I have a '00 Civic EX automatic with 180k trouble-free miles under its belt and I am bringing it in for brakes this afternoon and plan to have the transmission fluid done as well. I had this car in college and a total of 10 years this spring. Overall I realize I’ve been too lax with maintenance items and especially since I can afford it now, I need to be more diligent about it. I’m also interested in trying to DIY some of these things. On to my current dilemma:
About 100k ago I had the transmission “flushed” at Jiffy Lube. I know, it is the worst thing I could probably do. The good news is that my tranny performs the same as it always has. No slipping, no clunking, no resistance when shifting. I want to remedy the fluid situation, but my research has left me wondering what the best move is. On one hand, the Civic’s service manual says “drain and fill” for ATF at regular intervals. On the other hand, I’ve neglected “regular intervals” and probably have some worn out fluid in there. From what I understand, today’s “fluid exchange” units are much easier on the tranny than the old “flush” procedure and use the transmission’s own pump to work the fluid in and old fluid out. I’ve also seen the opinion that if your tranny is working fine now, then a “flush” is probably not going to harm anything.
So out of the two options, should get all that old fluid out (I don’t even know what kind it is) with the exchange machine and move forward from there with a regular “drain and fill” interval, or should I just start draining and filling on an accelerated schedule (say every oil change) for 3-4 times to slowly replace most of the fluid with something like Maxlife, which is a replacement from the Honda Z1. The shop I’m going to pushes BG products, so I know they will want to push the BG Universal ATF, which I think is OK as well. It will just be harder to get to do my own drain and fills in the future. I’m not sure if they will even let me bring my own ATF. If the BG stuff isn’t a replacement for Z1, I might just look for a shop that will perform the service with Maxlife. Thanks for the input.