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Old 10-20-2010, 02:20 PM   #1
customcracka
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Transmission fluid change

So I called the dealer and they want $90 for a drain and refill and $210 for a flush. Which one should I choose? My 06 RTL has about 56,xxx on it and I have no idea if it's ever been done before (but I doubt it). I was thinking of doing the drain and refill myself so I also asked about how much the ATF costs and how much it takes and they said $8 a quart and it takes about 3 quarts. They said the flush takes about 12 quarts! Is there a drain plug on the pan? What about a filter?
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
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Re: Transmission fluid change

Do the drain and fill. Most machines that do the flush operate at a higher psi than the A/T operates at and that could cause damage.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:41 PM   #3
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Re: Transmission fluid change

Some recommend the 3X drain and fill (drain it, run it a few minutes, drain it again, etc.) to get out about 90% of the fluid. I prefer to do the 1X and do it more often, like every 15K or every other or 3rd oil change.
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Transmission fluid change

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Originally Posted by rollinhonda View Post
Some recommend the 3X drain and fill (drain it, run it a few minutes, drain it again, etc.) to get out about 90% of the fluid. I prefer to do the 1X and do it more often, like every 15K or every other or 3rd oil change.
Ditto here.

There are plenty of threads here that show how to do the tranny fluid change. Nothing to fear if you can change oil. The hardest thing to do is break the filler bolt free. Make sure you have some quality tools else expect to twist off some el cheapos in the process. ALWAYS loosen the fill bolt before you drain a fluid. *ALWAYS*

Here's an excellent tutorial for the A136 service... which is more than you're asking... but may be what you need to do if you have questions about where your RL is service-wise.

Ask away if you have questions. Plan about 1/2 a day for this if you DIY. Probably won't take that long... but the first time everything takes longer.. plus the setup and cleanup takes some time too. And the savings are significant. I saved about $400 recently doing this to our Pilot (compared to the dealer quote for a 60k mile service).

Edit: you'll need 4 quarts of ATF-Z1 (Honda fluid only), 1 qt of 80w-90 hypoid gear oil (any brand), and a gallon of VTM-4 fluid (absolutelty no substitutes) for the A136 service. Whatever tools you use for the VTM-4 fluid change (tubing, pump, etc.)... keep it dedicated strictly for VTM-4 fluid. It does *not* like to be contaminated.

If you buy enough at a time, your dealer may be willing to give you a nice discount. My local dealer has done so in the past. Never hurts to ask.

Edit2: Honda frowns on tranny flushes for whatever reason. I've seen it reported that flushing the tranny can mess up the internal filter (not part of the transmission service.) I don't know what the truth is. So I will sometimes do a tranny fluid change at every oil change... or maybe every other oil change... whatever I decide at the moment... until I have a few done in a reasonable time frame.
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Last edited by speedlever; 10-20-2010 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:00 PM   #5
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Re: Transmission fluid change


This was a great reference, I got my 2008 Ridgeline with 14,000 miles recently, there was no indication on the history that fluids were replaced other than the oil. Since I have no indication on what driving conditions it was operated in over the last few years and the dealer has agreed to replace the fluids VTM 4 do you think I should have the ATF-z1 and haploid gear oil replaced at the same time if the dealer will cover the cost? No sense waisting resources, only drive 5000 miles per year.

Thanks for your input, Maintence Minder says 70% on oil, and I've bought enough Mobil One for 3 Oil Changes, should I convert after 3000 miles from the last Oil Change?
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:39 PM   #6
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Re: Transmission fluid change

Yeah, I would go with the 1X more frequently also. That is sound advice.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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Re: Transmission fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightship View Post

This was a great reference, I got my 2008 Ridgeline with 14,000 miles recently, there was no indication on the history that fluids were replaced other than the oil. Since I have no indication on what driving conditions it was operated in over the last few years and the dealer has agreed to replace the fluids VTM 4 do you think I should have the ATF-z1 and haploid gear oil replaced at the same time if the dealer will cover the cost? No sense waisting resources, only drive 5000 miles per year.

Thanks for your input, Maintence Minder says 70% on oil, and I've bought enough Mobil One for 3 Oil Changes, should I convert after 3000 miles from the last Oil Change?
Well rats. I just had a computer crash after typing a lengthy response.

Long story short, if you can't get the service records for your RL, I would assume that you're on your 3rd oil change with 70% remaining at 14k miles. The mx schedule calls for VTM-4 service at 15k miles. However, it's been my experience that you will get the -6 callout for VTM-4 service when you're due the 2nd oil change.

IE, you should see an A1 callout at 5-8k. And a B6 callout at 10-15k. Much depends on the driving environment the RL sees (road or city, hot, rapid starts, etc.) And as usual, YMMV.

Without service records, I'd go ahead with the VTM-4 fluid change by 15k and leave the MM alone and watch for the next callout for the -6 service. You might eyeball the rear diff drain and see if the white paint marks line up. If not, it's a good bet the rear diff (VTM-4) has been serviced. But still.....

Per the schedule (normal service), the first tranny service (with accompanying transfer assembly fluid change) happens at 45k miles. I serviced my tranny at 17k miles and am glad I did due to a significant amount of debris on my mag plug. I'll likely do another tranny drain and refill at the 30k mark.

Use your own judgment on the tranny service at 14k. It's way early (as was mine). Also I wouldn't worry with the transfer assembly (hypoid gear oil) for a good while yet... maybe at the 30k point or at least by the 45k point.

On the oil change to Mobil 1, personally I'd wait until the MM calls for your next oil change.

Edit: or as hondaloyal correctly points out below, at 12 months from your last oil change if the MM hasn't called for it.

See the note at *1:
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Last edited by speedlever; 10-21-2010 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:50 PM   #8
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Re: Transmission fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedlever View Post

On the oil change to Mobil 1, personally I'd wait until the MM calls for your next oil change.
Normally; but oil should be changed annually whether you hit the MM or not...if you are only doing 5K a year; change it every year.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:26 AM   #9
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Re: Transmission fluid change

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Originally Posted by hondaloyal View Post
Normally; but oil should be changed annually whether you hit the MM or not...if you are only doing 5K a year; change it every year.
Good catch. I missed the low annual mileage.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:24 AM   #10
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Re: Transmission fluid change

Maintenance Minder was not designed for low mileage people. Perhaps in the next revision it will have two MM's; one for oil and one for all the other codes... ?
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