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I just bought a 2003 Honda Accord LX 4cyl with a manual transmission. I had no idea what fluids had been changed when, so I'm in the process of changing most of them. I haven't seen a DIY for a manual transmission fluid change on these boards so I figured I would do one because it is so easy! I called the dealership around here and they said it would be $80. I was able to do it myself for about $30 and having never done it before it only took me about an hour. I'm pretty sure this applies to all 4cyl 7th gen accords with a manual tranny.

First of all, just to make things easier jack up the front driver's side of your car and remove the wheel. Remember to loosen your lug nuts a little before jacking the car up. You can easily see the fill and drain plugs with the wheel/tire removed if you know what you're looking for. Below are some pictures to help you out.

drainplug1.jpg
Drain Plug up close

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Drain Plug looking over the rotor so you can get an idea of where to look

fillplug1.jpg
Fill Plug - if you are looking at the drain plug from the wheel well, the fill plug is located up and to the right of it about 6 inches.
 

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The drain plugs are easiest to remove from under the car so make sure the car is well supported with jack and jack stands. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you make sure you can loosen the FILL bolt before you remove the drain plug. Otherwise you may be stuck with an empty manual transmission and no way to fill it. Once you have loosened the fill bolt you can then loosen and remove the drain plug using the head of your ratchet. BEWARE: the fluid comes out with some force so position oil catch pan accordingly.

car 012.jpg
 

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Once all of the fluid has drained go ahead and tighten the drain plug back on. I'm unsure of the torque specs. I just made sure it was on there good and tight. Now its time to fill the manual transmission up. I used Pennzoil Synchromesh Manual Transmission fluid. It will run you about $7 a quart, but the tranny only take a hair over 2 quarts so it won't break the bank. I've heard great things on the boards about GM's friction modified synchromesh but that it too expensive for me. I'm also sure that Honda's MTF would do just fine. I just like to avoid the dealership whenever I can.

car 019.jpg
The skinny spout on this bottle actual makes things a little easier.

The fill plug is horizontal and in a tight spot so you can't pour it straight from the bottle into the tranny and a normal funnel also won't really work. I went to the local hardware store and picked up about 4 feet of plastic tubing which cost about 60 cents a foot. I ran the plastic tubing from the top of the engine down and into the fill hole. I then poured the MTF down the tube and into the tranny until it started leaking out of the hole (my dad was watching for me). It took just over 2 quarts before it started leaking.

car 018.jpg
plastic tubing

car 017.jpg
leaking slightly = full transmission
 

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Then you can put the fill bolt and wheel back on, drop the car and take it out for a spin (and then check to make sure there are no leaks). I noticed a big difference in the shifts. When I first got the car it would buck a little bit when I went from 1st to 2nd and sometimes 2nd to 3rd. I thought I just wasn't used to shifting this tranny yet, but after changing the fluid, everything shifts smooth as can be. Hopefully this was helpful to someone. If I left anything out or if you've got any questions or suggestions just yell.
 

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Thank you for your DIY.

Since you said you're doing all the fluids, remember that you should really use only Honda Power Steering fluid, if not the rack will more than likely leak. It's not a pretty repair! Coolant should be a normal 50/50 mix with no special additives, Honda if you can. (Honda ATF fluid only for those of you with an AT)

www.bernardparts.com is a good resource for fluids.
 

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Thanks for the diy, I'm do for a mtf change soon :)
 

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Fill plug access?

That manual tranny fluid fill plug looks like it's in a tight spot.
Did you need any type of jointed extension to get to it with a ratchet?
Looks like about a 15mm socket?
 

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I dont remember the socket size, but if you go at it from underneath the car it's actually really easy to get to. I dont even think it would be possible to get to it from the wheel well. I think you could also get to it by going from the top of the engine, but going underneath is definitely easiest if you ask me.
 

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Ok, first off, it's not a socket! You take a 3/8 ratchet at put it in there.

Second, a better way to fill up the tranny is just through a long funnel placed in the dipstick tube
Manual tranny cars have dipsticks?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
First of all, you DO use a socket when removing the FILL plug. You use the ratchet head to remove the DRAIN plug.

Second of all, there is NO dipstick tube because there is NO dipstick for the manual transmissions.

Remember this DIY if for manual transmissions only. There is different DIY thread for an automatic transmission fluid change.
 

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Doh! Sorry about that! guess I shouldn't post when I'm tired, lol
 

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This was a really useful post for me. I been wanting to switch mine over to Amsoil and I learned that I'd better purchase 3 quarts, even though the manual says 2 (there is bound to be some spillage). When I went to purchase the items that I didn't have, the funnel, tube, pan to catch the fluid, I figured I'd also price what the local lube place would charge to do the change. I live in the expensive Northeast and they still quoted me $15 bucks (using my oil). I couldn't argue with that, so let them do it for me. I watched and they used the same steps you have. Just like you said, they used 2 quarts, + a little of the 3rd.

I only have 17K on the clock, so there wasn't that much difference in shift quality, but I expect on those 1 or 2 subzero days we get in the next few winters, the shifter will glide right into gear, as I've seen on other trannies running amsoil.
 

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....a good bunch of information........

....and tips for those of us who still shift for ourselves.

Wish $15 would cover the labor to drain/refill my 6M with the GM #12377916 goo that I picked up last spring............

Nice work, Ryan.......

best, ez....
 

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For those who have changed their MTF, this DIY states to jack the front of the car up or at least the driver side. But by doing so there will be some MTF that won't drain out.

Is this a big deal or is it just a residual amount that will remain?
 

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Because of where the drain plug is located, even with the front of the car jacked up, I think the residual old fluid will be pretty minimal. If you are too worried about it though, you can always "flush" it by pouring some new fluid in the fill hole with the drain plug still off, and flush the remaining old fluid out. Personally, I think that would be overkill, but to each his own. Hope this helps
 

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Because of where the drain plug is located, even with the front of the car jacked up, I think the residual old fluid will be pretty minimal. If you are too worried about it though, you can always "flush" it by pouring some new fluid in the fill hole with the drain plug still off, and flush the remaining old fluid out. Personally, I think that would be overkill, but to each his own. Hope this helps
Thanks for the info RyanHaub!
 

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I just got mine changed today, it shift a lot better than usual with Honda trans fluid. slicky slicky... lol Thank you to give me the idea to change it.
 

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I did mine today...so easy, but i wasnt paying attention and a lot drip out hehe :thumbsup:
 
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