How Important is it to use Z1 ATF in a Honda?

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My '03 Honda Accord V6 calls for Honda's proprietary Z-1 ATF. So far that's all I have used and at 125K miles the transmission is working just as well as it did when it was new. Would my transmission behave much differently if I switched to Maxlife ATF or AMSOIL?
 
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4,622
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If your tranny is working just as well as new, why would you want to change anything? I believe there are now some other fluids that would work in your car, but Honda has put the fear of God into consumers about using anything but Z-1 so most people just stay with OEM. No, your tranny would not behave much differently with a different ATF.
 

Throckmorton

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Texas
 Originally Posted By: hate2work
If your tranny is working just as well as new, why would you want to change anything? I believe there are now some other fluids that would work in your car, but Honda has put the fear of God into consumers about using anything but Z-1 so most people just stay with OEM. No, your tranny would not behave much differently with a different ATF.
That's just it. I was wondering if it was hype or if it really mattered.
 
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25,212
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Upstate NY
 Originally Posted By: hate2work
If your tranny is working just as well as new, why would you want to change anything? I believe there are now some other fluids that would work in your car, but Honda has put the fear of God into consumers about using anything but Z-1 so most people just stay with OEM. No, your tranny would not behave much differently with a different ATF.
Even if the transmission was working well, it would be difficult to determine how it was wearing unless you did frequent UOAs and could something like Amsoil make it wear less and shift better. Most people seem to say their Honda shifts better with Amsoil. Amsoil is also more cost effective as you can run it longer (50K/100K).
 
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Amsoil ATF's been working like a charm in my '00 3.2TL for a couple years and many, many miles now (yup, and that's with the trouble prone 5spd auto).
 
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Washington St.
You probably would not like the shifting feel if you used the old basic Dexron-III and Mercon ATF that was so common in recent years. You probably would like the results with any of the near-universal ATFs that list Honda transmissions on their labels.
 

Throckmorton

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 Originally Posted By: harry j
I use ATF in my Civic, now with 271,000 miles, the transmission still works like new.
Which ATF?
 
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Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Throckmorton, I also have the trouble prone Honda 5sp. like Blokey 158,000 km (98,000 miles) have been using Amsoil ATF for about 50,000 km no problems. I just finnished drain/refil two hours ago and the drain-bolt/magnet had a lot less of that dark silver gunk than it did with Z-1. I do two drains/refills every year. One thing I noticed is that the new Amsoil ATF (that is DEX VI) is darker and has stronger smell, will see how this one fares - will do another drain/refill in couple of hundred kms. Ok I got carried away but what I ment to say is that as much as myexperience with it goes this stuff is good and the recently changed formulation might be even better.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Dominik
...the drain-bolt/magnet had a lot less of that dark silver gunk than it did with Z-1...
Yup, my experience too.
 

Throckmorton

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 Originally Posted By: Dominik
Throckmorton, I also have the trouble prone Honda 5sp. like Blokey 158,000 km (98,000 miles) have been using Amsoil ATF for about 50,000 km no problems. I just finnished drain/refil two hours ago and the drain-bolt/magnet had a lot less of that dark silver gunk than it did with Z-1. I do two drains/refills every year. One thing I noticed is that the new Amsoil ATF (that is DEX VI) is darker and has stronger smell, will see how this one fares - will do another drain/refill in couple of hundred kms. Ok I got carried away but what I ment to say is that as much as myexperience with it goes this stuff is good and the recently changed formulation might be even better.
Interesting. I see that Amsoil changed their formula recently. I know that Comptech recommends RedLine Synth ATF for supercharged Honda's using the 5A tranny. Hopefully there still won't be much of a difference in shift quality if I switch brands next time. I would prefer a synthetic fluid.
 
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texas
I have 322K miles on mine and have used Z1 for most of the time, but there were a few times when i ran dexII (95 calls for it or z1) without problems. currently, i am running some short intervals after ARX with some super-tech-- just to clear it up. Going back to z1, or might try amsoil or M1 in it. the last time the magnetic drain plug had very little "powder" on it. Z1 should be fine, but you will be ok with other stuff if it says it is suitable.
 
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427
Location
TX
I've been using Amsoil ATF in my wife's 2006 Pilot for over a year now and it shifts much better than it did with the Honda Z1 ATF. I also use Amsoil ATF in my 2007 Civic LX and it shifts very smoothly as well. I opted to perform 4 Drain/Fills, as I did not want to remove the ATF cooler's return line to the transmission on either vehicle. I now perform a Drain/Fill on both vehicles once a year and the Amsoil ATF stays pristine red and there is less metallic sludge on the magnetic drain plug. I am looking forward to trying Amsoil's new new ATF formula and hope that it reduces wear and improves shift quality even better than the current formula.
 
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Upstate NY
For people with problem child Honda transmissions why not add a Magnefine filter. Its got to have more of a magnet than the drain plug and has the rest of the media filter also. Many are already spending a lot of Amsoil ATF, so why not another $20 on a Magnefine. It may not make your transmission last 300K miles, but its got to be of benefit from a normal wear perspective.
 
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Wilmington, NC
 Originally Posted By: Throckmorton
 Originally Posted By: harry j
I use ATF in my Civic, now with 271,000 miles, the transmission still works like new.
Which ATF?
Amsoil ATF.
 

Throckmorton

Thread starter
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Texas
Thanks for all the responses. It looks like Honda's warnings about substituting another brake fluid are a bit overblown.
 
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25,212
Location
Upstate NY
 Originally Posted By: Throckmorton
Thanks for all the responses. It looks like Honda's warnings about substituting another brake fluid are a bit overblown.
Brake fluid?
 
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