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hey guys, Tranny fluid question

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Old 01-23-2012
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hey guys, Tranny fluid question

I have an 03 automatic Civic and I want to do a tranny flush, I was wondering if
ATF DW1 is the best option for an 03 automatic? THANKS!
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

DW-1 is currently the ONLY trans fluid Honda supplies to us at the dealer. It replaces all previous versions of ATF (specifically the Z-1, we can't get it anymore at all through Honda).
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Valvoline Maxlife ATF. The only atf that will work in our trans, and a million times better then OEM. I'll swear by it.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by Shift-E View Post
Valvoline Maxlife ATF. The only atf that will work in our trans, and a million times better then OEM. I'll swear by it.
I thought everyone swears by the OEM fluid? So do know how many quarts our trannys take? I read 3 and then I read 3 1/2 so just trying to confirm. Thanks again
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Between 2.5 and 3 US quarts, for a basic drain and fill.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

you'll need to do 3-4 drain and fills of 3-1/2 i believe. Drive a bit and let it cool down between them.

People say you can't change from the oem, because everything else will kill the tranny. Valvoline Maxlife ATF is the ONLY one that doesn't, and surpasses the OEM stuff by far.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by Shift-E View Post
you'll need to do 3-4 drain and fills of 3-1/2 i believe. Drive a bit and let it cool down between them.
I usually can't get a full 3 quarts in these unless I let it drain for several hours. Seems like 3 will make it a little overfull after it gets hot.

The V6 5 speed AT's will hold 3.5 to 3.75 on a regular drain and fill.

People say you can't change from the oem, because everything else will kill the tranny. Valvoline Maxlife ATF is the ONLY one that doesn't, and surpasses the OEM stuff by far.
So who makes the trans fluid for Honda? They don't make their own fluids.

Exxon-Mobil used to be one supplier. Conoco-Phillips is one now. No idea who else could be. Most of the bottles (ATF, CVT, MTF, DPSF, VTM) are still gray like Mobil uses, even though they are coming through our C-P distributor.

Engine oil is now coming from C-P, it used to be all Mobil only a couple of years ago. "Kendall GT1 Ultimate Synthetic" is the closest off-the-shelf item you can get to the custom blended oil (an ILSAC GF-5) we use, according to a well respected independent oil guru and our oil distributor. The Honda labeled oil is in the same bottles Kendall comes in now.

I WISH Honda would release the specs of the new fluid so some comparisons can be done.
The DW1 must be a synthetic now. It is said to have superior flow at low temps and longer life.
I'm guessing that because some other manufacturers are spec'ing full synthetic now: Dexron-VI, Mercon-V, etc.

Last edited by ezone; 01-23-2012 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Then i guess 3 quarts? Sorry, im thinking Canadian :P

I'm not an oil or fluid guru, I'm just speaking from experience and what has worked for me and many others. I've heard nothing but bad things when putting anything other then oem or VM ATF in the 7th gen. Thats what killed my tranny. I had it at 300k km, then 1 bad atf change killed it. I replaced the tranny and used Valvoline maxlife ATF and it runs amazing. Not a single slip.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

I'm thinking in US quarts.
Are your Canadian quarts smaller than ours or something? I know a liter is more than a quart.

Just looked it up for an 05 Civic:
Fluid change
2.7 L (2.9 US qt)

For an official Honda trans flush procedure, buy a case of fluid and take a look at this, this has a word for word copy of the document: http://www.crvownersclub.com/forums/...-official.html
Applies to ALL true Honda models. Note this came out long before the new DW1 fluid did, procedure hasn't changed.


I'm no oil guru, but I know one that frequents a professional forum that I am a member of.
I have had him verify/clarify some of the current specs on the engine oil we have been using for the last couple of years.
I do try to read a lot about it, but it can be confusing as hell.
Lubrication technology has progressed at an exponential rate over the last 10-15 years.
The beliefs your dad and granddad held no longer carry any weight these days.
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Old 01-23-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
The beliefs your dad and granddad held no longer carry any weight these days.
Amen
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Old 01-24-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

My trannys slipping when it's cold so I figured this may help? Which I hope it does because I plan on selling it soon. So thanks guys, I will try 3 quarts for the OEM stuff and hopefully that will help...
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Old 01-24-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by jayely1 View Post
My trannys slipping when it's cold so I figured this may help? Which I hope it does because I plan on selling it soon. So thanks guys, I will try 3 quarts for the OEM stuff and hopefully that will help...
Low fluid will make them slip.
You have checked the fluid level, right?
You know you are supposed to check the trans with the engine NOT running, right?

If the fluid is low, find the leak and fix it.

If the fluid is full and it is already acting up, it may be too late to help it.

OTOH, it's already broke, so you might as well try whatever. Don't hold your breath.

Plan on putting a trans in it no matter what you try, and you won't be disappointed.
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Old 01-26-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

I read that if the fluid was changed with fluid other the OEM it can cause it to slip? I know nothing about these cars, I just needed a car so I could move home and In New Mexico where I got it it didn't slip at all...But here in IL it slips when it's cold...But the engine was still cold when I started it up in New Mexico...So I have no idea..
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Old 01-26-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by jayely1 View Post
I read that if the fluid was changed with fluid other the OEM it can cause it to slip? I know nothing about these cars, I just needed a car so I could move home and In New Mexico where I got it it didn't slip at all...But here in IL it slips when it's cold...But the engine was still cold when I started it up in New Mexico...So I have no idea..
Non-OEM fluids can make them shift harshly or "funny".
Never heard of wrong trans fluid making one slip, but I know I haven't seen everything either.
A flush with any sort of machine (favorites at any Jizzylube type of place) is definitely a NO-NO (Honda says "strongly discouraged"). Seen far too many that let go too soon afterward.

You admit you know nothing about cars.
Would you know what a slipping trans feels like?
Would you know what a "flare" between shifts feels like?

Would you know that it doesn't upshift into 4th and lockup when it is really cold? You probably wouldn't EVER notice that in NM.
^^^Maybe this is what you feel?^^^




You admit you know nothing about cars, so don't try to reinvent the wheel. You aren't smarter than the engineers that designed the dang thing, and I'm not either.
Use the proper fluid called for by the manufacturer and there will be NO QUESTION if it was right or wrong.

If the trans already has real problems, it is probably too late to start trying to care for it now. Learn now so you can take care of the next one.

Is the Check Engine Light on? Do you know why it is on?

Is the trans fluid full?




I bet your Civic has over 100k, the trans wasn't cared for, and now it's showing signs of broken. (Or maybe you made it try to pull an extra 3/4 TON across the country, and now it's broken.)
Plan on buying a transmission job and you won't be disappointed.
Maybe it isn't the trans at all.

It is a LOT colder here than it was in NM (I'd assume). 50 degrees is a hell of a difference in ambient temperature. Big difference to a car with wear and tear on it.
We also have salt and rustworms here. Look out.
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Old 01-27-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Non-OEM fluids can make them shift harshly or "funny".
Never heard of wrong trans fluid making one slip, but I know I haven't seen everything either.
A flush with any sort of machine (favorites at any Jizzylube type of place) is definitely a NO-NO (Honda says "strongly discouraged"). Seen far too many that let go too soon afterward.

You admit you know nothing about cars.
Would you know what a slipping trans feels like?
Would you know what a "flare" between shifts feels like?

Would you know that it doesn't upshift into 4th and lockup when it is really cold? You probably wouldn't EVER notice that in NM.
^^^Maybe this is what you feel?^^^




You admit you know nothing about cars, so don't try to reinvent the wheel. You aren't smarter than the engineers that designed the dang thing, and I'm not either.
Use the proper fluid called for by the manufacturer and there will be NO QUESTION if it was right or wrong.

If the trans already has real problems, it is probably too late to start trying to care for it now. Learn now so you can take care of the next one.

Is the Check Engine Light on? Do you know why it is on?

Is the trans fluid full?




I bet your Civic has over 100k, the trans wasn't cared for, and now it's showing signs of broken. (Or maybe you made it try to pull an extra 3/4 TON across the country, and now it's broken.)
Plan on buying a transmission job and you won't be disappointed.
Maybe it isn't the trans at all.

It is a LOT colder here than it was in NM (I'd assume). 50 degrees is a hell of a difference in ambient temperature. Big difference to a car with wear and tear on it.
We also have salt and rustworms here. Look out.
Thanks for the advice man!!
No engine light, not sure if the tranny fluid is full or not, I will have to check tomorrow. I know enough about cars, I meant I just don't know anything about this particular car. I needed a car ASAP, long story short I had to buy a car in 1 days, so I bought an 03 Civic. I thought it would be reliable and would be an easy sell.. I had an Srt-4 and that always had tranny problems as well, mostly with the sychros. I sold my 335i to try to find a newer one so I'm still in the market, just so hard to find manuals these days!! Anyways, it definitely does slip, but it slips in every gear, that's what confuses me..I could see 1 gear slipping but when it's cold they all do. Then when it warms up it shifts extremely smooth. Very odd to me...Thanks again for all the information
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Old 01-27-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by jayely1 View Post
Thanks for the advice man!!
No engine light, not sure if the tranny fluid is full or not, I will have to check tomorrow. I know enough about cars, I meant I just don't know anything about this particular car. I needed a car ASAP, long story short I had to buy a car in 1 days, so I bought an 03 Civic. I thought it would be reliable and would be an easy sell.. I had an Srt-4 and that always had tranny problems as well, mostly with the sychros. I sold my 335i to try to find a newer one so I'm still in the market, just so hard to find manuals these days!! Anyways, it definitely does slip, but it slips in every gear, that's what confuses me..I could see 1 gear slipping but when it's cold they all do. Then when it warms up it shifts extremely smooth. Very odd to me...Thanks again for all the information
Oh man. Where do I start?

You'll take time to join a forum and stay in your thread for THREE DAYS, but you haven't even checked the trans fluid , even after it has been mentioned?
All I can do is shake my head and wonder how you got this far.

Ok, I'll stop.

But.....

I have had to deal with similar complaints from first-time Honda owners.
There might be nothing wrong with the trans.
Hondas automatics are not built like anyone elses.
There are no planetary gear sets inside it.
It is built more like a hydraulically shifted manual trans, unlike any automatic made by or for any other manufacturer.
You had better test drive a similar car that has no complaints.
See if it is the same as yours.
Chances are good that yours is normal and you just aren't used to it.




I'd rather push a Honda than be caught dead driving a Neon.
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Old 01-27-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
DW-1 is currently the ONLY trans fluid Honda supplies to us at the dealer. It replaces all previous versions of ATF (specifically the Z-1, we can't get it anymore at all through Honda).
Ok to mix the two?
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Old 01-27-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by 04 Honda Civic View Post
Ok to mix the two?
Z-1 and DW-1, yes. They are compatible.

DW-1 is the only accepted fluid for 2011 and newer Hondas, and is fully backwards compatible with all older fluid versions.
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Old 01-28-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Oh man. Where do I start?

You'll take time to join a forum and stay in your thread for THREE DAYS, but you haven't even checked the trans fluid , even after it has been mentioned?
All I can do is shake my head and wonder how you got this far.

Ok, I'll stop.

But.....

I have had to deal with similar complaints from first-time Honda owners.
There might be nothing wrong with the trans.
Hondas automatics are not built like anyone elses.
There are no planetary gear sets inside it.
It is built more like a hydraulically shifted manual trans, unlike any automatic made by or for any other manufacturer.
You had better test drive a similar car that has no complaints.
See if it is the same as yours.
Chances are good that yours is normal and you just aren't used to it.




I'd rather push a Honda than be caught dead driving a Neon.
Well thanks for the info man, but I know cars enough to know that it is slipping..I've done quite a bit of work to all my cars besides the BMW. And the Srt-4 will spank any Civic all day Id much rather have my 04 Srt-4 then this POS civic any day.
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Old 01-28-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Your complaint doesn't match anything I have seen them do so far.

Really, for all of the trans troubles I have seen in Hondas, I don't think I have ever seen one slip in all gears.
I don't think I have ever seen a Honda trans slip in the same manner that anything else out there would. A worn out clutch pack in a Honda trans acts different from a worn out clutch pack in any other trans.
I'm not saying that they can't, just that I haven't ever seen one act that way.

THAT'S WHY I said for you to drive a similar car under the same conditions to see if yours is normal.



Nevermind. I might give you $200 for it. Where are you at?
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Old 01-29-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Your complaint doesn't match anything I have seen them do so far.

Really, for all of the trans troubles I have seen in Hondas, I don't think I have ever seen one slip in all gears.
I don't think I have ever seen a Honda trans slip in the same manner that anything else out there would. A worn out clutch pack in a Honda trans acts different from a worn out clutch pack in any other trans.
I'm not saying that they can't, just that I haven't ever seen one act that way.

THAT'S WHY I said for you to drive a similar car under the same conditions to see if yours is normal.



Nevermind. I might give you $200 for it. Where are you at?
My buddy knows just about everything there is to know about cars and he isn't even sure what's wrong with it. Maybe its fine??? Who knows, but it is slipping when it's cold in every gear. $200 for my car? Tempting but I think I will hold on to it...Tranny fluid was fine too, didn't even look that old. I think Im going to switch it out for the OEM stuff and hopefully that helps. Do these cars have a filter I need to change as well?
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Old 01-29-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Does your buddy have extensive experience with Hondas? Like I said before, these transmissions are not built like any others.

No external filter you can change, just drain and fill.
If you want to flush it, use the official procedure in the link I posted earlier.

Post pics. I might up the offer a little bit. LOL

When these transmissions start going south, they usually do things that are blatantly wrong. It is usually pretty darn obvious. I suspect yours may be fine.
Too bad I can't test drive it to see what you are talking about for myself.

Have you driven a similar car yet to compare?
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Old 01-29-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Does your buddy have extensive experience with Hondas? Like I said before, these transmissions are not built like any others.

No external filter you can change, just drain and fill.
If you want to flush it, use the official procedure in the link I posted earlier.

Post pics. I might up the offer a little bit. LOL

When these transmissions start going south, they usually do things that are blatantly wrong. It is usually pretty darn obvious. I suspect yours may be fine.
Too bad I can't test drive it to see what you are talking about for myself.

Have you driven a similar car yet to compare?
I have offered for over $4,000 so I think we might be a little to far off
I don't know anything with a civic to compare with (of this body style). If no one else's does this, I suspect It wouldn't be normal?
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Old 01-29-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

I already own a fleet, so I'm not going to pay much for another car. LOL.

I feel like



$300. Final offer.
LOL

I don't know anything with a civic to compare with (of this body style). If no one else's does this, I suspect It wouldn't be normal?
That would be a good assumption. Or maybe theirs is really the broken one.
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Old 01-30-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

01-05 auto trans = garbage and riddled with mechanical defects.

http://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/C..._failure.shtml

so is the Z1 fluid. maxlife is a world of difference and will greatly improve shift smoothness and reduce slipping. but remember fluids cannot fix broken parts and eventually the trans will need a rebuild. the maxlife is an excellent fluid for the honda trans. mine started slipping at 50k miles and i made it to 102k with very cautious driving and tons of fluid changes. its just a matter of time tho and i know it wont last much longer.

Last edited by gearbox; 01-30-2012 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 01-30-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
01-05 auto trans = garbage and riddled with mechanical defects.

http://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/C..._failure.shtml

so is the Z1 fluid. maxlife is a world of difference and will greatly improve shift smoothness and reduce slipping. but remember fluids cannot fix broken parts and eventually the trans will need a rebuild. the maxlife is an excellent fluid for the honda trans. mine started slipping at 50k miles and i made it to 102k with very cautious driving and tons of fluid changes. its just a matter of time tho and i know it wont last much longer.
Good info, thanks...What is the Z1 fliud and maxlife though? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-30-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
01-05 auto trans = garbage and riddled with mechanical defects.

http://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/C..._failure.shtml

so is the Z1 fluid. maxlife is a world of difference and will greatly improve shift smoothness and reduce slipping. but remember fluids cannot fix broken parts and eventually the trans will need a rebuild. the maxlife is an excellent fluid for the honda trans. mine started slipping at 50k miles and i made it to 102k with very cautious driving and tons of fluid changes. its just a matter of time tho and i know it wont last much longer.
Where is that dead horse emoticon anyhow.

What is your long term test up to now...?? 3-4 months ??

I will not put any ATF fluid in except Honda OEM, period.
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Old 02-01-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

I used to have 04 Civic VP. I ran ATF-Z1 (the old fluid) for 4 years then I switch to AMSOIL for a short period then I used Maxlife ATF DEX/MERC for 2 and half year. There was no slipping or anything. Before I sold my car, I switched to Honda ATF-DW1. Since DW-1 is the oem, there nothing can beat it. But, it's expensive : D

So, I preferred Honda fluid especially DW-1. However, I trusted Maxlife and that's my only alternative choice. I wouldn't recommend putting Amsoil ATF in this transmission because my transmission reacted differently e.g. when shifting and running on the road.

I used my car for food delivery for 3 and half years so I would say I put it hard but I maintained it well also. I changed my first ATF at 13000 mi.

Now I am still happy with something else : )

Oh, just for your information, I just saw the video on the youtube and found that the subaru fans are very upset about their OEM filter also since It was changed from the black can (Toyo Roki) to the blue can (Honeywell) Good luck for the subaru owners.
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Old 02-04-2012
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

going on 6 months now. still much smoother than z1 ever was and no decline in performance. fluid is bright red. i just did the 92 accord today that did not have trans problems but the shifting was always rough since new with z1. now immediately after the 2 drain and fills with maxlife, it feels like a different car. the shifts are actually as smooth as my civic now. you go ahead and stick with oem atf, its your loss. i will stick to my redline engine oil and maxlife trans fluid because i want better performance than the bare minimum.

Originally Posted by CraigW View Post
Where is that dead horse emoticon anyhow.

What is your long term test up to now...?? 3-4 months ??

I will not put any ATF fluid in except Honda OEM, period.
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Re: hey guys, Tranny fluid question

they are both fluids rated to be used in honda auto trans. z1 is discontinued honda brand fluid, just as well since there were many complaints about its quality on other forums. valvoline maxlife dex/merc atf is available at most auto stores and works specifically in place of z1 and much better i might add. it has a lower viscosity so it will warm up and start working much faster. it is not a full synthetic, so it is safe in high mileage older trans. you should also pick up a bit better gas mileage with the maxlife fluid since there is less friction between the gears. but dont just take my experience, there are many other forums with more info about it.

Originally Posted by jayely1 View Post
Good info, thanks...What is the Z1 fliud and maxlife though? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by gearbox; 02-04-2012 at 02:33 AM.
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