Dexron 6 to Honda Z-1

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37
Location
FL. USA
Thread starter
I know this may be a strange question but here goes... I have a 2008 Honda Civic with an automatic transmission in it. Honda calls for Z-1 transmission fluid. Z-1 has been superceded by DW-1 fluid. I was looking at Rock Auto's website and they show Dexron 6 as being compatible with my Civic. I also saw where RA sells a friction modifier (ATP brand AT-203) which supposedly makes "any conventional" Dexron fluid, such as Dex 3, compatible with the Z-1 fluid. The main reason I am asking all of this is because I also have a 2008 Suburban and I have about a case of Dex 6 left over from the transmission service I did on it. So if the full synthetic Dex 6 will work as a replacement for the Z-1/DW-1 then I would much rather use it instead since it is synthetic. If I chose to use it do you think the friction modifier would be necessary. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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4,824
Location
VA
My opinion is to only use the transmission fluid the maker recommends. I'm not a Honda guy but please check with the dealership to make sure the DW-1 is correct. Save the Dex 6 for future drain and fills for the Suburban about 30K from the transmission service.
 
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102
Location
Maryland
Is ATF z1 the same as ATF dw1? Answer: aft-dw1 is the replacement for atf-z1. If your honda specifies atf-z1 you can use atf- dw1. Both fluids are compatible with each other. I would go with the dw1 and forget about using the Dexron 6
 
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4,630
Location
Suburban Washington DC
I once accidentally changed the fluid in a Honda transmission with Dexron 6 and it ran just fine for the next 1,000 miles I had it. Ideally you use what the manufacturer specifies but on a 12 year old Civic you don't have much to lose and chances are you will be fine. The differences in fluid specs between manufacturers isn't all that huge, hence the multi-make fluids.
 
Messages
37
Location
FL. USA
Thread starter
I was hoping I could find the specifications for the Dex 6 and the Z-1/DW-1 fluids so that I could compare them but I don't have a clue as to where to even begin looking. That is why I posted here, because I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction with actual fluid specs and not just opinion.
 
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239
Location
PA
Interesting find on the friction modifier. There is something in Z-1/DW-1 that changes the shift feel. I tried Maxlife in an 09 Honda using Z-1 and was really not happy with the result. Maybe give it a whirl without the friction modifier and see what happens. If it stinks, order the modifier and add it? The only downside is that if you hate it - you have to cycle through a ton of fluid to replace it all. Having been there, the money saved was not worth the squeeze in the end.
 
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1,963
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
I am going through this now as I have a slightly older Civic than yours, built for DW-1. Z-1 is the low-viscosity fluid Honda issued paralled to GM' DexIII/DexVI change and Toyota's T-IV/WS changeover. A lot of research here and on Honda forums show most people happily substitute MaxLife for DW-1 (or Z-1) with long years of success. However, MaxLife is also a low-viscosity fluid like the newer generation (DexVI, etc). Personally, based on a lot of forum research but no personal experience yet, I am gong to use MaxLife instead of Z-1, and some Lubegard Red for seal conditioning and heat management (it does both).
 
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1,906
Location
Canada
I buy branded Honda DW-1 for significantly less from the dealer than I can find any licensed Dex VI around here. I wonder if the opposite is true, if full synth DW-1 fluid can be substituted for Dex VI in vehicles that call for it.
 
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1,963
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I like this: Idemitsu Honda Equivalent Maxlife is $17 for 4 quarts, this is more than that. But good stuff.
I have always had a favorable view of Idemitsu products ( havesome in a TLS flavor in a lexus right now). BUT: Molakule did a VOA on genuine Honda fluid vs. the Idemitsu honda and the add packs were NOTHING alike. It's not a "clone" fluid like people were thinking.
 
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4,430
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Originally Posted by Oro_O
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I like this: Idemitsu Honda Equivalent Maxlife is $17 for 4 quarts, this is more than that. But good stuff.
I have always had a favorable view of Idemitsu products ( havesome in a TLS flavor in a lexus right now). BUT: Molakule did a VOA on genuine Honda fluid vs. the Idemitsu honda and the add packs were NOTHING alike. It's not a "clone" fluid like people were thinking.
I find it to be better than DW-1, which is why I use it. Pulls better. Perfect shifts.
 
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1,020
Location
Athens, GA
I won't copy paste from the thread, but you can read the discussion here: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...71227/re-three-atfs-analyzed#Post5271227 Here is my opinion, it's worth exactly as much as you're paying for it. Yes the Idemitsu/Aisin/Maxlife fluids do not have the same analysis as Z1/DW1. If you want a clone of DW1, it doesn't exist, buy DW1. It is my belief that just like motor oil, gear oil, coolant, etc, there is more than one way to get the job done. We have been told by Idemitsu that their H+ fluid has all the proper characteristics to work properly in place of DW1. How they do that and don't have matching chemistry, they haven't said. I don't particularly believe that with all the smart fluid engineers out there that whoever came up with the DW1 formulation had the golden key back in the mid 2000's as to the only way to make a fluid with those performance specs. It's been at least 10 years since DW1 came to market, I'm sure there's more than one way to skin that cat. I also have spoken with the shop that did the rebuild for my wife's transmission in her now dead 2000 as to what fluid they recommend, a shop that rebuilds and ships Honda transmissions all over the US and has a great reputation. They use a 'multi-use' fluid in all of their rebuilds (Similar to Maxlife I expect, I have since forgotten the label on the drum at the shop), including the BAYA/MAYA 'fragile' V6 transmissions from the early 2000's. His opinion is that clean fluid is much more important than using DW1 exactly. Me personally? I have switched over to the Idemitsu fluid because it can be had in a 5qt jug which I find more convenient than quarts. It has done everything I expect it to in my J-Series cars (And was working fine in the wife's rebuild until it got plowed by a cargo van and totalled). As for Dex6, can't speak to it. Never considered using it in a Honda trans, although I'd be inclined to leave it to the GM stuff and pick up something that at least carries a 'suitable for' label. (Maxlife/Castrol/H+/Aisin/DW1). That ATP stuff.....ehh, try it if you want, I'm a little leery about it and think I'll just stick with a regular fluid. Not that we're discussing it here, but I certainly wouldn't ever go the other way and use DW1 in anything other than a Honda/Acura(and that one Saturn) transmission.
 
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13,196
Location
Maricopa Arizona
I would use it. This is due to I've witnessed mutil-vehicle DEXRON III used in this transmission. 4 years later it's still running. Maxlife ATF has proven to be a good fluid for this transmission and Maxlife is similar to DEXRON VI so much it's a clone. But the question is are you willing to assume the risk. It's your car.
 
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14,449
Location
The Old North State
Preface, I know nothing of Dex VI in a Honda Z1 application. I do know that Z1 was nothing special, sheared quickly. I also know that having well over 150k+ miles using MaxLife MV on two Honda vehicle applications specing Z1, that it works well in those in those applications. For ~$18/gallon no need for me to look further. That being the case, I would not use Dex VI in Honda specing Z1. I will say this, before paying Amazon price for H+, I'd use DW1. But, that's a moot point for me.
 
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22,095
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
The Idemitsu fluid gets perfect reviews online. I'm thinking about giving it a try my next fluid change,depending on price. How about this,has anyone figured out an easy way to drain the fluid without having to remove that troublesome plastic splash shield?
 
Messages
1,963
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
Well here's a new thought - I am going to swap in the Lubegard ATF in the 2003 transmission (DW-1 filled). Reason: seal conditioning: https://www.lubegard.com/products/atf/ I have put a few hundred miles on the car getting it sorted out for my step-son. The transmission was really lazy and I was just thinking that was how it was. Then it got cold (mid 20s) and it had a 3-4 flare when cold. I knew this was a bad sign. I pondered on it and I added ~3 ounces of Chemtool B-12 to it and planned on driving it a few days then doing two swaps w/MaxLife to get it out. No need to wait! My step-son used it for about an hour of parallel parking practice and VOILA! New transmission. I have had tremendous satisfaction with all Lubegard products I've used (PSF, Biotech, Red tranny additive, gear oil supplement and also LSD additive). Going to try this based on my trust they have built and earned. It shifts like new - absolutely excellent and it's a whole new car now. I'm going to swap in the Lubegard ATF for the ester oil base to keep the seals conditioned. I'll report how it does in a week or so after checking it out.
 
Messages
1,020
Location
Athens, GA
Originally Posted by Oro_O
Well here's a new thought - I am going to swap in the Lubegard ATF in the 2003 transmission (DW-1 filled). Reason: seal conditioning: https://www.lubegard.com/products/atf/ I have put a few hundred miles on the car getting it sorted out for my step-son. The transmission was really lazy and I was just thinking that was how it was. Then it got cold (mid 20s) and it had a 3-4 flare when cold. I knew this was a bad sign. I pondered on it and I added ~3 ounces of Chemtool B-12 to it and planned on driving it a few days then doing two swaps w/MaxLife to get it out. No need to wait! My step-son used it for about an hour of parallel parking practice and VOILA! New transmission. I have had tremendous satisfaction with all Lubegard products I've used (PSF, Biotech, Red tranny additive, gear oil supplement and also LSD additive). Going to try this based on my trust they have built and earned. It shifts like new - absolutely excellent and it's a whole new car now. I'm going to swap in the Lubegard ATF for the ester oil base to keep the seals conditioned. I'll report how it does in a week or so after checking it out.
If it is a V6 it is a good idea to do the pressure switches while you're in there getting it ready for the long haul, and the filter if you really feel like covering the bases. 28610-RAY-003 (1) - Sensor 28600-RAY-003 (1) - Sensor 90471-PW7-A00 (2) - Gasket for Sensor 25450-RAY-003 (1) - Trans Filter Element 91302-RAY-003 (1) - Trans Filter Element Gasket 91301-RAY-004 (1) - Trans Filter Housing Oring
 
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