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Old 01-25-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
1,961 posts, read 2,196,255 times
Reputation: 1112
Default How much does a transmission fluid change cost for a 2001 Honda Accord?

I went to the carwash the other day to get an oil change. The guy said that I need my transmission fluid changed. I just checked my fluid today and it doesn't have a smell. It isn't dark but it has some dark spots within the pink. How do you know if you need a change and how much will it cost me to change the fluid? Thanks for your answers.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Pearland
787 posts, read 990,254 times
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Id do a drain and a refill every 50k.

They have machines that can swap all of it, and you can wait longer between changes, but it is significantly more expensive. Id pay $50 tops for a drain and refill.

Most cars are very simple to do, easier than an oil change. Just measure what you take out and replace that, as long as it isnt overfilled to begin with. Always verify though.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:53 AM
 
2,341 posts, read 1,571,570 times
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First of all, you need to make sure you're taking your car to people who know what they're doing - not just some random grease monkeys. Places like JiffyLube are notorious for recommending unnecessary things, as well as not even doing oil changes right.

Second, if your transmission is acting fine, do NOT let them do a "flush" for $100 or more. Not only is it unnecessary, it will likely cause problems.

Third, most legitimate mechanics recommend changing tranny fluid every 30,000 - 50,000 miles. The need depends largely on how you drive, and under what conditions.

That said, figure on spending "in the ballpark" of $50 to have somebody change out your tranny filter, pan gasket, and fluid.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:17 AM
 
8,169 posts, read 21,392,136 times
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You didn't mention if your car has the 2.3 or 3.0 engine, but this series of car has an automatic transmission which is highly sensitive to having the correct spec OE trans fluid from the Dealer.

I have seen aftermarket fluids which claim to meet the OE Honda fluid spec, but in the experience of the shops that I've seen use them, it's simply not as good as the Honda fluid. The result of not using the OE fluid has been comebacks to the shops with transmission failures or shifting problems which weren't there when the car was brought in for the fluid change.

Honda spec says that you can use Dex 3 for a limited amount of time if the OE fluid isn't available, but I wouldn't put it in these cars unless I was selling the car immediately. The risk is poor shifting and vibration from the transmission when you use anything but the OE fluid.

Spec for your car on a drain and refill is about 3 quarts of fluid, with almost 8 quarts required for a complete change-out. With dealership price of the fluid running about $12/quart, even a drain/refill is $36 worth of fluid. If a shop was doing no other service to your car at the time, it wouldn't be unreasonable to pay a minimum of 1/2 hour to do this service; Honda spec calls for dropping the transmission valve body to clean out the trans fluid passages at the time of the service ... there's more to this than simply dropping a drain plug and pan and pulling/cleaning the oil filter screen off the valve body, there's fluid lines to be disconnected and a wiring harness to be disconnected to do the job properly. It wouldn't be unreasonable at prevailing labor rates for most of the USA to pay around $100 for this service at an independent shop.

Honda spec for the trans fluid drain/refill is 60,000 miles or 84 months. If your car has more service on it than that, it would be advisable to replace the fluid.

PS: the transmission oil filter assembly in this trans is not serviceable/replaceable with only the pan/valve body removal, it's done at a complete trans tear-down project. These transmissions are rather famous for various performance issues and it's common to see them need an overhaul at around 100,000 miles, especially the cars that didn't get the fluid change per factory spec while in service or got the wrong fluid at a service; this is a very common topic on Honda owner websites and is a well known failure with these cars.
FWIW, Honda has had a recurring problem across a wide spectrum of their vehicles with using anything but the OE transmission fluid, including manual transmissions in addition to the automatics.

Last edited by sunsprit; 01-25-2013 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:42 AM
 
Location: New Haven, CT
903 posts, read 984,458 times
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^ as he said, transmissions are weird with certain fluids and you should really just bring it to the dealer because they will have the right fluid, I wouldnt trust ANYTHING else beside what the dealer recommends. you could buy the spec fluid from an authorized dealer and do it yourself though.

Dont ever fall for it when someone says you need an engine flush or transmission flush....Dont ever get anything flushed out period........

Transmissions need the exact specified fluid or they could burn out right away or slip really bad, and it will take forever to correct if its not permanent.

Never let anyone touch the transmission especially if its an auto...
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:43 PM
 
Location: NY
6,098 posts, read 5,063,362 times
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Whats your owners manual say about the service interval? Is it due for a tranny fluid change?

As was mentioned, if one of the minute oil change places is "recommending" it, I would run for the hills! They make their money on selling things beyond the oil change, and are trained in "upselling" services whether you need them or not.

If you think there is a real question with the state of your tranny fluid, see a specialist!
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
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I just got a quote from a mechanice. He said it's 150 dollars plus tax. Does that seem right?
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: New Haven, CT
903 posts, read 984,458 times
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It really depends if you trust your mechanic or not...

Listen to what the mechanic is telling you and ask him questions, is it a complete drain and refill, or just a refill, or partial drain and fill?

If the mechanic is only going to gravity drain it, this will not get all the fluid out and the old stuff will mix with the new stuff.

A complete drain takes longer and uses specific tools to get the tranny as clean as possible.

They can still charge you for 8 quarts of fluid even though they only needed 4 quarts, because they didnt drain it properly. Because thats the charge for the job and you pay for everything anyway even if its not used... on top of that you dont know what generic fluid they are using.

Transmissions are very complicated and unless they are specialty Honda or a dealer I really wouldnt go anywhere else.

check this out lol, This isnt far from the truth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZV7A6Nknps
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,870 posts, read 5,001,535 times
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" I wouldnt trust ANYTHING else beside what the dealer recommends. you could buy the spec fluid from an authorized dealer and do it yourself though."

Dealers are the place to go if you like throwing your money away.

Oil manufactures have Honda's and others "specs" it's not hard to find the correct ATF at the auto parts store and at a savings.

If not DYI have it done at a shop that specializes in transmission work.

$150 dollars plus tax sounds about right.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:47 PM
 
Location: New Haven, CT
903 posts, read 984,458 times
Reputation: 748
You pay for the guarantee at the dealer.

Do you think a mechanic cares about your car after it leaves the shop? all they know is you paid them and if something else breaks it aint our fault you signed the papers.

I know dealers can be rip offs...I hate to say it but a lot mechanics see the lesser mechanically inclined as prey and do whatever they want, your pretty much at their mercy.

A Honda authorized/specialty mechanic shop would be better, atleast they will have the right knowledge and things that are up to spec. When your exposed to one manufacturer of cars, you learn all the knicks and knacks of that certain brand. When your a dealer you have access to secret info that will never ever leave the dealer.

Any fluid you find will either say "designed to meet manufacturers specific requirements or exceed them" this is not the same as "this is the exact same fluid and is OEM"
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