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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wanted to share my experience changing the transmission fluid on my 2016 MDX with the ZF9 transmission:

The process itself is very easy. I bought 4 quarts of Honda ATF 3.1 from Honda; the same fluid from Acura costs more; I purchased the fluid from Majestic Honda and the total came out to $98 including shipping.
The only item you must have on hand is a scanner capable of reading transmission temperature. I own the Launch X431V.
All the drain/fill plugs use a 8mm Allen.

1) Jacked the car up on all four corners. Removed the front left tire to make accessing the level plug easier. Removed the fill bolt on top of the transmission before removing the drain plug underneath the transmission. The old fluid was very dark and didn’t look good at all after 49,000 miles.

2) After draining the fluid, poured in 3.5 quarts using the top plug as per the manual. Started the car and put it on Service mode to disable the traction control and manually shifted the transmission while on jack stands per the instructions found here and online. The fluid took a while to get up to the recommend 104*F; then removed the level plug and no fluid was dripping; needed to add .3qts more to start seeing the fluid drip from the level check hole/plug. I used the top fill plug to add more fluid.

The process itself is super easy; only problem is accessing the transmission temperature.

No way I can see a dealer charging $350 to do 30 minutes worth of work and $90 worth of fluid.

Hope this helps
 

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Excellent post Touring-Jay. Considering it for myself as well. The Launch X431V (not V Pro correct?) is pricey but can pay for itself over time. How much did you pay for it?
Although you didn't mention it, I'm sure you made sure the car was on level ground for most accurate check, correct?
 

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Once ATF temp reached 104*F, did you turn off the car before checking fluid level or just place it in while in Park and at engine idle?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Excellent post Touring-Jay. Considering it for myself as well. The Launch X431V (not V Pro correct?) is pricey but can pay for itself over time. How much did you pay for it?
Although you didn't mention it, I'm sure you made sure the car was on level ground for most accurate check, correct?
Correct, the X431V, not the pro. I paid around $800 bucks from Amazon last year. It is well worth the money.
Once I placed the vehicle on jack stands, I made sure all the corners were the same distance off the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Once ATF temp reached 104*F, did you turn off the car before checking fluid level or just place it in while in Park and at engine idle?
All the steps are done with the vehicle running. After you disable the VSA and run thru gears 1-4 manually, place it in park, idle the car in Park and wait until the temperature reaches 104F*. You check the fluid level with the car idling and add or remove fluid with the vehicle on.
The fluid temperature doesn’t increase very rapidly; it is very gradual given you time to adjust the level.

Honestly, the tasks seemed daunting at first; once you start , it is super easy.

Practice getting the vehicle in VSA service mode beforehand.

I now feel guilty for not taking pictures and sharing with you folks.
 

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Awesome. I had read through the "ATF fluid change" instructions, which left me with some Q's. This was very helpful. Thanks again!
 

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I guess as a DIY maintenance guy I need to find a good scan tool that covers all my cars. For instance I do my own brake fluid exchanges and need a tool that can cycle the ABS module, the one I have is clunky. Up until this thread I was 'dealer only' on this service, but if the Launch X431V is a lower cost scan tool with a broad scope of coverage I might change my mind.
 

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I'm with you carli123. I'm looking for scan tool that will also do ABS cycling in additional to AT temp. Will be checking into this Launch X431V soon. Interesting, I've seen somewhere this is the same as their X431V+ (newer model?), but not same as V Pro model.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm with you carli123. I'm looking for scan tool that will also do ABS cycling in additional to AT temp. Will be checking into this Launch X431V soon. Interesting, I've seen somewhere this is the same as their X431V+ (newer model?), but not same as V Pro model.
It is well worth it if you are a DIYer; the machine has paid for itself many times over. It has tons of features like you mentioned with the ABS brake bleeding for all makes and models. I think you can find it cheaper elsewhere, but I choose Amazon just in case anything happens as their customer service is pretty good.
 

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Thanks for confirming ABS cycling. (y) I'm a dedicated DIYer. Much like yourself, always feel I can do a better job, save $ in the process. Couldn't do it without the help from individuals such as yourself (much appreciated!). Funny thing is, my 2002 X seems sooooo primitive compared to the cars these days. Gotta upgrade my tools to do the job right.
 

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Touring-Jay, since you used the Launch X431V for awhile now, is there a different scan tool available today that you would now prefer?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Touring-Jay, since you used the Launch X431V for awhile now, is there a different scan tool available today that you would now prefer?
Given its price point, in my opinon, it is a great value. Sure, I would love to have a $6,000 scan tool, but I can’t afford one or have the training and ability to maximize its use.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So going through the process can one skip the heating and just drain and fill?
I personally wouldn’t do it as you won’t know for sure the correct level after refilling the transmission. WhenI did mine, the transmission took 3.8 quarts and the manual calls for 3.5 quarts as a starting point. not sure if .3 quarts makes a difference as far as performance, reliability and longevity of the transmission.
 

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I recently added the ATF cooler as part of the Trailer Hitch 5000 lb towing upgrade. Extra pipes and oil radiator, both of which I expect will take up a bit more than the 3.5 quarts noted in the manual. Do you have the ATF cooler installed? Maybe that's why you're getting 3.8. Otherwise, you may have just had better drain or, dare I say it, somehow the AT temperature was off resulting in greater ATF expansion and more drain?? I guess either way, you got it back to where it needs to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I recently added the ATF cooler as part of the Trailer Hitch 5000 lb towing upgrade. Extra pipes and oil radiator, both of which I expect will take up a bit more than the 3.5 quarts noted in the manual. Do you have the ATF cooler installed? Maybe that's why you're getting 3.8. Otherwise, you may have just had better drain or, dare I say it, somehow the AT temperature was off resulting in greater ATF expansion and more drain?? I guess either way, you got it back to where it needs to be.
I don’t have the cooler or other towing accessories; maybe more came out?
I have a scanner that reads transmission temperature and the level was read at 104F*. That is why I don’t recommend guessing the level.
 

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Why is so different from pre 2016’s?
I drain and fill with 4 quarts everytime. I don’t warm up or measure. Runs nice and smooth.

I have to believe there’s gotta be an equivalent without having the need to confirm 104 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Why is so different from pre 2016’s?
I drain and fill with 4 quarts everytime. I don’t warm up or measure. Runs nice and smooth.

I have to believe there’s gotta be an equivalent without having the need to confirm 104 degrees.
Pre 2016 vehicles used a whole different transmission, fluid and even had a dip stick; not on the 2016 and after.
 

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Hypothetical situation, not a real one so don't freak out:

If the ambient temperature of my garage was 104*F and my new ATF fluid and my MDX had been parked in it for several days, one could assume all the surfaces, parts, and fluids in the vehicle had settled at the 104* ambient temperature. Then would it be fine to swap fluid and check the level plug?
 
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