Transmission fluid change

I have a 2005 4-cyl Accord LX sedan.

Reached 60K miles.

The mechanic said I should get the transmission fluid changed. Honda dealer said the same.

But, the car manual says it needs to be changed at 120K.

Any advice?

Thank you!


Why do they say it should be changed? If they have a reason, maybe right, if they want the $$ follow the book.

Following the owner’s manual is usually the way to go - but not so much with trans fluid recommendations.

If you want to maximize the odds of keeping the trans trouble free you should have the pan dropped and filter replaced every 30K miles. So you should be on your second service. This is not a “flush.” I’d stay away from one of those unless the pan & filter come first.

Honda makes great cars, but the auto transmissions in them are not that robust. I’d say the weakest link in a Honda is the auto trans. Therefore I’d opt to change the fluid, 120K is a long time. The car is 5 years old now and at 120K miles it will be 10 or more years old.

You don’t have to use a Honda dealer, but I would advise using only Honda brand transmission fluid. Don’t flush it, and don’t use a “generic” fluid. Doing nothing is better than a flush or filling it with the incorrect fluid.

The manual is incorrect and transmission fluid, if value the transmission, should be changed every 30k miles.

The owners manuals make all of these seriously extended maintenance intervals for one reason only; the factor wants to give the impression your car needs little maintenance.

Pushing what it should have is not coducive to car sales. No car salesman is going to tell a potential buyer that the car they’re about to drive off in will need this, that, and the other.
For the same reason they did not tell you about the timing belt. If the belt has not been changed then it should be, along with the tensioners and water pump.
The belt is 6 years old and on borrowed time. When it breaks the repair costs will go up considerably. Much considerably.

Thanks, everyone!
FYI: The manual says my car has ATF-Z1 fluid; only needs changing at 120K.
The reasons given here make things clearer now.

Can we make this a math problem. Three quarts of ATF-Z1 @ $7.50 + tax and change fee. $4000 for new transmission.

No pan to drop, flush not recommended by Honda.

IF you mechanic says your fluid shows signs on needing a change, do it. Discoloration in transmission fluid indicates the fluid is either contaminated or breaking down. The additives in transmission fluids are what keeps you seals, etc from loosing their composer. Your transmission is a simple drain. It has no pan, just a drain plug like your engine. You can only drain about four quarts at a time unless you have it flushed. Torque converter and oil cooler is where the rest of you fluid resides. Fluid drains are cheap insurance.

Change it now, and use only Honda’s fluid, it’s worth the small premium.

I would change it at 60,000 miles. The cost of this service is probably between $40 and $60, and spending $60 every 60,000 miles instead of 120,000 miles shouldn’t break the bank.

when my wife’s 2004 accord had noises (bad bearings), they replaced it with a rebuild trans at 43K I believe. They said trans changes should be 30K at this dealer (I argued the manual said 60K). They were nice and did it for free. I said that I dropped the fluid and changed it a few times (just drop and fill, not drop-fill-drop-fill for 3x). I change the fluid now at 8-9K using castrol import ATF and it runs fine

not sure why this didn’t work the 1st time but there isn’t a pan on the accord transmission. the filter is inside the trans and a normal person can’t change it.

Drain and refill every 25-30k miles regardless of what the owners manual says. USE HONDA FLUID ONLY…