Should i change transmission fluid? - AcuraZine - Acura Enthusiast Community

Notices

Should i change transmission fluid?

Old 08-11-2018, 11:25 PM
  #1  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Age: 26
Posts: 17
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Should i change transmission fluid?

Hello,

My Acura has almost 180,000 miles on it. I'm unsure of the service history, and when i checked the transmission fluid after idling for a few minutes, then after a couple of hours of driving, it is i would say a light brown, with touches of darker brown, but not very dark brown or black. The fluid smelled like exhaust. I'm unsure of what normal/good transmission fluid smells like, but it didn't smell burnt, simply smelled like exhaust. The consistency seemed like it should be, "oily" i guess, not thick or "sludgy".

I've been doing some research and i've gotten 3 different answers/results.

1. Do NOT flush, it can/will dislodge dirt, debris, gunk, etc, that is lodged in the transmission, which can actually cause more damage on the way out. Glad i found out about this because before i did my research this was what i planned on doing.

2. Do not change the transmission fluid. Again, the dirt, debris, gunk, etc, in the transmission is actually whats helping the fluid still keep the transmission functional, as it helps the fluid to grab onto these grooves, i don't remember the name but i saw them in a video and read about them on other forums. If you replace the transmission fluid after this long, it can be "too" lubricating, and the detergent can remove the gunk causing the transmission to start slipping until it dies out.

3. Change it. It may kill the transmission, or it may stop it from being destroyed from not changing the fluid, and might give you another 50,000 miles of life.

Spoke to a service tech at a third party mechanic while scheduling other services and he told me to not change it. He didn't however look at the color, when i tried to tell him about it he seemed to get defensive and said "I've seen transmission fluid before", when i told him it was a light brown. He told me not to touch it and that no shop will, and that i can try to get another 6 months to a year out of it before i need to start looking for another transmission.

I've had the car for about a year and a half, and the service history doesn't seem great with the car so i'm assuming this bad/borderline bad fluid has been in there for a while. The car despite that performs perfectly fine.


The only things i've noticed with the transmission is that when shifting from park to drive or reverse, the car is very mildly "rough". Nothing horrible, but you can feel it shifting a little bit. I'm wondering if i should do a normal change, not a flush, or if instead to extend it a little bit without completely replacing it, add some good fluid onto what is already in there. The fluid level on the dipstick is above half, so i'd probably have to drain a little bit to add some clean fluid in.


I was doing research on transmissions and i *really* don't want to shell out the amount it costs for a new transmission and labor.


Any input is appreciated


Thanks
Commander Freedom is offline  
Old 08-11-2018, 11:35 PM
  #2  
Registered Member
iTrader: (2)
 
horseshoez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Age: 62
Posts: 3,706
Thanked 655 Times in 495 Posts
Tough call; personally I'd change it three times (a process called a 3x3). Your transmission is most likely not long for the world, however, old and worn ATF will cause the clutches to slip, and the will kill your transmission pretty much quicker than anything else.

The above said, I'd also be in the market for what is called an AV6 transmission from an Accord V6 model from either 2006 or 2007. The transmission MUST have a code of BAYA for it to be a true AV6 transmission; shop for a low(ish) mileage one and when the time comes, you've already got the tranny covered; then you just need to cover the labor.
horseshoez is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to horseshoez For This Useful Post:
Commander Freedom (08-12-2018)
Old 08-12-2018, 12:16 AM
  #3  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: GTA, Ontario
Posts: 159
Thanked 15 Times in 15 Posts
I'd do a 1x3. Don't introduce too much new fluid, but still enough to help things. If all goes well, maybe do a 1x3 every oil change for the next 3 changes to slowly introduce new fluid.

I don't think 180k miles is super high by any means, especially since you don't really have service history, for all you know it might have been changed at some point.

I'm not going to get into what fluid to use as there are a TON of threads already covering that information.
vpasla1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to vpasla1 For This Useful Post:
Commander Freedom (08-12-2018)
Old 08-12-2018, 09:53 AM
  #4  
Registered Member
 
frankjnjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: baltimore, md
Age: 75
Posts: 854
Thanked 125 Times in 103 Posts
IMO: I would change it via the 3X3 method. Since you don't appear to be experiencing terrible symptoms, I'm thinking the risk of new fluid SHOCK, to the transmission, should be minimal. Renewing the fluid, should restore the friction modifiers in the fluid and contribute to helping the transmission operate properly. IF, the symptoms worsen, after the fluid exchange, which is possible, than it's time to think about the AV6 replacement. Which model year is your 3G?
frankjnjr is offline  
Old 08-12-2018, 04:42 PM
  #5  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Age: 26
Posts: 17
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Update

Got back a little while ago from the shop after getting some services performed, and the person behind the counter was able to pull the CarFax for the car and see the "authorized/official" maintenance history on the car.


The transmission fluid has been changed several times, and was last changed at ~90,000 miles. The car having now almost 180,000 miles, he believes that it's not too late for me to be able to change it while still being ok, since it's a 80,000-90,000 mile difference.


What do you guys think with this updated info?


Thanks
Commander Freedom is offline  
Old 08-12-2018, 04:44 PM
  #6  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Age: 26
Posts: 17
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by frankjnjr View Post
IMO: I would change it via the 3X3 method. Since you don't appear to be experiencing terrible symptoms, I'm thinking the risk of new fluid SHOCK, to the transmission, should be minimal. Renewing the fluid, should restore the friction modifiers in the fluid and contribute to helping the transmission operate properly. IF, the symptoms worsen, after the fluid exchange, which is possible, than it's time to think about the AV6 replacement. Which model year is your 3G?
Didn't fully read your reply before responding and didn't notice you asked for the year, it is a 2005.
Commander Freedom is offline  
Old 08-12-2018, 04:51 PM
  #7  
Registered Member
iTrader: (2)
 
horseshoez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Age: 62
Posts: 3,706
Thanked 655 Times in 495 Posts
Originally Posted by Commander Freedom View Post
Update

Got back a little while ago from the shop after getting some services performed, and the person behind the counter was able to pull the CarFax for the car and see the "authorized/official" maintenance history on the car.


The transmission fluid has been changed several times, and was last changed at ~90,000 miles. The car having now almost 180,000 miles, he believes that it's not too late for me to be able to change it while still being ok, since it's a 80,000-90,000 mile difference.


What do you guys think with this updated info?


Thanks
I am sticking with my advice; do a 3x3 refresh of the ATF. From here on in, regardless of whether you change your tranny or not, perform a transmission fluid service on it every 30,000 miles or less.
horseshoez is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 12:33 AM
  #8  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Age: 39
Posts: 112
Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts
A few years back, I did same research for my gf's forester (160,000 miles - ATF black and smelled horrible) and got same three answers. Different experts swore by their different advice. I decided to leave it as is as we only drive the car less than 3000 miles a year. Transmission still runs great but those subarus don't have a history of glass transmissions (plenty of other issues though).

I first changed ATF on my 2005 TL around 60-70,000 (fluid was dark red and I got tired of waiting for the MID which i think came on somewhere in the 80,000). Now I do a 3x3 or 3x2 every year to make sure fluid is always pink. Maybe overkill but it seems some of these TLs have delicate transmissions.

Given yours was changed only 90,000 miles ago, I would do a 3x3 over a month to ensure the new stuff is not upsetting anything.

Last edited by redbeard1; 08-13-2018 at 12:35 AM. Reason: not 2x2 but 3 quarts two times
redbeard1 is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 05:19 AM
  #9  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Age: 26
Posts: 17
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
I am sticking with my advice; do a 3x3 refresh of the ATF. From here on in, regardless of whether you change your tranny or not, perform a transmission fluid service on it every 30,000 miles or less.
So just to clarify, from what you explained a 3x3 is changing the transmission fluid fully 3 times?

Fully as in drop the pan, clean it, exchanging basically all fluid except what's in the torque converter (Since one could only "really" do that with a flush)

Or should i take out say, 20-30% of the pan fluid, top off with clean fluid, next week or so, take out 40-50%, top off with clean, and keep going until the fluid is coming out clean?


I feel more comfortable knowing it was changed at 90,000 miles, but am still a little worried about, as others have called it, fluid shock from such a dramatic change if i completely drain the pan and go only brand new clean fluid.


Edit: Found another post on what a 3x3 is.
Commander Freedom is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 06:01 AM
  #10  
Registered Member
 
frankjnjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: baltimore, md
Age: 75
Posts: 854
Thanked 125 Times in 103 Posts
FWIW: You can't drop the pan, as there is no pan. The 3x3 is a partial fluid exchange, at 4 different intervals. The 3x3 service, is actually a 4x4 service, as the transmission fluid is drained and refilled 4 times. Were it my car, and the condition of the fluid, as you describe, I would still change it, since you have no symptoms of a transmission issue at this time. Since these transmissions are somewhat prone to premature failure, if your transmission is at or near the end of it's life cycle, changing the fluid now, COULD either save it, or result in a failure, depends on the condition of it's clutch discs! It's kind of a crap shoot. If my transmission was nearing it's end, I would prefer to know, sooner, rather than later. I bought my 03 TLS four years ago, with 196k, basically the same transmission, no service records, and ugly transmission fluid. I performed a 4x4 with DW1, plus a new external filter, and at this time, 242K the transmission is still going strong, fingers crossed!
frankjnjr is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 06:18 AM
  #11  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Age: 26
Posts: 17
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by frankjnjr View Post
FWIW: You can't drop the pan, as there is no pan. The 3x3 is a partial fluid exchange, at 4 different intervals. The 3x3 service, is actually a 4x4 service, as the transmission fluid is drained and refilled 4 times. Were it my car, and the condition of the fluid, as you describe, I would still change it, since you have no symptoms of a transmission issue at this time. Since these transmissions are somewhat prone to premature failure, if your transmission is at or near the end of it's life cycle, changing the fluid now, COULD either save it, or result in a failure, depends on the condition of it's clutch discs! It's kind of a crap shoot. If my transmission was nearing it's end, I would prefer to know, sooner, rather than later. I bought my 03 TLS four years ago, with 196k, basically the same transmission, no service records, and ugly transmission fluid. I performed a 4x4 with DW1, plus a new external filter, and at this time, 242K the transmission is still going strong, fingers crossed!
I had no idea there was no pan. If that's the case then i'm assuming it's just a drain bolt, and i hopefully don't need any special equipment?

Also, i was contemplating doing the transmission fluid filter as well, however if there is no pan to remove then i assume it would be probably unreasonably difficult to change the filter and probably not worth my time?


Thank you
Commander Freedom is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 07:47 AM
  #12  
Registered Member
 
quantum7's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 718
Thanked 186 Times in 118 Posts
there are several threads regarding 3 x 3 transmission service....check the garage section of this forum. Most have detailed procedure and pictures to walk you though....very simple.
I use the refill method though the dipstick. Find it easy and don't have to mess with the fill bolt.
quantum7 is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 07:48 AM
  #13  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Age: 26
Posts: 17
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So, another update

Quite shameful, i'm apparently retarded


I had been checking what is apparently the oil, thinking it was the transmission fluid dipstick -_-


In every engine i've seen before, the oil dipstick is yellow, other fluids are other colors. I was checking the orange dipstick thinking it was the transmission fluid ----___----



The transmission fluid is actually a very, very, light brown, which makes me further confident about changing the fluid.

This coming week i'll start on the 3x3 and see how it goes, and will update once i do.



Thank you everyone
Commander Freedom is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 10:12 AM
  #14  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Columbus Ohio
Age: 26
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Question

My 08 type s recently broke down on me I took it to the Acura dealership near me and they told me it was the radiator and hose that were leaking so they were going to fix and and do a flush of the transmission oil when I asked if they would change the actual oil filter they said it doesnít need changing. They told me transmission was fine and the car was good to go now my question is should I change the filter even thought they said it didnít need changing and what are some other things that I should look out for?? Car has 185k car has been serviced at only Acura and it was a 1 owner prior to me buying it
Types6313 is offline  
Old 08-14-2018, 01:48 AM
  #15  
Moderator
 
thoiboi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal, CA
Posts: 35,906
Thanked 5,573 Times in 4,464 Posts
Originally Posted by Types6313 View Post
My 08 type s recently broke down on me I took it to the Acura dealership near me and they told me it was the radiator and hose that were leaking so they were going to fix and and do a flush of the transmission oil when I asked if they would change the actual oil filter they said it doesnít need changing. They told me transmission was fine and the car was good to go now my question is should I change the filter even thought they said it didnít need changing and what are some other things that I should look out for?? Car has 185k car has been serviced at only Acura and it was a 1 owner prior to me buying it
Your car doesn't have a transmission filter that's serviceable.. the older cars do.
thoiboi is offline  
Old 08-14-2018, 06:43 AM
  #16  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Columbus Ohio
Age: 26
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by thoiboi View Post
Your car doesn't have a transmission filter that's serviceable.. the older cars do.
thanks for that Iíve been going crazy trying to figure out what to do. In your opinion what are some things that I should be on the look out for engine wise???? Iíve been contemplating adding some mods to the car but idk if I should based on my cars mileage...Iíve been trying to get an idea of how long these cars can run for to help me decide
Types6313 is offline  
Old 08-14-2018, 09:07 AM
  #17  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: GTA, Ontario
Posts: 159
Thanked 15 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Types6313 View Post

thanks for that Iíve been going crazy trying to figure out what to do. In your opinion what are some things that I should be on the look out for engine wise???? Iíve been contemplating adding some mods to the car but idk if I should based on my cars mileage...Iíve been trying to get an idea of how long these cars can run for to help me decide
there's already lots of threads on here with the same question. It's not good manners to threadjack someone's thread.
vpasla1 is offline  
Old 08-14-2018, 11:54 AM
  #18  
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Columbus Ohio
Age: 26
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by vpasla1 View Post
there's already lots of threads on here with the same question. It's not good manners to threadjack someone's thread.
new to this still figuring it out...relax thanks anwyways fellas
Types6313 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
rodleung68
1G TSX Problems & Fixes
4
05-06-2012 12:58 AM
thefork
Second Generation RL (2005-2012)
4
08-21-2011 03:15 PM
thelastaspec
Second Generation TL (1999-2003)
12
06-13-2011 01:59 AM
jbacura
3G TL Problems & Fixes
5
11-25-2009 12:51 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Should i change transmission fluid?


Contact Us Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.