DIY Transmission Fluid Service (1997 3.2 TL)

Old 04-26-2018, 12:50 PM
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DIY Transmission Fluid Service (1997 3.2 TL)

After following this DIY on the differential fluid ( I figured I'd try the transmission fluid. I didn't see an existing post so it took me a long time to gather torque specs, crush washer part numbers and fluid quantities. Even ended up at the library looking at old service manuals for specs. Hopefully, this helps someone else, including me in 30k miles. I also hope there are a bunch of you still driving these great 20-year-old cars.

One question I'm not clear on in the service interval for these. For normal conditions, it looks like every 90k, but for severe, it's every 30k. My mechanic implied around 45k, so I don't know, but I figure maybe I'll just do it with when I changed my differential fluid which is 30k.

  1. Torque wrench
  2. Socket wrench
  3. Mallet or breaker bar
  4. 19mm socket
  5. 1/2 to 3/8 socket adapter for the drain plug bolt
  6. 3.2 quarts of Honda ATF (I ordered in bulk from so I can do two cars). You could also go to the dealer
  7. Honda transmission crush washers (90471-PX4-000). Thankfully these appear to be universal for at least my two hondas/acuras
  8. Tall funnel. Others have used a short funnel with tubing, but I didn't have any issues
  9. Floor jack
  10. 2 jack stands
Torque Settings
Drain plug bolt: 49 N*m or 36lbf*ft
Wheel lugs: 108 N*m or 80 lbf*ft

Loosen lugs on the passenger wheel, then jack the car up until the wheels are off the ground. Place jack stands and remove the wheel.
  1. Place cardboard or something to absorb the inevitable spilled transmission fluid.
  2. With a 3/8" socket you've gotta loosen the drain plug bolt. It's awkward to reach, but I just whacked the wrench with a mallet a few times and it came loose.
  3. Place drain pan underneath the drain plug bolt and remove it.
  4. While the fluid drains, clean the bolt and replace the crush washer

You can seem the impressions on the old washer. It might be tempting to reuse the old one, but they're cheap and Honda says to do it.

For reference, here's what the drain bolt looks like
  1. Once the oil stops draining, tighten the drain plug bolt according to the torque specs at the beginning of this post.
  2. Mount the wheel to finger tight on the lugs
  3. Remove the jack stands and lower the car
  4. Tighten the lugs according to the torque specs listed above
  5. Place the funnel into the dipstick/fill hold and add 3 quarts. Gradually add more until the dipstick measurement is in the middle of the low and high marks.

I drove it a bit and kept re-testing the fluid levels. It seemed to be consistent. Overall, an easy service it just took me a long time to gather all of the specs and figure out where the drain bolt was. I figure most shops won't use genuine honda fluids and I'm not sure if they would replace the crush washer. I don't know what dealers charge for this service, but I heard it could be around $80-$100. I spent about $30 in fluid. Next time I do it will be faster especially if I do it at the same time as the differential fluid. Hope this helps someone.

Last edited by noynek; 04-26-2018 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Updating with service schedule
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