Automatic Transmission Fluid

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  #1  
Old 12-05-10, 10:24 AM
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Automatic Transmission Fluid

I have a 2005 Acura TL with an automatic tranny. The manual says that only Honda tranny fluid can be used. Honda tranny fluid is about twice the cost of, say, Dextron. I drain the transmission pan yearly which is about 3 quarts and replace with new Honda fluid. Honda tranny fluid is what is used in Acura cars.

I have had other cars with automatics. They did not specify their own tranny fluid. I owned a Mercedes for 26 years. Their manual said thou must use Mercedes antifreeze at more than twice the cost of ordinary brands. I never used it and never had a leak or a problem for the 26 years I owned the car. I took the chance because water pumps and radiators don't cost what a transmission costs. Turned out I was correct in my suspicion.

Should I use another brand tranny fluid in my Acura? Because I only can drain 3 quarts out, the fluids would necessarily mix. While the cost difference is not much, it's the principle of the matter.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-05-10, 11:43 AM
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Any fluid that is ATF-Z1 would work fine. With the less than stellar Honda transmission reliability I would stay with the Z1 fluid.
 
  #3  
Old 12-05-10, 03:51 PM
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there's a honda atf match in stores available. i had 91 civic and that's what i used. blue cans, all i remember about it.

but if i were you... may i say this without you being offended? it's sort of being penny wise and dollar foolish. for a cost of maybe 10 bucks difference, is it worth it? i mean, driving a newer Acura and worrying about few bucks.....

oh, and you should be quite glad you do not have a late model Merc. service is dealership only, oil pan is locked, owner does not have key. oil change is around $1300.00 on upscale models.
 
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Old 12-06-10, 04:58 AM
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I only own one Mercedes at this point in time and it is a 2002. Engine oil is easy to do but they omitted the drain on the torque converter on this model and later ones. The '93 I owned, like all the others before it, was easy to service. Torque converter could be drained, tranny pan was easy to get off and the tranny filter was inexpensive. I've changed many a transmission filter/fluid on MB vehicles. On the older models everything was easy to get at.

Don't worry, I'm not offended about the penny wise, pound foolish comment. I am very suspicious when a car company says I must use their fluids when I know they are making a large profit on peddling them to, perhaps, unsuspecting customers. I will say that the Honda fluid, when new, smells different from other fluids.
 
  #5  
Old 12-06-10, 11:27 AM
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I have a buddy who works in the service department at an Acura dealership and he says they see a lot of transmission problems - seems like the engines create more power than the tranny can handle

I think sticking to the manufacturers recommendation until you can find something definitive saying one or the other is the way to go would be wise
 
  #6  
Old 12-06-10, 08:51 PM
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thank you. glad we cool.

yes, Honda's fluids do smell different and so does Toyota. Toyota even has weird color.

there's way, though time taking, to flush the whole entire system, not just drain it. i 1st came across it in Mitsu Galant owner manual. basically, you buy enough fluid for complete replacement, not just drain/refill. you drain 3 qrts, refill 3, drive for 15 miles, drain 3, refill 3, drive, etc, until entire fluid is flushed out and replaced.

out of respect for nice vehicle as yours is, stick to OEM stuff.
 
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