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Old 03-07-2008, 06:14 PM
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Automatic Transmission Fluid Color

My 2007 Honda Accord Coupe V6 LX AT is approaching 9K miles, and I decided to check the transmission fluid color. The vast majority of my 9K miles has been in pretty bad stop-and-go traffic, so I am keeping a close eye on my transmission.

I took photos of the fluid wiped off from the dipstick. If is a little hard to tell the color from the photo, I would say that the color is light brown with a tint of light orange.

Is my fluid still okay?

(the dirt specs in one of the photos were from something else, not the transmission)

Thanks!!
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:26 PM
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It's about normal for a stop/go type use. It will darken somewhat.

If it turns a deep brown or blackish, change it. Your car could be a candidate for 15k fluid changes if it only ever sees city driving. Regardless of what the manual says. (90k changes)
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:21 AM
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FredSVT has the right idea. Spend $20 every 15K and keep that fluid clean. I have been doing 15K drain and fills. The fluid stays real clean and my car shifts sooooo smooth. Just like when it was new.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:27 PM
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I know an automatic transmission fluid engineer for GM, and I asked him whether or not the color of ATF is evidence of fluid condition.

His answer was that it generally isn't. The newest transmission fluids he said, are able to hold contaminants in suspension better than their predecessors. Thus, if the clutch material is a carbon fiber material, it would be normal for the fluid to darken very quickly as the fluid is doing its job.

In addition, before anyone states that a fluid's color change is due to oxidation, the newer Group II base oils have eliminated oxidation problems completely. Therefore, the fluid's failure mode is now due to friction system failure, not oxidation.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermann View Post
FredSVT has the right idea. Spend $20 every 15K and keep that fluid clean. I have been doing 15K drain and fills. The fluid stays real clean and my car shifts sooooo smooth. Just like when it was new.
+1 I was amazed how brown my ATF was for the mileage when I changed it at 15K on my AV6 and my wife's 2006 Ody. When I changed it again at 30K on my wife's Ody, it looked a lot more fresh, which tells me it's even more important to get that first 15K worth of crap out of that fluid.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:59 PM
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Thanks guys for all the tips and advice!

I am currently planning to start doing an ATF drain and fill every time I do an oil change (which is about every 5K according to the MM).
I figure this would be in place of a 15K drain and fill 3 times. My reasoning is that an ATF drain-and-fill every 5K miles allows for more fresh fluid to be in there versus 3 ATF drain-and-fills every 15K (I am assuming dirtier fluid near the end of the 15K). (both situations are the same total mileage and total fluid used)

I have been looking over Armystrong's guide and it looks pretty easy:
http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=14714
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:16 PM
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Again, just my opinion, but there's absolutely no reason to change it at this mileage. You really are not gaining anything and the fluid is behaving as designed.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:26 PM
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And a waste of money. But hey, it's your money so do whatever makes you happy.

I've got about 250 miles to go before doing an oil and ATF change.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:52 AM
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Again, just my opinion, but there's absolutely no reason to change it at this mileage. You really are not gaining anything and the fluid is behaving as designed.
Based on what I saw in my Ody and my AV6, the first ATF change at 15K is essential, but the second one could maybe wait until 45K, and then maybe every 30k thereafter. The fluid still looked pretty good at 30K when I changed it out on my wife's Ody (after also having done it at 15K).
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Succinct View Post
Based on what I saw in my Ody and my AV6, the first ATF change at 15K is essential, but the second one could maybe wait until 45K, and then maybe every 30k thereafter. The fluid still looked pretty good at 30K when I changed it out on my wife's Ody (after also having done it at 15K).
Again, appearance should not be used to judge a fluid's condition. The fluid is suspending the contaminants as it should therefore it will discolor.

Just like motor oil, it is supposed to discolor.
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:54 PM
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Again, appearance should not be used to judge a fluid's condition. The fluid is suspending the contaminants as it should therefore it will discolor.

Just like motor oil, it is supposed to discolor.
So if it isn't even discolored, then there aren't any contaminants supended yet. Even better!
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:58 PM
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So if it isn't even discolored, then there aren't any contaminants supended yet. Even better!
Someone else finally gets it!
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:58 PM
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My 2006 Accord EX-L 4 Cylinder Automatic Transmission is being replaced under warranty as we speak with only 23,500 miles on it. Fluid was leaking out faster than i could check it and Tranny was acting lame like i was in drive all the time instead of overdrive.
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:44 PM
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So if it isn't even discolored, then there aren't any contaminants supended yet. Even better!
I think you missed the point. Contaminants are going to build up and be suspended the moment you pour in the fluid.

How often is enough is the question. Obviously the OEM has decided for us based on their testing. Do whatever you want, it's your car, but I just think that you are changing it way too often.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:54 PM
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The real issue here for me is that a good transmission shouldn't need fluid changed very often. The auto trannies in the Gen 7 honda V6 are not designed properly. Hondas are know for reliable and economical service. The auto trannys don't live up to this.
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