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Old 11-13-2012, 09:24 AM   #1
WNY PAT
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'12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

So it was warm this weekend and decided to get these out of the way a bit early (Pilot has 25,000 miles and RL has about 14,000 miles). Bought 2 gallons of VTM fluid, 4 quarts of DW-1 tranny fluid; and replacement washers from the dealer. Total was about $70.

VTM change was simple and the fluid that I drained out looked perfect. It was the second change for the Pilot, first for the RL. No metal at all on the magnetic drain plug in either vehicle. Took me about 15 minutes each - and really couldn't be any easier. I use my compressor and pump the fluid up and in slowly.

Tranny change (2011 Pilot - not RL but I assume they are the same): there was a small amount of build up on the magnetic drain plug that I had to clean off. Fluid looked new and smelled fine. I collected what I drained in a container and then measured how much actually came out. I had between 3.8-3.9 quarts in the drain pan. I initially put 3.6 quarts in as recommended and then drove it around for a bit and followed instructions for checking (level ground, run until fans kick on, within 30 seconds) and was still on the low end on the dip stick even with the tranny quite warm. I put the remaining .4 quart in and now it reads just slightly more than half between the hi and low marks. Filled it with same method - don't really even have to jack the Pilot up just turn wheels all the way to the left and the fill is right there. I put the last bit in through the dipstick with a 1/4 inch plastic tube attached to a small funnel. Gravity works but it'd take some time to do all 4 quarts this way - easier to get a pump for sure.

Anyway, given how easy it is to drain and fill the tranny fluid, why not just drain it out and refill at each oil change? Mine oil changes come up every 8,000 miles or so on the MM. The tranny fluid and washer cost me less then $30 right at the dealer - I could probably get it even cheaper online. Takes an extra 10 minutes and you'd always have fresh, clean fluid in the transmission. Anyone agree? Thoughts? Total overkill? :-)
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

This is what I did on my 03 Odyssey which I just sold to a buddy. Those trannys are reknown for blowing up. It has 110k on the clock. My friend just drove it on a 1k mile trip and back with no hiccups.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

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Originally Posted by WNY PAT View Post

Anyway, given how easy it is to drain and fill the tranny fluid, why not just drain it out and refill at each oil change? Mine oil changes come up every 8,000 miles or so on the MM. The tranny fluid and washer cost me less then $30 right at the dealer - I could probably get it even cheaper online. Takes an extra 10 minutes and you'd always have fresh, clean fluid in the transmission. Anyone agree? Thoughts? Total overkill? :-)
Not at all and your vehicles already come with DW1, so no mixing with Z1. Even if you did it every other oil change, you will be ahead of the game.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

It's a bit of overkill, but I don't see anything wrong with it. I'm pretty stringent about fluid maintenance and I do one D&F on every other oil change (about 15k miles) now. I did a full changeover to DW-1 on my '07 at about 95k miles. I did another D&F at 112k and will do another at my next oil change at around 127-129k. Honda recommends completely changing the fluid every 45k miles or so, so I figure one D&F every 15k miles is just as good. Plus, it allows the magnetic drain plug to be cleaned more often.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

Ian, if I'm not mistaken, Honda only calls for a D&F every 45k miles. Not a complete changeout unless the fluid is contaminated, burnt, or being changed out to another fluid (Z1 to DW1).

That being said, I am also in the group who like frequent fluid changes (every other OCI for me).
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:01 PM   #6
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

Well maybe ill do every other oil change then. That seems like it'll be plenty frequent. Good to know I'm not the only anal/crazy one out here. Lol.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

Well, we are all crazy enough to be here!
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

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Well maybe ill do every other oil change then. That seems like it'll be plenty frequent. Good to know I'm not the only anal/crazy one out here. Lol.
You're in good company.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:08 PM   #9
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

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Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
Ian, if I'm not mistaken, Honda only calls for a D&F every 45k miles. Not a complete changeout unless the fluid is contaminated, burnt, or being changed out to another fluid (Z1 to DW1).

That being said, I am also in the group who like frequent fluid changes (every other OCI for me).
Wow. I have a real problem with only doing three changes over the course of 135k miles... The OM for my wife's 05 Accord says to only do a full change procedure at 120k miles. That's it!!! I couldn't live with that and did a full change to DW-1 at about 95k miles at the same time I was doing the truck. I'll continue to do one D&F every 2 oil changes on both cars. I owned a GM car for 8 years that did not have any maintenance calls for the transmission. It started to slip every now and then at 60k miles, was pretty bad by 110k miles and finally kicked the bucket when I sold it at 142k miles. I was lucky to get that much out of it! I'm not taking any risks with these Hondas - especially since changing the fluid is so darn easy!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:27 PM   #10
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Re: '12 RL and '11 Pilot VTM & Tranny Fliud Change

I may have mis-typed above. I know the schedule calls for the first change at 45k miles (consistent with my RL's MM call outs). I think subsequent scheduled changes are then 30k apart. It will be a while before my RL verifies that callout. I don't have my pc in front of me at the moment to verify that. (on my iPad)
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