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#2494356 - 01/15/12 02:23 PM Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid
aga080 Offline


Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Lehigh Valley
Hey guys,

I have been doing some extensive reading on this website, very informative people and seems like a great community smile

I have a 2003 Honda CRV Automatic Transmission 4 wheel drive.

I have read everywhere that I have to use the Honda brand ATF-Z1 or the ATF-DW1.

I drained the transmission by accident (dont ask) and I want to top it off with the correct fluid but Honda is closed and I need to get back to school tonight.

Is it safe to throw in any other brand ATF?

Thanks guys, sorry I am a newb and my first post is a thread..

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#2494364 - 01/15/12 02:26 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
dan_erickson Online   content


Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 535
Loc: Crown Point, IN
A lot of people use Valvoline Max Life
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#2494369 - 01/15/12 02:28 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 19528
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
Either Valvoline Maxlife ATF or Castrol Import Vehicles ATF will be good for emergency.


Edited by HTSS_TR (01/15/12 02:29 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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#2494377 - 01/15/12 02:38 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5410
Loc: New England
Some foreign car parts places carry OEM fluids. Place near me even sells the DW-1 for a few bucks cheaper than the dealer, too!
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#2494402 - 01/15/12 02:58 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19269
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Maxlife or Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle.
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#2494410 - 01/15/12 03:06 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
aga080 Offline


Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Lehigh Valley
Will adding one of these multi-vehicle ATFs to the current Z1 act as a permanent fix for the meantime? Or is this just a temporary solution?

Thanks for the replies btw, i really appreciate it.

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#2494416 - 01/15/12 03:09 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
EricF Offline


Registered: 07/14/09
Posts: 1645
Loc: SF Bay Area
+1 to Maxlife or Castrol Import
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#2494418 - 01/15/12 03:11 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19269
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Originally Posted By: aga080
Will adding one of these multi-vehicle ATFs to the current Z1 act as a permanent fix for the meantime? Or is this just a temporary solution?

Thanks for the replies btw, i really appreciate it.


Yes the two can be mixed permanently, according to the people who make the multi-vehicle stuff.
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#2494427 - 01/15/12 03:15 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 40523
Loc: New Jersey
Ive heard a lot of good about maxlife in the MB circles, and would use it.

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#2494831 - 01/15/12 08:47 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
cancov Offline


Registered: 06/13/11
Posts: 738
Loc: North Carolina
Check CarQuest if you have that chain local to you. I was in there the other day and they carried Toyota and Honda specific OEM ATF and Antifreeze fluids.
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#2494952 - 01/15/12 10:32 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
Mau Offline


Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 700
Loc: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Wait, you drained the transmission without buying the oil that you will be replacing it with? Is this common practice?

But anyways, Valvoline Maxlife ATF will be a good replacement for DW-1
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#2495013 - 01/15/12 11:51 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: Mau]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 19528
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
Originally Posted By: Mau
Wait, you drained the transmission without buying the oil that you will be replacing it with? Is this common practice?

But anyways, Valvoline Maxlife ATF will be a good replacement for DW-1

I think he removed the transmission plug thinking it was oil plug, if he was changing the oil. Some cars have the two plugs close together.
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#2495343 - 01/16/12 11:48 AM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: HTSS_TR]
Mau Offline


Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 700
Loc: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
Originally Posted By: Mau
Wait, you drained the transmission without buying the oil that you will be replacing it with? Is this common practice?

But anyways, Valvoline Maxlife ATF will be a good replacement for DW-1

I think he removed the transmission plug thinking it was oil plug, if he was changing the oil. Some cars have the two plugs close together.


I strongly doubt it, Honda's for sure stamp on the pans near the bolt if its an engine oil drain bolt (with an arrow!). Plus the two bolts are different, transmission drain bolt you have to put a ratchet's head right into the bolt where as the engine oil drain bolt will require I believe a 17mm socket.
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#2495398 - 01/16/12 12:47 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
NateDN10 Offline


Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 1711
Loc: Rochester, NY
It's up to you whether you want to stick with it long term. I have used MaxLife ATF long term without issue, but I can't say I've done any scientific testing to back it up.


Edited by NateDN10 (01/16/12 12:48 PM)
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2016 Mazda3 - 11,000 mi.
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#2495452 - 01/16/12 01:42 PM Re: Need help quick! 2003 Honda CRV Transmission fluid [Re: aga080]
Boss302fan Offline


Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 2361
Loc: Oconomowoc Wi
Maxlife is fine and I know because I used it for years in a 2001 Honda CRV...


Edited by Boss302fan (01/16/12 01:42 PM)
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