain or fill plug!

A
 

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ardvarkus said:


Does Acura/Honda condone/approve the use of the machine for changing the fluid?

Is there an (easy) way to rig up a system to use the fluid pump in the tranny to just passively exchange the fluid? Like disconnecting the cooler lines, running one into a bucket and another to a tub filled with clean ATF?
I can't image they do. The filter on the machine would have to be changed almost every other flush if we did that.

What you suggest sounds somewhat do-able. Those two hoses going to the cooler would be where to do it. Obviously one is going to blow fluid out under pressure from the pump. But I don't think the other is under suction. I would imagine that pickup for pump suction is at the bottom of the transmission. So you'd have to fill through the "in" hose acording to how much came out. And I think that the new fluid you put in will mingle with old fluid inside the transmission before that old fluid has a chance to be pumped out. So a straight fluid exchange won't happen this way. In all honesty, other than not having to crack open a drain plug...this really has no advantages over the standard triple flush.
 

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Is it Honda recommend to change transmission fluid at 100k miles? I don't see that before any interval, any ideas?

105,000 mi/168,000 km/7 yrs Scheduled Maintenance
Recommended service for your 2003 Acura MDX:
Replace transmission fluid.
Replace transfer assembly fluid.
#Replace timing belt, and inspect water pump.
Inspect valve clearance.
Replace spark plugs.
Replace engine oil.
Rotate tires (follow pattern on page 335 of your owner's manual).
Replace engine oil filter.
Inspect front and rear brakes.
Inspect tie rod ends, steering gearbox and boots.
Inspect suspension components.
Inspect driveshaft boots.
Check parking brake adjustment.
Inspect brake hoses and lines (including ABS).
Check all fluid levels, condition of fluids and check for leaks.
#Inspect exhaust system.
#Inspect fuel lines and connections.
# = See information on maintenance and emissions warranty, last column, page 297 in your owner's manual.
 

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Not a big fan of flush. If you drive not too crazy on regular roads and change fluids regualrly like me, I don't think any flush is needed. Have a 92 Accord, 185k miles, never flushed anything, just regular drain and fill. Never had any engine or tranny problems. Look at the owner's manual, does it mention any "flush" as a regular maintenance item? No! Why? Go figure!

I am not saying it's useless, but not necessary. It's also true that the dealer will make more money on it. But I doubt it will do anything good to your car. Just like a dealer told me my brake is "due cleaning". I know they just want to make more money. What good will that do to my vehicle to "clean the brake"? I believe my tires are "due Shampooing" also.

Some people claim that tranny flush will increase the power. It doesn't make sense. Flush has nothing to do with the power output of the engine. It's just a personal feel and I would say it's very possible jsut psychological with no scientific proof (I doubt any dealer will dare to prove it). It's possible though that the dealer puts some Octane booster in your tank to make you feel some kind of difference.


Yes, regular drain and fill will replace about 1/3 of the fluid in the tranny, but I believe the manufacturer had taken into account of that factor already.

For my MDX, it's about 36k miles now, the color of the tranny fluid is still red. Since the owner's manual suggests, I would do a 3x when it's 45k, and that's it.
 

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It's probably a different machine. The actual tool that's used to flush the cooler looks like a 30 gallon air compressor that has a heater/pump/filter assembly. I'd post a picture of it, but I'm too lazy to figure out how to get a pic off of a pdf file and make a jpg out of it.
 

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SuperTech said:
It's probably a different machine. The actual tool that's used to flush the cooler looks like a 30 gallon air compressor that has a heater/pump/filter assembly. I'd post a picture of it, but I'm too lazy to figure out how to get a pic off of a pdf file and make a jpg out of it.
On the same line, is it a good idea getting the PS flushed too, as the miles pile on and you plan to keep your vehicle for a long stretch?
 

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I just realized, I don't need any more programs. And I don't want to post the whole pdf since it is a TSB, and I don't want to post those publicly. But, I have the technology to make this a minimal amount of work. Took a pic of it with my camera phone, and then imported it quickly with bluetooth. Here's the Honda A/T cooler cleaner.
 

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SuperTech said:
I just realized, I don't need any more programs. And I don't want to post the whole pdf since it is a TSB, and I don't want to post those publicly. But, I have the technology to make this a minimal amount of work. Took a pic of it with my camera phone, and then imported it quickly with bluetooth. Here's the Honda A/T cooler cleaner.
Isn't technology a wonderful thing!!!

That looks like my air compressor at home.
 

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richkuan said:
Not a big fan of flush.
.....
Yes, regular drain and fill will replace about 1/3 of the fluid in the tranny, but I believe the manufacturer had taken into account of that factor already.

For my MDX, it's about 36k miles now, the color of the tranny fluid is still red. Since the owner's manual suggests, I would do a 3x when it's 45k, and that's it.
"Flush" has gotten a bad rap.

Power flush, reverse flush, adding solvents/cleaners.. are all bad ideas (IMHO) and can lead to more heartache.

(There are certain situations (read stuck valve body) where you might not have much to loose from an aggressive flush.)

I really view a 'flush' as simply a way to get 'near 100%' fluid change.

That's all I'm saying...

The mfg makes sure the tranny makes it to the end of the warranty period- don't kid yourself if you think Acura worries about 100k miles.

I wonder if the same folks that feel 45k and a 1x flush is fine for the tranny are the same guys draining synthetic motor oil at 4k mile intervals... If you think about it, why can a tranny go 30- 45,000 but the engine can only go 3750?

A
 
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