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2013 Honda Civic, Transmission flush

I’m new here, like I listen to the old podcasts of CarTalk, which I love. It also got I’m me interested in doing my own car maintenance but slowly over time like changing the cabin and engine filters, and small stuff like replacing brake lights and etc.

I have a 2013 Honda Civic LX, with a little over 54k miles. It runs fine, I came to the Honda dealer and they said along with the oil change, which I originally came to do, I need to do a brake replacement/brake flush (which I figured I need to do because the brakes started screeching a little this past week) but they mentioned I need to do a transmission flush immediately. I was curious how important I do that at 54k miles. I declined the service and said I’ll come back to do it later.

I know very minimal about car maintenance so I’m open to any and all suggestions about things I should be able to do on my own.

This car comes with a 5 speed automatic from what I can see. Is that the transmission you have? You didn’t say but normally people in the US assume every car has an auto trans.

Now go to your car, open the glovebox, remove the manual and go to the maintenance section. Look for transmission fluid change and see what it says. At the very least, change the trans fluid using the severe service mileage even if you don’t think you qualify!

Even given that, I’d recommend a fluid change every 60K miles for most any car. Many on this site will recommend every 30K. Why? Because it won’t hurt anything, is far cheaper than a transmission rebuild and because Honda’s automatic transmissions have a history of being a bit less than reliable as miles pile up.

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Flushing the brake fluid, while not a bad idea, is unlikely to help with the screeching brakes. Something else is going on, like worn-out brake pads. Check 'em.

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Sorry for not specifiying, it’s an Automatic.

Gotcha, I just wanted to be sure because I haven’t had a problem before with the transmission and wouldn’t know what to look for even if I did.

I am one that opposes transmission flushing. But if it specifies “flush” in owners manual it must be ok. If it says service, than fluid change is recommended. Many dealerships will try to sell unnecessary flushes for profit. Brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant flushes are a good thing done on schedule. I don’t know about Civics, but the CRV transmission has a special procedure for transmission fluid change. It is also important to use Honda transmission fluid in these.

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Yea I can agree with that too. How difficult is it to change the brake pads, the rotors and the flush the brake fluid yourself? If it’s something I can do I rather do it then spend hours at the dealer, who may/may not do it right the first time.

Not that hard for a DIY’er. Brake fluid flushes are far more important than most realize. Brake fluid absorbs water over time. That causes corrosion from the INside out. Changing fluid every 3 years is a very good idea and mandated in places like the UK and Germany.

You need a jack, at least 2 jackstands and hand tools to change brake pads. Some need a special wrench or spreader. Others can get by with a 6 inch C-clamp. Search on YouTube for brake pad changes on you car. I’d bet you find a bunch.

Brake fluid flush just requires a clear tube, a clean bottle, a wrench that fits the bleed screw, a bottle of fresh brake fluid and a friend to push the brake pedal.

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Transmission flushes are recommended by dealers for the reasons outlined in this article.


I second the motion to read your owners manual. For many years, Honda specifically recommended against flushing the transmission. But over the years, it appears that the technology of transmission flushing has changed, so check your owners manual to see what it says on this subject.

Honda did for many years recommend a transmission drain and refill every 30k miles. That would only replace about 40% of the ATF, but if done on a regular schedule, it would keep enough fresh additives in the transmission for it to outlast the vehicle in most cases. A flush was unnecessary.

I always flush my brake system whenever I replace the pads. I don’t do it between pad changes though.

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