Honda HCF-2 CVT, 17398 miles, 2016 HR-V

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So I realized after my last engine oil UOA that my type of driving is considered severe service (cold weather + short trips) For this vehicle, the dealer first replaced the CVT fluid at 31,068 miles. I decided it's a good idea to have them change it again at 48,466 miles - only 17,398 miles later. Dealer tried to convince me it's way too early, even though I've been getting random noises when pushing the gas pedal in the last few months. In another thread 86cutlass307 had a virgin sample of Honda HCF-2 analyzed and the 100C viscosity was 7.1 cSt Marco620 posted his results at 34,893 miles, which seems better than mine. Based on this information, looks like it's never too early to change the CVT fluid when doing "severe service". What I wonder.. is how they found 4% fuel in transmission fluid? This UOA was completed by Polaris Labs. Oil Used: Honda HCF2 CVT # of miles on oil: 17,398 # of months since last CVT fluid replacement: 10 # of miles on the car: 48,466
Code
Wear Metals (ppm) 
Iron (Fe) 91 
Chromium (Cr) 0 
Lead (Pb) 0 
Copper (Cu) 5 
Tin (Sn) 0
Aluminium (Al) 18 
Nickel (Ni) 0 
Silver (Ag) 0 
Vanadium (V) 0 

Contaminant Metals (ppm) 
Silicon 11
Sodium 3
Potassium 2

Multi-Source Metals (ppm) 
Molybdenum 0
Antimony 0
Manganese 1
Lithium 0
Boron 91

Additive Metals (ppm) 
Magnesium 1 
Calcium 433 
Barium 4
Phosphorus 528
Zinc 4

Contaminants 
Fuel Dilution 4.0%
Soot 0.2
Water <.1

Fluid Properties 
Viscosity 100C: 5.1 cSt
Base No. 1.28 mg KOH/g
Oxidation 33 abs/cm
Nitration 5 abs/0.1mm
[Linked Image]
 
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I think the hcf2 fluid by Honda is fair at best. Outside of warranty I switched to Castrol Transmax which is hcf2 approved with a pour point of -51 and it performed better and with less rubbery feel.Only one that I use is it and Redline CVT which is PAO based,hcf2,and -60 pour point.Btw Castrol transmission fluids are 5$ each sold in pairs again at Autozone.
 
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michael007

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Originally Posted by Marco620
I think the hcf2 fluid by Honda is fair at best. Outside of warranty I switched to Castrol Transmax which is hcf2 approved with a pour point of -51 and it performed better and with less rubbery feel.Only one that I use is it and Redline CVT which is PAO based,hcf2,and -60 pour point.Btw Castrol transmission fluids are 5$ each sold in pairs again at Autozone.
I agree with your assessment of hcf2. The worse part is the service advisor was telling me Honda recommends the CVT fluid be changed between 50-75k miles. He couldn't believe I was asking to get it done so early - and a second time at that. Castrol's Australian website says that their CVT fluid isn't compatible with Honda so that kind of sketches me out enough not to use it. It does say HCF-2 compatible on the North American listings so maybe it's a regional thing?? https://www.castrol.com/en_au/austr...ic-transmission-fluids/transmax-cvt.html I haven't heard a bad thing about Amsoil CVT. I may get my mechanic to switch to either Amsoil, Castrol or Redline using multiple drain and fills once the warranty on the CVT expires @ 62,000 miles (Canadian warranty) That two quarts for $10 sale at Autozone is tempting, especially since I visit the states once a month. Thanks for sharing as it may help someone else that's interested. I don't like mixing fluids though and it doesn't make sense to get rid of what the dealer just put in so I'll leave it as-is until the warranty expires.
 
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I would double question the report - 4% fuel ? Plus they advise to check for fuel leak and blow-by ? That doesn't seem right to me, but I don't know this lab so maybe others will have different opinion. This Honda fluid seems to thin quite a lot after little mileage. Maybe it would thicken up again within the "usual" 50/75K interval ?
 
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^ +1 How do you get 4% fuel in the transmission? Doesn't seem like you got a very good report... If the transmission holds 8 quarts 4% is ~10 ounces of fuel.
 
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michael007

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I've emailed the lab asking how is it possible fuel was found in the transmission and if any other mistakes could have been made during the analysis. Will keep y'all updated.
 
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Following. Trying to figure out at what mileage and replacement fluid selection for when the time comes to do this on the Honda in my sig. It has a CVT as well.
 

michael007

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So I haven't heard back from the lab as of yet, but I have heard back from Castrol about their Australian website saying it's not compatible with Honda's. They wrote: "Transmax CVT has been updated to support Honda HCF-2 requirements, I have requested the marketing team review the website to reflect these updates."
 

MolaKule

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Originally Posted by michael007
What I wonder.. is how they found 4% fuel in transmission fluid? This UOA was completed by Polaris Labs.
It had to be contaminated somewhere in the "chain of evidence." smile If this was done at the dealership, it had to be contaminated there. Otherwise, it had to be lab contamination.
 
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michael007

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Just spoke to a super nice analyst from Oil Analyzers / Polaris. A mistake was made, which was my fault because engine oil was analyzed in the past and since I selected the same "equipment" in the submission, they thought it was just my next interval of engine oil. For future reference: The correct procedure is to create a new separate "equipment" in your profile, one just for transmission. He also said sometimes things that have similar volatility to fuel will give out false positives - which seems to be what happened here with the 4% fuel dilution. The lab is going to create a new report today. He said the differences for a transmission report should be 0% for fuel, no base # but we will get an acid #. Will post the updated report once it arrives.
 

michael007

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This was the only change to the report:
Code
Acid Number: 0.97 mg KOH/g
Updated report: [Linked Image] Thanks to blupupher, we now also have the VOA for HCF-2 VOA: [Linked Image]
 
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michael007

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I did some research on the best 3rd party fluids for cold climates. I'm not happy with the numbers in this report for this type of mileage. Red Line Non-Slip CVT: Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C: 120 poise Viscosity Index: 165 -51°C pour point Castrol Transmax CVT: Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C: 111 poise Viscosity Index: 178 -51°C pour point Amsoil: Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C: 88 poise Viscosity Index: 187 -45°C pour point Havoline is releasing a CVT Fluid and it says HCF-2 compatible. Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C: 123 poise which beats out Red Line for top spot Viscosity Index: 179 -51°C pour point I think this will be the winner. Link to Havoline CVT When the warranty ends, it's time to ditch HCF-2.
 
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Thanks for the update. Will be sticking with Castrol/Redline but both are cheaper and better than OE HCF2 pricing. The Castrol comes out really RED. Makes the unfamiliar with my car get big eyed. Think I've changed fluid at least 8 times lol.
 

MolaKule

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Originally Posted by michael007
I did some research on the best 3rd party fluids for cold climates. I'm not happy with the numbers in this report for this type of mileage. Red Line Non-Slip CVT: Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C: 120 poise Viscosity Index: 165 -51°C pour point Castrol Transmax CVT: Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C: 111 poise Viscosity Index: 178 -51°C pour point Amsoil: Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C: 88 poise Viscosity Index: 187 -45°C pour point Havoline is releasing a CVT Fluid and it says HCF-2 compatible. Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C: 123 poise which beats out Red Line for top spot Viscosity Index: 179 -51°C pour point I think this will be the winner. Link to Havoline CVT When the warranty ends, it's time to ditch HCF-2.
So how does a 123 poise fluid beat an 88 poise fluid in terms of the Brookfield viscosity specs?
 
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