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Question about changing the Transmission Fluid and Filter on a 2003 Honda Civic

My wife and I bought her sisters’ 2003 Honda Civic. The car was taken care of, and all the receipts tell a story of being serviced at regular intervals. One thing that is not apparent is if the transmission fluid and filter had been changed. My sister-in-law does not know if it ever had a fluid change and the car now has 135,000 miles on it. What should I do at this point? Any advice would be apprieciated.

I am taking it to the dealership next week to have a recall on the headlights taken care of, as well as an airbag light. Would they be the best choice, or should I try my local garage? Thanks again.

Yes, the fluid shoul be changed every 30,000-50,000 miles! This model Honda may not have a filter, however, please check the owner’s manual. In any case you are long overdue. I’m assumig it’s an automatic.

And a Honda needs Honda fluid, no substitutes!

I don’t think it has a filter that is normally serviced but the fluid needs changing. Use only Honda fluid. It should have a simple drain plug so it is as easy as changing oil. I’d do it 2 or 3 times a few weeks apart since it has never been done. Should take about 4 quarts.

The 2003 CIVIC will have either a regular 3 shaft HONDA transmission or it will have a CVT. Do you know which one it has?? This is very important. The filters in both are internal and to change them the transmission will have to be disassembled SO, you do just a drain and refill every 25-30k miles. This can be done by an independant mechanic BUT make absolutely sure he uses the proper transmission fluid. HONDA FLUID ONLY!!!


It’s a regular 3 shaft HONDA transmission. I will make sure that the proper tranmission fluid gets used. I am going to look at the fluid today after work, if it doesn’t look burnt then I can assume that the fluid had been changed in the past. Thanks for all the advise!