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Old 07-19-2007, 03:03 PM   #1
 
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Default Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush

Hi, I have a 1998 Civic DX, with automatic transmission. It has 91,000 miles and it is starting to shift kind of funny. I don't think the original owner ever drained or flushed the transmission, and I think this may be the reason for weird symptoms.

Anyway, my question is: Can I change the fluid myself? What is the difference between a drain and a flush? If I pull the drain plug, will ALL the fluid drain out, or will there still be 50% or more inside the tranny? I was hoping this would be as easy asw pulling the drain plug, letting all the fluid out, then filling the tranny up with fresh fluid....do you agree? If not, how do I get ALL the fluid out?

Thanks!!! Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:10 PM   #2
 
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (JennyPooh)

Anyone? I really need help...I'm auto-tranny retarded! Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (JennyPooh)

You can change the fluid yourself. When you drain the fluid from the transmission, not all of the fluid will be drained out. So drain and refill. Drive a few miles, repeat the drain and refill 1 or 2 more times. (You don't need to repeat this if it was regularly serviced; but, since it wasn't, you can do this to get most of the old fluid out.)

A flush usually involves other machinery, such as cutting the transmission cooler line and attaching the machinery to power flush all the fluid. (I'm tired right now, so I won't get into a whole lot of details.) -- There are two schools of thought, some say don't flush the tranny with high miles; while, some say it doesn't matter.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (JennyPooh)

u can take one of the cooler lines off and put it in a bucket. get a case of tranny fluid and do it that way.
it's easy
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (95DxSi-R2)

there's a drain on the passenger side (IIRC) it has a square head, for a socket wrench. don't flush. just drain and refill Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:38 PM   #6
 
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (JennyPooh)

You never, ever power flush a Honda transmission. Honda engineers have been very adamant about NEVER doing this. The gears and clutches are not like traditional auto transmissions and can be damaged if power flushed. The only part on a Honda auto transmission set up that is flushed is the cooler, but that is usually only done if you are replacing a transmission. Spill and fill, repeat if desired, but NO POWER FLUSHING.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:41 PM   #7
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Use genuine Honda automatic transmission fluid; specially formulated for Honda transmission.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (MatterMatt)

i've got a 94 hatch with stock d15 n trans, and i was thinking about changing my trans fluid today as a matter of fact.

does my trans even have a cooling system? how am i suppose to drain it?
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (mizzoEG)

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i've got a 94 hatch with stock d15 n trans, and i was thinking about changing my trans fluid today as a matter of fact.

does my trans even have a cooling system? how am i suppose to drain it?
For automatic transmissions, the cooler line runs through the radiator. Don't need to worry about that, just do the normal tranny drain and refill.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (tech8)

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For automatic transmissions, the cooler line runs through the radiator. Don't need to worry about that, just do the normal tranny drain and refill.
yeah, they say the "flush" is to drain, refill, drive it for like 50 miles (IIRC), drain, refill, drive it. like 3 times
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (solbrothers)

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yeah, they say the "flush" is to drain, refill, drive it for like 50 miles (IIRC), drain, refill, drive it. like 3 times
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (tech8)

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You never, ever power flush a Honda transmission. Honda engineers have been very adamant about NEVER doing this. The gears and clutches are not like traditional auto transmissions and can be damaged if power flushed. The only part on a Honda auto transmission set up that is flushed is the cooler, but that is usually only done if you are replacing a transmission. Spill and fill, repeat if desired, but NO POWER FLUSHING.
They cannot be damaged, they see 130PSI+ of oil pressure on a daily basis, and you test them on reassembly with air....

The Honda factory service manual will allow it, and if you know how an automatic works, you would know that you don't change 1/3 of the transmission oil. Why? The oil has detergents in it, and needs to be flushed out, as well as the torque converter oil. If you want I will post the page from the factory service manual...

I would highly advise anyone changing their transmission fluid to take it to a shop that can flush the entire assembly, there is a good chance that if you just change the oil, it will knock clutch particles loose and clog the valve bodies, which is not a cheap or easy fix.

A flush and fill is money well spent. If you go this route ask them to retain a sample of the oil so that you can see what the condition of your clutches is. A bright red oil with small "pepper" particles indicates a good condition transmission.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:10 PM   #13
 
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Default Re: Auto Transmission - Fluid Drain or Flush (slowcivic2k)

None of the Honda factory trained technicians ever power flush a Honda transmission. Sure there are tests that involve using compressed air, but that is not the same as using a power flush machine. The only thing that gets power flushed is the coolers. I have a pretty good idea of how AT and CVT transmissions work, and yes that is the right way to maintain other transmissions, but not a Honda transmission.

In fact, there are new (and old) training modules out for Honda technicians that continue to emphasize that Honda transmissions not be power flushed. Other brands yes, but not a Honda. The power flushing is what can damage the valve bodies and other internal components in a Honda transmission.

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Old 07-19-2007, 08:09 PM   #14
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This is Honda's drain and refill several times method from a TSB.

Click the image to open in full size.

TSB link:

http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq...e.pdf
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:14 PM   #15
 
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Thank you tech 8. You are my hero!
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:44 PM   #16
 
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Everyone, thanks a lot!!!!

Really I appreciate all your time and responses!
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: (MatterMatt)

i'm not exactly sure about the definition of a power flush. At the dealership I work at, with civics we always just drain and fill.
With most everything else we use a standard flush machine. It simply sucks out tranny fluid and then puts some back in. It runs thru that process lets say two times before you turn the engine off, then it tells you to turn the engine on and it continues it's process. We do about 12 qts for most every auto trans that gets flushed.
Never have any problems with that. Not sure if that's what's been reffered to as a power flush.
The trans cooler gets cleaned with a machine that flushes it out with hot fluid to clean out debris and what not. Totally different machine thou.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: (agoldenau)

Quote:
Originally Posted by agoldenau
i'm not exactly sure about the definition of a power flush. At the dealership I work at, with civics we always just drain and fill.
With most everything else we use a standard flush machine. It simply sucks out tranny fluid and then puts some back in. It runs thru that process lets say two times before you turn the engine off, then it tells you to turn the engine on and it continues it's process. We do about 12 qts for most every auto trans that gets flushed.
Never have any problems with that. Not sure if that's what's been reffered to as a power flush.
The trans cooler gets cleaned with a machine that flushes it out with hot fluid to clean out debris and what not. Totally different machine thou.
It sucks it out from the torque converter and fills the pan so the oil pump can replace it, there is nothing dangerous about that, why people say it is is beyond me. The power flusher does not flush the valve body/clutch passages, that is the oil pumps job.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:54 PM   #19
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Default Re: (slowcivic2k)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatterMatt
You never, ever power flush a Honda transmission. Honda engineers have been very adamant about NEVER doing this. The gears and clutches are not like traditional auto transmissions and can be damaged if power flushed. The only part on a Honda auto transmission set up that is flushed is the cooler, but that is usually only done if you are replacing a transmission. Spill and fill, repeat if desired, but NO POWER FLUSHING.
Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size. Drain and Fill..... PERIOD
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:42 PM   #20
 
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I know that just about every other make than a Honda does the power flush, but Honda is very adamant about not power flushing their transmissions. Don't believe me? Go to a Honda dealership and ask any technician to go into ISIS on the Honda Interactive Network and select any model of any year and type in 'transmission flush". You will get nothing but bulletins that say to never power flush the Honda transmissions, and doing so may result in damage, and will void any warranties.

You can say and think whatever you want about power flushing a Honda transmission, but myself, every Honda factory trained technician, and the Honda Motor Company will tell you that you are wrong. You may know automatic transmissions, but but not Honda transmissions.
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatterMatt
I know that just about every other make than a Honda does the power flush, but Honda is very adamant about not power flushing their transmissions. Don't believe me? Go to a Honda dealership and ask any technician to go into ISIS on the Honda Interactive Network and select any model of any year and type in 'transmission flush". You will get nothing but bulletins that say to never power flush the Honda transmissions, and doing so may result in damage, and will void any warranties.

You can say and think whatever you want about power flushing a Honda transmission, but myself, every Honda factory trained technician, and the Honda Motor Company will tell you that you are wrong. You may know automatic transmissions, but but not Honda transmissions.
i'm not sure if this is directed towards me or not. I'm a trained honda factory technician and we all use tranny flush machines everyday. So it's not voiding any warranties cause we are doing it everyday.
There is a bulletin on ISIS that says it's not required in the maintence schedule. So it's not totally necessary.
But, it's a good way to keep the tranny doing what it's suppose to do. The bulletin says it doesn't imporve the reliabilty of a system(coolant,tranny,etc), but it doesn't say that it doesn't atleast maintain it's reliabilty.
The warranty will only be voided if the technician messes something up, then it would be on a tech/shop to pick up the tab.

I'm not gonna make a big deal about this neither should anyone else. It's the same as a allmotor or FI debate. Both will get you there it's just how you wanna get there. My .02.
I personally think flushes are fine if done right. I prefer them because I think they do a more complete job of removing old, burnt up tranny fluid(coolant,etc.,etc.) than a drain and fill. Also, with a system like power steering without using a flush machine your looking at a huge mess and a lenghty service.
To do a drain fill on an Odyssey you have to remove both bottom tranny mounts(from the subframe) and take out the AT temp. sensor, which then dumps tranny fluid all over the subframe and isn't a joy to get to. Would take you atleast double the time to do a drain/fill on this vehicle vs. doing a flush that will more completely clear out the system of used fluid.

Just for kicks and giggles I went to the flat rate labor guide(in ISIS) and saw a flat rate time for a tranny flush. These are the times that Honda gives it's service centers.

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Old 07-20-2007, 09:50 PM   #22
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Default Re: (agoldenau)

How much better does flat rate flushing pay over the "lets drain it 3 times" routine. A tech is gonna take quite a hit doing something like that. Time is money, and if you perform regular maintenance on your transmission, there is no problem with it.

It's just like putting a synthetic oil in an engine that has had conventional for over 100,000 miles, there are going to be deposits that are washed away that can start leaks.

If anything, it is doing a great service, because I would rather a problem be apparent immediately than smoking the clutches because grime was sealing the lip seals on the pistons, making a rebuild the next step, and needless to say, the customer isn't going to be too thrilled to hear it, but it is much better than him having to tow his car back to the shop and raise hell because someone screwed up his transmission.

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Old 07-20-2007, 10:32 PM   #23
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Default Re: (slowcivic2k)

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowcivic2k
How much better does flat rate flushing pay over the "lets drain it 3 times" routine. A tech is gonna take quite a hit doing something like that. Time is money, and if you perform regular maintenance on your transmission, there is no problem with it.

It's just like putting a synthetic oil in an engine that has had conventional for over 100,000 miles, there are going to be deposits that are washed away that can start leaks.

If anything, it is doing a great service, because I would rather a problem be apparent immediately than smoking the clutches because grime was sealing the lip seals on the pistons, making a rebuild the next step, and needless to say, the customer isn't going to be too thrilled to hear it, but it is much better than him having to tow his car back to the shop and raise hell because someone screwed up his transmission.
That's a good point. It's effective and convient for the customer and the tech. Doing 3 drain/fills with drive time added to circulate fluid each time is enough for 3 to 4 tranny flushes depending upon the machine used; maybe more.
Plus with the flush your knocking out both birds with one stone. You'll get old fluid out before you start the vehicle(which is cycling fluid) and then you'll get a majority of old fluid while it's being cycled. More complete IMHO.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:43 PM   #24
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yeah, i just drained my tranny fluid, are these procedures mandatory if you just changed the fluid?
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Old 07-21-2007, 04:11 AM   #25
 
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Default Re: (agoldenau)

My reply was not directed towards you. Sorry, I clicked on the wrong post for a reply. The bulletins dos not say flushing is "not totally necessary", they say it is a taboo that can do more harm than good, and it is not a Honda approved procedure. Pull up any vehicle and search "transmission flush" and 2 or 3 different bulletins will come up.
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