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#1224170 - 08/26/08 11:05 AM Honda ATF Question
kschachn Online   content


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 7461
Loc: Upper Midwest
I know this question starts to overlap some that have already been asked, but I couldn't find anything exactly the same.

The owner's manual for a 1996 Honda Accord specifies the following for the automatic transmission fluid:

"Use Honda Premium Formula Automatic Transmission Fluid or an equivalent DEXRON II Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) only."

So I read this to say that Honda fluid isn't required. A lot of searching shows that some Hondas require the Honda ATF but apparently not this one. But on the other hand a lot of people/sites still recommend using the Honda fluid because it supposedly gives better shifting qualities. So what should I use?

The only reason I ask is because I generally use Mobil 1 ATF and either I use it here or I buy the Honda. No big deal really but I have quite a stash of the Mobil 1 sitting around.
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 215K
1996 Honda Accord, 224K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 365K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 260K

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#1224172 - 08/26/08 11:07 AM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: kschachn]
firemachine69 Offline


Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 1967
Loc: Sudbury, ON, Canada
I'd go for the M1 myself, personally.

Wow, DEX-II? I can't recall the last time I heard that spec'd for a tranny!
_________________________
I have a very bad mem... What were we talking about again?

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#1224197 - 08/26/08 11:27 AM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: firemachine69]
Audi Junkie Offline


Registered: 11/03/02
Posts: 11247
Loc: PA
In trans and gears is where you get the best cost/benefit of synth products. M1 all the way.
_________________________
2008 Opel Astra 1.8 VVT 5M
2010 VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI 6M
(APR Powered)

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#1224219 - 08/26/08 11:54 AM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: Audi Junkie]
Ken2 Offline


Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 6380
Loc: Washington St.
Honda transmissions are the only ones I know of where Dexron-III is not directly interchangeable with long-obsolete Dexron-II. In this case, Dexron-III plus Lube-gard black bottle supplement works very well.

Many modern ATF, including the latest version of Mobil 1 ATF, are multi-vehicle formulas where they'll work better in many brands of transmissions than straight Dexron-III. This latest version of Mobil 1 ATF has a specific recommendation for use in Hondas.

And, of course, we all know that there is no more "real" Dexron-III ATF, GM has stopped licensing Dexron-III makers...but Dexron-III ATF is still being made and sold under various other names including official Allison TES-389.
_________________________
Every gun that is made, every warship launched..a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.
Gen. Eisenhower


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#1224236 - 08/26/08 12:20 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: Ken2]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8052
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
I use Amsoil ATF in my Honda AT and it works flawlessly. Original trans @ 140k going strong.
_________________________
07 Honda Accord - 583k - Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage 5W-20/Fram Ultra

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#1224240 - 08/26/08 12:26 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: ThirdeYe]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 13498
Loc: Silicon Valley
Currently using Maxlife in my 97 Integra and it works great too.
_________________________
"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah

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#1224261 - 08/26/08 01:06 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: PandaBear]
IntegraVT Offline


Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 339
Loc: Northern NJ
There was a time before Honda ATF-Z1? :-)

j/k, my 94 Teg had the same Dex II rec. You should be way okay with the M1 in your stash.

Things only got interesting after the compact 5AT was introduced...

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#1224262 - 08/26/08 01:08 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: PandaBear]
peking Offline


Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 115
Loc: Apple Valley, MN
When I had my 94 Accord, I used Maxlife ATF with Lubegard (red cap) and it worked great. These days, I use Honda Z1 or CVT fluid.
_________________________
2007 Honda Civic Hybrid: M1 0W-20
2006 Honda Accord EX: M1 5W-20
2001 Honda Civic EX: SynPower 5W-20

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#1224337 - 08/26/08 02:33 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: IntegraVT]
benjamming Offline


Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 5855
Loc: northern Alabama
 Originally Posted By: IntegraVT
{snip}Things only got interesting after the compact 5AT was introduced...



They were "interesting" as well with the 4-speed AT in the 6th gen (98-02) Accord as well.

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#1224405 - 08/26/08 03:31 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: benjamming]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
Why quote one car that is kinda outdated?

But people should know that many Honda transmissions are WAY different than normal.
They actually shift the gears, not use clutch packs and bands with the gears always engaged. This obviously would require a different sauce.

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#1224438 - 08/26/08 04:08 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: mechtech2]
benjamming Offline


Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 5855
Loc: northern Alabama
to correct the statement that things were only bad with the introduction of the 5AT.

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#1224919 - 08/27/08 12:16 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: benjamming]
meep Offline


Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 3171
Loc: Southeast
In a Dex-spec AT, I'd choose Dex VI over M1 ATF. I've used both, but not in same car. Dex VI seems a bit thinner, more consistent over temp range in my experience. Just an opinion tho, M1 ATF is great fluid.

M
_________________________
2006 Tundra 2wd
2015 crv (wifey!)
2005 s60 2.4L

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#1224943 - 08/27/08 12:52 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: mechtech2]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 9517
Loc: Buffalo, NY
 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
But people should know that many Honda transmissions are WAY different than normal.
They actually shift the gears, not use clutch packs and bands with the gears always engaged. This obviously would require a different sauce.


Right. They are odd ducks with sliding gear sets like an MT, but each gear has it's own stack of clutch pack disks/rings associated with it.

Joel
_________________________
2016 Subaru Forester 2.5, CVT. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)

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#1226000 - 08/28/08 09:58 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: JTK]
Audi Junkie Offline


Registered: 11/03/02
Posts: 11247
Loc: PA
I believe the LG Red wore out and shifts got hard after a year.
_________________________
2008 Opel Astra 1.8 VVT 5M
2010 VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI 6M
(APR Powered)

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#1226272 - 08/29/08 01:03 PM Re: Honda ATF Question [Re: Audi Junkie]
harry j Offline


Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1503
Loc: Wilmington, NC
I am using Amsoil ATF in my '93 Civic, 253,000 miles, try it, you'll like it.

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