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Are the fluid change maintenance reminders premature?

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Old 11-30-2014, 07:15 PM   #1
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Are the fluid change maintenance reminders premature?

I do my own oil changes with Mobil 1 0W20 approx. every 7500 miles or so. My B16 came up around 17K and my A123 came up around 26K. My mechanic thinks it is insane to replace transmission, transfer case and rear differential fluid before 60K and recommended that I should continue with regular oil changes, reset the maintenance reminder and not to worry about them till 60K. What do you guys think and practice?
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:11 PM   #2
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Say good bye to your warranty if you don't. I haven't had those maintenance issues come up yet
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:19 PM   #3
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Do you do any trailer towing or regular mountainous driving? According to the owner's manual these may warrant earlier fluid changes.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartan77777 View Post
I do my own oil changes with Mobil 1 0W20 approx. every 7500 miles or so. My B16 came up around 17K and my A123 came up around 26K. My mechanic thinks it is insane to replace transmission, transfer case and rear differential fluid before 60K and recommended that I should continue with regular oil changes, reset the maintenance reminder and not to worry about them till 60K. What do you guys think and practice?
Will your mechanic cover any warranty related issues that the dealer denies?

The dealer doesn't even need to prove that the lack of maintenance caused the issue. He merely needs to show that you cannot prove that you did the maintenance.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:00 AM   #5
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its sooo much better to change the transmission fluid and differential fluid before the fluid wears thin and leaves you with less than ideal protection.

if you want to change it after the fluid wears down, be my guest.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:34 PM   #6
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I agree with your mechanic that is is probably not necessary, but I would still replace them for warranty purposes.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by justnspace View Post
its sooo much better to change the transmission fluid and differential fluid before the fluid wears thin and leaves you with less than ideal protection.

if you want to change it after the fluid wears down, be my guest.
Agreed, but 26K does sound kind of early.......
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartan77777 View Post
I do my own oil changes with Mobil 1 0W20 approx. every 7500 miles or so. My B16 came up around 17K and my A123 came up around 26K. My mechanic thinks it is insane to replace transmission, transfer case and rear differential fluid before 60K and recommended that I should continue with regular oil changes, reset the maintenance reminder and not to worry about them till 60K. What do you guys think and practice?
You need to find a new mechanic. The DW-1 fluid in your transmission is probably only good for around 15-30,000 miles, so I would say your MM is accurate. I believe a rear diff change around 15,000 miles is also typical for the RDX. I would recommend changing all of the fluids.

I would not be surprised if your tranny fluid is very black at the moment and the drain plug is full of metal shavings.
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:50 AM   #9
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I went through the same thought process but decided to change the transmission oil myself when it asked for it (around 30k) just because of how easy it is. Didn't have to worry about transfer/diff change though as I'm 2WD. If you do your own engine oil changes, you can definitely handle a tranny oil change. Hardest part is routing a funnel down to the fill point as it's tucked down deep behind the radiator. If you have a 3/8" ratchet (don't even need a socket - the plug is square drive) and a long-neck funnel, you got all the tools you need.

And FWIW, the old oil was just about spotless when I changed it. It definitely didn't look or smell burned up or like it desperately needed to be changed. Granted, it's anybody's guess how much it might have broken down chemically, but contamination certainly wasn't an issue.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:40 AM   #10
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...
I would not be surprised if your tranny fluid is very black at the moment and the drain plug is full of metal shavings.
If that's the case at that mileage he'd have some serious problems.
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondu View Post
...I would not be surprised if your tranny fluid is very black at the moment and the drain plug is full of metal shavings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scheffy View Post
...And FWIW, the old oil was just about spotless when I changed it. It definitely didn't look or smell burned up or like it desperately needed to be changed. Granted, it's anybody's guess how much it might have broken down chemically, but contamination certainly wasn't an issue.
Color is seldom an indication of fluid quality.

Oil can change color within a very short period and still be fine, while a fluid in a more closed system can look perfectly fine and no longer be able to do its job.

Manufacturers spend millions in determining the proper fluid change intervals. While it might not apply to absolutely every driver but following the required intervals will keep your warranty intact and your car running well.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:29 PM   #12
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If that's the case at that mileage he'd have some serious problems.
Based on the research I've done on DW-1 fluid, it is only good for around 30,000 miles. On every Honda/Acura tranny I've changed the fluid on, the very first change around 30,000 miles, the magnetic drain plug was full of metal shavings (and seen it on others as well). This is not a serious problem and very common. Why do you think Honda uses a magnetic plug? Additionally, most auto trannies experience most of their metal wear in the first 15,000 miles or so.

Personally, I would recommend a drain and fill on the RDX every 15,000 miles, instead of doing three at 30,000. The first change will help get rid of the initial metal build up, and the subsequent changes will keep the fluid fresh and protect your tranny better.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceb View Post
Color is seldom an indication of fluid quality.

Oil can change color within a very short period and still be fine, while a fluid in a more closed system can look perfectly fine and no longer be able to do its job.

Manufacturers spend millions in determining the proper fluid change intervals. While it might not apply to absolutely every driver but following the required intervals will keep your warranty intact and your car running well.
That is why the MM on the RDX is around 30,000 miles for the tranny change. The fluid is ready for it by then. While I agree, the fluid getting darker is not necessarily the main indicator, but for tranny fluid, if it is completely black fluid, versus very dark with some red tinge to it, it is a good sign it is ready for a change (at least for DW-1 that is). An even worse sign would be completely black and a "burnt" smell, which would be very bad...
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:52 AM   #14
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You should not have chunks of metal on the drain plug magnet. Some fuzz is OK and probably normal but black fluid is bad at just about any mileage. That was what I was referring to.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markAZ View Post
You should not have chunks of metal on the drain plug magnet. Some fuzz is OK and probably normal but black fluid is bad at just about any mileage. That was what I was referring to.
Who said anything about chunks? I said metal shavings. Shavings are very small/fine pieces of metal. The agglomeration looks almost "paste-like", for lack of a better description.

On my first change, there was typically a decent amount of shavings, on the second and subsequent changes, the amount of shavings dropped precipitously.

As for black fluid, I agree, and around 30,000 miles on DW-1, the fluid is most likely black.
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:25 PM   #16
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As for black fluid, I agree, and around 30,000 miles on DW-1, the fluid is most likely black.
I have 31K miles on my 2015 RDX base and the tranny fluid is still very clean. Not sure to change it or wait till 50K miles.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:01 AM   #17
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You will find it clean on the dipstick,but when You change it and put the used oil in a container, like an old gallon milk bottle,it will be look black.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:46 AM   #18
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Agreed, but 26K does sound kind of early.......
So i am kind of eating my words here. We bought a 2016 RDX Advance at the end of January (2017) and had the A123 pop up on the MID recently. Odometer was at 26.8K. Over this past weekend, I had the transmission fluid, rear differential fluid, oil, engine air filter, cabin air filter and wiper blade inserts (x3) all changed out.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:33 PM   #19
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Transmission Change 2016 RDX AWD

If you read the owners manual it clearly states the transmission service, for normal driving, is due at 60,000 miles. Note the *fluid*4 on service item 3. Below the column you will see *4 means 60,000 for the first change, 30,000 miles thereafter.
owners manual also lists 3.3 quarts for a 'fluid change'.
I plan to change with a 1x drain and fill every 30,000, anything more exceeds Acura requirements and is likely overkill.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:57 AM   #20
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If you read the owners manual it clearly states the transmission service, for normal driving, is due at 60,000 miles. Note the *fluid*4 on service item 3. Below the column you will see *4 means 60,000 for the first change, 30,000 miles thereafter.
owners manual also lists 3.3 quarts for a 'fluid change'.
I plan to change with a 1x drain and fill every 30,000, anything more exceeds Acura requirements and is likely overkill.
Like I mentioned above, we had A123 pop up. According to the service maintenance reminder under the "3" it says:

6 Speed Automatic AWD with Advance Package - Recommended service:
  • Replace transmission and transfer fluid*
  • * Not available on all models
  • Independent of the Maintenance Minder information, replace the brake fluid every 3 years.
  • Inspect idle speed every 160,000 miles (256,000 km).
  • Adjust the valves during services A, B, 1, 2, or 3 if they are noisy.

We have the Advance model so..............
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:51 AM   #21
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Transmission Change 2016 RDX AWD

My owners manual for my 2016 RDX AWD w/ tech pkg on page 345 on the bottom right of the page, in very fine print has a *4 that refers to ATF changes.
Unfortunately it reads like it was written by someone who lacks basic writing skills.
I have it attached part of P. 345 as a .JPG, I suggest you check your owners manual and decide for yourself what Acura is trying to say.
I plan to change at the MM indication which I guess will be near the 30K range, but only do the change as dealers do, 1 drain/fill of about 3.3 quarts AFT.
Let me know if you find something different.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:06 AM   #22
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I see what you are saying agree with you. It's not that well written and it sounds like 60K is the right time to replace the transmission fluid. I'm going to assume our Owner's Manual says the same thing, but won't have access to it until this evening as it is the Mrs' chariot. I have been using a Honda mechanic who does work at his home on the side, so while I may have done it early, it was relatively inexpensive.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:40 AM   #23
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I'm just scared of the fluid thinning and not protecting/lubricating.
especially in Honda Automatic transmissions...
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:50 AM   #24
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I personally go a little long on oil changes, since I believe the maintenance minder oil change is about 7500 miles. Synthetic with a good filter can easily go 10K+ without issues. I usually go at least 10K, sometimes 12K. However, I change the AT at least as often as the oil, sometimes more. I'd say I average 8-9K miles between drain and refill of DW1. I don't trust Honda's AT's as long as I could throw one (and it's probably impossible to lift one)
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