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How to drain ATF on a 2009 Accord V-6?

As some of you know, I’m doing some of the maintenance required after 100k miles. I’ve changed the oil, rotated the tires and changed the spark plugs (that was fun). Now I need to change the Automatic transmission fluid. Sound simple, right?
Uh-uh. Tried to do it Thursday and I snapped off a ratchet extension trying to break the ATF filler plug loose. Bought a new breaker bar and a new of extensions and got it off this morning. Got the drain plug open and…nothing came out.
In the YouTube videos I watched, as soon as the drain plug was loosened, a torrent of dark red ATF gushed into to pan. Mine is shy I suppose.
I had it jacked up and on a jack stand to ease access to the drain plug, so I figured gravity was agin’ me and lowered it then jacked up the passenger side.
I lowered that and jacked up the right rear, still with both holes open. Nothing. Not a drop.
I had my son start the engine and change gears (part to neutral and back) with both plug off.

After having spent a day and a half plus about $50.00 in tools and supplies, I’d hate to have to take it to the dealership.
How do I get the fargin’ fluid out?

You’re following the procedure Honda recommends for servicing the tranny fluid.

Have you tried poking in the drain hole to see if there’s any blockage?


“… trying to break the ATF filler plug loose.”

Of course, you meant ATF drain plug, right?. You either have blockage, per Tester, or you took the wrong “plug” out.

EDIT: Never mind; the V6 is different from my 4-cyls.

Honda procedure:

Remove fill plug.

Remove drain plug.


"Honda procedure:

Remove fill plug.

Remove drain plug."

My Honda Service Manual lists that procedure for the manual transmission.

EDIT: Never mind; Tester’s right.

Does the dip stick indicate the level is ok? If so, then check for blockage in the drain hole.

Crawl under there and take a picture of the work area to include the hole the plug came out of. Post the picture in your thread…I have a feeling whatever you removed was not the transmission drain plug…

Those fill plugs are on very tight. I just about broke mine too.

One thing you may be missing is “on a level surface”. It has to be level, not jacked up so that might be why. Also it should be serviced every 30,000 not 100,000. Also use new washers.

We can all assume car was on fairly level surface since OP was able to safely jack up car and support it with jack stands. He is alive after all.

We can all assume car was on fairly level surface since OP was able to safely jack up car and support it with jack stands. He is alive after all.

1st rule of Internet forums, assume nothing !

Yes, I used the beaker bar to loosen the FIll Plug, not the drain plug.
Yes, this is regular maintenance. The dealership says this is one of three service items due after 100k miles. the other two are timing belt and spark plugs. I’ve already done the spark plugs and I’m going to let them to the timing belt.

It was on a level surface before I jacked it up to get access to the drain plug. If if keep it on a level surface - that is, not jacked up - I can’t reach the drain plug and put a bucket under it.

And I don’t know why my posts show up now as “AuroraPilot3.5”. That was me in a past life, before I learned the error of my ways and became a Hondaphile. :slight_smile:
My CarTalk accounts are conflated or something.

@AuroraPilot3.5‌, I’m looking into the account issue. We recently tried to fix a longstanding bug that affected people with different usernames on the two different sides of the site. You have two account names under one e-mail address. Let’s see if I can help you out here.

I’m interested in your picture as well. It still sounds like you have a blockage and or maybe have the incorrrect plug removed. pics are worth many 2cents.

Please clarify if the fluid has been changed on schedule so far (probably every 30,000 miles). Your wording makes me wonder if you think this was the first time it was supposed to be changed, which would be bad. I don’t know if transmission fluid could sludge up like engine oil if it’s not changed, but it’s worth knowing the full story here.

Mea culpa re: my mistake on fill plug /drain plug. OP, have you stuck a rod into this “drain” hole. The lowest case bolt has been mistaken for a drain. The drain uses a 3/8" drive (no socket needed). Is this what you removed?

If you can’t get under it without being jacked up, then you need to take it somewhere. You aren’t going to have much luck if the front end is jacked up or the rear end or one side or the other. Seems to me once the plug is loosened you should be able to reach under to unscrew it all the way. At least that’s what I do.

Did this drain plug have a square internal socket head and a magnet attached that extends into the transmission ?? A slight tilt would not have prevented the oil from running out…Fill plug ? From what I can see, the transmission has a dip-stick and it is filled by pouring ATF down the dip-stick tube with a long, thin funnel…

Back then I believe they used a fill plug and now use a dip stick and no fill plug. I had to use a 3 foot breaker to get mine loose on the 08. Pretty explicit about having it level when you drain it but sure wouldn’t hurt to make sure it is at the full level now. But there is a procedure for checking too with the engine not running but after it has run until the fan comes on, then checked withing 90 seconds or something like that.

My 2005 Accord V6 has a dip stick tube that doubles as a filler port for AT fluid. The drain is at the back of the transmission. You could put the car on 4 Jack stands to raise it about 4 inches. That should be enough to get under it.