Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles? - Honda Civic Forum

Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

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Old 09-04-2012
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Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

I don't have any problems yet, but I've heard about the rep these automatic trannys have, and I'm wondering if it was a defect in the construction, or something I can prevent by strict maintenance?
I've heard that some places have modern technology that can remove all the old ATF and replace it completely with new ATF, but I haven't found one yet. What color should the ATF be when I check it?
It's only got 51K on it, but it is ten years old, and I don't know if the previous owner (my late uncle) ever had the ATF changed.
TIA
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Flushing with a machine and chemicals is "strongly discouraged".


Drain and fill. Simple.
Each drain and fill will hold about 2.5-2.75 US quarts.
I would recommend you do it with every oil change, or every other oil change.

If you really want a "flush", buy a case of the correct fluid and do several drain and fills. I have posted (linked) a copy of the official procedure here several times in the past, do a search for it.

My preference is Hondas ATF-DW-1 (I work for a dealer).
Some other opinions are Valvoline maxlife (?) and Dexron VI.
I think all of these are synthetic.


HTH

Last edited by ezone; 09-04-2012 at 06:29 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

dw1 is full syn, maxlife is blend. not sure how older trans would react to a full syn tho, seeing as how they just started using it on new cars recently. then suddenly it was backwards compatible with any honda trans. obviously the tech and condition of those older hondas was not really meant for it but who knows.
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

I do a drain and fill every 6 months and I drive 13-14k km a year.
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Old 10-06-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

I went to a couple of tranny places, and the first guy wanted $75, using Honda ATF.
The second guy only wanted $50, but he wanted to use Mobil DM ATF, so I told him forget it. He said Honda ATF was $25 a bottle!
I just got a recall notice from Honda about a low beam wiring problem, so I guess I'll let the dealer do it, and learn from him. Someone said his dealer only charged him $50.
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Old 10-06-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
I went to a couple of tranny places, and the first guy wanted $75, using Honda ATF.
What's the problem?

We charge something like $89.95 (IIRC) for a trans service by itself.
The second guy only wanted $50, but he wanted to use Mobil DM ATF, so I told him forget it.
Hmmm.

He said Honda ATF was $25 a bottle!
What country are you in?
I show the Honda ATF DW-1 is MSRP @ $8.23/qt, American Dollars.
Buy 3 quarts for one drain and fill (roughly 2.5-2.75qts per change.)

If you can change your own oil, you should be able to handle changing the ATF.

I just got a recall notice from Honda about a low beam wiring problem, so I guess I'll let the dealer do it, and learn from him. Someone said his dealer only charged him $50.
Good price if it is done right.
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Old 10-07-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

i never understand how they can sleep at night for charging that much just to remove ONE bolt, let the fluid drain out, put ONE bolt back on, and pour a few bottles of fluid back in the dipstick hole. mind boggling. same goes for just about any other service. like a 5 minute air filter job for $50 or a 5 minute spark plug job for $120. no wonder going to mechanics is becoming overrated. buy your own better quality parts and do it yourself.
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Old 10-07-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
i never understand how they can sleep at night for charging that much just to remove ONE bolt, let the fluid drain out, put ONE bolt back on, and pour a few bottles of fluid back in the dipstick hole. mind boggling. same goes for just about any other service. like a 5 minute air filter job for $50 or a 5 minute spark plug job for $120. no wonder going to mechanics is becoming overrated. buy your own better quality parts and do it yourself.
Some people can't open the hood of a car.
Some can afford not to.

If you can't (or don't want to) do it yourself, you pay to have it done. Simple business.
Taxes, roofing, plumbing, electricity, pouring a new driveway, crops, groceries, butchering a cow, or fixing cars. Few people can do it all. You buy the service if you can't DIY it.

Our business model depends on 99% of the motoring public not knowing anything about their cars. (A big problem with this industry, and many others, is the unscrupulous people that prey on unwary and uninformed consumers. Consumers can't tell the difference most of the time.)
I sleep well at night, thank you.

As much as I bitch about "damn appliance users" that don't know a damn thing about cars, they are the ones that have put bread on my table all these years. (I suppose I should be more thankful, huh?)

a 5 minute spark plug job for $120.
Your plugs retail for almost $20 each through the dealer. (Platinums or Iridiums.)
Hybrid Civic 03-11 has EIGHT plugs at that $20 each price.
Hybrid Civic for 2012 has EIGHT plugs that retail for....you better sit down for this.....$$$39.03 each. (#12290-RW0-003, plug#
DILFR6J11)
(These prices are US Dollars here.)
Many dealers sell parts for far higher than MSRP.
Where is your cheap tune up now, biatches!?!?


I get 0.5 of the labor rate for a "tune up" (that means plugs only here at this particular shop) on a normal 4 cylinder engine (one plug per cylinder).


1.0 labor for a V6 (as long as it doesn't have a manifold in the way).

Labor rates vary among shops, and regions. Time allowed for any particular job can vary a lot too.

(For comparisons, I suggest you look up in an older shop manual, say like a Motors manual from the 60s or 70s, and see just what work a "tune up" entailed.)

Plus a general look over of the car if I'm feeling generous, bored, or needing work to do.




I also know all too well what can happen when spark pugs aren't installed properly. DIYers usually don't realize what is possible. And can't believe the problems it can cause. And can't believe problems can be caused by THEIR spark plug installation.

How about one plug left a little bit loose?
Localized overheating.
Detonation.
Burned electrode off.
Dropped the center electrode rod out.
Ruined a cylinder wall as it got ate up.
Had to replace the engine.
True recent story. 05 Accord Hybrid V6 engine.

That was an extreme. The usual thing that I see when a plug is not tight enough is they get locked by carbon buildup in the threads. Try to (and can) strip threads upon removal.
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Old 10-08-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

you can sleep at night because you actually do the work properly. that is a rare thing these days.
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Old 10-08-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
you can sleep at night because you actually do the work properly. that is a rare thing these days.
Apparently he doesn't sleep at night because it's almost 4am where he's at right now.

(sorry couldn't resist)
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Old 10-08-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by Stock 99 View Post
Apparently he doesn't sleep at night because it's almost 4am where he's at right now.

(sorry couldn't resist)
More like 2AM. I have had some horrible insomnia ever since I was a teenager.
I might run on 3-5 hours of sleep per night for a week at a time, then crash hard on the weekend.
But I sleep well once I manage to get to sleep, so it still counts.


If I wanted to be a thief, I sure as hell would have picked an easier profession.
LOL
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Old 10-09-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
What's the problem?

We charge something like $89.95 (IIRC) for a trans service by itself.

Hmmm.
What country are you in?
I show the Honda ATF DW-1 is MSRP @ $8.23/qt, American Dollars.
Buy 3 quarts for one drain and fill (roughly 2.5-2.75qts per change.)

If you can change your own oil, you should be able to handle changing the ATF.

Good price if it is done right.
I dunno, if it's so simple, why did one guy find he couldn't accelerate when he pushed down the gas pedal, and then couldn't go over 60MPH after he did the ATF change DIY?
I'm headed down to Honda to see what they can do me for- I mean do for me!
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
I dunno, if it's so simple, why did one guy find he couldn't accelerate when he pushed down the gas pedal, and then couldn't go over 60MPH after he did the ATF change DIY?
I'm headed down to Honda to see what they can do me for- I mean do for me!
I decided to "man up" and bought 3 qts of Honda ATF and a washer, after they did the two recall jobs on my 2002 EX.
They wanted $60 for the ATF change, so I told them I'd try it myself. I asked them if they had any instructions, and the guy said, "there are only two drains under the car; if you see any motor oil come out, ya got the wrong one."
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

I dunno, if it's so simple, why did one guy find he couldn't accelerate when he pushed down the gas pedal, and then couldn't go over 60MPH after he did the ATF change DIY
Where did THIS come from?


"there are only two drains under the car; if you see any motor oil come out, ya got the wrong one.
The drain plug for the transmission has a square hole in it, your 3/8 ratchet or extension will fit right in it.


It will be tight. Be sure the tool is fully inserted into the hole, you don't want to strip the plug out.


Make sure you locate the dipstick and figure out how you are going to refill the thing, BEFORE you drain it out.

I use a super long funnel.
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Where did THIS come from?


The drain plug for the transmission has a square hole in it, your 3/8 ratchet or extension will fit right in it.


It will be tight. Be sure the tool is fully inserted into the hole, you don't want to strip the plug out.


Make sure you locate the dipstick and figure out how you are going to refill the thing, BEFORE you drain it out.

I use a super long funnel.
That first part was from one of the 82 responses to the DIY thread on the ATF change below in the forum.
Thanks for the advice, I think I'm gonna need it!
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Old 10-10-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
They wanted $60 for the ATF change,
Including the 3 quarts of OEM fluid and washer... that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

The dealer is up to right around $100 now. My next change will be out of powertrain warranty and will be done by a former Honda dealership mechanic now on his own so i'm hoping for a lower cost.
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Old 10-19-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

I punked out. I got a mechanic to change the ATF with Honda ATF today for $30. I decided not to chance messing up the tranny.
I tried to watch what he was doing, but he kept chasing me out of the bay.
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Old 10-19-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
I decided to "man up"
Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
I punked out.
Sally.


I got a mechanic to change the ATF with Honda ATF today for $30. I decided not to chance messing up the tranny.
I tried to watch what he was doing, but he kept chasing me out of the bay.
Holy Cow, that's cheap.
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Old 10-20-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

more than likely the trans is either under or over filled. it is almost an art to get the fluid level near perfect. throwing in 3 qts is guaranteed to overfill. i would rather have mine slightly below the max line after the car has been fully warmed up for 30 mins in summer and checked on flat ground with engine running in park. there is no set amount of fluid that comes out when draining. when i did my 4x drain and fill while switching to maxlife, every time it was different. 2.7 qts, 2.1 qts, 2.5 qts, etc. i measured what came out each time to make it easier when refilling.
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Old 10-20-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
with engine running in park.
Ummm.....All Honda built transmissions are supposed to be checked with the engine off.
Within one minute of turning the engine off.


Most of the transmissions appear to be low when checked with the engine running.


The rest of your post was right though.
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Old 10-20-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

The guy seemed pretty diligent about it. He raced the engine in Park, and then checked it. He did that a few times.
I asked him if the fluid was dirty, and he said it looked like it was the original fluid.
I haven't run it on the parkway yet, but for the first time, I didn't notice any slipping into gear when I accelerated.
Now that my "lesson" is over, I'm gonna buy me a 3/8 wrench, and do it myself.
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Old 10-21-2012
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

i realize the manual says this, but it makes no logical sense. the fluid level rises even after 5 seconds of having the engine off and continues to rise every few seconds after that, making it impossible to ever get a consistent reading. not to mention what happens if you need to add fluid and recheck. with the engine running, you always get a consistent reading and can add fluid while doing it. and the level would seem to matter most when the engine is running and fluid is in circulation, not when turned off. leaving the level a tiny bit lower than max will account for some error. just my thoughts. and even with the car running method, i never add back more than around 2.6 qts after a drain and fill. nowhere near the recommended 2.9 qts.


Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Ummm.....All Honda built transmissions are supposed to be checked with the engine off.
Within one minute of turning the engine off.


Most of the transmissions appear to be low when checked with the engine running.


The rest of your post was right though.
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Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
i realize the manual says this, but it makes no logical sense. the fluid level rises even after 5 seconds of having the engine off and continues to rise every few seconds after that, making it impossible to ever get a consistent reading. not to mention what happens if you need to add fluid and recheck. with the engine running, you always get a consistent reading and can add fluid while doing it. and the level would seem to matter most when the engine is running and fluid is in circulation, not when turned off. leaving the level a tiny bit lower than max will account for some error. just my thoughts. and even with the car running method, i never add back more than around 2.6 qts after a drain and fill. nowhere near the recommended 2.9 qts.
This is my first post though I've been registered for a couple years.
I've already used the Forgotten Tuneup Mods last fall. It was a great primer for me and my 02 EX / 120 k mi was in desperate need of some TLC.
I fixed two codes, 1491 EGR Valve Lift Insufficient and 1457 EVAP ECS Leak Detected (Control Canister System) also, and now have a decent car again.

I'm ready to start the auto trans flush and was wondering if it's preferred to use the fill plug or the dip stick hole to refill the auto trans fluid.
I've read that some people have trouble getting the fill plug out
I've already done my 06 HCH CVT, but I don't even know where the two plugs for the 02 EX are yet.
I have to go out and find them now and try to get them both out.

Also, is there a way to tell if the fluid has ever been touched? Because that seems that is a recurring theme for me, as I dig deeper into the service. of both out 02 EX and 06 HCH

edit: thanks for the pic ezone they are indispensable, and I'm certain I'll know the drain plug when I actually find it.

Last edited by wllvv; 04-13-2014 at 03:41 PM. Reason: add forgotten comment.
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Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

An 02 Civic automatic trans has only a drain plug. There is no fill plug.

You fill it through the dipstick hole using either a long funnel or a funnel with a long hose. Make sure you have something that will get new fluid into the dipstick hole before draining the fluid.


Sometimes it's really hard to tell if anyone has done fluid service, other times it's easy to tell something has been done. Fluid color, wrench marks, seal washer squashed thin as paper, etc.


HTH
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Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

thanks again ezone.

I have the helms for the 06 HCH.
I only have the Haynes for the 02 EX.
The Haynes is alright, but I'm finding out where some of it's content, ie: DTC's etc, is not so good.
And not too much info for the AT fluid change either.
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Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by wllvv View Post
The Haynes is alright, but I'm finding out where some of it's content, ie: DTC's etc, is not so good.
And not too much info for the AT fluid change either.
Do you have enough info to get the job done, or do you need more?
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Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

I think I can at least get it started now with first drain and refil

I see gearbox mentioned 2.6 quarts per refil, so I'll be watching it as I pour in the third quart
instead of just pouring it in there.

Last edited by wllvv; 04-13-2014 at 05:23 PM. Reason: edit out dumping, added pouring instead
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Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Aaaand...just making sure you know you check the fluid level with the engine OFF. See your owners manual.
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Old 04-14-2014
  #29  
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by wllvv View Post
The Haynes is alright, but I'm finding out where some of it's content, ie: DTC's etc, is not so good.
And not too much info for the AT fluid change either.
thats because there really is not that much info thats nessessary....

- remove drain plug
- let drain
- replace drain plug
- fill

how much more info do you need?

when refilling i would suggest only filling it halfway up the "safe zone", then take the car for a drive to warm the fluid up, check it when you get home and top up as nessessary

whatever you do, DO NOT OVERFILL IT!
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Old 04-15-2014
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Re: Transmission fluid change on a 2002 with 51K miles?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Aaaand...just making sure you know you check the fluid level with the engine OFF. See your owners manual.
When I found the plug I thought the fluid spatter on the frame as it drained, so I stuffed paper towels above the frame.
It took 3 or 4 good whacks with the sledge to break it loose and the crush washer was pancaked a bit with a bit of a lip on the outside edge.
The fluid still had a bit of a red tint, so maybe it had been drained once before, maybe not. It took 2.9 qts, but I let it drain for an hour while I changed the oil in both
the 02 and the 06.

And I thought I was good with my longneck funnel. What a surprise I got when it wouldn't fit.
I had to grab my smaller long neck, drop that down in the fill hole then put the big long neck inside the small one.
geez, what next....

Thanks again for the help.

ps: is there any discussion here about HIM MCVI HDS live and freeze data ?
HCH DTC P0A7F.JAN 2014
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