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Old 03-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #1
Crashmaster
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Default Honda ATF DW-1 Fluid

The Automatic Transmission in our CT uses unique transmission fluid. On page 341 of your owner’s manual it will tell you: “Always use Honda ATF DW-1 (Automatic Transmission Fluid).” That the drain and fill interval should be according to the maintenance minder (page 331). There is also a NOTICE on this page about how important it is to use “Only Honda ATF DW-1 fluid and to not mix it with anything else……” I started searching the Internet to see where I can purchase this Honda ATF DW-1 fluid. My local Honda dealer informs me that the MSRP is $8.23 per quart (less tax). You can find it discounted for about $6.21 per quart or less on the Internet. Shipping will hurt you as it runs about $2 or so a quart.

On other Honda forums they say that Valvoline Maxlife and Castrol Import ATF are spec’d for use where Honda DW-1 is recommended, but I have not confirmed that yet. Also, I’m a former Transaxle Technician/Instructor, I tend to prefer OEM fluids while the vehicle is under warranty.

I just purchased a case (12 quarts) of OEM ATF DW-1 fluid on eBay for BUY IT NOW for $54.99. With shipping & handling of $34.07 it makes a total of $89.06. That comes out to $7.42 per quart delivered to my door. If you are also interested, just do an eBay search for ATF DW-1 and you will see a seller by the name of hotprizes.

According to my information, when removing the drain plug from the CT transmission, will only allow about 3 quarts of transmission fluid to be removed. Doing this at the maintenance minder or perhaps sooner of about every third or fourth oil change, should be sufficient to maintain your automatic transmission forever. I also like to have a bit of this fluid around in case I need some to top off.

NOTE: I also recommend that you have your magnetic drain plug ready to install when you do your first transmission fluid change.

NOTE: Honda does NOT recommend that you flush or use any additives in your transmission (as many shops tend to do).
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Last edited by Crashmaster; 08-13-2014 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:30 AM   #2
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Great points CT! This is cheap insurance for an incredibly costly piece of equipment. . .depending on the year of your vehicle, Honda switched over to ATF DW-1 in the middle of 2011, before that it was ATF Z-1. So your manual might say Z-1, but if you go to the Honda dealer toady they will service your trans with DW-1, and it is acceptable to mix them. The move to DW-1 was done (according to that bulletin, and other sources) for fuel economy and better cold weather shifting.

CT makes an *excellent* point about OEM fluids. There are plenty of really amazing lubricants out there, for ATF I can think of Valvoline, Redline, Amsoil, Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF, etc. to name a few. However, the reputation and quality of the brand is not what is important here, the manufacturer demands not only specific viscosity requirements of an oil but also an extremely specific additive package that may or may not be present in other ATFs. Our transmissions were engineered for, and tested with Z-1 & DW-1 in mind.

On a tangent. . .I like to run Mobil 1 Synthetic oil in my BMW 325ci, I could buy the Mobil 1 Synthetic off the shelf at pep boys for $8 or so @ quart, but. . . it does not have the additive package specified by BMW. So instead I get that special kind on Amazon where it's currently on sale for $50 @ 6-pack, but it's very interesting if you read under "
product description product description
" how this particular oil meets a bunch of very specific recommendations that other Mobil 1 Synthetics don't meet.

Here's some stuff from the service manual on how to check and how to change your ATF fluid. And CT is exactly right (again) that you're only changing about 3 quarts at once (due to fluid being trapped in your tranny valves, gears, torque converter, and trans cooler [looks like a radiator, but with much stiffer hoses]). So it's not a bad idea to change this with some regularity, cause you're only doing half of it at once.

Two things - from scanning the service manual it looks like only the dealer computer can reset your maintenance computer manually to make it aware an ATF change has been done. So, just keep your own records I guess. . .

And in the captures I'm about to post you'll see mention of a "trans cooler cleaner," the only circumstances they say that this device will be used is if your replace your entire transmission and need to start off with a sparkling fresh trans cooler, otherwise this doesn't look like it's ever necessary. (If your trans cooler was failing you would immediately know, there are multiple temp sensors in your tranny). To help illustrate how the Jiffy Lube "trans flush" is BS, for Honda just to clean out one part of your transmission, the cooler system, it takes a machine the size of a large wheeled air compressor, that injects hot ATF through the cooler and recirculates it through magnets, all at about 100psi. It is a specialized machine with weird fittings and they recommend extreme caution in using it (due to the 100psi hot oil and everything. . .!). I'm pretty sure I could spot this beast at a jiffy lube, and I never have. . .







And lastly, as someone who has had a modern automatic trans spontaneously fail on him somewhat lately - most new cars will go into a "limp home" mode where they will lock themselves in 2nd gear (or some such thing. . .) to prevent unnecessary shifting, if your car is doing this you'll have a check engine light on (at the minimum) and it means either drive directly to dealer or pull over and call a flatbed.

-Ace
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:13 PM   #3
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My car is now due for a transmission flush (or whatever transmission service is reffered to by 3 on the maintenance minder) Whne the dealership does this service do they just drain whatever comes out when you pull the plug and refill or do they "flush" the whole system? If they just pull the plug, let it drain and then refill, I'll save the 90$ and do that in my driveway.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC816 View Post
My car is now due for a transmission flush (or whatever transmission service is reffered to by 3 on the maintenance minder) Whne the dealership does this service do they just drain whatever comes out when you pull the plug and refill or do they "flush" the whole system? If they just pull the plug, let it drain and then refill, I'll save the 90$ and do that in my driveway.
#3 is the ATF fluid and transfer fluid, assuming your CT is 4wd (#6 is rear diff and should probably come up on the next one if it hasn't already).

No they don't have a special machine that literally sucks and fills, they follow the ATF change procedure that I think I posted above in this thread, but I'm consolidating a bunch of service things in another thread "OEM Maintenance. . " ATF fluid change is there, as well as the update p/n for the new ATF fluid. One thing I see I forgot was a new washer for the fill bolt:

90441-PK4-000 Washer, Sealing (24mm)

And this forum won't let me edit posts that are 24hrs old or older, for some reason, so I can't add that back in to the main manifesto until they change that rule.

I will have the transfer fluid procedure and part #s up there within 24hrs or so.

If you really wanted to "flush" everything, get double the qty of fluid. . .do one dump of the ATF fluid, drive it around a day, then do it again - that way something closer to like 90% of the stuff is out. And by the differences in the fluid fills between an ATF change and a tranny overhaul, it looks like there is quite a lot of fluid in there that stays trapped in hoses, cooler, etc. The "double dump" is not required and I don't *think* I'd take the time to do it, but if it makes you sleep better at night. . .I'd actually bet that the MM takes into consideration the fact that only about 37% of your ATF fluid is changed in a #3 service.

Most cars recommend ATF changes between like 30k-100k (and they too know that not 100% of the fluid is being changed). My 2001 BMW (which has a 5 speed automatic designed by GM) has a "lifetime fill" on its tranny, and they officially recommend never changing it. However the trans was a bad design and failed at 46k miles ha. Either way, I wouldn't have waited the full 100k miles.

And if you want to see how your maintenance minder is doing with its recommendations or have a severe OCD problem you can get your used tranny fluid tested for $25 to tell you all sorts of neat stuff.

HTH

-ace

Last edited by Aceman; 03-28-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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Default <Magnetic drain plug source?

I found a magnetic plug for the motor, where are you all finding the plugs for transmission and rear diff? Is there also a transfer case one? regards, Steve
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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Sedgar2 – Welcome to the forum with your third post!! Glad you decided to jump in. As for your question about the magnetic drain plug. Let me suggest to you that you go to the SEARCH function near to the top of the page. Once you click on it, it will open a box that says: SEARCH FORUMS. Type in the word magnetic. Once you do, a few threads will open. Go to the one that says: How to Install a Magnetic Oil Drain Plug. In this thread you will see the part numbers, places to purchase and just about everything you wanted to know about magnetic drain plugs including the transfer case and differential.

As a former teacher, I always prefer to teach someone how to fish as opposed to just giving them a fish.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:06 PM   #7
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:55 AM   #8
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:17 AM   #9
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:29 PM   #10
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Has anyone consistently run Valvoline Maxlife ATF in their Crosstour without issue?

I switched my '02 Odyssey over to Maxlife ATF years ago, and I've not had a lick of trouble.

Was considering doing the same for my '15 crosstour.
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