Should I change the ATF on my Honda Civic?

I heard a lot of people say it is not a good thing to change the transmission fluid on a old car, especially if the fluid has never been changed. I have a 1990 Honda Civic auto with 122k miles, don't know if the fluid has ever been changed....Should I change the ATF? The shifting isn't smooth on my car. Why so many people say only use honda atf on hondas? The owner's manual only ask to use Dexron II,so I guess it is not necessary to use honda atf?

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You change change the ATF but don't flush. If you flush it, all the contaminants can be dislodged and stuck in places such as small oil holes. It is good for transaxle because it will take some of the contaminants out in the transaxle when you drain it. If I am not wrong, your car has a drain bolt on the bottom(on the side) and a filler on the top with dipstick. Be sure to take the dipstick out first to make sure you fill fluid and then open the drain bolt. As far as the Honda AFT, you can use it but it is going to be expensive but you can use any Dexron II/IIE, Dexron III fluid for your car. You can buy a Valvoline MaxLife® DEX/MERC ATF, Valvoline® DEX/MERC ATF, Valvoline DEXRON® VI ATF, or any other fluid meet your car specs. It is up to you, you can pick your choice of brand. The current fluid for all cars is Dexron VI, Dexron VI is the new stuff on the market and meets all previous specs. It can be used on you car. As for me, I would recommend use the Dexron VI on your car.

  • Area
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Well, if you believe him and follow his advice your transmission will be dead in 50K miles. How much worse is it supposed to get if you change the fluid now? No need to fight with them, just walk away. I have never heard any actual reports of Honda transmissions being damaged by fluid changes and I have no idea how that story got started. The fluid is a lubricant and lubrication is improved by fresh fluid. Note that Honda transmissions should never be flushed and that there is no user replaceable filter. When the fluid is changed only about a third of it is replaced anyway, so at 71K miles you are not terribly behind the curve. Most Honda owners will do one change (easy enough to do yourself) and run it a few days, then do a second change if the first one was way overdue. If the fluid is really old a third one is done soon afterward but yours hasn't really been let go that long.

  • dvskv
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Transmission problems can be a headache and your worst nightmare.

    Rule of Thumb preventive maintenance if you want to achive 100,000 to 200,000 miles on your vehicle is to drain and refill ATF Fluid every 25,000 to 30,000 miles similar to changing oil and installing new oil filter every 5.000 miles.

    Older vehicles like yours use Dexron II and based on facts you provided I don't think spending extra $ to purchase genuine Honda ATF will make much difference because transmission damage is irreversible and may eventually get worse <= sorry...

    Hope the Above Info Helps!

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I wouldn't. Any safekeepings or deposits holding the transmission togeather can be flushed out and cause more harm than good.

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