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Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! #5358937 02/24/20 01:36 PM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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Between the following factors...
- knowing my car has never had an ATF change, ever..
- having issues such as hunting for gears at speeds at or under 45mph, rough shifting, late shifting..
- scoring 4 still-sealed quarts of MaxLife ATF from 2004 (really old label design) that I found in the stock room at my work on clearance for $1 a piece..
- knowing that MaxLife ATF is compatible with Honda ATF (and confirmed by reading the label and some other places online)

...I finally decided to do an ATF change on my CR-V!

When I drained the old fluid it almost looked grey, and I wiped a ton of crap off the magnet on the drain plug.

New fluid went in, and it feels like a whole new car again. Shifts so smoothly that you don't even feel it now. Not rough anymore when coming to a stop and the clatter at idle is gone too.

Best $4 ever spent IMO

Last edited by cwilliamsws6; 02/24/20 01:38 PM.

2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
HK conv 5w20, STP blue bottle, PrimeGuard POF4610 filter.
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5358944 02/24/20 01:42 PM
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Nice! Transmissions and differentials are often forgotten about.

A friend just picked up a 2000 Civic DX as a daily beater for $1500. Has about 160k and the body is in pretty good shape. Carfax shows the trans fluid was changed at some point (also evident by the almost stripped drain plug head) but not sure when. We put in some MaxLife ATF that he picked up and it shifts better. What came out was dark but definitely not burnt.

My family's Hondas I do a drain and fills every 30k with DW-1.


1998 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L/5MT (156k) - PHM 10w30, Wix 51085
2009 BMW 328i N51 (60k) - Liqui Moly 5w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5358956 02/24/20 01:49 PM
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jayjr1105 Offline
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Did you just drain and fill once? If so, drive a week, then do one more, then another week and one more. That will get all 9 quarts replaced with fresh ATF. Then do one spill and fill every 30K as jeepman suggested. BTW, I also use MaxLife in my Odyssey. Just drained and filled 3 quarts yesterday.


2013 Mazda 3 - PP 0w20
2005 Honda Odyssey - PP HM 5w20
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: jayjr1105] #5358958 02/24/20 01:51 PM
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Nyati Offline
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Originally Posted by jayjr1105
Did you just drain and fill once? If so, drive a week, then do one more, then another week and one more. That will get all 9 quarts replaced with fresh ATF. Then do one spill and fill every 30K as jeepman suggested. BTW, I also use MaxLife in my Odyssey. Just drained and filled 3 quarts yesterday.


To get all the ATF out of my 2008 Civic - I had to drain & fill twice. Do it every 50K.

Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5358964 02/24/20 02:02 PM
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ChrisD46 Offline
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Congrats on your ATF change - very important (even with the so called "ATF for life" in the "sealed" transmissions of many vehicles today) . Take my 2017 Hyundai Sonata with it's sealed transmission : *Once I finish the M.I.T. ATF drain & Fill course outlining the procedures doing a ATF drain & fill for my Sonata's sealed transmission , I will be in a position to see if I can get it to last beyond the 100K mile warranty of the sealed transmission (as if no one keeps a vehicle past 100K miles any more ?!)

Last edited by ChrisD46; 02/24/20 02:02 PM.

'17 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L GDI 5W30 PUP / Fram Ultra #9688
'10 Hyundai Elantra 2.0L 5W30 (50%) / 5W20 (50%) QSUD / Fram Ultra #9688
'07 Kia Sedona 3.8L 5W30 Castrol EP / Fram Ultra #9999
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5358970 02/24/20 02:11 PM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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The thing that surprised me the most was how easy it was to do. Lay underneath the car and bam, drain plug is right there. To refill it, I just shoved a long funnel into the dipstick tube and did it up in the engine bay.

Just about anything else on this car requires taking the entire car apart and putting it back together it seems.


2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
HK conv 5w20, STP blue bottle, PrimeGuard POF4610 filter.
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5358983 02/24/20 02:28 PM
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Egg_Head Offline
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2004 vintage MaxLife? Wow, no telling what that formulation may have been, pre-Dex-VI I would assume, so mostly a DEX-III type?
Can you send us a picture of the back label?

Last edited by Egg_Head; 02/24/20 02:30 PM.

1979 Garelli Rally Sport
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Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: Egg_Head] #5358984 02/24/20 02:32 PM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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Last edited by cwilliamsws6; 02/24/20 02:36 PM.

2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
HK conv 5w20, STP blue bottle, PrimeGuard POF4610 filter.
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5358985 02/24/20 02:34 PM
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jayjr1105 Offline
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Originally Posted by cwilliamsws6
It was Dex-III, yes

Not my picture but this is the same one:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/p...vlLrpVRKj1mNdhli__iLvlLnB0LWZGU5mdiis4Sg

How much did you change?


2013 Mazda 3 - PP 0w20
2005 Honda Odyssey - PP HM 5w20
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: jayjr1105] #5358986 02/24/20 02:35 PM
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cwilliamsws6 Offline OP
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3 quarts came out, 3 went in.


2007 Honda CR-V LX "The Linoleum Falcon" 210K miles
HK conv 5w20, STP blue bottle, PrimeGuard POF4610 filter.
"Bad decisions make good stories."
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5359011 02/24/20 03:14 PM
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supton Offline
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If it was gray coming out, I would have done a full fluid exchange. The "little at time" change IMO is good only when it's good fluid coming out--which this does not sound like--so the old contaminated fluid is still circulating around. It's just not as bad as it was. Better than nothing but still no great.

However I've never heard of gray fluid coming out, and I have to wonder if this is just a Hail Mary pass... that's tossed at the end of the game. shrug Hopefully not.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5359013 02/24/20 03:14 PM
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jayjr1105 Offline
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Originally Posted by cwilliamsws6
3 quarts came out, 3 went in.

Honda transmissions have more than just the 3 quarts that drain out FYI. V6 models usually have 9 or so quarts. I assume 4 cylinders have less. Drive a few days and drain and fill one more time.


2013 Mazda 3 - PP 0w20
2005 Honda Odyssey - PP HM 5w20
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5359026 02/24/20 03:26 PM
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JeffKeryk Offline
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Gee, ya coulda sprung for some new fluid, doncha think?
Hondas love fresh ATF. I service their transmissions about every 25K; it is soooo easy, why not?


2018 Tesla Model 3, Medium Range Battery
2018 Lexus RX450h
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2006 Acura TSX
2001 Tundra Access Cab, 1998 Accord LX, 1968 Corvette L36 Roadster, 1965 Olds 4-4-2
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: JeffKeryk] #5359031 02/24/20 03:31 PM
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supton Offline
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Not everyone buys their cars brand new... my '99 Camry came to me with 140k on the clock and what I presume was OEM fluid, gauging by the color of what came out. One flush got red fluid in it, a second got most of any residual black stuff.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Changed my ATF, difference is crazy! [Re: cwilliamsws6] #5359061 02/24/20 03:58 PM
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csandste Online Content
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Had a MaxLife flush (gasp) on my Soul about 500 miles ago and every thing is AOK. Used it before on my Encore with good effect and will probably use it again.


2017 Kia Soul+ Valvoline Daily Protection 5w30+ a bit of Harvest King syn 5w30-- 75,000 miles
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