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Honda/Acura: Transmission Service or not?


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Working for Honda for 12 yrs gave me both sides of this. Honda only does a drain and refill as there is no serviceable filter on anything that Honda makes. The only filter is inside the transmission and is changed when you do a rebuild :) If you use anything but Honda fluid the shifting characteristics of the transmission are changed. Trust me I know. I personally change the trans fluid on my vehicles every year (about every 20k on the van). I either use Honda ATF or Amsoil ATF. Honda also told us that the cleaners used in most flush systems will effect the clutches and cause more problems than just changing the fluid in the recommended intervals. If you are using a fluid exchange, you would have to use one with only Honda fluid and it wouldn't be worth it cost wise. If the customer does the drain and refill on the recommended intervals there isn't any need to do a transmission fluid flush.

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On Honda/Acura vehicles we do drain and fill's with Honda/Acura fluid. We have had many customers complain about transmission shifting issues after having "Wallet Flushes" at other venue's. On most cars we do fluid exchanges with a machine but use the recommended fluid for that car. We avoid flush chemicals. "If you start early on taking care of your vehicles fluid services the hard parts take care of themselves thus avoiding the need for a extended warranty" The Frogfinder.

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  • 4 months later...

I hear many conflicting points of view about Honda/Acura transmission services. The Honda/Acura dealers in my area only do a drain and refill. They claim that servicing the transmission with a total fluid exchange machine (notice I did not say flush) that removes all the old fluid and refills with new is not advisable. Also, Honda claims that if you should only use Honda fluid.

 

We have all BG machines and perform transmission services on just about all makes and models. We have been doing this for more than 10 years. We also use BG synthetic fluid. I believe that I am giving my customers a great value by performing preventive maintenance and we back it up with the BG Lifetime program if the vehicle has under 75,000 miles.

 

I do know one things, Honda/Acura has a lot of transmission issues that cannot be blamed on “TOO MUCH” servicing.

 

I would like others to tell me their thoughts on Honda transmissions and other fluid services.

 

 

BG synthetic fluid does not have the proper friction modfiers for use in honda transmission. there is no discussing this. The formulation is more akin to Mercron V.

 

as I rebuild transmissions and I have done many honda units, the proper fluid is critical for shit timming, les or improperly friction modified fluid can and doe cuase shift timming errors which can cuase binding of the unit during shifts and ultimately more transmission failures. Honda have synchronus shifting transmissiona dn shift timming is critical. for that matter most of the 2007 up model american cars have gone to similar synchronous shifting. This creates all sort of new problems over the old Ascynchronus designs from 10 years ago.

 

clearances clutch and band, fluid, shift timing all play a part in the service life of modern transmissions.

 

this ain't you mommas 1975 ltd with a fmx.

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I understand the issue with correct friction modifiers, but if your service your transmission using BG fluid every 30,000 miles, BG will protect your car and give you a protection plan for the life of the vehicle for your transmission. The plan will give you $2,000 if you start the servicing under 36k miles, $1000.00 if you start the program under 75k miles.

 

BG is a good company, why would they stand behind their product, if the product did not work?

 

Maybe we should hear from a BG rep????

 

 

As far as I know, BG fluids specifically for transmissions have not been certified as viable replacements by the OEM's. they have not gone through the OEM validation process.

 

Also mercV and Honda ATF have very different viscosity index's. While BG fluid is fine in most domestic transmissions putting it into a unit with say a paper clutch vrs a high carbon high energy clutch and a aggresive drive could certainly spell disaster in the right circumstances.

 

Also there is a wide variance in the lubrication film strength as well. BG makes a good product, it just isn't suited for ZF AW or Honda units.I have used it in chrysler vehicles and within a few thousand miles they typically developed converter shutter.

 

Basically my solution as the shop forman was to use BG synthetic in only vehicles where there was a wide tolerance of formulation.

 

there are times when as a rebuilder I will change fluids but those are instances where I know how to modify the transmission to accept this and I have very valid reasons for doing so.

 

claims by BG with me are largely ignored. They do not have a OEM certification or validation that I am aware of for that fluid for use in honda, ZF's AW or chrysler units.

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First let me say that it is good to have you on the forum. You have posted some good stuff today and I appreciate it. The point I wanted to make is that O'Reilly has their own Import multi-vehicle transmission fluid out. It is about $5.00 a quart and it says specificially on the bottle that it meets the Honda requirements.

 

 

I can put anything I want on the bottle. find out if the fluid has bene OEM certified. I doubt it. The thing with honda transmissions "in particular" is that honda units are very fickle about fluid. VERY. ZF's and other transmissions are more tolerant but the design of the honda unit, the friction metrials the shaft designs and the valve body, all designed for that specific fluid.

 

I wouldn't chance a come back on it. Even on my honda overhauls I buy the clutchs at $16 each from the dealers and most units have 20+ clutchs becuase its all very critical.

 

I am sure that someone is playing the wide end of the spec becuase merV and honda ATF and ZF's all have very different fluid requirements. There is no way to do a one size fits all fluid.

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