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Discussion Starter #1
I did some looking and could not find a specific response to my problem which is intermittent.

2 weeks ago the radiator failed and mixed with transmission fluid. According to local mechanic it did not go back into transmission. He replaced fluid in both and put in new radiator.

Everything was fine until I towed my trailer 2 days later and tried to back up a hill. Started slipping and had it towed back to garage. They could not duplicate issue.

Picked up today and towed trailer about 70 miles on highway and when I go off highway transmission started slipping. Was able to park trailer. Let truck cool down and drove truck back with no problem.

I am so confused!
 

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I did some looking and could not find a specific response to my problem which is intermittent.

2 weeks ago the radiator failed and mixed with transmission fluid. According to local mechanic it did not go back into transmission. He replaced fluid in both and put in new radiator.

Everything was fine until I towed my trailer 2 days later and tried to back up a hill. Started slipping and had it towed back to garage. They could not duplicate issue.

Picked up today and towed trailer about 70 miles on highway and when I go off highway transmission started slipping. Was able to park trailer. Let truck cool down and drove truck back with no problem.

I am so confused!
This issue should never be treated by a single drain and fill just because someone thinks little or no coolant made its way into the trans fluid supply. The fact is, no mechanic can assess how much fluid went where as a result of this failure. The trans needs at least several drain /fills immediately after SMOD - and in fact - the best method is a complete replacement of all fluid using proper equipment (not a power flush). There is ample info on this site describing that process.

Unfortunately, the trans may have suffered additional damage now that it has been subjected to "slipping". Towing immediately after this event was exactly the wrong thing to do. Your mechanic gave you VERY bad advise and service recommendation.

The slipping you are experiencing is likely the result of the transmission overheating - which is a direct result of improper fluid - and that problem was amplified many times over by towing.

After raising holy hell with your mechanic, search this forum for "trans fluid exchange". You should find what you need. Best of luck recovering your trans!

EDIT: apologies if that reply sounded rough and/or insensitive. This issue is not necessarily well understood unless one is exposed to the experience of others thru forums like this. It is remarkable how mechanics can be so casual about how to recover from these things. Good council from a well informed mechanic would have included detailed information about the seriousness of this failure mode, the steps taken to ensure maximum reliability for your vehicle and advise on what to look for in the coming days of driving right after a serious issue like this. It sounds like none of that was done - otherwise towing would have been delayed until it was clearly understood how well the repair worked out. I'm very sorry this happened to you and hope you are able to restore the trans to good service. Stay away from that mechanic though! And find a shop how knows about this issue and cares enough to advise you. Best!
 

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My advice: Don't Drive It! ! ! Get your multiple (4-5) drain & fills done (or a full exchange if you have someone that can do this..... very specific - not a generic "flush"). Then just cross your fingers that you're going to be OK & haven't damaged the tranny beyond being "tow worthy". I'm thinking you might be OK & still just have some bad fluid causing your issues..... THAT's the optimistic outlook. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I purposely printed out the "flushing" instructions from this site and gave them to the mechanic but he felt it was not an issue. I don't think he ever came across this before and was not as willing to listen to the instructions.

I also hope I have not created significant damage.

Thanks,
 

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Next time you're speaking with him about this, make sure he understands that only 3.3 qts of the total 8.6 qts gets removed with each drain & fill. MOST of the fluid remaining after 1 D&F is still the old fluid. It takes 4-5 D&Fs to near 100% new fluid. I'd share that info even if only to educate him about these trannys.

Having said that, I'd also only take my RL to a no-kidding Honda shop (indy or otherwise). Or a good Honda-familiar transmission shop in any case.
 

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Did your guy use actual "Honda" fluid and not an equivalent?
 

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Next time you're speaking with him about this
That should not happen. The mechanic had already established himself as manifestly unqualified on the matter.
Having said that, I'd also only take my RL to a no-kidding Honda shop (indy or otherwise). Or a good Honda-familiar transmission shop in any case.
Yes. Honda automatic transmissions are quite unlike any other manufacturer's products. And, the only acceptable fluid to put in there will be Honda-branded.
 

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Agree with all these guys. Multiple drains and fills with DW-1 Honda fluid. You're putting a higher strain on the transmission when you're towing, so that's why it's slipping. I guarantee that at least SOME coolant found its way into the tranny. Your mechanic should not be so quick to dismiss these directions. If he doesn't do EXACTLY as you ask him to do, take it somewhere else that will. You need to do multiple drains and fills while driving at least 10 miles in between each one. Or, you can exercise all of the gears on a lift with the wheels off the ground, but I highly suggest just going for a drive. The other option is to do a full system flush through the inlet/outlet hoses of the transmission cooler lines. Shove the inlet hose into a big bucket of fresh fluid and the outlet hose into an empty bucket. Start the truck and run it until fresh fluid comes out the other end. Then, put everything back together, drive it a little ways and top up the fluid as necessary to bring it to the recommended level on the dip stick. You can still save your tranny before you do more damage do it. The longer the contaminated fluid is in there and the more you drive it, the more damage you're doing.
 

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IanRTL said:
..to do a full system flush through the inlet/outlet hoses of the transmission cooler lines. Shove the inlet hose into a big bucket of fresh fluid and the outlet hose into an empty bucket. Start the truck and run it until fresh fluid comes out the other end. ...
For the DIY, there might even be a picture somewhere on forum so Anttila can find the correct hoses to connect and shove ;)

Here is Elvis doin' it but he opens up drain before fill....!
 

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.............The other option is to do a full system flush through the inlet/outlet hoses of the transmission cooler lines. Shove the inlet hose into a big bucket of fresh fluid and the outlet hose into an empty bucket. Start the truck and run it until fresh fluid comes out the other end. Then, put everything back together, drive it a little ways and top up the fluid as necessary to bring it to the recommended level on the dip stick.............
So Ian, which is the inlet hose & which is the outlet (I'm presuming you might have done this yourself before)?

I'd like to do this one of these days, & it would be good to know before hand.

(this would also answer the question some were asking recently about which direction the tranny fluid flows in, wouldn't it???)

Thanks.....
 

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So Ian, which is the inlet hose & which is the outlet (I'm presuming you might have done this yourself before)?

I'd like to do this one of these days, & it would be good to know before hand.

(this would also answer the question some were asking recently about which direction the tranny fluid flows in, wouldn't it???)

Thanks.....
Don't ask me, I would have to watch the video again of the guy doing the flush. I guess a case of a subject matter that was discussed so thoroughly we missed the obvious. I think Oh Six has a handle on it, if anybody does.
 

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Don't ask me, I would have to watch the video again of the guy doing the flush. I guess a case of a subject matter that was discussed so thoroughly we missed the obvious. I think Oh Six has a handle on it, if anybody does.
Frankly, I'm not sure about much. It's entirely possible I've totally misinterpreted the diagram on page 14-241 of the 06 thru 08 FSM P/NO 61SJC02. It appeared to me the fluid leaves the OTW exchanger (described as "cooler") and enters the trans.

Forum member bobcat has experience exactly opposite. So I'm unsure. There's an OSC radiator awaiting installation, when I get around to stuffing it in, more will be revealed.

See how you guys interpret the info. Below is the entire page 14-241 followed by a close up snip (boxed in red) of the text and images referring to the "cooler outlet".

14-241 Page.jpg

14-241 Page Detail.jpg

EDIT:
The FSM is open to interpretation because "ATF cooler outlet hose" could mean:

A) Outlet from trans to cooler
OR
B) Outlet from cooler to trans

I read it to be B

As a heat management component, the OTW exchanger could be:
A) "pre-cooling" trans fluid before passing to the OTA cooler
OR
B) Bringing trans fluid to a predictable before entering trans

In the case of A:
Because engine temperature is "range constrained" remaining relatively stable around 180f, fluid exiting the trans is likely to be higher than engine coolant temp during normal operation/loads and for most of the vehicles life. As a pre-cooler, the OTW exchanger would be lowering temps before passing to the OTA exchanger - thereby maximizing its (the OTA) ability to drops temps even further before re-entering the trans. In this flow, old school wisdom "cooler is better" fluid temps remain in tact if for no other reason than an OTA exchanger is subject unknown ambient air temps and air flow rates - which is an engineering unknown - but would be "averaged" for predictive service life modeling.

In the case of B:
Fluid hotter than engine coolant enters the OTA exchanger dropping to whatever level it can - based on ambient temps and available air flow - before passing into the OTW exchanger. In this flow direction, the concept of the OTW serving as a "pre-heater" is supported because it is assumed engine coolant heats faster than trans fluid. Aside from that concept and assumption, it would also be a temp "stabilizer" - sending fluid into the trans at a (more or less) predictable temp (engine coolant being "range constrained" operating at a known level) supporting predictive modeling for long term service modeling, if for no other reason than "avg" trans fluid temps below 200f is generically desirable.

Either flow direction seems reasonable from a heat management perspective. Both having variables in heat transfer characteristics of ambient air temps the oil-to-air cooler is operating in, air flow rate and the temp exchange capacity of the the oil-to-water device buried in engine coolant.

In both flow directions, FSM terminology "cooler" is used when referencing both OTW & OTA heat exchangers implying under all circumstances - and in either flow direction - fluid reentering the trans is cooler than when it left (once the vehicle is "at temp").

Ambiguity, much?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This forum is amazing.

The mechanic mentioned that he needed to use Honda Fluid so I assume he did. I will take a look at the bill.

I think I may also go with the multiple fluid change out approach. I am think at least 3 times and keep my fingers crossed. I will ask the mechanic (not the one I went to the first time) to save a sample of the fluid so I can compare each change side by side to see if the fluid is getting closer to what comes out of the bottle. I used to do this type of stuff all the time but my body does not quite appreciate the contortions.

So once I do this how will I know if it worked? I do not plan on doing any towing until next spring or summer to reproduce the slipping.

Thanks again for all your help.
 

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This forum is amazing.

The mechanic mentioned that he needed to use Honda Fluid so I assume he did. I will take a look at the bill.

I think I may also go with the multiple fluid change out approach. I am think at least 3 times and keep my fingers crossed. I will ask the mechanic (not the one I went to the first time) to save a sample of the fluid so I can compare each change side by side to see if the fluid is getting closer to what comes out of the bottle. I used to do this type of stuff all the time but my body does not quite appreciate the contortions.

So once I do this how will I know if it worked? I do not plan on doing any towing until next spring or summer to reproduce the slipping.

Thanks again for all your help.
Couple of thoughts:

Based on your description, it's unclear what procedure was used in effort to clear engine coolant and foamy goo out of your trans. Again, a concerned and involved mechanic would have made a point of explaining and documenting - in precise terms - exactly what was done in attempt to recover from a catastrophic event. If your invoice doesn't specifically enumerate steps taken, I'd assume the least amount of effort was expended.

With that in mind, I'd further assume the most complete fluid replacement available should be done. The best way to ensure total fluid replacement is with a passive flush mentioned in this thread. Go to this site, find a shop near you and have a complete fluid transfusion done. http://www.bgfindashop.com/locator/index.php

Short of that, you are starting from an unknown. Make sure the machine operator knows not to use the "power flush" method this machine is capable of.

If you decide to perform several drain & fills, I would recommend saving samples from each drain - but not for visual inspection. Mark the sample clearly and have them chemically analyzed if you want to know whats happening inside your trans. There's info on UAO here:
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116761

Otherwise, do 3 or 4 drain & fills and call it even.

Best of luck
 

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Maybe it's just me, but I'm still not clear on flow direction.
Page 14-228 of the FSM talks about ATF Cooler Cleaning.
Here is the pic from step 3 showing set up and step 5 & 6 explaining hose connections.
This would lead me to think flow is opposite than depicted in the diagram in this thread....Here.
.
 

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Maybe it's just me, but I'm still not clear on flow direction.
Page 14-228 of the FSM talks about ATF Cooler Cleaning.
Here is the pic from step 3 showing set up and step 5 & 6 explaining hose connections.
This would lead me to think flow is opposite than depicted in the diagram in this thread....Here.
.
It's not just you skelley. Without looking at the FSM page you referenced, even MORE questions are raised. Based on the image you pasted, it *looks like* the procedure specifically isolates the OTA and OTW "coolers" from the rest of the trans fluid flow circuit. In that regard, the cleaning procedure *might be* opposite of normal fluid flow? Also, it references "the line that normally goes to the external filter on the transmission". External filter? First time I've seen reference to that component - at least as a regularly serviceable item. Far as I know, the only filter in the fluid circuit is inside the trans housing. With that said, it wouldn't be the first time I've been out of sync with reality.

As mentioned in the thread you linked to, the assumption of fluid flow is specific to the FSM term "cooler outlet hose" which led me to believe the fluid passed from the OTW cooler to the trans but (again as mentioned) I could be misinterpreting terminology and drawing erroneous conclusions.

The entire topic is confusing. From lack of "common knowledge" at the hobbyist level on why an OTW exists in the auto industry as a whole, to many enthusiast level hobbyists defining it "pre-heater", to ambiguous info in the FSM, the topic swirls. SHEESH!

To best of my knowledge, forum member bobcat is the only contributor with hands on experience "proving" fluid flows in the opposite direction of the diagram in the "trans fluid flow" thread. Until video evidence comes available, it appears he is the SME "subject matter expert) on this topic.
 

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Totally agree OhSix.
I'll just have to wait until summer as that's when I plan to do mine.
I really want to use the internal pump to do the fluid swap.
It's all been interesting at least :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here is the update after reviewing by bill and talking to the garage.

Replaced radiator and coolant.
They used Honda Transmission fluid.
They flushed the transmission.

I went to the Honda dealer and planned on doing 3 drain and fills. Their price was 89.99 for each drain and fill. Got the case for about $100. But could not get the Fill bolt off. At least I was smart enough not to drain it before getting the fill plug loose. Ended up going back to the original mechanic and had a good discussion. He did not charge me the labor to do the first drain and fill and had the mechanic leave the bolt loose so can do the next 2.

Do not think it will make a difference but will see.
 

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That fill bolt takes some moxie to crack open. I thought I broke my tool I had so much wrap (twist) in it when it broke free. It cracked pretty loudly too. But no tool breakage.

I did twist off a cheapo extension in one of the rear diff fill/drain plugs though. Use good quality tools!
 
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