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#2580252 - 03/26/12 01:53 PM 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission
ltslimjim Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 5143
Loc: PL&F
Okay, guys. I'm helping some friends catch up on their vehicle's maintenance.

I believe the vehicle is around 150,000 miles on the original timing belt(different subject) and probably the factory fill ATF.

What would be the best C.O.A. moving forward? Do these Civic autos have a drain plug or is this a pan removal? Which fluid should be used to refill and should there be a subsequent drain/refill soon after?

Thanks.
_________________________
1992 Civic VX 275k+
HG replaced, waiting to sample

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#2580272 - 03/26/12 02:13 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
MajorCavalry Offline


Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 185
Loc: CT USA
Should have a drain plug. Would suggest drain and refill x 3. I drain the transmission through this plug and get about 2.5-3 quarts out. Refill with the compatible transmission fluid of your choice. I would use Honda DW-1. Drive about a week and repeat. Do this three times. You may find other recommendations for ATF but I haven't used them. Above all, do not power flush.

Good luck
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#2580281 - 03/26/12 02:21 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
oiltard Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 218
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Originally Posted By: ltslimjim
Okay, guys. I'm helping some friends catch up on their vehicle's maintenance.

I believe the vehicle is around 150,000 miles on the original timing belt(different subject) and probably the factory fill ATF.

What would be the best C.O.A. moving forward? Do these Civic autos have a drain plug or is this a pan removal? Which fluid should be used to refill and should there be a subsequent drain/refill soon after?

Thanks.


Drain plug. If you look inward from the right wheel well, you can see a bolt with a 3/8" square hole. Open it up with a ratchet (no socket needed) and get ready for it to splash and pour out everywhere.

Wipe the schmutz off the drain plug, put it back and refill only with Honda ATF-DW1. Unless you want to try something aftermarket, but I am too big a chicken personally. There's a Valvoline product and Amsoil product that are supposed to be ok in these trannies.

You'll pull the yellow dipstick handle and use a long narrow funnel to refill. Should be between 2.5 and 3 quarts, but have a 4th on hand in case.

Wait until the next weekend and repeat the whole process. I know it's a waste of fluid, but it's your only choice. You gotta get at least 3 drain and fills to have mostly new fluid, and 4 would be even better. Don't do them too too close together, or you'll never mix the new with the 3+ quarts of old that are in the torque converter.

Easy job, but messy. You don't have to jack the car up or anything. Have fun!
_________________________
2005 Honda Civic EX Coupe (Automatic)

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#2580282 - 03/26/12 02:22 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
ltslimjim Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 5143
Loc: PL&F
^Yes, ironic to mention 'power', though, as I think the PS system needs maintenance, too. cry

Thanks for the reply.
_________________________
1992 Civic VX 275k+
HG replaced, waiting to sample

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#2580284 - 03/26/12 02:25 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
ctechbob Offline


Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Athens, GA
If its the I4 Accord there is no timing belt. They've got chains. And before anyone flames, yes the LX was available with the V6. Don't see many of those however.

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#2580318 - 03/26/12 02:51 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
JGW Offline


Registered: 02/23/12
Posts: 223
Loc: New York
Shouldn't the filter be changed also?
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#2580325 - 03/26/12 02:56 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ctechbob]
cpayne5 Offline


Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 148
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: ctechbob
If its the I4 Accord there is no timing belt. They've got chains. And before anyone flames, yes the LX was available with the V6. Don't see many of those however.


It's a Civic.
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#2580331 - 03/26/12 03:03 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: JGW]
oiltard Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 218
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Originally Posted By: JGW
Shouldn't the filter be changed also?


Nope. That would require removing and disassembling the transmission. There's no serviceable filter.

It's a timing belt/interference engine. I'd get that taken care of right away, but sounds like the OP's already aware of this ticking time(-ing belt) bomb.
_________________________
2005 Honda Civic EX Coupe (Automatic)

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#2580354 - 03/26/12 03:15 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
Corvette Owner Offline


Registered: 01/22/03
Posts: 1587
Loc: Waldorf, Maryland
The transmission drains only one-half of the transmission. If I were you, I would drain it , drive it for one week and drain it again. Use ONLY Honda Transmission Fluid.
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#2580378 - 03/26/12 03:35 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
daves66nova Offline


Registered: 04/11/04
Posts: 3111
Loc: los angeles
What about disconnecting the pressure line that goes to the cooler? Drain it to a pan,turn engine on,let drain,turn car off,add atf to fill line,turn car on,drain,etc.keep doing this til it comes out clean.This should run through the whole trans and t.c. I did this on my Camry that had glittery brown in the oil.Been almost 2 years and no problems.Trans has about 220,xxx miles.


Edited by daves66nova (03/26/12 03:35 PM)
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#2580391 - 03/26/12 03:41 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: daves66nova]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 478
Loc: West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: daves66nova
What about disconnecting the pressure line that goes to the cooler? Drain it to a pan,turn engine on,let drain,turn car off,add atf to fill line,turn car on,drain,etc.keep doing this til it comes out clean.This should run through the whole trans and t.c. I did this on my Camry that had glittery brown in the oil.Been almost 2 years and no problems.Trans has about 220,xxx miles.


This question has been asked by me and MANY others here and on other forums. I also do the cooler return line deal on my 99 Avalon and 99 RX300 with great success. Honda strongly opposes flushing but no one seems to know if they are against only machine power flushes or the cooler return line flush that you are asking about. There was one person who seemed to be an expert who said the return line flush is ok but the vast majority say to stick with the multiple drain/fills just to be on the safe side.

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#2580418 - 03/26/12 03:59 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
LckydevL Offline


Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 136
Loc: Georgia


I don't see how the trans line method of replacing all the fluid could be considered a flush.

All you are doing is replacing the fluid, just like with the 3X drain and fills. And at the end of the day, you are left with fresh fluid compared to mixing old and new fluid with the 3x D&F method.

How can that be a bad thing?
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#2580420 - 03/26/12 04:04 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: LckydevL]
oiltard Offline


Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 218
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Fluid exchange can't hurt anything. The use of the word "flush" has caused a lot of confusion, in my opinion. Unless you're pressurizing the transmissions, or using a solvent, a fluid exchange isn't a "flush," as Honda has so vehemently warned against.

I had this done (albeit by a shop with a professional fluid exchange machine) to switch my tranny over to the DW-1 last spring and experienced no problems. My first UOA on the ATF with 7800 miles should be in (and will be posted) any day now.
_________________________
2005 Honda Civic EX Coupe (Automatic)

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#2580426 - 03/26/12 04:08 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: LckydevL]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 478
Loc: West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: LckydevL


I don't see how the trans line method of replacing all the fluid could be considered a flush.

All you are doing is replacing the fluid, just like with the 3X drain and fills. And at the end of the day, you are left with fresh fluid compared to mixing old and new fluid with the 3x D&F method.

How can that be a bad thing?


I don't know enough to take a position either way. I do not have the design of hydraulic circuit so I don't know if the fresh fluid would neatly replace the old fluid in plug flow like my Toyota/Lexus cars do.

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#2580525 - 03/26/12 05:20 PM Re: 2003 Honda LX w/ neglected transmission [Re: ltslimjim]
ltslimjim Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 5143
Loc: PL&F
Yes, this is an I4 Civic, with the A1 engine; non-flex fuel.

I've seen different capacity transmissions listed connected to this Civic, not sure which A/T the LX/A1 comes paired together? Capacities vary, I could always pull out their manual. duh

By the way, I'd also not consider the 'return line drain while adding new fluid until clean comes out' method as a flush job. It is a quicker method of new fluid entry is all, not a forcing of fluid in any direction other than normal A/T operation by using it's OWN fluid pump = not a flush.

Good call on that. No harm in drains/re-fills. Just great to know it has a drain plug before I invest time/energy to coordinate only to find out it didn't have one and the job became more involved. Simple = better in this situation trying to help a friend that is harder to line up our schedules.

So, switching to DW-1 right away is the recommended way? Has anyone used something like Lugegard red bottle ATF in a Honda transmission WITH bad symptoms already? (IF the fluid transition doesnt settle in well, just speaking hypothetical, not going to use additive right away or planning to at all right now, to be clear)
_________________________
1992 Civic VX 275k+
HG replaced, waiting to sample

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