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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We had the CVT Vibration TSB done a while ago. Definitely less vibration after the TSB work.

Switching to synthetic CVT fluid had made it really smooth though. Could be in my mind (highly doubt it) or just putting in new Honda fluid could have the same effect. Either way, one would think if this works it would have part of the Vibration TSB?

Because we towed a UHaul trailer 1,400 miles I opted to change early at ~32K miles. Was smoother after the first (~50%) of fluid change.

This week I hit the third change (~87% new fluid now) and it's really smooth.

YMMV. It's easier than an engine oil change once you know how to do it. Order some 10mm crush washers in advance as they hard to source locally; I paid $4.99 at a Honda dealer for one crush washer!

Old fluid had no red in it. Didn't look burned, just light brown. After the third change the fluids looks brand-new. Bet when I next change it's still red - synthetic should hold up a lot better. Lower pour point and higher max operating temperature. Still don't plan on towing anything larger than a 5x8 U-Haul trailer though.

Curiously it juddered setting off after the first two startups, but never again. Wonder if it dislodged some crud which the filter/screen caught.

Lots of gunk on the drain plug magnet at the first change. A thin layer at the second change.

Castrol Transmax ATF CVT is what I used ($35 for six quarts). Would imagine any second gen CVT fluid is fine.

Pic of magnet and oil at ~32K miles:



 

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You're definitely brave for using anything other than Honda's CVT fluid in your tranny. Let us know how it holds up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You're definitely brave for using anything other than Honda's CVT fluid in your tranny. Let us know how it holds up.
Have Redline D6 is in our 2015 RAV4. It went in at ~20K miles which was ~22K miles ago - totally fine, but transmission temps are ~10F lower (perhaps just as it's newer fluid?).

With the RAV4 I towed a UHaul 6x12 trailer ~1,400 miles; no problems. I'd not do that on the CRV's CVT though.

All this towing is as we unexpectedly had to move back to our Atlanta house (from Denver). Towing trailers is so much easier than drive UHaul trucks that distance.
 

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Looking at Honda's cvt fluid and Castrol's cvt fluid, one thing stands out-they are both petroleum based according to the MSDS sheets on the products.
As a first time CVT owner with a 16 @33k or so miles, I do think the car is running better than ever. Typically Honda has cvt fluid changes around 50k miles. So halving (?) that distance as you've done is great for transmission longevity and smoothness.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Indeed! Smart/ easy preventative maintenance.

From info I could find:

Castrol Transmax is Group III base oil (i.e. 'fully' synthetic which just means very refined mineral) with a Flashpoint 218°C and Pour Point -51°C (-60F)

Honda publishes a Flashpoint of 170°C but nothing else. Am imagining the base to be Group II (less refined mineral)

Redline D6 is group IV or V (i.e. true synthetic). Flashpoint 249°C and Pour Point -60°C.

Redline's cost is much higher but I used it in the RAV4 since I dropped its pan and pulled the return line. Do not plan on ever changing the RAV4's transmission fluid again as long as I own it, whereas the CRV's CVT is an easy job and I'll do a 50% change every 20K miles.
 

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Thank you mp4-e46, I looked over the Castrol Transmax CVT Product Data sheet and on page 2 under "Product Performance Claims" is says "Suitable for use where: .....Honda HCF-2..."("...."many other makes listed)

I just did the CVT fluid change on my, new to me, 2015 CRV AWD at 33k. Next time I'll probably use Castrol so I can skip the 1hr+ drive to the nearest Honda Dealer. Plus the Castrol is even a wee bit cheaper since my "local" Honda dealer marks up everything.

Also just a note, the dealer gave me a sheet with maintenance schedule for new England Driving conditions and has Transmission Fluid changes at 30k and rear diff at 15k.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What did they charge? It's easier than an oil change but I bet they charge more.

Personally I felt better doing it three times over a few weeks so most of the fluid would be the Castrol.

As stated above I am very sure the transmission became smoother with more than one change. Vibration at idle is near gone now.

Will report back as more miles go on the vehicle. Not OEM fluid, but am very sure there will be no issues + it'll hold up better than OEM.
 

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What did they charge?
I do my own maintenance, they charged about $11.50/qt for HCF-2 while I've called other dealer that had prices being in the eight to nine dollar range. The Castrol Transmax CVT is $8.something at AutoZone in the local town, so a wee bit cheaper and spending local!

Yes please do keep us informed of your experience!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got it.

For the first change mine needed ~4.5 qts. i.e. was slightly unfulfilled from the factory. Think I've read somewhere that this is normal.

If it's 0.5 lower to the min and they make a few million cars per year that's 1.5 million quarts saved for Honda.
 

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is the cvt change on the 15 as simple as everyone says? like park on a even surface, remove upper fill bolt and the lower drain plug to transmission, wipe down drain plug. refill until it pours out the top hole, reinstall plugs, cycle through gears and done?
 

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I believe after cycling thru the gears, you are supposed turn the motor off, remove the check level plug one more time, add more fluid (if necessary) to top off, when fluid drains/drips out, install the check level plug, then you are done.
 

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is the cvt change on the 15 as simple as everyone says? like park on a even surface, remove upper fill bolt and the lower drain plug to transmission, wipe down drain plug. refill until it pours out the top hole, reinstall plugs, cycle through gears and done?
you might find some useful info here:
 
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