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Hey Guys,

My 16 MDX is due very soon on #3 (ZF 9S ATF 3.1) It's will be on B136, I will take care other services except #3 (just the transmission fluid). Seen the transfer case is very easy to DIY. Just want to cut the cost down.

So my real question is: Should I let the dealer take care the #3 or should I take it to other shop to do it cheaper? I know we have a 10 years/unlimited mileage warranty on the ZF 9speed. Is it a good idea to let Acura Dealer take care and move on?

I found a good deal from one of the Acura site for the ATF 3.1 fluid around $30/bottle.

What is your recommendation?
 

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So my real question is: Should I let the dealer take care the #3 or should I take it to other shop to do it cheaper? I know we have a 10 years/unlimited mileage warranty on the ZF 9speed. Is it a good idea to let Acura Dealer take care and move on?
Are you sure about the warranty? It was my understanding that only the transmission WARMER warranty was extended, and only for some vehicles. Did you receive a letter advising you of the warranty on your VIN?

Do you trust the dealer to do the service properly? I don't.

I would absolutely NOT trust a generic shop to do the service.

Personally, I'll be doing my own transmission fluid change. But, you need to be able to read the transmission temp off the CAN bus. If you have a good scan tool with CAN bus support, then you should be golden. Or if you can borrow one... Or you can use a RaspberryPi with a CANbus shield... Or you can buy a Scangauge II... Dealers choice. However you do it, it is critical to read the temperature of the transmission from the CAN bus. Do not trust an infrared gauge.
 

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I just changed the oil on my ATF ZF9 transmission today.
It was easy. ( but a tedious procedure )
Remove oil plug bolt for fill hole at the top. (5/16" hex socket is required)
Remove oil plug bolt for drain hole at the bottom.
Let the oil drain.
Clean everything by wiping it down.
Install new oil plug bolt for drain hole at the bottom to the torque specs. (This is necessary as the oil plug bolt has a rubber grommet in it that provides the tight lock and prevents leakage. On comparison of old bolt and new bolt, I did found that torquing the oil plug bolt to recommended settings did deform the rubber grommet on the old screw.)
Measure the oil that came out in a marked container.
Install same amount from the top hole (plus a little extra if you want to account for oil not measured that was left in container/on the ground).
Install new oil plug bolt for fill hole at the top.
You shall be set.

Biggest Assumption here that I made: ( Oil temperature for the new oil in bottle was same as the Oil temperature for the oil that came out of the transmission )

I made sure to let the car sit overnight and did not run it in the morning. The oil bottles were also kept at the same location just in case.

The oil level is based on the temperature but as long as both the temperatures are same or in the near vicinity you shall be good.
 

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Credibility took a hit with the 5/16" socket. There is not a single SAE bolt on these vehicles. All metric. ( Well, except maybe the 3/8" square drive plugs... I'll give you that one ).

There is guaranteed to be oil left in the container into which it was drained. Oil wets surfaces. That's usually a good thing, but not when you're trying to measure it.

Another issue with this method is it assumes the ATF level is optimal prior to the change.

A third issue is that it's usually good to change ATF after the vehicle has been driven, so that particulates are mostly suspended.

I really dunno if this method is "good 'nuf", but if it's not good 'nuf you gonna have some 'splainin to do if there's a warranty issue.

Just my $0.02
 

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I agree. It may work for him, but it is not the correct procedure, and I wouldn’t trust it, myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you sure about the warranty? It was my understanding that only the transmission WARMER warranty was extended, and only for some vehicles. Did you receive a letter advising you of the warranty on your VIN?

Do you trust the dealer to do the service properly? I don't.

I would absolutely NOT trust a generic shop to do the service.

Personally, I'll be doing my own transmission fluid change. But, you need to be able to read the transmission temp off the CAN bus. If you have a good scan tool with CAN bus support, then you should be golden. Or if you can borrow one... Or you can use a RaspberryPi with a CANbus shield... Or you can buy a Scangauge II... Dealers choice. However you do it, it is critical to read the temperature of the transmission from the CAN bus. Do not trust an infrared gauge.
yeah, I got the letter from Acura about the Warmer issue, thought it relate to the transmission.
btw, I'm a DIY guy, but wouldn't trust myself doing the ZF 9S Transmission. lol
 

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Hi Guys,

I thought to post this as an update. I changed the oil using above listed procedure at 54000 miles.

I am currently at 84630 miles and still going strong.

@Wanderlust: You are correct my friend. Everything on this vehicle for the most part is in metric system. However, when I was working on it, I had my SAE toolset with me and I just went ahead with the closest socket that would fit and work and 5/16" worked for me. If you look at the conversion table 5/16" is very close to 8 mm which is what I should have used. Oh well!
 

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ErSlickEr, I have been considering changing the trans fluid on my 17 Tech using the same method as yours. I‘ve read of a another poster that claims no issues with this same method. I plan on letting mine drain all night after warming it up to operating temperature. Then in the morning the used trans fluid should be the same temp as the new fluid left in the garage next to the vehicle. I will measure the qty. of the used fluid, then put in that exact qty. of new fluid. Question .... did you measure the exact qty. of new fluid you put into the tranny and if so, how much was It ... 3.5 qts.? Thanks.
BTW ... I plan on using my 5/16” hex socket as well. It seem to fit perfectly when trying it on the fill bolt and it is virtually identical to a 8 mm socket.
 

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i have the 2016 advance awd and i just did the transmission oil. As you can read from others here, some feel comfortable doing it themselves and others don't, it all depends how tech savy you are. I am not at that level. What i did do was get prices from different dealers and narrowed it down to 500 - 700, the dealers include the transfer case, which is bs, i wanted just the transmission oil changed but none of the dealers wanted to do it that way, finally i found one that only did the transmission for 350, not bad, i changed the transfer case oil, is only one quart and it is about 25 dollars.
 

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i have the 2016 advance awd and i just did the transmission oil. As you can read from others here, some feel comfortable doing it themselves and others don't, it all depends how tech savy you are. I am not at that level. What i did do was get prices from different dealers and narrowed it down to 500 - 700, the dealers include the transfer case, which is bs, i wanted just the transmission oil changed but none of the dealers wanted to do it that way, finally i found one that only did the transmission for 350, not bad, i changed the transfer case oil, is only one quart and it is about 25 dollars.
forgot to say, the dealer told me they had to reprogram the transmission, the car runs much better, so i don't know all these members doing it themselves without reprograming.
 

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I don't see why anyone who does basic DIY fluid changes is afraid of this service. Buy a decent scan tool that gives transmission temp. You will still save money on your first fluid change, then after that you will save really big. Plus you have a quality tool for OBD-2 troubleshooting.

Good video here:


Happy Wrenching!
 

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I consider myself a hard core maintenance DIY but honestly this is not a service I plan to do myself. I'm sure the close enough procedures will work good enough, but it's just not worth the risk on this particular transmission. Plus every once in a while it nice for the dealer to hook up to the car for updates.
 

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Considering I still have have 73,000 miles of powertrain warranty left, I don't want to risk losing that to save myself $200. I know if you document you did the procedure and show receipts Acura is supposed to honor the warranty, but I'm going to play it safe for now. Once I'm out of warranty I'm confident I'll be able to handle this
 

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ErSlickEr, I have been considering changing the trans fluid on my 17 Tech using the same method as yours. I‘ve read of a another poster that claims no issues with this same method. I plan on letting mine drain all night after warming it up to operating temperature. Then in the morning the used trans fluid should be the same temp as the new fluid left in the garage next to the vehicle. I will measure the qty. of the used fluid, then put in that exact qty. of new fluid. Question .... did you measure the exact qty. of new fluid you put into the tranny and if so, how much was It ... 3.5 qts.? Thanks.
BTW ... I plan on using my 5/16” hex socket as well. It seem to fit perfectly when trying it on the fill bolt and it is virtually identical to a 8 mm socket.
Hi. First of all I am sorry I was too late in replying back. Please accept apologies for that.

Second, I had two exact same containers. I filled one with the fluid that came out and then filled the other container with the new fluid. Then I made sure the levels were almost exact or very close. Then I added the new fluid from its container. At the end, I just topped it a little extra to cover for oil that was sticking to containers used. I think it was close to 3.5 quarts. I do know that some of the oil remains in the transmission and so we wont be able to completely change it. We are just changing the oil in the reservoir. There is no way to drain all oil out of the transmission unless you tear it open.

Hope that helps!

PS: 88131miles and still going strong!
 

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ErSlickEr, I have used this same system for a few years now, 10-ish on my other vehicles, Fords, Toyotas, Hondas, Lincolns and it works every time. Spread the message, its too easy to do it yourself not to do it yourself. With that method, drain cold, measure it pour same amount of new fluid in (maybe a little extra to grow on...), check fluid levels when hot (using the manufacturers method). Glad to see I'm not the only one using this method. Saves me about $200 every time I do it this way. So over the 10-ish years I've been doing it it has saved me I guess thousands of dollars. I have put several hundred thousand miles on those vehicles in that time.
 
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The fluid capacity is 3.5qts. As long as the volumes of old and new are compared at the same temps, and the volumes are 3.5qts or extremely close to that I think one should fine. The manual says 3.5qts, so one will be within their right for any claims if they had simply drained and filled 3.5qts with receipts to show.
 
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