Honda ATF change questions

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Aug 7, 2021
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I have several questions. I couldn't find data/info on when the last ATF was done so doing it now. I recall, knowing about this when I bought the car - but when I asked a Honda dealer to look up the VIN, he couldn't find any work in the computer records. He said only 3 years is kept, though. I am worried about the ultimate state of the transmission now but all I can do is get the ATF change done. I did the first drain and fill. I bought some guy's DW1 he was selling but it turned out, it was sitting for several years or at least it looks that way.

I found a thread on here and guys were saying '10 years sitting, it's okay.' There's a date near the bottom of the date but I don't know if that's the date I go by. The bottles are dirty and faded but the bottle IS DW1. Since, these are drain and fills and not like the oil change - the fluid will eventually be drained. Should I use the last 3 bottles for the 3rd drain and fill - or should I buy a few at the dealer to do a 4th one? I did the first drain and fill with ones I bought at the dealer because I didn't have these yet (I received 7 bottles/quarts for $35).

The other questions are about working on the car. I am using a local mechanic who is giving me a good deal on the fluid changes. I think I should replace the transmission filter on the 3rd fluid change - right? I could try it myself or ask him to do it. Ultimately, I want to do my own fluid changes but these needed to be done ASAP, pronto, so I took it to the mechanic. I also don't have ramps or jack/stands yet but intend to get them by the next fluid change interval. I'm also in an apartment so location of the jobs are gonna be a bit of a hassle. Anyway, I was wondering if this filter job is a pita or not. I watched a few videos but need to go back and watch again. I'll probably take the car to the mechanic for that job but I know I will be told (I don't need to do that). I think I should though, right? I know that you need to insist to Honda (or at least, you used to) that there's a filter to replace.

Thoughts?
 
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What year/model is this? :unsure:

You don't need to change the transmission filter, and in many of them, it's impossible anyway.
 
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The spill and fill on these cars is easier than an oil change.
Forget about the filter. It is an inline screen type.
You will get most of the metal out by cleaning the drain plug.

I used Idemitsu DW1 equivalent and buy it from Amazon in 5 quart jugs.
Fill it SLOWLY through the dipstick tube.

Idemitsu DW1
 
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Maybe I missed the model, but I know the Accord and CRV are similar. Changing the ATF is a piece of cake. You'll get about 3qts each time. On my wifes car (08 CRV) it didn't get the first change until after 100k miles. I just changed the ATF every time I did the oil for 4 changes (figure I got most of the ATF changed) now I'm going to change it every 30k or so. I used maxlife. I've never replaced the filter and don't intend to. Is your car shifting fine?
 
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2007. 7th gen. Can you explain why I don't need to change the transmission filter, please?

It doesn't catch much, and it doesn't get dirty like an engine oil filter. If you do change it, the old one will be clean.

Most transmission filters don't need to be changed, even on cars that have spin-on transmission filters. Even those spin-on filters only need to be replaced if they get damaged.

Changing the ATF on a Honda is very easy, even easier than an oil change. More-frequent transmission fluid changes will do more good, and also be much easier, than messing with the filter.
 
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One thing I do is, use a 6" extension to remove the drain plug. You can unscrew and remove it gradually to control the old ATF from shooting 3'...
 

hk24

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The spill and fill on these cars is easier than an oil change.
Forget about the filter. It is an inline screen type.
You will get most of the metal out by cleaning the drain plug.

I used Idemitsu DW1 equivalent and buy it from Amazon in 5 quart jugs.
Fill it SLOWLY through the dipstick tube.

Idemitsu DW1
The transmission filter is part #25430-PLR-003. This never has to be replaced?

Someone posted a Honda ATF data sheet and it included a comparison of the Idemitsu and Honda ATF. I think some of the ingredients/contents were slightly different. I did read that Idemitsu is used in some parts of the world as an alternative, however. Honda ATF in Canada is full sythetic whereas it's not in the USA - I am not sure what Amazon would supply. It was cheaper buying it from the dealer anyway.
 

hk24

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It doesn't catch much, and it doesn't get dirty like an engine oil filter. If you do change it, the old one will be clean.

Most transmission filters don't need to be changed, even on cars that have spin-on transmission filters. Even those spin-on filters only need to be replaced if they get damaged.

Changing the ATF on a Honda is very easy, even easier than an oil change. More-frequent transmission fluid changes will do more good, and also be much easier, than messing with the filter.
So I hear/have been told. If I change it myself, I just need a jack stand and jacks? It does sound like it is advisable to do a 4th drain and fill sometime down the line just to be sure.
 

hk24

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Maybe I missed the model, but I know the Accord and CRV are similar. Changing the ATF is a piece of cake. You'll get about 3qts each time. On my wifes car (08 CRV) it didn't get the first change until after 100k miles. I just changed the ATF every time I did the oil for 4 changes (figure I got most of the ATF changed) now I'm going to change it every 30k or so. I used maxlife. I've never replaced the filter and don't intend to. Is your car shifting fine?
It seems to be shifting fine. I read that you shouldn't use anything other than DW-1.
 
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So I hear/have been told. If I change it myself, I just need a jack stand and jacks? It does sound like it is advisable to do a 4th drain and fill sometime down the line just to be sure.

Correct, just a jack and stands. You can always do a 4th drain or as many as you want because it's so easy :)

The V6 automatics should probably get at least one ATF change a year, but the I4 will be OK with one drain every time the minder gives you code 3. You don't have to use DW1 from the dealer, but you should use a synthetic ATF such as the popular Maxlife, or Castrol Full Synthetic ATF.

Do it with the transmission cold. Measure what drains out, and refill with the same amount you drained.
 
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Correct, just a jack and stands. You can always do a 4th drain or as many as you want because it's so easy :)

The V6 automatics should probably get at least one ATF change a year, but the I4 will be OK with one drain every time the minder gives you code 3. You don't have to use DW1 from the dealer, but you should use a synthetic ATF such as the popular Maxlife, or Castrol Full Synthetic ATF.

Do it with the transmission cold. Measure what drains out, and refill with the same amount you drained.
As @slacktide_bitog said, you don't need to use DW1. Any big-name ATF specifically recommended for FW1 applications will be fine. Be aware, however, that these sometimes slightly change the shift "feel" for better or worse. For example, I never really liked the shifts in my Odyssey...they seemed to be "sloppy" or "loose" for lack of better term, and quickly got worse after a long towing trip. I have used several synthetics over the years, and currently using maxlife. Some folks report that Maxlife produces firmer shifts than DW1 but I haven't noticed it.
 
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When I bought my 2015 MDX with 86,000 miles, the first thing I did was replenishing ATF. I did quick drain & fill every two days, making sure new fluid mixes well with older. I did 4 times D&F, each time draining about 4 qts. After that, I replaced ATF filter (the one you mentioned). I had no idea how clean or dirty inside of the filter, but I felt good after. The MDX was shifting flawlessly but the ATF was pretty dark, almost sure it's never been serviced. I think you should replace your filter for peace of mind. The job isn't too hard.
 
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Just drain and fill the ATF 3x in a week of normal driving. No need for a new filter, just clean off the drain bolt. Stick in the Honda DW-1 compatible synthetic ATF of your choice. I'm using Valvoline MaxLife and O'Reilly's Multi-Vehicle.
 
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I personally have no qualm with using aftermarket ATFs EXCEPT FOR HONDAS.
I buy Honda DW1 for the 2 Hondas I maintain because I read here and heard from the Honda mechanics I trust that Honda transmissions can be picky. For the very few dollars difference, I go with the Honda fluid.

Also, one car is a neighbor's (2010 Accord 2.4) and the other is my brother's (2007 Odyssey 3.5) and I want to be able to tell 'em I used regulation juice.
 
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I personally have no qualm with using aftermarket ATFs EXCEPT FOR HONDAS.
I buy Honda DW1 for the 2 Hondas I maintain because I read here and heard from the Honda mechanics I trust that Honda transmissions can be picky. For the very few dollars difference, I go with the Honda fluid.

Also, one car is a neighbor's (2010 Accord 2.4) and the other is my brother's (2007 Odyssey 3.5) and I want to be able to tell 'em I used regulation juice.
I trust the fluid company more than I trust Honda because they have more customers to lose. That's my opinion based on great results with Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic ATF over the years with several cars.

 
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