1996 Honda Accord Transmission Fluid Automatic

ggalvJanuary 2, 2007

I believe the owners manual states that I should use 2.7/2.8 quarts of transmission Fluid. When I took it to the shop they poured the three containers (3 quarts). Should I be concerned that more fluid was poured than stated in the manual? Should I try to remove some of the transmission fluid? Or is the 0.2/0.3 quarts extra fine?

Also, when checking the transmission fluid, should the car be hot or I should I allow some time for the car to cool off?


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The additional 10% fluid shouldn't cause any issues as engineers usually take into account such FUBAR factors. Personally, I would be a LOT more concerned if they used regular Dextron III fluid instead of Genuine Honda ATF.

You want to check the fluid level with vehicle @ operating temperature right after the engine has been turned off (which is different than most other manufacturers). BTW, this transmission has a drain plug and removing excess fluid is VERY easy. I would politely ask the shop that overfilled the system to bring it back to FULL.

ASE Master Tech

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 10:19PM
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Actually the Manual states 2.5 quarts, and one honda delear says that its 2.8 quarts but that they use 3 quarts, and another honda dealer was sticking with the 2.8 quarts only and that the level should be within the hatch marks.

Actually I purchashed Genuine Honda ATF from the dealer, so I am good there.

I am going to take your advice and go back to the shop so that they can bring it back to FULL - just to be more comfortable.

Is it me, or is checking the level of transmission fluid a little bit more difficult than checking the level of motor oil. When I check the motor oil level I always get it right on the dot. But when I am checking the transmission fluid, somehow I am having a hard time locating the level. Should the dipstick be horizontal or vertical?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 1:13PM
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Consult a repair manual or the user's manual about how to check the transmission fluid level for your vehicle.

I am not familar with your vehicle, but the following is a general procedure that I have used for all the automatics that I have owned.

Check the fluid hot. Some dipsticks may have hot and cold marks or holes in the stick. Automatic transmission fluid expands when heated. The fluid level must be measured with the engine running so that the torque converter remains filled. While in the car and with the brake on, move the gear selector through reverse and a forward gear, then back to park. Apply the parking brake and check the dip stick.

The oil line may be difficult to see. If the stick picks up oil from the side of the tube when withdrawn, there may be splashes of oil above the full line. If the fill line is obliterated, put the stick back in all the way, and try again. Continue until you get a positive indication of the fluid level. This takes practice and some experience to avoid a false reading.

Keep the upper end of the stick elevated above the bottom end. The stick does not have to be perfectly upright and may be lain down as much as 45 degees from horizontal. if the stick is allowed to go level or more, the oil line may creep up the stick or flatten out. When you withdraw the stick, keep a rag or waste paper under its tip to prevent dripping any fluid on painted surfaces. Transmission fluid harms paint. If you can't see the fluid line, rotate the stick to view its other side. In other words, keep fiddling with it until you get a reliable reading. You'll probably have to move the stick from under the hood out into better light to see the level (hense the need to catch the drips).

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 3:49AM
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Jemdandy wrote:

Check the fluid hot.

Some dipsticks may have hot and cold marks or holes in the stick.

Automatic transmission fluid expands when heated. On most Hondas, the fluid level must be measured with the engine running right after the engine has been turned off.

I would definitely go with the specs in your owners' manual and not what the dealership THINKS your car should have. Most (not all) service writers who you speak to at any dealership have minimal training and even less real-world knowledge so take what they tell you with a grain of salt.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:01PM
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