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8th & 9th Gen In the years from 2006 to 2011 Honda released it's 8th Generation Civic. Chassis codes: FD2, FA1, FG1, FG2, FA5, FK, FN


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Old 01-15-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Auto Transmission oil change interval?

What is the recommended interval to change automatic transmission fluid on a 2007 Civic. The only thing I could find in the owner's manual is to change it when the dash light comes on. Where is the service interval information in the owners manual?
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Old 01-15-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

once a year or 10k miles is recommended for a drain and fill. only use honda z1 fluid.
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Old 01-16-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Quote:
once a year or 10k miles is recommended for a drain and fill. only use honda z1 fluid.
Sorry for doubting, but that is hard for me to believe. I cannot find that in the owners manual. It only says to change when the warning light comes on, and it hasn't. I have 27,000 miles on my 07 and the automatic tranny fluid is still like new.
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Old 01-16-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
Sorry for doubting, but that is hard for me to believe. I cannot find that in the owners manual. It only says to change when the warning light comes on, and it hasn't. I have 27,000 miles on my 07 and the automatic tranny fluid is still like new.
Is it really like new, have you taken the fluid out of the transmission filtered it and tested it's lubrication and detergent properties? Have you filtered out all the small particles of metal in the fluid through a series of systematic drains?

Colour is just one small sign that the fluid is at the end of its life and the warning light is nothing more than a dedicated trip odometer.

Most manufacturers advise changing auto-trans fluids between 60k-100k miles depending on the design of the transmission, but auto trans failure is a major problem for Honda, Ford, Audi and other manufacturers. So, instead of pushing the limits of the fluid in what is by far the most delicate component of your car spend $20 a year in fluid. It's cheap insurance and it works.
If you want more details on transmission fluid changes search, we've discussed and explained it many times on this forum.

Last edited by MindBomber; 01-16-2011 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 01-16-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Quote:
If you want more details on transmission fluid changes search, we've discussed and explained it many times on this forum.
I'm sure you have, but I can't seem to find much with the search feature. I would appreciate links.
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Old 01-16-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

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Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
I'm sure you have, but I can't seem to find much with the search feature. I would appreciate links.
hmm.. the search button seems to have an error, hundreds of threads should come up transmission fluid searched. That will needed to be looked into.

Here's the coles notes.
Transmission fluid has both detergent and lubrication properties, but over time the quality of both of those properties degrade without the physical colour of the fluid changing. The result is both increased friction in the transmission, which is harmful for obvious reasons and a gradual build up of shed particles between gears and such. When you change the fluid at the recommended service point the refreshed detergent abilities of the fluid break free all the build ups of particles, which damage your transmission. If you imagine dropping a handful of sand into your transmission when you change the fluid at the recommended service point, that basically whats happening internally.

Need proof, Gearbox and I have both have defective failing auto transmissions for years and I'm confident if we didn't change the fluid regularly both of ours would already have failed. The same is true for many other people in the civic community.

$20 and 10 minutes worth of time a year is cheap insurance against a $3000 repair.
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Old 01-16-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Hi, I am new to this site (still not sure how to put a question on this forum,???,you guys seems to know a vast amount of information and I have a problem with a car i just recently purchased. it has a 2004 (canada)civic,2 litre vortec with 75000.00 kilometers, auto. when i bought it,it had the service engine light on in it. whilst it was checked out with code reader,it says PO717 Code,means Input/turbine speed sensor A circuit/No Signal.(the no signal worries me,is there a wiring problem???)this sensor was replaced by a tranny shop,code reset,and the same code is back again after a few days,meanwhile,it seems to have slipped a few times when I have shifted (flared up) to reverse or Drive.when it was cold outside -2 degrees.but otherwise that no problems,it seems to change gears ok and fluid is good(but smells a bit) and at its right level. do I change this fluid and filter and what type should i use?? can i drain the torque conveter?? also is there anything else I can do?? I am an chev.dodge/ford/mechanic and this is my first incident with an HONDA!!! PS.meanwhile, I was chatting with a tranny shop and explained to him the sequences of how i used the remote start to start it from my house for warm up. he questioned me and told me he did see an instance whereas<!-- google_ad_section_end --> the actual "add on aftermarket remote start"(it was on this car when i purchased it) that was wired into a car has actully caused a car(it was a nissan Altima2002) to "not" go in reverse properly. would this be a remote case for me? Any help is greatly appreciated with this misery ty so much
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Old 01-16-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

that is what the oil analysis lab tests show. the honda atf is not a long life fluid and breaks down very rapidly. much of the protection is gone at 10k miles and this can already start to destroy the transmission inside. and other fluids cannot be used, they will cause even more problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
Sorry for doubting, but that is hard for me to believe. I cannot find that in the owners manual. It only says to change when the warning light comes on, and it hasn't. I have 27,000 miles on my 07 and the automatic tranny fluid is still like new.
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Old 01-16-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

I am familiar with oil analysis, and have used it in the past to verify extended engine oil drain intervals which Amsoil claims are possible. I have never bothered with transmission oil analysis. I checked the Amsoil website and they recommend their fluid for 2007 Civic automatic transmissions. Anybody have experience with Amsoil auto tranny fluid? I really don't like the idea of having to change tranny fluid every 10,000 miles, too much work.

I appreciate your opinions and will take them into consideration.
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Old 01-16-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

25-30k miles under normal, 20 or so under severe IMO.

I would not install any fluid other than original honda ATFZ1, using only the drain & refill procedure.

Not really sure where Honda came up with those figures... sure would help to sell expensive components though. I will most likely never see any additional codes on my MM as when I change the oil at 5k they reset it. And it still shows 30%-40%. I use my own maintenance intervals that have worked just fine.
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Old 01-16-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

a few people tried amsoil and said it didnt perform properly (gears started slipping). trans fluid is really easy to change. just undo the bolt, let the fluid come out into a drain pan, put the bolt back with new washer, refill with new fluid thru the dipstick. usually takes me 10 mins including taking the used oil to recycling. that isnt much work once a year. you should be able to reach the drain bolt without raising the car up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
I am familiar with oil analysis, and have used it in the past to verify extended engine oil drain intervals which Amsoil claims are possible. I have never bothered with transmission oil analysis. I checked the Amsoil website and they recommend their fluid for 2007 Civic automatic transmissions. Anybody have experience with Amsoil auto tranny fluid? I really don't like the idea of having to change tranny fluid every 10,000 miles, too much work.

I appreciate your opinions and will take them into consideration.
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Old 01-16-2011   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Amsoil recommends their auto tranny fluid, because they want your business. Never use anything other than genuine Honda ATF in your transmission.

Changing my transmission fluid generally takes me 5-10 minutes and I normally do it at the same time as my my oil. It's simple and takes half the time as changing engine oil since there's no filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
I am familiar with oil analysis, and have used it in the past to verify extended engine oil drain intervals which Amsoil claims are possible. I have never bothered with transmission oil analysis. I checked the Amsoil website and they recommend their fluid for 2007 Civic automatic transmissions. Anybody have experience with Amsoil auto tranny fluid? I really don't like the idea of having to change tranny fluid every 10,000 miles, too much work.

I appreciate your opinions and will take them into consideration.
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Old 01-16-2011   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
I really don't like the idea of having to change tranny fluid every 10,000 miles, too much work.

I appreciate your opinions and will take them into consideration.

I just did a drain and fill and it was easier than an oil change, it's not very much work at all.

1)Undo bolt.
2)Clean bolt and put new crush washer on
3)After fluid drains put bolt back in
4)Add new fluid.

It takes less than ten minutes to do. Whatever intervals you chose is up to you but don't let thinking it's to much work be a factor.
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Old 01-17-2011   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Like all other forums, this is a lot of bad, conflicting, and misleading information out there.

So I decided to ask my local expert (wife) if she wants Amsoil in her 07 Civic. She said yes, she thought her 95 Civic was better after putting in Amsoil when it was a year or two old. I was surprised she even remembered.

Any serious suggestion to change Honda's automatic tranny fluid at 10,000 miles is a direct indication how bad their fluid is. I have had Amsoil in my Nissan Desert Runner automatic transmission for 70,000 miles.

I searched google and found two guys who only drained the pan and did not do a complete flush when changing to Amsoil and blamed Amsoil for causing problems. How can Amsoil cause the problem when they left 1/3 of the old fluid in? It is always a good idea to totally flush out all the old oil when changing oil brands. I intend to do that.

I suspect the real problem is related to the Honda automatic tranny fluid burning and/or leaving tarnish/varnish on the clutch plates and valves. Amsoil's formulation will dissolve the tarnish/varnish and that causes the clutches to slip because the clutches were at least partially burnt to begin with. If this is true, the real problem was the Honda fluid to begin with.

There seems to be plenty of people who have changed to Amsoil or other full synthetic and have not had any problems. If there was in fact a serious incompatibility problem, all the transmissions would be having the same problem.
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Old 01-17-2011   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

If your not going to take our advice thats totally fine, but any of the advice we've given isn't bad or conflicting. Your one day worth of searching on the internet is definitely superior to the experimentation we've done on our own cars over the last decade and the thousands of members who we've given advice to and had good results.

Changing to Amsoil has routinely destroyed Honda transmissions, it's generic fluid thats not specifically designed to work in Honda transmissions . The problem has nothing to do with people mixing fluids, absolutely nothing thats pure speculation on your part, its the fluid itself. You should never under any circumstances do a complete flush, ever, that has destroyed multiple transmissions on this site. By flushing the transmission you break ever single bit of material thats built up in the transmission free at once and allow it to enter the piping, gears and filter. Thats why you only ever do a drain and fill, thats even hondas recommendation.

What you suspect is great, but we've proven what causes the problem by taking the transmissions apart. The clutches are to thin and burn up, that problem is compounded by the filter plugging with material broken free by the change and plugging the filter.

The fluid doesn't die because its poor quality, it dies because of the clutch material being broken free.
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Old 01-17-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

I am going to call Amsoil's tech line tomorrow and verify their recommendations.

I still find it strange no one has quoted Honda's specific recommendation for automatic tranny oil change interval. I will also call the local dealer to find out.

If you have any links to "prove" your findings, I would like to see them. It seems we both agree the problem centers on the clutch fibers coming apart, just different reasons for doing so.

If you pull one tranny line to do a total flush by running the engine, and let the tranny go dry, no question damage will be done. Maybe it is safest to drain the pan and refill several times.

Simply draining the pan does nothing to clean the filter. If the filter is clogged, you already have serious problems regardless of what fluid you use.

On other forums, there are plenty of other people who have not had the problems you describe , including myself on my 95 Civic.
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Old 01-17-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

You don't think the design of transmissions changed between 1995 and 2007, that generation of civics were unstoppable, you could go years without even changing the oil and they engines still ran. Not really a valid example. Not only have there been massive design changes since 1995, but Honda went from manufacturing their transmissions in Japan under strict quality controls to the States where things aren't manufactured nearly as well.

The clutch pack breaks down because they are to thin to dissipate the heat properly. If you want pictures of the clutches I'll post them when I have time to search through my computer and find them, at the moment I'm to busy for anything but a quick reply. They're unbelievably thin compared to after market clutch packs or other manufacturers.

You've severely misunderstood me or I've made a major typo in my quick response if you think I said you should run the engine with a dry tranny. I attached a instructions from Honda on the correct flushing method.

I also did not say the filter is cleaned by doing a flush, the filter is PLUGGED as a result of the flushing process. Thats whats killed countless 7g transmissions and theoretically could 8g transmissions if you followed Hondas advice and never changed the filter.

Call the service advisors from a few Honda dealers and you'll get a couple responses on when you should change the atf fluid. Most recommend between 10k-30k miles.

Since you find it strange that none of us have quoted Honda, here ya go.. Directly from the 2006 service manual, I don't have the 2007 manual but I don't know of any design changes.
Under Severe Conditions - 37500miles / 36 months
Under Normal Conditions - 75000miles / 72 month

You should also be advised that Honda has introduced a new type of ATF fluid for 2011+ models called ATF DW-1, its supposed to be back compatible, but I would stick with Z-1 until its been more widely tested in older models.
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Old 01-17-2011   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

like ive always said, its your car and you can do whatever you want to it. so if you do need a new trans later as a result, you know who to blame.
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Old 01-17-2011   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

I don't need to see pictures of burnt clutch pacs, I know what they look like. I'd be more interested in seeing details surrounding what caused the failure, maintenance history, mileage, driver abuse, oil analysis, responses from Amsoil, if in fact their fluid caused the damage.

Last edited by Too Tall; 01-17-2011 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 01-17-2011   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Burnt clutch packs caused by how thin they are..

People have had them burn up on this site before hitting 30k milles.
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Old 01-17-2011   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

I have had pretty good success changing the Z1 atf every 30k. But I do a 3 drain fill regimen (9qts) that was the old Honda equivalent of a flush. I won't use any atf other than Z1 either. Why take the chance. Amsoil, while a good fluid is over rated and way over priced. I have seen a few people use it and have real severe clutch slip issues within a few hundred miles. Then Amsoil refused to do anything for them by blaming on previous fluid/abuse etc. But, now that I said this the Amsoil moonies will probably start sticking pins into a silver 09 civic model. LOL.

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Old 01-18-2011   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Has there been any clutch failures with Honda Z1 oil?

The Amsoil tech guy said he is not aware of any transmission failures related to Amsoil.

The local Honda dealer said the code # 3 on the dash indicates when to change the tranny fluid and usually comes on between 30 and 40,000 miles. He also denied any knowledge of any tranny failures. The service guy said the transmission does not have a filter.

I think the real problem is the clutches glazing over with Z1 and then Amsoil dissolves the glaze too fast. I am going to change all the oil to new Z1 to flush out as much gunk as possible, then drain and add 2 qts Amsoil, drive 1 or 2,000 miles before draining and adding 2 more qts of Amsoil.

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Old 01-18-2011   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Do you really think Amsoil would tell you their product has destroyed transmissions..

If you think thats the problem good luck, I'm glad after years of problems we've finally found the solution to the problem. All our findings and proven results must have been flukes.

The R18 transmission has a serviceable filter located under the battery, every transmission Honda builds has a filter its just sometimes they're in the case and aren't serviceable.

Part number 7.
http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/...cgry5=ATF+PIPE
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Old 01-18-2011   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

http://www.hondasuv.com/members/showthread.php?t=10890
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Old 01-18-2011   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

For the record, I really don't care about Amsoil or who uses it. I have been using it for about 15 years and have not had any problems like others report. The important thing is to change to Amsoil, or any other PAO based oil, early in the life of engine or transmission. PAO based oils tend to clean out the sludge and varnish left behind from dino based oils. That will degrade the Amsoil and possibly plug oil ports or filters. I suppose that's what happened to the torque converter in the link below.

I talked to a Service Rep at one dealership and a parts guy at another. Both stated there is no tranny filter, and when changing oil, they only drain and replace the 2 qts in the pan. When I mentioned that leaves 4 qts old oil in the tranny, both just said that's the way they do it. When the parts guy pulled up the same parts break down diagram as posted below, I pointed right to the filter and he was able to order one. Thanks MindBomber.

How long do those tranny filters last?

I think the other problem is not changing out enough of the old oil, especially for abused and high mile transmissions. The only way to do that is continued oil drains and refills, which I intend to do from now on.
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Old 01-18-2011   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

The filter is supposed to last the life of the transmission, which is likely why the dealership people didn't realize it exists. It can be changed though and a new filter does a better job filtering the fluid, so I would definitely change it, especially considering is only $14.
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Old 01-19-2011   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Main problems with the 7thgen tranny:

1. improper/insufficient fluid filtration. transmission fluid must be filtered constantly in order to provide enough protection to the internal components. this is due to normal contamination from gears and friction material becoming dissolved in the fluid. honda made a terrible mistake by putting a small panel filter INSIDE the transmission case. it is not possible to service the filter unless you rebuild the entire trans and remove it. such a small filter can easily "max out" with debris in a very short time, in as little as 10-20k miles. once this happens, not ontly is the filter useless, but it prevents trans fluid from circulating normally (this can lead to damaged clutch discs and pump failure!). there is nothing that can be done about this. the only remedy is to remove the filter when you rebuild the trans and leave it out. then add an external canister filter like honda has done with the older CVT auto trans and the newer 06+ civics and rsx. then you can simply change the filter every year like you would the engine oil filter and have clean fluid in the trans at all times. BIG FAIL for honda on this one.

2. inferior materials used in vital trans components. This is also a serious problem, and even with a functional external filter, they would still cause problems. honda decided to change the way transmissions were made in 2001 and as a result, clutches were made extremely thin and weak, causing total failure in a very short time period. the worst part is the secondary clutch pack carrier, which causes the infamous 2-3 gear slip. the only way to remedy this is to install the TCI Racing overhaul kit which comes with heavy duty red eagle clutches. another big fail.

3. honda used the wrong rubber seals for many parts of the transmission. in fact it is ironic that additives in the Z1 fluid they recommend actually worsen the problem by shrinking the seals! this explains the cold slips many of us (including myself) are dealing with right now. the seals shrink over time so that fluid can leak past the piston and valve body seals, which causes the clutches to slip because of pressure drop. a big hint to this problem is the dipstick, made from the same rubber they use for the inner seals. the fluid splashes on it, causing the rubber to shrink and melt, which then makes the dipstick so loose that it almost falls out. this is serious because it allows transmission fluid to boil out of the hole and leak. as tho all these problems arent bad enough, now you are physically losing fluid to a point where eventually you will toast the clutches. only remedy is to replace the dipstick with a new one where the rubber will actually seal the hole. but again over time, the z1 will shrink the rubber and cause it to loosen up over time. the same thing is happening inside your trans, which requires a rebuild. older transmissions used a different kind of seal which keeps its original size for a very long time. i have driven 20 yr old hondas still on the original auto trans and not a bit of slip in cold weather. the seals are still holding pressure. but with the civic, they can shrink down enough that slipping can occur in as little as 20k miles. unbelieveable.

while different fluid can solve some of these problems IF you changed it out when the trans had less than 1k miles, you may have a chance at saving the seals. but eventually the internal filter will clog from the friction material and everything will start to break. driving style is not a factor, it is simply a defect. and like all defects, it is only a matter of time until something fails. the usual range is 10-100k miles. even if you were to switch to another fluid early on, you still have the internal filter to deal with and the defective clutches. none of which can be saved by maintenance or fluids. they will break, its just a matter of when. either your friction material will wear out first, or the material itself will clog the filter and destroy the pump.

anyway to summarize, if you want to keep the auto trans and know a really good transmission repair guy, give him the tci kit and let him completely rebuild with it. all new clutches, filter, kolene treated seals (that dont shrink, what a concept). and then use whatever fluid you like because all the defects are now fixed and you essentially have a bullet-proof tranny. add an external filter and oil cooler, and youre all set in protecting your new investment. but ofcourse the rebuild is only as good as the person who does it. auto trans is a very complicated piece of equipment with many parts.

Too Tall - you have an 8thgen, you should consider yourself very lucky you do not have these problems. change your external filter yearly, its only $20 for cheap insurance. and use whatever fluid you like, also making sure to change it often (even amsoil). every 10k miles and i bet it will last you forever. the filter is constantly working, and there is always material being filtered out due to normal wear and tear of the gears and clutches. since it is an ongoing process, you must change the filter regularly just like the engine oil filter. there is only so much it can hold before getting plugged up with debris.
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Old 01-19-2011   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

^You should make that post into a sticky Gearbox.
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Old 01-19-2011   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

When I bought my Civic I read the Manual and it never said to change the fluid at any given miles. It said to follow the maintenance minder. Well, I always changed my oil at 5k miles and it still had 30-40% left so it never went to where it says A or B or the number. Well, I have about 52k miles and I just changed it for the first time and it looked like coffee! Well now I know, but did I damage anything? Please tell me if I have a high probability of ruining my trasmission prematurely so I can trade this car in? Also nobody seems to make mention of a filter. I heard these cars have an external filter, but how often do you change it??? I hate automatics! Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-19-2011   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Auto Transmission oil change interval?

Tootall, I'm not trying to stir things up so don't take this as an insult because I'm relatively new to the civic maintenance. But you seem to have some pretty strong opinions and are arguing over which fluids are best and how often it should be changed. I find this interesting coming from a guy that a few posts ago said undoing 1 bolt was to much work.

If you google civic transmission problems TONS of info comes up. Because it's coming from over the internet we can't ever know for sure what caused the failure, could be fluid, maintenance, simply poor design, burnt fluid, etc. But one thing is for sure, almost everything I read when searching recomends Z-1 fluid, from honda to DIY garage mechanics. I like you want to put the best fluid in my vehicles, I have run amsoil torque shift ATF in my 03 F250 turbo diesel with good results, even though it was 200 dollars for a change since it holds 20 qts! Also use the severe duty gear lube in my front and rear axles on my f250 and f150. So I am not an amsoil hater and do use some of there products in my vehicles. But after much searching about fluids for the civic and everyone recomending Z-1, and reading all the problems that others believe different fluid caused I decided to go with Z-1.

I figured it is not worth it to find out for myself if amsoil is good for the civic transmissions or not. I don't want to be a guinea pig. Maybe the fluid doesn't make a bit of differance in these transmisions, but to me it's not worth the gamble to go against what honda recomends. Mindbomber and gearbox seem to know what they are talking about and I think there advice is pretty sound advice.

In the end it is your vehicle and you have to decide what fluid and how often to change it. If you would like to go against honda's recomendations and against what a lot of people advise then that is your choice and hopefully it works out well for you. You also have to chose the change intervals. Personally I think 10K might be a little soon but if it's going to save a very expensive transmission it might be worth it. I just did my first one and am leaning towards 15-20K intervals.
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