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168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I joined the Honda Service Express for a few days to look up some wiring diagrams I have been hunting for and grabbed a few things I thought might be of interest to everyone on general specs and also a few things that may be relavent to the "low speed shudder" syndrome, and a few other random answers to things I've seen pop up.

Pretty much all of these you could get at your dealer by asking, but I am proactively sharing by virtue of research purposes and education. I always pay my taxes on time too. :D

Very few of these documents will any of us personally be able to act on (I don't own an alignment machine, thus the specifications will not do me personally a lot of good), however they might be very handy to compare against the results of an alignment performed at a shop. A lot of this is more an FYI on the things a dealer will look at, test, process, etc., and it can be good to know their thinking.

Sorry on some of them the embedded pictures would not display, I tried 4 different browsers on 2 computers, I'm leaning towards it being their semi-janky system. . .but even if photos are missing there was still info I found valuable.

Things potentially related to "Shudder syndrome"
1. ACM (Active Control Engine Mount) - the engine mounts have solenoids in them to attempt to quell vibration, but if they are malfunctioning they can do the opposite. Very possible to pull some fuses to deactivate this system temporarily to see if it's the culprit. I'd want to try that out on my own vehicle before I recommend that step for anyone else though.
2. Vibration Diagnostic Worksheet that the Honda mechanic will try to follow to isolate vibrations. This worksheet pretty much leans in the direction of checking out all things tire/wheel/alignment related, etc.
3. Towards the end of this newsletter they stress the importance of having an expertly calibrated wheel balancer. I never even thought about that.
4. These are the actual alignment specs that your CT should be set to (at least a 4wd V6), most alignment places (hopefully the dealer too) can actually print out the results of the final alignment so you can compare.
5. Following the train of thought that a certain systematized pattern of vibration could point to torque converter problems, here is the walk through for torque converter vibration.
6. And this is the spec for the torque converter stall speed check (a quick test to verify basic functionality of torque converter, but won't isolate the nitty gritty. . .not a bad thing to ask the dealer to check if your mystery shudder persists).
7. And finally for this section a transmission worksheet that the dealer uses, handy to know what they are looking for.

Now some OEM basics:
1. CT Personalized Settings dealer checklist (the fact that there are only two options to set here confirms my suspicions that we don't have control over how long our lights stay on after engine turn off in "auto" mode, etc., that a lot of other Hondas do have. . .no big deal, but nice to get to the bottom).
2. Crosstour VIN decoding
3. Torque tightening specs for every single fastener
4. Recommended Materials Service Bulletin - where to look when you're thinking "what lube do these nuts get?" Actually looks very handy.
5. Why your tires are overfilled on the dealer lot.
6. Honda gasoline recommendation
7. 0W-20 engine oil intro
8. Crosstour fluids & lubes


168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Regarding OEM Basics point #6 above, I looked into this a little more and found some interesting info (again this is one of those topics that could suddenly ignite a thread that grows at a ravenous pace for no good reason. . .not trying to incite rioting!).

Again - I'm not making this stuff up, this is coming out of a Honda Memo that says "use these gasolines." The wording of some manufacturers is even less "advisory" and more "mandatorily."

1. Top Tier Gasoline standard
2. Who carries Top Tier gasolines
3. Corporate
4. "A Chemists View on Octane and Gasoline Brands" - very interesting!!


168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Ok . . .due to the overwhelmingly positive reaction :) to my earlier Service Express carpet bombing, here is round two. These are pretty much all the common routine maintenance procedures (most of these are also in the service manual, but some of them aren't, some of them have better photos here, and some of them are slightly updated here). Some of these are not DIY stuff, like I mentioned in first post in this thread, however I figure that they might serve as a nice reference if you really want to know what happens at a given service, or just so you can talk shop with the service writer.

Also remember, if you choose to do any of these maintences yourself you should start keeping immaculate and perfect records of the maint. you perform and also mention what you do to your dealer next time you're there (and what milage you did it) so that they can plug that info into your car. I should have more info on this and if there's a better way a DIY-er can tell the MM what actions have been performed or not in upcoming weeks.

I'm also going to throw a few links in here to actual parts, to make things easier, it's to a Honda dealer parts dept that happens to have an e-store and I've found their prices to be good. However your experience may be different, you might find better prices elsewhere or on eBay, your local dealer (not my dealer!), etc. I have no affiliation with this place, they just happened to be cheapest on a couple items I needed once. If nothing else, the p/n's might come in handy. I also like

Also, if you don't already have one - you should really get yourself a torque wrench if you <heart> your Honda!

Air cleaner change
* A nice "enthusiast" run, not fully scientific test of various air filters
* Honda air cleaner part # 17220-R70-A00 $24.35
* Wix air cleaner at Amazon #24815 $12.09
* K&N air filter #33-2403 at Amazon $34.00

ATF (automatic transmission fluid) Change
* Honda ATF DW-1 (replaces Z1) part #08200-9008 $5.97

ATF Check

Brake Bleeding
* Honda DOT3 Heavy Duty Brake fluid #08798-9008 $4.27 (Honda commands us in the owners manual to use *only* it's DOT3 brake fluid [even though DOT3 is a spec, not a specific manufacturer of brake fluid], but it's not too expensive and will keep your warranty going strong), so if you happen to go to an independent brake shop way down the road, BYOBF.

Brake inspection Front

Brake disc specs

Brake refinishing

Cabin Filter-1
Cabin Filter-2
* Honda Cabin Filter #80292-SWA-A01 $22.26
* Aftermarket Cabin Filter choices at Amazon $6-$16
* You'll need nylon/plastic body tools to do this (and they are great to have anyway, for bumper removal and lots of stuff): here's the ones Honda recommends for their mechanics $36 at some place on the web (1/2 or less of what most Honda dealers sell them for, if they sell them). Or if you want a bigger kit of panel tools, I like this guy on eBay.

Coolant Check
* A note on why this is a Honda fluid you should probably use, especially under warranty
* Honda coolant #0L999-9011 $15.00

Idle Speed Check

Oil Change
* Honda Full Synthetic 0w-20 (This is not the blend that is your initial factory fill, that is a special break-in formulation. I couldn't find the p/n for the 0w-20 blend so I'm posting the fully synthetic one b/c it's only about $2 more @ qt anyway). #08798-9037 $6.94
* An earlier post of mine with info on some other 0w-20s available.
* Honda crush washer you should change w/ every oil change #9410914000 $0.24

Oil Filter Change
* Crashmaster's great post on oil filters
* Honda oil filter #15400-PLM-A02 $5.15
* Here are the K&N and Mobil-1 oil filters for the CT that Crashmaster mentioned favorably, as well as several other aftermarket ones.

2nd half tomorrow!


168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Common Service Part 2

Parking Brake Inspection (An "Inspection B" item)

Power Steering Fluid Check/Replace
* 2 x Honda Power Steering Fluid for complete replacement 08206-9002 $3.39ea @ Bernardi

Rear Differential Fluid Change (Inspection "#6" item)
* 2 x Diff bolt washer 94109-20000 @ Bernardi $0.48ea (one for fill plug, one for drain plug)
* 2 x liters Honda Dual Pump Fluid 08200-9007 @ Bernardi $7.63ea

Transfer Fluid Change (Inspection "#3" item along w/ ATF)
* 2 x WASHER, DRAIN PLUG (20MM) 94109-20000 @ Bernardi $0.48ea
* Manual recommends no specific brand of oil, instead a specification: GL4 or GL5 and SAE 90 gear oil if you only ever are in a place above 0deg F, if below that 80w-90. I did about 2 hours of research on these specs and various oils out there and came to pick one for myself, I'll show you why I used it and you can use it yourself if you want, or not.
* Motul 31721L Gearbox 80W-90 @ Amazon $18.37 for a quart (you need less than half)
* It fits GL5 spec
* It does *not* have limited slip additives (this is a semi-generic gear oil, they can be tuned for differentials, limited slip differentials, gear boxes, truck gear boxes, lots of stuff) that a lot of others seemed to have
* It's from a high quality lube company (Motul) that I've heard of and used on my German cars for years
* It does *not* meet the MT1 specification for heavy trucks, our "transfer case" is not even really a transfer case, as they are defined (one could argue) and I didn't want to put an unnecessarily agressive lube in there for loads it will never see
* It's synthetic and should last a long time before breaking down
* It's the proper weight for most of the US 80w-90, and even if you live in a place that never goes below 0, I don't think this would in any way harm your transfer case. . .just about all straight SAE90 fluids I found were pretty specific gear oils that didn't look well suited for a Honda Transfer case

Important Note (I just looked this up because I was curious): Shelf life for any of the fluids you'll use for your car is around 5 years if stored properly when closed or about 2 years if opened. Brake fluid is one that should be used or disposed of pretty quickly after opening it because it doesn't react well with moisture in the air. Personally I pitch brake fluid after it's been open for 6 months. And by pitch I mean I bring all my old fluids in old milk & juice plastic containers to any auto parts store, they always take them.

And this is a great letter from K&N that is a crash course on the Moss-Magnusson act that sorted out what rights people have with their car warranties for the first time in a pro-consumer way, in law, several years ago. It says how a dealer can never void your warranty or deny you warranty service by working on it yourself or at a non-dealership mechanic or using XYZ fluid or part (so long as it fits the spec they require, and Honda doesn't publish a few of their fluid specs AFAIK).

I still have research to do on how a guy who does some of the maintenances himself from the Inspections can tell your car's computer what has been done, sometimes you might do one service early or not do a whole Inspection - almost every single procedure I posted concludes with "use the HDS (honda data system) to check off what was done. . ." IE, the reset won't log what we want it to log sometimes if that's our only way of inputting info. I'll report back. . .

Other good stuff to have besides a torque wrench and common tools to help w/ routine service.
* Tire Depth Gauge @ Amazon $6.99 (record your tire pressures and tread depths every time you work on your car, and this will make it obvious when to rotate)
* Pump top @ Amazon $6.49 - great for pumping fluids into diffs and stuff, not every diff every time, but a lot of them this is a time saver.
* Digital Calipers @ Amazon $18.99 - great for measuring your brake calipers and a million other things. . .I like these ones that can go decimal or fractional, very helpful
* Fluid Extractor @ Amazon $9.99 - very helpful to get out fluid from places it doesn't want to drain all the way from. . .good for small engine gas tanks & oil too.

Hopefully they'll let me edit my old posts and I can sew this together and clean them up!

168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Earlier I posted how to get some diagnostic info out of your HVAC. Here's how to run it through a bunch of self tests.



168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Probably my favorite hidden function on the HVAC diagnostic menu, is "A" - coolant temp gauge. The engine temp gauge on the instrument cluster is basically an on/off switch to show either your car is cold or its in operating temp. . .this is so as not to scare people by bouncing around all the time. So, especially on a sweltering day or when towing, or if you think something might be wrong with your cooling system, you can see the true temp immediately as it rises and falls. This could also help diagnose a bad heater core/hose, stuck thermostat, lots of stuff. I hope you like working in Centigrade because that's all it will show! :)

This is speeded up about 3x so I could show you some rise and fall without putting you to sleep. I did this parked outside my garage going from idle to about 2.5k rpm over the course of 5-6min.

I pan quickly (REALLY quickly when sped up!) over to the dashboard's engine temp gauge to try to illustrate that over about 20 deg F swing of real temp that the engine temp gauge needle doesn't budge.


1 Posts
While attempting to view the links to the PDFs in Dropbox, I get the "Error 404" message, can't find the page your looking for. I clicked on the Oil Change link.

7 Posts

Hi Aceman, thanks so much for your contributions. I am a 25 MPH shudder sufferer and my CT has 6500K. Should I give this list to my dealership?:confused:
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