Previous in Forum: Carbon Fiber Fluid Accumulator   Next in Forum: Roof Mist Cooling System Design
Close
Close
Close
19 comments
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33

Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/20/2019 6:40 AM

Good day to all!

I own a Honda CRV 2011 which has 130,000 km (aprox 90 K miles). For 100,000 km all services were made at Honda, from there on, at a mechanic in my neigborhood.

Recently a friend asked If I had the "automatic gearbox serviced"... also saying that there was a certain filter inside, which -if not timely replaced- would cause terrible things to happen.

Here I have to say that automatic gearboxes are not very popular down here because people "who really like driving" prefer shifting gears (!!!??).

I asked my mechanic, who scratched his head and said something like: yeah ... hmmm, filter.... and later explained that there is a filter to be changed located in the depths of the gearbox, and that changing it is like performing a brain surgery.

The guy at the oil change place said they do a "partial oil change" meaning they drain only the oil "from this part of the gearbox" while there seems to be oil in "another (seemingly secludad) part" that cannot be changed. This "partial oil change" is of about 1 galllon, while 2 more gallons seem to remain inside. He also agreed with my mechanic about the filter saying that the gear box had to be removed to do so... and that there was a risk of damaging certain misterious and VERY expensive sensors....

As all car factories earn a lot of money selling "original parts and consumables" I wonder why Honda would make the access to such a part so difficult if regular changes were needed.

Please enlighten me about this matter!

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain. Kettle's on.
Posts: 30332
Good Answers: 818
#1

Re: Automatic gearbox maintenance?

05/20/2019 7:01 AM

The purpose of a <...filter...> is to block the passage of solids. In doing so, it presents an increasing resistance to flow over time.

Whether it needs to be serviced or replaced within the lifetime of the vehicle depends on a number of factors that cannot be evaluated from here.

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Automatic gearbox maintenance?

05/20/2019 7:50 AM

".... In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again...."

Excerpt from "Being There" (1979) by Peter Sellers

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Register to Reply Score 2 for Off Topic
2
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 31068
Good Answers: 1728
#3

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/20/2019 9:23 AM

Ha ha sounds like your mechanic is planning on taking you for a ride...the filter is actually mounted outside the transmission and can be changed in a few minutes, cost about $8.....

The whole job less than $60 in materials...

https://www.crvownersclub.com/forums/19-maintenance-service/156201-2011-transmission-fluid-change-119-a.html

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33
#4
In reply to #3

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/20/2019 7:50 PM

Thanks for your input (also glad you did not unsubscribe so far )

I have seen 5 or 6 videos and I got a bit more confused as some just drain the ATF and replace with new oil, others also change the filter (as if it were a regular oil filter)

... and finally there is this guy who changes oil and filter and also pumps the remaining oil out by starting the engine during the procedure.

My question is which is right for a car with 130 K kilometres?

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 1058
Good Answers: 70
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/20/2019 10:45 PM

Your owner's manual will cover the subject of periodic maintenance quite completely. If they say it is a lifetime filter, then leave it be, unless you are running the vehicle into severe operating conditions, also usually well described in the manual.

250,000 miles on an automatic transmission without any fluid exchange or filter replacement, relatively normal driving conditions, is my experience. Getting past 150,00 miles with no repair history is pretty good, none of the repairs appear to be those that would have been fixed by a fluid change. In fact, I've often wondered if taking it apart and working on it probably leaves you more exposed to possible damage and errors than if you did nothing.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33
#9
In reply to #5

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 6:43 AM

Well, that´s exactly the kind of discussion I am looking for: I don´t have any experience in these kind of gear boxes.. there are a lot of urban myths around... and Honda´s use manual does not say THAT much (information is also biased to direct you to a dealership for the procedure).

Thank you

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 31068
Good Answers: 1728
#6
In reply to #4

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/20/2019 10:59 PM

Yes it does seem to be confusing....My take is that it is not good practice to empty the transmission completely, but rather preferable to change the transmission fluid in steps, 1/3 at a time...so that in the end you have mostly new fluid...It seems the method to this madness is that no air pockets are allowed into the transmission which can damage the inner workings, clutches and such....Truthfully I don't understand what may be unique about this type of transmission as I have had several automatic transmissions over the years and flushing the transmission fluid is regular procedure around 75k miles....This takes a special machine that pumps the old fluid out while pumping the new fluid in..for about $75...plus materials....but I defer to the Honda crv owners club, they should know the best way...

..."Yep--drain--Fill,, drive for a few days or a week

Repeat--do this 3 or 4 times depending on how the fluid looks.
never a good idea to Flush a Trans.
use Honda Fluid only--it cost the same as aftermarket
Look for recent post--it's been discussed a lot lately."...

https://www.crvownersclub.com/forums/19-maintenance-service/156201-2011-transmission-fluid-change-119-a.html

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33
#12
In reply to #6

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 7:50 AM

I agree with you about emptying the transmission completely... sounds a bit scary to me!

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NASA-Glenn Research Center, Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 389
Good Answers: 17
#14
In reply to #6

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 8:28 AM

no special pump needed, disconnect the line that goes to the radiator. you can figure out which is supply and which is return by starting the engine. the tranny pump will empty the fluid for you.

Register to Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4357
Good Answers: 53
#7

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 12:07 AM

Hi R&D,

I highly recommend changing the transmission fluid and while you're at it, change the filter. The Honda CR-V is a great little SUV, but Honda's have one weak spot - automatic transmissions ... well, the other weak spot is overheated engines due to coolant leaks (their heads damage easily), but that's another thread.

Okay, back to the tranny. The fluid that's "stuck" in the transmission is in the torque converter. The torque converter attaches to the flexplate (like a flywheel on a manual transmission setup). The torque converter is filled with transmission fluid and allows slippage from the motor (flexplate) to the input shaft of the transmission. The torque converter also functions as a torque multiplier using fluid flow through vanes.

Why does the fluid need to be changed? Heat is generated in the torque converter and the transmission. The heat breaks down the transmission fluid, so by100K miles the transmission fluid may have become slightly brownish vs bright red when new. The fluid is no longer doing the job it should and must be changed. When you drain the fluid, check the condition of the old fluid. If it's bright red, you're in good shape. If it's slightly dark red/brown, you're most likely still in good shape, but you should get all the old fluid out. If it's dark brown and smells bad, you have a big problem - dump the old fluid back in and keep driving until the tranny dies. If the fluid is slightly dark red/brown, you can get all the fluid out by powerflushing, but it's not recommended. Doing the drain/fill/drive, drain/fill/drive ... routine is the best way to do it.

And change the filter. It's cheap insurance - if there are particles in the filter, it could come to a point where the fluid doesn't flow enough due to the debris. Also, there's a chance the media in the filter could break and all that junk goes back into the transmission.

One last tip - the drain plug on automatic transmissions is usually magnetized, so any iron particles will "stick" to the drain plug. When you pull the drain plug, make sure you clean it and check for particles. A little "metal dust" is okay, but if there are chunks or too much dust, you're in trouble.

Since automatic transmission are rare where you're at, the cost of maintenance could be much higher. Your mechanic has to "learn" how to properly change the filter and fluid, so he's going to bill you for the education. There are also very few "professionals" who know about the Honda CR-V automatic transmission, so you'll pay a premium. Here in the US, most of us have automatic transmissions. Back in 1985 or so, my sister had a 1981 Pontiac Firebird with a TH 200 transmission (cheaply made transmission). The tranny died at around 41K miles, so I had it towed to the transmission shop and they swapped it out for a rebuilt TH 350 - labor, parts, fluid, shop supplies, etc. Total price $195! The TH 350 was a much better tranny. Of course, being a 301 Pontiac engine with a smog Quadrajet, it was not only gutless, but it wound up losing a bearing around 68K miles. We made some pretty pathetic cars in that era.

Sorry to get off subject. Good luck and happy motoring!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
2
Active Contributor

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 17
Good Answers: 3
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 3:03 AM

What Autobroker says is spot on. My original trade was a Motor-Mechanic before I made a career in computers. That is why I always changed the oil every 40,000 Klm. That way the fluid in the Torque-converter stays fairly new also.

Some Torque-convertors have a drain plug. If the bellhousing has an inspection port, one can undo the plug, turn the outer housing to BDC and drain it too. Some, I used to drill a hole in the bottom of the bell-housing to enable this. But I guess that one is for the cognoscenti.

So the drain drive procedure is all you have.

BTW. If you do drain the torque-converter:

1. Fill up transmission to full line on dipstick.

2. Start engine and let idle for a few minutes.

3. Keep topping up a bit at a time until level stays steady.

This is a good idea anyhow, as the pump may pump oil into an area which filling up won't reach.

Purrrr....Marum.(El gato que juega del ajedrez)

Though it is a bit late for your car, adding an oil cooler is very beneficial for <b>all</b> autos. It increases the oil capacity, and lowers the oil temperature. Thus minimizing thermal degradation of the oil.

__________________
Marum
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33
#10
In reply to #8

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 7:15 AM

Hi, Thanks a lot for your input !

It has been of great help.

GA!

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4357
Good Answers: 53
#18
In reply to #8

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/22/2019 3:43 AM

Great point Ralph. Adding an external transmission cooler helps keep the transmission fluid from overheating. If you ever tow something or you're driving steep hills, it's a must.

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33
#11
In reply to #7

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 7:46 AM

Thanks a lot for the info Autobroker ! I will do as you say.

GA!

In my country, until 10 or 15 years ago automatic transmission vehicles were considered as a bad purchase because they were extremely hard to sell, mainly because of the "good drivers shift gears" concept (sort of a "macho" statement).

The real reasons may well have been a bit more realistic: there was a relative scarce number of mechanics trained in their maintenance / repair and that spare parts were difficult to be found.

Nowadays AT is the first choice for people who spend hours in highways while commuting.

In smaller towns / countryside MT is still the first option.

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Edinburgh, Bonnie Scotland
Posts: 1282
Good Answers: 22
#16
In reply to #11

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 1:18 PM

Another reason for mainly manual cars was fuel consumption. Up until the 90s auto trannys were usually three speed, so drank lots at high speed. Manual had 5 or 6 speeds so could run more efficiently.

Now both are many geared and computer operated to get the most from the users driving style.

__________________
Madness is all in the mind
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts
Posts: 4357
Good Answers: 53
#19
In reply to #11

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/22/2019 3:45 AM

You're very welcome! Good luck with your CR-V - it's a great car!

__________________
Enjoy and be happy! Life is too short!
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NASA-Glenn Research Center, Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 389
Good Answers: 17
#13

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 8:24 AM

the filter does not need to be changed. it will last a lifetime. old time filters made of cloth or fiberous polymer did need replacing but these are a metal mesh and will be fine. the fluid change that they usually do is not as good a way to do things. there is a lot of oil in the torque converter. the proper way to replace the oil is to disconnect the line that goes to the radiator and put it into a large bucket. while someone is sitting in the drivers seat, you will need to have your new fluid ready to fill, as the engine is started, the pump will drain the old oil into your bucket while you are pouring new fluid into the fill port. once you see the oil change from a dark brown to the light red color, have the friend shut the engine off. attach the line back to the radiator and run for a while and check the fluid level and top off if needed. it too much is in, drain some.

this is the way to correctly do it.

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 7960
Good Answers: 284
#15

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 9:46 AM

Perhaps it is a problem of erroneous ratios...

"... 130,000 km (aprox 90 K miles) ..."

130,000 km ~= 80,730 or approximately 80 K miles.

__________________
Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge. - George Santayana
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 1680
Good Answers: 33
#17
In reply to #15

Re: Automatic Gearbox Maintenance?

05/21/2019 5:12 PM

I actually eyeballed figures...

__________________
the more I move, the deeper I get stuck !
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 19 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Autobroker (3); GM1964 (1); PWSlack (1); r&ddoc (7); Ralph Hamilton (1); rwilliams (1); setlock77 (2); SolarEagle (2); truth is not a compromise (1)

Previous in Forum: Carbon Fiber Fluid Accumulator   Next in Forum: Roof Mist Cooling System Design

Advertisement