civic atf change methods

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(sorry this is long) Okay, so I'm interested in thoughts of using the transmission's own pump to get out the atf. I see many posts where using a atf machine on a Honda is probably a no no, so the Honda procedure seems to be that you drain what’s in the pan and then you can repeat that process in the future. You end up basically refreshing the fluid, but you still have a mix of old and new. I currently use this process, and my transmission works great after 100,000 miles, but I guess this tranny is known for failure. Now on the Amsoil site, a Mazda 3 site, and several other places, they talk about using the transmission pump to do the job. The common method seems to be that you disconnect the output line of the transmission or transmission cooler, and get the fluid out that way. Amsoil has you adding fluid at about the same rate as the transmission pumps it out(which seems a bit tough to gauge). On the Mazda site, he simply pumps out 3 litres or so, stops the engine, adds the same amount that pumped out, and repeats until the fluid colour in the tube changes or you’ve pretty much replaced how much the tranny actually holds. (I left out the part about removing the pan and changing the filter, etc…) Even though Honda doesn’t recommend the machine method, it seems to me that using the transmission to pump it out (3 litres/quarts) at a time would be fairly safe? You guarantee that some shop doesn’t circulate any debris that might be in there or use the wrong atf. So my choices seem to be that I drain out the contents of the pan, and replace what I put it. In this case, I think I would stick to Honda atf. I’m also interested in the tranny pump method, which seem like a good way to switch out almost all of the atf. In that case I might go with Amsoil or stick with the Honda stuff.
 
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The Honda documentation that says no to the flushing machines seems to be a CYA memo since there are different types of machines. No problem doing either method to achieve a complete fluid change.
 
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Either the several drain/refils or the cooling line method will work fine, but I wouldn't do the flush. It's not hard to pour in what comes out if you have the output hose going to something that you've graduated with a sharpie marker or know the volume of.
 
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Just drain/refill using the drain plug. That way you can wipe off all the grey slime (shavings) off the magnetic drain plug. ZERO need for any trans flush using any machine.
 
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My daughter's 01 bought new, is noted for tranny failure too. Now about 130k, with 3 (total) drains only. There's been no issues(knock wood). I too would stay away from the machines. If you want to do a flush, do the 3 times drain deal or if more mech inclined, you can do the return hose deal. I'd probably use the 3x drain deal because I'd be afraid to screw something up, but that's just me. I've used only Z-1, like I said with no issues. Good luck J
 
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I have a 2001. I've only ever done the drain and fill/dilution method. I've used Amsoil since the original fill was drained at 28k. I now have nearly 182k on the car. It shifts just fine.
 

ScottG

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Thank for the quick replies. I've had the basic drain/re-fill done twice at the dealership so far with no issues. I think I'll start doing it myself and stick with the honda atf. The car has 105,000 miles and there is no slippage or other noticeable problems and the car operates in -40 to summer temps.
 
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I just did a flush on my 95 camry. Disconnected one line turned engine on till as much atf came out.Once it stopped flowing out of the hose,i added new atf.Started up again,and more "muddy" fluid came out. Kept doing it this way till no more dark fluid came out and i started seeing red fluid come out.I have around 163,xxx miles on the car.Very simple and fun to do.
 

ScottG

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The engine has 0w20 Amsoil, but the so far I've stuck with Honda for the atf. I'll be curious to check the price difference between the honda z-1 and amsoil, as I think the honda stuff is fairly expensive compared to other atf. May just stick with drain/fill of the honda stuff.
 
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MK2

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I did 3x drain and refill with Honda atf on my Civic about a year ago. I did 15 miles interval between the first and second, then 1k on the last. Very easy to do.
 
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I used to have a Civic. The drain and fills are definitely easy enough to do yourself. I have to say it's even easier than an oil change. You might want to try Castrol Import Multi-vehicle. I liked it when I used it. Around $4.xx a quart too so it's fairly affordable.
 
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I have a 2004 Civic, and I use the cooler line flush method. Here's how I do it. There's a splash gaurd across the front of the car that you could remove if you don't want to get ATF all over it, but it's not entirely necessary. I shut the engine off after flushing 2 L at a time. You can't fill this fast enough, I tried it, by the time the oil gets down the long hose required on your funnel(through dipstick hole), it's pumped out more than you've added. It takes about 20-30 seconds to pump out 2 liters. 1. Disconnect the line from the cooler on the DRIVER side of the radiator 2. Connect a long enough hose to the fitting where you disconnected the line, and put in a container with marks (liters / qts) 3. Drain the pan, clean the plug, then refill. I add about 4 liters (overfilled for the next step. 4. Start car and drain out 2 liters at a time. Shut engine off, add 2 more liters of ATF, then repeat this step as many times as needed to flush out your oil. I buy 10 liters, flush out 2 L twice, that leaves me a extra to top off. 5. Reconnect the cooler line and clamp. If you want, you could install a Magnefine at this point. 6. Top off to the correct level. In case you didn't know, Honda's have their own method for checking the level - 60 - 90 seconds after shutting the engine off. 7. Take it for a drive and recheck.
 

ScottG

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Thanks for instructions. I think this is a safe method for a honda compared to a machine. You know that the old atf is being pumped out, and that any new atf is fresh from the bottle. I was confused at first about the 2 litres twice, but then realized you had already added 4 litres after the drain. Did you end up with too high a fluid level after pumping out the 2 litres twice? Just curious, as you had added 4 litres to start the process. Or did enough extra fluid come out in the time it took to stop the engine when you realized two litres had been pumped out? thks
 

ScottG

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You don't happen to know what size hose one would need to connect to the cooler? Thanks
 
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Most are 3/8. I have used the clear 3/8 line on a few acura TL's and they work great. I use the clear stuff you can purchase at home depot or lowes.
 

ScottG

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Thanks very much for the confirmation. I was thinking maybe 3/8...in a write-up for a Mazda 3, the guy used 5/8, but revised his information to be 3/8 instead. So I was hoping there was a chance it was the same on the Honda.
 

ScottG

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I see that you're running Redline in your Toyota's. Just checked Redline's site, and D4 is the stuff for Honda. If synthetic, will be Amsoil or Redline. I will give an update when it happens.
 
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 Originally Posted By: ScottG
Thanks for instructions. I think this is a safe method for a honda compared to a machine. You know that the old atf is being pumped out, and that any new atf is fresh from the bottle. I was confused at first about the 2 litres twice, but then realized you had already added 4 litres after the drain. Did you end up with too high a fluid level after pumping out the 2 litres twice? Just curious, as you had added 4 litres to start the process. Or did enough extra fluid come out in the time it took to stop the engine when you realized two litres had been pumped out? thks
You've probably already done the flush, but I've been away for a week, so I didn't have a chance to respond to your questions. Anyways, I let the trans pump out 2 L, that gave me enough time to shut the engine off. Then, I added another 2L, pumped that out, (I did this 3 times),then for the last fill, I just added ATF until the dipstick indicated full ran it, then rechecked it. After the initial drain/refill, + 3 2L dumps (I think I might have said twice before), that's about 9 L dumped and refilled, and since the trans capacity is 6, that's more than enough. AzFireGuy79 is right, the hose size on the Civic is 3/8".
 
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