Is Honda Z1 really not that good?

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I have heard some people say that Z1 is not very good and others say it is horrible. I have passed 320K miles using only Z1...should I continue or is something else a bit better/worth a slight price increase?
 
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 Originally Posted By: joel95ex
I have heard some people say that Z1 is not very good and others say it is horrible. I have passed 320K miles using only Z1...should I continue or is something else a bit better/worth a slight price increase?
320k miles with no problems, and you wonder if its any good? Sounds like its working. I had a problem with the fluid turning brown, thats with the trans under 20k miles on my Civic, did some reading, and everyone said that, using anything other than Z1 fluid would cause the auto trans to shift funny. Not wanting to take a chance, I followed the advice people on this board gave, and purchased a case of Z1 for $80, and did drain and fills every 10k, the brown fluid has not returned, guess its worn in now. I would say its good fluid just pricey.
 
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My guess is that Z1 is not bad but there are better ATFs available for your transmission. Think M1 or Amsoil. I would venture to say everyone on this forum who has used Amsoil rather than Z1 says it shifts better. And Amsoil also lasts a lot longer than normal ATF, 100K miles in non severe applications. I for one will spend $8 - $9 a QT for ATF (and a Magnefine) to make my transmission last longer. If your transmission does not have a spin-on filter then you will be well advised to spend $20 on an in-line filter like a Magnefine.
 

pbm

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I believe that Z-1 is a so-so fluid that Honda forces us to buy for warranty reasons. I think Amsoil is far superior and that Valvoline Max-life is better for less money. Most newer Honda AT's are so-so IMO also.
 
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It would be nice to see Amsoil do a white paper on auto transmission fluids. Seems like most of the Manufacturers fluids don't usually test that well as compared to their inflated prices.
 
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 Originally Posted By: ZZman
If it ain't broke.............
+1 joel95ex, I can imagine that there probably are better oils out there, but switching would be a gamble by definition. It'd be another story if your car were younger, but at this point you can be pretty darn sure that Z1 is great for your transmission. I wouldn't mess with it.
 
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I would think that synthetic is superior ( Amsoil or the new Mobil 1 ATF ) compatible product over Honda Z1 ATF . At this point, I don't see paying a premium price for Z1 over any Valvoline Maxlife ATF (or similar) that shows Z1 compatible on the label.
 
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Let's not go suggesting M1 ATf unless you've tried it. I flushed with this fluid in my '02 accord. It MUST be used with lubeguard Black or the shifts are awful; *slams* into D or R and bangs through the gears. It is a thicker fluid and results in a moss of mpg, though the already-quiet AT becomes even moreso. Ended up doing drain-fills at each OCI back to Z1. We also tried Maxlife in my wife's 1999 CRV. It initially drove better with no perceivable loss in mpg, however we started having serious shifting problems inside of 6 months where it wouldn't ever leave 2nd until 5k rpm and SLAM into 3rd. Flushed back to Z1 and it got better, but never completely came back to normal. My personal experiences, ymmv M
 
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 Originally Posted By: meep
We also tried Maxlife in my wife's 1999 CRV. It initially drove better with no perceivable loss in mpg, however we started having serious shifting problems inside of 6 months where it wouldn't ever leave 2nd until 5k rpm and SLAM into 3rd. Flushed back to Z1 and it got better, but never completely came back to normal. My personal experiences, ymmv M
HI meep: i have some interest in using Maxlife in Honda AT and hope you an share some more detail experiences if you dont mind! did you flush CRV with Maxlife or just drain and fill? also was it a Valvoline merc v in blue bottle or Maxlife ATF in Red bottle? i am planning to flush my TSX 5AT with Maxlife for a short oci before going to either Amsoil or Redline D4 from my stash. the owner menu in the TSX stated 160,000km oci for ATF but i feel at 45,000 the Z1 is getting weak, after 2 drain and fill in 2 years (10k km per year). i did not think of 160k km oci is possible anyway , i also desire some other "stronger" fluid. thanks in advance!
 
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I wanted to switch over to synthetics in my daughters 99 Civic, but last fall the Amsoil lookup tool showed no product available. I now see they are showing that their Universal ATF is compatible. Maybe that's due to the recent reformulation of the product by Amsoil?
 
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Honda ATF is not bad, but not the best. The only thing special about this fluid is the Zinc (not sure what form) in it to dampen the clutch pack engagement. Honda AT uses a manual like design that has very little overlap between shift and thus if you use another fluid not designed for it, it would shift very hard. Numerous people on honda-tech forum dump the Mobil1 ATF soon after install because of this.
 
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^Sooooo, does that mean that Z-1 while not the best, could be the best for a Honda? Which would be all I'd be interested to know. And, when you do a (1)drain and refill what could mix with the Z-1, if there is something better?
 
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One thing I like about using the less expensive ATF is that I can clean the magnetic drain plug more often. It seems that the Honda drain plug gets very dirty at only 30K miles.
 
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