Honda Accord transmission fluid ? please

truck96truck96 Member Posts: 22
edited March 2014 in Honda
I just got a new 2001 Accord 4cyl automatic, I was wandering if there was a plug on the tranny that i could just drain out the 3 or 4 qts of fluid in there and replace every so often. If anyone has the new 2001 Accord and do there own maintenence work please post some info and tips here I have always done my own work but this is my first honda and want to no the right way to do things to it.

Thanks from a newbie


  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    I'm not sure of the 2001's yet honda has stayed pretty consistant regarding location of the drain plugs 1990's honda's have a drain plug on the transversly mounted engine located front right passenger side just drain and refill this may or may not be the case with the 2001's it's worth a look.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    This is your first Honda? Yes, what you have planned is a good idea but you should know that Hondas are particular when it comes to fluids. Use of a fluid other than Honda OEM is a gamble ... and this is particularly true of ATF. I just thought you should know.

    As for location of plugs on automatics, sorry, but my Hondas have all been manuals. <:^(

    --- Bror Jace
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    Yes there is a plug on the tranny of your Accord. It is on the bottom of the tranny and you need a 3/8 drive ratchet to get it out. Go to the dealer and buy the Honda ATF, otherwise you can use regular ATF and put in the Honda friction modifier additive. The fill is through the dipstick hole. The dipstick should be yellow.
  • truck96truck96 Member Posts: 22
    I found the plug,I will use the Honda ATF and change it atleast every 15 to 20,000 miles since it is a easy job.
  • sazaman1sazaman1 Member Posts: 22
    i have been maintaining a honda accord 1994 since i bought it. Basically changing the oil and transmission fluid, spark plugs and air and fuel filter according to the manufacturer's recommendation. I have driven it for 240,000 miles and it is still going strong. Do not worry about the aluminium engine or anything. You shall never regret buying and taking care of your accord.
  • truck96truck96 Member Posts: 22
    I like hearing stories like yours to offset alot of the negative Honda stuff here but I no that people talk more when things are going bad than when they are going good. I have always used valvoline regular oil and have not had any problems, but with the new Honda recommending 5w20 oil i was thinking about using synthetic, here is my 2 plans which one is best 1 use regular oil and change at 3,000 miles or go with full synthetic and change out at 6,000 miles both cost about the same.
    Ps share some of the maintenance items and how long the parts lasted on your car such as brakes,cv boots, etc.
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    You're idea of changing to a synthetic oil is a better one since a full synthetic like mobil 1 in the long run is cheap insurance, if you keep you're oil change withe synthetic every 6,000 or 7,500 using the premium filters like mobil 1 or pure 1 ac ultragold you should never have a problem the extra $ over petroleum oil is minimal given the benefits yielded using synthetics
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183

    Today's passage is from the book "Synthetic Lubricants and
    High-Performance Functional Fluids."

    "In diesel engine testing a PAO-based formulation outperformed a commercial oil based on severely hydroprocessed mineral oil. Superior deposit and wear results were found for the PAO-based engine oil. Double-length VW 1431 turbo diesel tests demonstrated the superior thermal-oxidative stability of the PAO-based formulation.

    "Durability of an optimized PAO-based synthetic formulation compared with a commercial high quality mineral oil was also measured. Chassis rolls testing was done at 55 and at 85 mph with 15,000 mile (24,123 km) oil drains intervals. Wear for the engine having the PAO-based formulation was essentially nil.

    The engine run on the commercial mineral oil formulation showed several wear parameters that exceeded factory limits. Final proof of performance was evaluated using over-the-road extended drain vehicles tests. In recent extended drain fleet testing studies, PAO-based fully formulated full synthetic oil outperformed mineral oil by having better viscosity control, less oil consumption and better end-of-test vehicle engine ratings.

    "An added benefit from using synthetic oils over mineral oils (including hydrocracked oils) is the improved performance in regard to filter plugging. Goyal has shown that overall filter life was improved using synthetic oils. The synthetic oils tested showed no filter plugging in extended drain over-the-road tests running up to 25,000 miles (40,000 km).

    "Synthetic fluids, such as poly(a-olefin)/ester blends, offer a number of inherent performance advantages over conventional petroleum-based oils for the formulation of modern automotive engine oils. Another important feature that must be considered in automotive crankcase applications is low-temperature performance. The most widely recognized property benefit of PAO-based fluids is excellent low temperature performance.

    Tables 12 and 13 compare the low temperature characteristics of base fluid PAOs with HVI and VHVI mineral oils of comparable viscosity. Highly refined mineral oil stocks are improved over conventional mineral oils’ however, they suffer in low temperature performance even with the addition of pour point depressants. The cold crank simulation test is of vital interest to any car owner who has ever lived in a cold climate.

    The advantage of a PAO-based formulation in the crankcase is immediate and obvious on a cold winter morning – it is the difference between being able to start the car and not. The superior low temperature operation of synthetic automotive
    lubricants in automotive engine oils, gear oils and automatic transmission fluid formulations has been demonstrated."

    For more information about "Synthetic Lubricants and High-Performance Functional Fluids"
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    ... I'd be reluctant to switch a Honda automatic tranny over to a synthetic ATF. I've known people who've done this and the tranny acted 'strange' to them.

    So, I'd have to say, in this case, it's better to be safe with the factory fluid.

    --- Bror Jace
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    I have successfully on at least 12 honda vehicles converted to synthetic atf with absolutely no issues or problems some are currently in the 110,000 mile stage most have been converted at around 30,000-60,000 no problems. If I may what brand of syn atf and at what mileage have they been converted ?
  • sazaman1sazaman1 Member Posts: 22
    Hi Greg,
    my model has a manufacturer recommendation to use 5w30, and that is what i use. i believe, according to the temperature range in your area, you may use any of the recommended grade oil, like SJ. I have been using any oil, lately wal-mart brand oil, because it is cheap and is within the recommended specification. But if you feel comfortable with a brand name such as valvoline, it is fine. A very small price to pay for your mental satisfaction. Why I did not change to a synthetic oil? My believe is that synthetic oil is definitely better than conventional oil. The viscosity holds longer. But I want to change my oil more frequently because a lot of engine dirt always floats with the oil. If you check the oil after draining, you shall find tiny metal particles in the oil. I feel that if i change oil more frequently, that dirt level will remain lower. I am no expert in this field, just my common sense and gut feeling.
    I had my front brake pads changed at 95,000, 180,000 and 230,000 miles. The rear brake shoes were changed once around 190,000. The right cv boot was changes once around 180,000 miles or so. The left cv boot is fine so far. The original muffler and alternator is still holding. Please let me know whatever your feelings are about all these.
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    What is it? I switched to Mobil-I Syn ATF since 5k (now at 10.4k) and have had no problems. You'll see Honda state that you can use ATF as a "temporary" alternative - that means it's compatible. Honda service shops have their own business structures, so selling consumables adds to the bottom line. As far as lubricant and hydraulic fluids, it would do Honda well to stick to industry standards. Mechanically... heat is an auto-tranny's worst enemy, the Syn ATF would then be a better choice since is runs cooler.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    I like to hear stories that synthetic ATFs have been used in Hondas with no ill effects.

    The people I talked to told me the brand at the time (Mobil 1? Redline?) but it was a while ago and since I don't drive automatics, the information didn't stick with me well enough to cite accurately.

    As for Honda fluids in general, try to use a non-Honda power steering fluid in your power steering resevoir. But, be forewarned that most manufacturers of the FLUID say not to use theirs in Hondas.

    Many cooling systems (Honda was first but others are following suit) cannot take a diet of the regular coolants. The particulates ruin the seals and you can cause some fairly expensive damage if you try it.

    Sure, it's natural to really wonder whether Honda's recommendations are pure BS ... but there are good reasons for at least some of them.

    --- Bror Jace
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    Switching straight to syntec fluids isn't a given. In general, if you are not sure of the composition/trade-name then by all means use the Honda fluid. You wouldn't want to use straight Mobil-I Syntec oil on the manual tranny, but you may use synthetic Redline MTL. Brake fluid is another area... you can increase performance (boiling point/water absorption) AS LONG as you stay with DOT-3 and NOT switch to synthetics.
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    I don't own a Honda, but am strongly considering buying one. But I understand Honda makes strong recommendations to use ONLY their fluids.

    Other than this being a great money-making proposal for Honda, I don't really understand why this should be.

    Doesn't Honda publish technical specifications that maintanence fluids must meet? I've seen Ford, GM, Chrysler specs referenced in their service manuals. It would seem Honda would publish such specs, and then non-Honda suppliers could test and certify that their fuids meet or exceed these specs???????

    Another observation - does Honda own a refinery and/or chemical plant anywhere? I bet not. If they do not own them, they then must be giving specs that a refinery/chem plant must meet for their Honda branded fluids. And also any additional additives they blend. Or does Honda have a super-secret small lab or chemical plant somewhere that concocts these special additives?

    Who has some of the Honda fluids? Read the container closely. If it says 'Made/Packaged FOR Honda' someone else makes it, not Honda......
  • sinjin_dogsinjin_dog Member Posts: 84
    I know this is not for Camry. But, is Camry as particular as Honda about using their own fluid?
    I used to own 96 Accord and used non Honda fluid (but not synthetics though). Accord had
    96K miles and tranny was fine. Also, why not use Acura fluid (or in my case use Lexus brand)?
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    gasguzz, I use Redline MTL in my manual tranny. I positively love the stuff and find it superior to Honda's MTF. I wouldn't use anything else.

    I've also been using Valvoline Synpower DOT4 synthetic brake fluid in my '95 Civic since 1998 and this stuff is great. I have had no fade, even with occasional moderate-to-heavy breaking and the stuff is JUST starting to discolor. I'll flush the system again next year. DOT5 silicone fluid is the stuff to avoid like the plague.

    Bolivar, you are right that Honda buys their own fluids but finding their source is a real ordeal. Good luck in your quest and report back to us when you get some info, OK?

    Remember that Honda was one of the first to really stress the use of their own fluids, but in trying to squeeze more and more performance out of designs, ALL auto makers are getting really picky about what the owner can use in their cars. Fords, GMs, VW, etc ...

    After all, there is a lot of cheap junk out there!!

    --- Bror Jace
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    Ahhh... I see you're another user of the SynPower product, and have reported good results.
    I will be approaching 24mos on the oem brake fluid (which I assume is Poly Glycol DOT-3), and do not intend to use the Genuine Honda Fluid. I have used Castrol LMA (preferring to stick to the Poly Glycol TYPE) on previous cars on 24mo intervals.
    I'm glad to hear it's compatible with the Honda system. I'll be taking a closer look at the SynPower.
    Thanks for the post.
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    I too use a syn brake fluid poly glyco it is rated dot 5.1 and its use is actually lifetime once installed. Know of a number of people had installed it in their cars since new, a couple of their cars are 14yrs old and they have not replaced any hydraulic brake components ie: master cyclinder, calipers, wheel cylinders and hoses this type of fluid 5.1 polyglycol is actually better for cars with ABS systems additionally the fluid comes from a france a french company manufactures it.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Guys, just so you know I talked to a guy on "Car Talk" who drove a Honda with ABS and experienced serious brake problems (alarmingly squishy pedal, etc ...) after switching from the factory fluid to Valvoline Synpower. The responses he got along with my own opinion is that he managed to allow air into the system when he made the switch but I thought I'd pass that story along anyway.

    gsleve, what brand fluid is that, Motul? That stuff has the best reputation among serious high-performance guys.

    --- Bror Jace
  • gslevegsleve Member Posts: 183
    It is Motul at least thats what the bottle advertised. I ordered it through another company sold under a different name.
  • 79377937 Member Posts: 390
    My experience with non-Honda power steering fluid in my 86 Prelude was a lot of belt squeal even when the belt was tensioned correctly. This told me something was wrong. Draining the fluid and filling up with a fluid made for Honda's made things run quietly again. I was able to get fluid not made by Honda but recommended for that car from the local auto parts store. I noticed that a lot of power steering fluid brands stated on their containers, "not to be used in Honda vehicles." So it seems as if a person should take care here when topping up a Honda. Maybe a none recommended fluid might attack the seals in the system?
  • venanzikvenanzik Member Posts: 72
    I have a 92 honda accord, auto. I would like to change the trans fluid myself and was wondering if all i have to do is drain and fill. Are there filters or screens that have to be replaced or cleaned. Ive changed oil and air, plugs wires, so is it as easy as it seems? thanks for your time.
  • bburton1bburton1 Member Posts: 395
    It is easy-first of all you will need to buy one of those trany fluid funnels-has a long clear tube attached to a funnel. You fill through the yellow tranny dipstick hole. Then buy 3 quarts of honda ATF. No honda does not make atf but their trannies are different-use something else and you may be replacing your tranny. Drive the vehicle for at least 30 miles to get the fluid hot. When you park, turn the steering wheel to max right and then using a 3/8" socket drive with extension, crawl under the vehicle with a oil catch pan and yo will see the drain plug just behind the front wheel on the bottom of the tranny. You may have to give the end of the drive a whack with a small hammer to loosen the nut since it maybe the first time it has been changed. WHen removing the plug, be extremely careful-I wear gloves, use a 8" extension because when the plug comes out the fluid gushes and is extrremely hot-if it gets on you 3rd degree burns. I also have a charged hose nearby in case I get some on me. A bucket of water will do fine also-stops the burning if you get hot oil on you.

    Clean off the plug-it is magnetized. Fill the critter to the amount specified in the owners manual and you are good to go. I change my ATF every 30K. Waited till 70K before the first change and got a check engine light, tranny. The atf was a little brown.
  • venanzikvenanzik Member Posts: 72
    hey thanks for the info. now i need to find some time....
This discussion has been closed.