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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am new to this forum so hopefully I can get some good information. I bought a 2007 CR-V a couple of months ago and at 64,000 plus miles now I took it in to my mechanic's garage and his assistant said the transmission fluid needed to be changed since it was a brownish color. So, I had it changed and he didn't use the Honda brand fluid. He told me he used another brand that was not as expensive but was fine for my Honda CR-V. I have a 2 wheel drive by they way.

My question is: So, is it allright to use an alternative fluid that does not have the Honda name on it? My manuel says: "Always use Honda ATF-Z1. If it is not available, you may use Dexron 111 as a temporary replacement". I am now concerned.

Many thanks for your replies!
 

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Many folks have gotten away with using atf fluids other than Honda. The current spec for Honda transmissions is now DW-1 which replaced the Z-1. Having said that, I have heard of folks using Maxlife ATF and Amsoil ATF with no issues reported and thousands of miles driven. When I owned my /08 CR-V, I changed the fluid out once a yr and only used Honda fluid. I now own a /13 CR-V and will be doing the same and using DW-1. In your /07, you will probably be fine with the fluid the mechanic put in. If you notice that shifting gets a little wonky, it might be time to go back to the Honda fluid.
 

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The owners manual for my Jaguar says that the six speed automatic transmission is sealed for life!
However ZF the people who make it say differently. The moral here is don't believe all that you read.
Now I haven't tackled the auto transmission on my CR V yet, but when I do I will make sure I use the correct grade of ATF, but it wont necessarily have a Honda label on it.
Lets face it, Honda don't make their own oil, they get someone else to make it for them and stick a Honda label on!
I have not investigated this as yet (I'm sure someone else will have done), but when I do I will post any findings on this forum...
 

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Now I haven't tackled the auto transmission on my CR V yet, but when I do I will make sure I use the correct grade of ATF, but it wont necessarily have a Honda label on it.
Lets face it, Honda don't make their own oil, they get someone else to make it for them and stick a Honda label on!.
Honda transmissions need a specific friction coefficient (aside from a grade) for the wet plate clutches inside. Yes, their fluids are made by "someone else", but it is made to an exacting specification.

Honda Power Steering fluid is the same, as is the Dual Pump II differential fluid (which also contains wet clutches)...always use Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I called my mehcanic's assistantant this morning and my retired engineer brother ( I was quite concerned).

Both of them said the same thing that Honda does not make their own ATF, it is their label on it. Someone else makes it for them. And by mentioning Dexron 111 in the manuel, you better believe Honda has stock in Dexron. So there are other brands that do the same thing. I was told Honda does not exclusively own the formula and that other companies make the same with their label on the product. I asked my mechanic what it was he used and it is Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF. And my brother brought up another good point. I have a 1977 Chevrolet Nova that I bought brand new in Nov. of 1977 and as of today I have something like 565,000 miles on it. And in all of these years, my mechanic has used another brand other than Chevrolet when changing out the fluids.

Yes, I fell into the 21st century with this CR-V, and I LOVE, LOVE this car.

I paniced last night when I was reading the Honda manuel. This is a great place to come and read and post.

Thank you so much for your replies!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your reply!

Do you feel this grade from Honda is different from the Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle transmission fluid? Couldn't Honda's ATF be made the exact same way for brands such as the Castrol or other brands? My mechanic said it is cross referenced in his book for an alternative brand fluid and is identical to the Honda formula.

I am replying to Carbuff2. I meant to use your quote in my reply.

Thanks again!
 

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In the US owners manuals, it is said that other ATFs may be used in an emergency, but that the non-Honda fluid should be replaced at the first opportunity.

Now, I know for a fact that Euro fluids can be different from what is available in the USA. :confused: So I'll not try to tell you what is best to use.

Here's some good reading if you have a few minutes:
http://world.honda.com/history/challenge/1968hondamatic/
 

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Honda transmissions need a specific friction coefficient (aside from a grade) for the wet plate clutches inside. Yes, their fluids are made by "someone else", but it is made to an exacting specification.

Honda Power Steering fluid is the same, as is the Dual Pump II differential fluid (which also contains wet clutches)...always use Honda.
As said I haven't looked into my Hondas specific transmission requirements as yet, but I would hazard an educated guess that an Aisin Warner box lives at the oily end of my car. A gearbox manufacturer that supplies a huge number of units to a large number of manufacturers! That will mean that an oil company, possibly even more than one oil company, will manufacture a lubricant that is suitable for their units! Now it may well be the case that I do indeed use a Honda labelled product, should I feel the need to replace it. However, I will never the less investigate this when and if the time comes and report my findings on here..
 

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I personally use only Honda transmission fluid. I figure it may be a couple of dollars more but for me, it's piece of mind AND one less thing they can point to in order to deny warranty work should it ever be needed.
 

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Do not use the Honda Z-1 if you have a choice. Honda had bad luck with Z-1 esp with the Odyssey which is a lot heavier. Probably why they changed to a more synthetic DW-1.
So no, the mfg does not always know best. Use a full synthetic ATF that is compatible or Honda DW-1.
Mobil 1 ATF, Valvoline Max Life Dex/Merc ATF ,Amsoil ATF, Castrol ATF or other top quality synthetics which are compatible with your Honda.
I would think that the mechanic only did a single drain and fill which replaces less than half of the total fluid.
Personally, I would use the Valvoline full synthetic (pretty cheap at WalMart in the large size) and do 3 more drains and fills. Good write-ups in this forum on how and why. Takes aprox 3.5qts of ATF for a drain and fill.
It is pretty easy to do an ATF drain and fill on the CRV, you don't even have to jack up the CRV. It is easier than doing an oil and oil filter change. :)
Enjoy your 'new to you' CRV.
Buffalo4
PS: Use a high quality synthetic motor oil (recommended weight) and a quality oil filter for your engine and, don't forget to check your cabin air filter.
 

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Honda does NOT use the Aisin-Warner automatics in the CR-V.
Right do you know who's boxes they use, or under who's license they build them?
I know in the UK both automatic and manual boxes come into the Honda factory as assembles units, I didn't find out where from though?
 

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Do not use the Honda Z-1 if you have a choice. Honda had bad luck with Z-1 esp with the Odyssey which is a lot heavier. Probably why they changed to a more synthetic DW-1.
So no, the mfg does not always know best. Use a full synthetic ATF that is compatible or Honda DW-1.
Mobil 1 ATF, Valvoline Max Life Dex/Merc ATF ,Amsoil ATF, Castrol ATF or other top quality synthetics which are compatible with your Honda.
I would think that the mechanic only did a single drain and fill which replaces less than half of the total fluid.
Personally, I would use the Valvoline full synthetic (pretty cheap at WalMart in the large size) and do 3 more drains and fills. Good write-ups in this forum on how and why. Takes aprox 3.5qts of ATF for a drain and fill.
It is pretty easy to do an ATF drain and fill on the CRV, you don't even have to jack up the CRV. It is easier than doing an oil and oil filter change. :)
Enjoy your 'new to you' CRV.
Buffalo4
PS: Use a high quality synthetic motor oil (recommended weight) and a quality oil filter for your engine and, don't forget to check your cabin air filter.
So far the information you have posted here, is exactly the same information that I have gathered to date..
 

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I've seen in other forums that MaxLife ATF (from Valvoline) is a good replacement for Z-1 ATF...I've used it in my 2006 CRV for about a year now...so far so good...the shifts seems firmer now, but not sure...

I think that MaxLife ATF is synthetic or at least a synthetic blend ATF.
 

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OK having looked into Honda transmissions with the help of some useful links, I now understand how they work and also understand that Hondas marketing people are just as good as every other car manufacturer in trying to persuade people that anything other than their own branded oil will break your gearbox!
Now if you have a new or new-ish car that is still under warranty, I would be inclined to use Honda branded stuff, simply so as not to void your warranty.
I however have an old car, way out of guarantee, that doesn't currently have any gearbox issues. So I will be doing the sum total of nothing in the immediate future!
But when I do, Valvoline MaxLife, or Castrol Dex2 multi vehicle ATF, to name but two will do the job just as well and there are probably many others? Hondas own transmissions have nothing special inside them, apart from more moving parts than a traditional automatic. Now this indicates that you would be wise to change the fluid a few times, early on in the cars life, as this is when the majority of the wear takes place. But later in life as long as the fluid has still got its colour, you should be just fine.
If it wasn't for the clutches inside a Honda box, you could almost use manual gear oil! But the last thing you want is oil sticking to the clutches, as that would make them slip and wear them out. So basically what you need is ATF without additives, so that when the clutches do engage, all of the oil gets thrown off and the clutch doesn't slip.
The Honda, Valvoline and Castrol products will do this and there will almost certainly be others. When and if the time comes to flush my transmission, I will use whatever I can lay my hands on at the time, which is likely to be either Hondas own or Castrol..
 
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