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Need some help reading trans dipstick #4498952
08/26/17 08:30 PM
08/26/17 08:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Hi Guys:

This sounds stupid - and a bit of a rant here, but I can't read the trans dipstick on my 09 Honda CRV.

Background: I have been having some shift issues (RPM spike on downshift) for the last year and a half mainly after the dealer did a drain and fill (D&F). I did another D&F using Maxlife ATF, which helped for about 9 months. I figure the trans is just on the way out - but had a few hours to kill and thought I would try a full swap of DW-1. My hope is that the mix of Z-1 (factory) and DW-1 (dealer D&F) along with some Maxlife (my D&F) was just not playing well together.

So today I did a 3x drain and fill with DW-1. About 3 qts came out, so that is what I replaced. (The manual says 2.6qts, but others have said 3 quarts or more is not uncommon). Fluid was cool when I measured so I figured I was good to go. Level looked okay - at the cool line to start.

Now I can't read the stick - cold or warm. There is a smear, and a small amount below the cold dot which is the closest thing to a "mark"

What am I doing wrong? I had a similar problem when I did the fill with Maxlife a few months back (and when I went to synthetic oil). Am I simply dipstick challenged? (Phrasing - for any Archer fans out there).

How the F%$# are you supposed to get an accurate read on these low viscosity products? Or am I making a big deal out of nothing? For what it's worth it feels smoother to me - but I could be kidding myself after blowing cash on 3 gallons of trans fluid.

Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4498963
08/26/17 08:43 PM
08/26/17 08:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
Connecticut
Can you get a reading from the back side of the stick? Sometimes that side is easier to read. Other than that, try to take out the dip stick with at most one side that touches the tube while on the way out....touching neither side if possible.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4498968
08/26/17 08:57 PM
08/26/17 08:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,975
Chicago, IL
Brybo86 Offline
Brybo86  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,975
Chicago, IL
Lay dipstick on clean paper towel to see level
Take pics for us to help you and post them


08 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4L M1 EP 0w20 145k
01 Kymco People 50
95 Lexus LS400 M1 AFE 0w30 193k
95 Yamaha Jog
Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4498969
08/26/17 08:57 PM
08/26/17 08:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,975
Chicago, IL
Brybo86 Offline
Brybo86  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,975
Chicago, IL
Lay dipstick on clean paper towel to see level
Take pics for us to help you and post them


08 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4L M1 EP 0w20 145k
01 Kymco People 50
95 Lexus LS400 M1 AFE 0w30 193k
95 Yamaha Jog
Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4499075
08/27/17 12:21 AM
08/27/17 12:21 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,416
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,416
Seattle-ish, WA
I don't know if this will work for you, but on our Lexus the ONLY way I can get a good read is this:

Cold Car.
Start. Shift through All gear slowly down and up (pause about 1/2 second or so in each gear), stopping back in Park.
Leave it running, go draw the dipstick and read.

Any driving creates enough splash the tube is filled and the stick is polluted. You have to read these running and after putting pressure through all gear valves. This is the ONLY way I can get a good read. If your vehicle calls for a hot/temp/etc. test like the new Toyota standards, disregard it. It's nonsense as the thermal expansion rate of ATF is so minimal it's ludicruous to make it a variable.

Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4499141
08/27/17 05:33 AM
08/27/17 05:33 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,276
ROCHESTER, NY
Char Baby Offline
Char Baby  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,276
ROCHESTER, NY
IDK if your '09 CR-V is the same way but, most older Honda's that I [WAS] aware of, the ATF is checked COLD. Similar to their lawnmowers.

*Unscrew the dipstick
*Wipe it off
*Reinsert the dipstick WITHOUT screwing it back down
*Pull the dipstick back out and read the level between the Cross Hatches
*If I remember correctly, you're safe between the Cross Hatches and full if the level is at the TOP...COLD!

Other vehicles require the ATF level to be read after their ATF is warm/hot or read after certain driving time/miles. Honda's typically are not this way but, it's been a while since I have owned a Honda vehicle.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic LX(17K)
Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4499329
08/27/17 10:22 AM
08/27/17 10:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Here is what I have....I think I'm good after taking a drive yesterday and letting it sit overnight. These are "cold".

Thanks guys. Photos are rotated for some reason....sorry about that.





Last edited by Chester11; 08/27/17 10:23 AM. Reason: typo
Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4499428
08/27/17 12:34 PM
08/27/17 12:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,364
VA
Rhymingmechanic Offline
Rhymingmechanic  Offline
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,364
VA
It looks OK by the second pic. I would check the manual to see whether "Hot" applies to the range between the marks or the top mark, but between the marks is likely where the level should be.

What does the other side of the stick look like? My vehicles often read lower on one side, and that's the one I go by.

Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4499817
08/27/17 09:04 PM
08/27/17 09:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Oh boy - I screwed up.

It looks like I cross threaded the drain plug, and now I have a leak. Not sure how I did it, because I started it by hand.

I posted on a Honda forum also, but figured I would ask here too.

I'm going to try backing the plug out and hope I can re-seat it. If that doesn't work - helicoil or mechanic?

I think the bolt is 18/1.5. Can anyone confirm?

Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4500123
08/28/17 08:36 AM
08/28/17 08:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,890
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,890
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: Chester11
Oh boy - I screwed up.

It looks like I cross threaded the drain plug, and now I have a leak. Not sure how I did it, because I started it by hand.

I posted on a Honda forum also, but figured I would ask here too.

I'm going to try backing the plug out and hope I can re-seat it. If that doesn't work - helicoil or mechanic?

I think the bolt is 18/1.5. Can anyone confirm?

This is the aluminum pan? If so, I repaired one of those for a friend when an oil-change place did the same thing, and messed it up even worse when they "repaired" their error. I looked into the repair kit (there is both an official Honda kit and aftermarket ones) where it is a Helicoil or Time-Sert repair, but after you buy the kit it was nearly as much money as a whole new pan. We ended up putting on a new pan, I mean you should take the pan off anyway to do the repair.


1994 BMW 530i, 228K
1996 Honda Accord, 263K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 400K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 271K
Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: kschachn] #4500175
08/28/17 09:39 AM
08/28/17 09:39 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Unfortunately there is no pan to replace, the drain plug is directly in the bell housing. So I think the whole housing would have to be replaced.

So I think I'm stuck with a thread insert or helicoil.

I might stop into the dealer to see if they sell the honda kit.

I am hoping I can fix it myself without having to take it to a transmission shop.

Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4500183
08/28/17 09:44 AM
08/28/17 09:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,890
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,890
Upper Midwest
Oops, sorry it is a transmission plug.

Then yes you will have to repair it. But you will need a clear path to drill out the existing threads and tap new ones for the insert, do you have that?

Originally Posted By: Chester11
Unfortunately there is no pan to replace, the drain plug is directly in the bell housing. So I think the whole housing would have to be replaced.

So I think I'm stuck with a thread insert or helicoil.

I might stop into the dealer to see if they sell the honda kit.

I am hoping I can fix it myself without having to take it to a transmission shop.


1994 BMW 530i, 228K
1996 Honda Accord, 263K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 400K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 271K
Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11] #4500204
08/28/17 09:58 AM
08/28/17 09:58 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,890
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,890
Upper Midwest
Also, some people (on here and elsewhere) have reported that the thread depth in the casting may be longer than the threaded portion of the drain plug. That allows you to use a longer bolt to reach further into the casting and get good threads. You may wish to look into that.


1994 BMW 530i, 228K
1996 Honda Accord, 263K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 400K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 271K
Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: kschachn] #4500219
08/28/17 10:09 AM
08/28/17 10:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
I may have to use a right angle drill, but it is a pretty straight shot.

The helicoil has a tang that needs to be broken off. I'm not sure how to get this out of the pan after breaking it off. (Assuming they make an M18 1.5).

The insert I found (Time-Sert?) looks better, but the kit is $230!

Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: kschachn] #4500311
08/28/17 11:51 AM
08/28/17 11:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Thanks...our posts crossed.

I'm having trouble finding an M18 bolt. I may have to order online.

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