DIY: ATF Change - Honda Civic Forum

DIY: ATF Change

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Old 10-21-2003
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DIY: ATF Change

first of all, i like to thank JmD_1901 for comming by and helping me on all the work and stuff, you the man!

this is a diy to change the fluid, not overhaul, over haul require flushing the whole system. this change only changes most of the atf, it does nothing to the atf that was inside your torque converter


ATF should be changed every 48000 miles or 48 months, under regular conditions. and it should be changed every 24000 miles, or 24 months in severe conditions (a lot of stop/go traffic, pizza delivery, hot weather conditions etc...)

Materials:
at least 2 clean shop rags. heck, make it 4
3/8 inch drive socket wrench, no sockets needed
3.1 quarts of ATF
something to catch old ATF
jack stands
relieable jack
shop light

1. turn on the car

2. warm it up till the radiator fan comes on

3. shut it off

4. keep the vehicle on a flat surface

5. go under the tranny and locate the bolt (might have to jack it up to see and such..)



remove the tranny drain bolt, it's the only bolt with a gasket and square shape drive, it's hard to see, it's right next to the sub frame, and a 3/8th socket wrench fits right into the square drive


6. remove the bolt, it requires a little bit of muscle

7. catch the atf (it maybe hot) fluid, make sure you have a clean towel around to clean up any mess. and make sure you have something to catch the fluid with


8. while the fluid is draining, look at the bolt you just removed, it has a magnet at the end, clean all that nasty shavings off of it



9. after all fluid has been emptied, put the bolt back in, and clean around the area

10. torque the bolt down to 36lbs

11. refill the transmission with new atf, with 3 quarts at first, and check the level, then add more as necessary


you are done!

i'll be back in a bit with a p/s fluid change and a coolant change,

Last edited by Voiceofid; 10-21-2003 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 10-21-2003
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good diy, but you shouldnt use standard sized sockets on a japanese car.
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Old 10-21-2003
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Originally posted by SkipBarber
good diy, but you shouldnt use standard sized sockets on a japanese car.
if you look, we didn't use the sockets

we use the wrench itself
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Old 10-21-2003
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Great diy, but I already did this. Still good for others to try. It's easy.
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Old 10-21-2003
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Originally posted by gearbox
Great diy, but I already did this. Still good for others to try. It's easy.
yeah, pretty much like changing oil
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Old 10-22-2003
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I heard your not support to change it until 50,000 and when the guy took my oil out of my transmission he said he found metal shards in the transmission lol.
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Old 10-22-2003
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Originally posted by Elite
I heard your not support to change it until 50,000 and when the guy took my oil out of my transmission he said he found metal shards in the transmission lol.
"ATF should be changed every 48000 miles or 48 months, under regular conditions. and it should be changed every 24000 miles, or 24 months in severe conditions (a lot of stop/go traffic, pizza delivery, hot weather conditions etc...)"
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Old 10-22-2003
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Umm.. i dunno how Honda's AT is built, but i did change the AT fluid in a Caravan/Voyager befroe and i change the tranny filter too, but i dunno if our cars have a AT filter... havne't had a chance to take a look at the tranny on a lift yet (AT filter collects more of those shaving you find on the drain bolt
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Old 10-22-2003
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does your car run smoother than before after the change?
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Old 10-22-2003
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the car should run smoother. and no our cars not have a ATF filter
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Old 10-22-2003
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our cars do not have a atf filter, our "filter" is that magnet at the end of the drainbolt tip

the car runs smoother, and shifts more precise

before i changed it, when the car shift, it tends to disengage, and drop 2-3000rpm before it re-engage into the new gear, but now, it's sharp shifting. i hate myself for not doing it sooner

if you look at the pic of the liquid draining, that's actually dark brown, not red


i coldn't do the coolant because our car requires honda coolant, or else is corrose through the lines and such

Last edited by Voiceofid; 10-22-2003 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-22-2003
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I changed mine at 17K recently and noticed smoother shifting. It was already dark when I looked at it. And there is a fuel filter, but the tranny has to come apart to get to it.
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Old 10-22-2003
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Originally posted by gearbox
I changed mine at 17K recently and noticed smoother shifting. It was already dark when I looked at it. And there is a fuel filter, but the tranny has to come apart to get to it.
alldata didn't mention anything about a transmission filter, i did know there was a fuel filter, next to thhe gas tank i believe?
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Old 11-11-2003
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So I can do this at home..? What type of ATF fluid does our Civic hold...?
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Old 11-11-2003
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go to honda and buy the atf, it's called atf-z1

3-4 quarts would work
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Old 11-11-2003
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But the manual doesn't say how much quarts the civic holds of ATF....I don't know why the Service guy at Honda said mecanics use 10 qts to change customer's atf....oh..maybe because they change , rechange, and change and drive and they need 10 qts..eh?
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Old 11-12-2003
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it does say in the manual, page 294, under "capacities", 5th section

"automatic transmission, change 2.9quart, total 6.3 quart"
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Old 11-14-2003
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ok..i'm going to try this over the weekend..hopefully I won't pick the wrong bolt and my car better run smoother..cuz the acceleration sucks rite now..
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Old 11-14-2003
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Yeah, when I had my ATF changed (I tried to do it myself but gave up. Next time I'm doing it myself) the acceleration improvement was HGUE. I remember pulling out of the dealership and the car just took off - at least as much as our cars are capable of doing. But it was a lot quicker than when I brought it in ...
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Old 11-14-2003
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Originally posted by Dticalman01
ok..i'm going to try this over the weekend..hopefully I won't pick the wrong bolt and my car better run smoother..cuz the acceleration sucks rite now..
you can't get a wrong bult, there is only one bolt there that fits a 3/4 driver head(no socket)
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Old 11-16-2003
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I did the ATF flush myself...and acceleration was a lil bit better...but I think I added too much ATF...i had 3 quarts and 1/6...is that still ok...? and I didn't use a torque wrench.but I just tightened it as far as I could tighten that bolt..is that ok too?
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Old 11-16-2003
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i don't think a little extra would hurt it

if you are not sure you torqued it down correctly, check for leaks periodically for the next week, i think it should be fine, long as you didn't over tighten it
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Old 11-25-2003
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oh, i got the same question too, how do you measure the exact torque, do you have a tool to measure it.
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Old 11-26-2003
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Yea..it's the Torque Wrench..it's a big long, skinny thing...ask about it at ur local Pep Boys or Kragens..
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Old 12-27-2003
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I've tried to do this DIY, however, I cannot fit the wrench into the bolt. It is obstructed by the sub frame of the car. Can anyone tell me weather there is any tricky thing or not? I haven't jack the car up, will this be the reason? Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2003
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yea..jack the car up...use rhino ramps..or use a jack whatever u think is comfortable for u
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Old 12-27-2003
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i would definitly reccomend this DIY.
i just hit 30,000 miles and did mine today.

i couldnt buy honda atf becuase the dealership is closed. but i got penzoil dexron III atf and it seems to be working fine.

before i did the diy my gears would have problems catching. it would rev up about 2000 rpm before it locked into the next gear. no that annoying problem is gone! nice smooooth shifts.
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Old 12-28-2003
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i thought it was 2 quarts are you sure about 3 ?
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Old 12-28-2003
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yes manual says 2.9 quarts for a change.. but im sure puting 3.0 quarts will not hurt
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Old 03-24-2004
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I'm not sure about our Civics auto trannies, but some trannies are very sensative to the amount of ATF you put in. If you overfill you can cause more pressure inside the tranny which is not good for the clutch packs or torque converter. Also to much ATF can cause your tranny to overheat and foaming.

Also if you go by what our Owners manual says about changing the ATF it says to change drain, refill and drive a short distance and repeat this three times. Then do it one more time and your done. Read the manual for more specific instructions. You use this method to flush out as much of the old ATF out of the tranny and torque converter.
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