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#4498952 - 08/26/17 08:30 PM Need some help reading trans dipstick
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: 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.

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#4498963 - 08/26/17 08:43 PM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: 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

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#4498968 - 08/26/17 08:57 PM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
Brybo86 Offline


Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 2950
Loc: 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

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#4498969 - 08/26/17 08:57 PM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
Brybo86 Offline


Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 2950
Loc: 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

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#4499075 - 08/27/17 12:21 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
Oro_O Offline


Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1352
Loc: 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.

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#4499141 - 08/27/17 05:33 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10029
Loc: 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"
'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

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#4499329 - 08/27/17 10:22 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: 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.






Edited by Chester11 (08/27/17 10:23 AM)
Edit Reason: typo

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#4499428 - 08/27/17 12:34 PM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
Rhymingmechanic Offline


Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 1328
Loc: 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.

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#4499817 - 08/27/17 09:04 PM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: 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?

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#4500123 - 08/28/17 08:36 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9420
Loc: 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, 227K
1996 Honda Accord, 262K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 394K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 267K

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#4500175 - 08/28/17 09:39 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: kschachn]
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: 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.

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#4500183 - 08/28/17 09:44 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9420
Loc: 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, 227K
1996 Honda Accord, 262K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 394K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 267K

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#4500204 - 08/28/17 09:58 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: Chester11]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9420
Loc: 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, 227K
1996 Honda Accord, 262K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 394K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 267K

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#4500219 - 08/28/17 10:09 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: kschachn]
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: 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!

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#4500311 - 08/28/17 11:51 AM Re: Need some help reading trans dipstick [Re: kschachn]
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: PA
Thanks...our posts crossed.

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

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