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Old 07-02-2011, 07:03 PM
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DIY Manual Transmission Fluid Change

First off, this isn't really a DIY, this is a "what I did". Try working on your own car at your own risk, be safe, don't be stupid, and take your time.

This is for an '09 GE8.

What you'll need:
~1.5-3.0qt of Honda MTF
phillips screw driver
flat-head screw driver or other prying instruments
3/8" drive ratchet
18mm wrench
torque wrench
new crush washers for both drain and fill


First off I drove the car up on ramps. (Side note: I started an oil change at this point, in some pictures you'll see oil draining, just ignore that)

Once safely in the air, I crawled under and found all of the push-button-disconnect-thingys. (Hondatech term) There are two near the rear, two in each wheel-well, and several across the bottom of the front bumper. I did this without removing the wheels and didn't have a problem, YMMV. Also, near the front, are a few phillips head screws you'll need to remove. Here are a few for example.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

When removing the button rivet things, take your time and use a flat-head screw driver or other prying instrument. Carefully pry the head until it's fully extended, then pull downward. If its stubborn try using a swirl motion as you pull. It'll come eventually. (That's what she said)

Click the image to open in full size.

Ok so now, I kept pulling and removing until they were all removed, and then carefully removed the bottom cover.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Be cautious of these tabs near the front on both the driver and passenger sides:

Click the image to open in full size.

So now that the cover is gracefully removed, I opened the fill plug first. This is important, in that if you remove the drain plug and are unable to remove the fill plug, you my friend are royally boned.

The drain and fill plugs are located on the drivers side. The fill is the 18mm bolt, the drain is the 3/8" drive receiver.
Click the image to open in full size.

Removed drain:
Click the image to open in full size.

At this time, check the drain plug (which is magnetic) for any gunk. Mine had a small amount. I've seen a few that were solid black with less than 50k miles, so I felt fortunate. Remove this with a rag, of if you're super cereal, bust out some break-klean and shop-towels.

Click the image to open in full size.

I went and had a beer.

Upon return, since the car was unlevel (front on ramps, rear on ground, plus incline of driveway) I began safely jacking the car. Jack until it is level, and install jackstands. Please be careful if you are doing this, there are tons of great threads on this forum and others about safe jacking procedures.

Now, grab a level and make sure the car is fairly level. A few degrees is fine.

Click the image to open in full size.


Now, replace the washer with a new one on the drain plug, and reinstall it. Torque to 32 ft/lbs. I then took a pump and installed it on the MTF bottle, and began pumping the new fluid in. I've heard that you can snake a funnel or tube down from the top. Either works as long as the fluid gets to where it needs to be.

Click the image to open in full size.

Fill until fluid starts to drain out of the fill hole. Resist the urge to over fill, you will damage the tranny. Mine used just under 1.5qts, which I found surprising, I would buy three quarts to be safe.

At this point, replace the crush washer on the fill plug, and replace the plug. Torque to 32 ft/lbs. Safely lower the car. I drove it around a bit, then lifted again to check for leaks. Now replace the lower cover.

Then I had another beer.
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Last edited by z06dustin; 07-03-2011 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:10 AM
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Nice DIY. The piccies came up fine for me. No annotation however, did you have any arrows or anything?



You didn't mention the year or series of your Fit, but I just replaced the MTF for the second time on our GD ('07 Sport) with 60K miles.

Recommended replacement interval is three years or 30,000 miles. You will feel the reduced smoothness of shifting when the fluid is "worn".

++++++++++++++


Some clarification and notes:

Yes, ~1.5 qts of Honda MTF fluid is about what the job will take. I didn't feel the need to remove any of the plastic undershields.... and I swear I used a 17MM on the fill bolt on the GD. (Same size as on the oil pan drain.)

++++++++++++++

Always remove the fill bolt FIRST on any job like this! Major heartache if you drain all the MTF then can't break the fill bolt free to replace it!!!!!

++++++++++++++++

In the absence of helpful arrows, the fill bolt is the largish hex bolt at the bottom of the CV joint (the rubber accordion thingie) in Picture # 7. The round drain bolt (with the square hole) is down from the fill bolt, then a bit to the left, in the pic.


++++++++++++++++

You can tell when the trans is filled because the new fluid will be flowing out of the hole. If you overfill, let it drain out until it becomes a slow trickle....no harm. (Have your drain pan positioned properly.)

After a week or so, I always re-check the level of fluid. Just remove the fill bolt...the fluid should drip out slowly. (If it does not, add an ounce or two more.)



++++++++++++++++


Yes, the Fluid Pump is the best refill option (they cost less than $10 from a parts store) but I have used the tube through the wheel method, too. What ever you use, have a stopper ready (an old bolt that just fits into the plastic tube is great). This minimizes spillage when the fill tube is withdrawn.




Lastly, you forgot to put the BEER on your Materials List! Here's my preference when doing automotive maintenance, LOL:

Click the image to open in full size.

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Last edited by Carbuff2; 07-03-2011 at 11:12 AM..
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
You didn't mention the year or series of your Fit
Ah, sorry, changed to reflect this. This is the GE8 forum, but someone might find it in search. Good point. It's an '09 GE8. I'll update the orig post.

Quote:
Recommended replacement interval is three years or 30,000 miles. You will feel the reduced smoothness of shifting when the fluid is "worn".
I can't find any documented interval in my manual. Online, I found a 60km interval for "strenuous driving or mountain conditions", either the Canadian or Maylay version... but I can't remember. Anywho works out to about 36k mi. 30k sounds good too, better safe than sorry.

Quote:
Yes, ~1.5 qts of Honda MTF fluid is about what the job will take. I didn't feel the need to remove any of the plastic undershields.... and I swear I used a 17MM on the fill bolt on the GD. (Same size as on the oil pan drain.)
Good to hear. Guess I'm just used to the T-56 taking much much more. I'm pretty sure it was 18mm, checking online it says 20mm and I know that can't be right. If anyone can verify, I'll update the orig post. I couldn't access them with the shield on. Are you a very small Japanese woman?
BOLT, DRAIN PLUG (20MM) - Bernardi Honda Parts and Accessories

I'll have to check out that beer if I have an opportunity. It was actually one of these:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:26 PM
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LOL, "Partakable" beer.

I thought that was always a GIVEN.


++++++++++++++

Good Catch about this Topic being in the GE forums...I actually looked at the DIY because it was in the New Posts search.

Regards the smoothness of the shifts: On both our CRV and the Fit, I can "feel" the fluid wearing out because of the shifting...not bad, but NOT as good as "new". Fresh fluid has always seemed to bring it back to "factory".


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Old 07-05-2011, 05:00 PM
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great write up
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z06dustin View Post
Ah, sorry, changed to reflect this. This is the GE8 forum, but someone might find it in search. Good point. It's an '09 GE8. I'll update the orig post.


I can't find any documented interval in my manual. Online, I found a 60km interval for "strenuous driving or mountain conditions", either the Canadian or Maylay version... but I can't remember. Anywho works out to about 36k mi. 30k sounds good too, better safe than sorry.


Good to hear. Guess I'm just used to the T-56 taking much much more. I'm pretty sure it was 18mm, checking online it says 20mm and I know that can't be right. If anyone can verify, I'll update the orig post. I couldn't access them with the shield on. Are you a very small Japanese woman?
BOLT, DRAIN PLUG (20MM) - Bernardi Honda Parts and Accessories

I'll have to check out that beer if I have an opportunity. It was actually one of these:

Click the image to open in full size.

I just did this on an 09 fit and mine was a 18mm bolt.
Also no crush washers on mine, and the fill bolt was barely secure like could have removed with fingers almost loose on mine.

Did it at 31k miles was getting a bit rough, very smooth now and doesnt have trouble getting in reverse anymore. I do drive like an angry chip sometimes and taught one person to drive manual on this car (sorry car)
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:18 PM
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I notice you used the Honda OE MTF, do you happen to know if Royal Purple Synchromesh MTF can be used instead?

Amazon.com: Royal Purple 01512 Synchromax High Performance Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid - 1 Quart: Automotive Amazon.com: Royal Purple 01512 Synchromax High Performance Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid - 1 Quart: Automotive

Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:25 AM
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17mm fill bolt on my GE8.

I wanted to try Redline MTL but couldn't find any local and didn't want to wait on shipping. Honda MTF is good stuff anyway and half the price.

I filled with a long funnel and hose through the wheel well. With this method the undertray doesn't need to be completely removed. Only removed one plastic clip on the undertray wing to let it move out of the way enough for easy ratchet access. I positioned another funnel underneath sitting in a one gallon container to catch the overfill. Just dumped in 1.6 qts since I was doing it blindly from above and then waited a couple minutes for the overfill to stop. All done cleanly since I had the funnel underneath.

Wow! I wish I had done this sooner. My tranny still shifted good at 69K miles and no issues other than an occasional double clutch to engage reverse. Now it shifts like sex and reverse engagement is silky smooth also. I bought the car at 40K miles and shifting hadn't changed any since then. So definitely this will be a 30K mile interval for me from now with $16 of Honda MTF.

_
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:45 AM
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I just did mine yesterday at 37,000 miles, feels great now. The plastic facia was a pain in the ass to get off and on, but draining and filling it was the easy part. I had a transmission whine from 70-75, and it was a bit notchy getting into third, now it feels like new.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:50 PM
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Red, I know what you mean about the "notchy" shifts to 3rd. First time I changed the fluid all that went away. Thanks, by the way to the OP of this post. This is the procedure I used and I keep coming back to it. At 80k 1st through 3rd feel a little notchy and changing the fluid didn't do too much to help it.

I keep wondering, in the OP's last post on filling the transmission. How would I go about overfilling it if any excess fluid would just come right out the fill hole? That's not meant to be snarky at all. I'm just open to being not bright enough to get it and I'm not afraid to ask.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon130 View Post

I keep wondering, in the OP's last post on filling the transmission. How would I go about overfilling it if any excess fluid would just come right out the fill hole?
The fill hole is an old-time, mechanical way of telling you when the proper amount of MTF is in the transmission.

If you use a tube to fill it, you COULD restrict the overflow from flowing out of the hole. Then you would have to waste some as it drained out once the tube was removed.

Also, if your car was jacked up in front (or on ramps) the amount of fluid trickling out would not be accurate. But fear not, an ounce or two is NOT going to "blow up" a manual transmission. Neither is an ounce less....


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Old 06-30-2014, 10:34 PM
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That makes sense. Always try to clarify though. The article is really a detailed one. I use a spirit level the same way he does when I do this service. Aircraft mechanic = anal retentive about maintenance. In my industry there are bodies on just about every maintenance oversight or shortcut out there. That could ruin a guy's day. That being said, I still like working on my home projects because you can make up the procedures on my own a bit as long as you keep the critical factors in mind. Home shop = No FAA, tunes, beer, friends, beer.....
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:35 PM
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That makes sense. Always try to clarify though. The article is really a detailed one. I use a spirit level the same way he does when I do this service. Aircraft mechanic = anal retentive about maintenance. In my industry there are bodies on just about every maintenance oversight or shortcut out there. That could ruin a guy's day. That being said, I still like working on my home projects because you can make up the procedures on your own a bit as long as you keep the critical factors in mind. Home shop = No FAA, tunes, beer, friends, beer.....
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:05 AM
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Great how-to. Had a difficult time locating the drain and fill plugs; had to do a double take to be sure. I used a mix of 1 bottle of Amsoil Synchromesh + .5 bottle of Honda OE MTF.

Question for all. Do both fill plug and drain plug have a washer?? I didn’t realize a washer fell into the dump pan until I drain the old oil into a disposable container – surprised to see a washer. A washer came off with the fill plug. I didn’t see a washer on the drain plug but I’m guessing this “unknown” washer may have gotten suck onto the tranny casing and came out when the oil gushed out and I didn’t notice. Think it will be ok without the washer on the drain plug??... would hate having to redo the drain/fill as this “may” contaminate the new oil. Perhaps I’ll try to save it in a clean plan. Worst case, I have .5 bottle ofnew Honda MTF to mix it with :/
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:11 PM
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Yes, there are crush washers for both drain and fill plugs.

On my 2008, the fill plug is a 20mm washer and the drain is a 14mm (same Honda part as the engine oil drain). In my opinion, the washer is important if you torque the drain bolt down properly. I keep a supply of both from Honda since I use their fluids, but a 14mm crush washer will work just fine. Keep in mind I'm an A&P mechanic. Supposedly it means airframe and powerplant, but it really means anal and particular.

If you don't want to pull the drain plug and lose your fluid, maybe pull it out partially and add a little silicone RTV for cushion. At any rate, if you don't reef it down and the mating surfaces of the fill port to drain bolt are perfectly smooth, I doubt you'll have problems. Check periodically for leaks. Remember the washer on the next change.
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Last edited by Jon130; 07-11-2014 at 04:19 PM..
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon130 View Post
Yes, there are crush washers for both drain and fill plugs.

On my 2008, the fill plug is a 20mm washer and the drain is a 14mm (same Honda part as the engine oil drain). In my opinion, the washer is important if you torque the drain bolt down properly. I keep a supply of both from Honda since I use their fluids, but a 14mm crush washer will work just fine. Keep in mind I'm an A&P mechanic. Supposedly it means airframe and powerplant, but it really means anal and particular.

If you don't want to pull the drain plug and lose your fluid, maybe pull it out partially and add a little silicone RTV for cushion. At any rate, if you don't reef it down and the mating surfaces of the fill port to drain bolt are perfectly smooth, I doubt you'll have problems. Check periodically for leaks. Remember the washer on the next change.
Thanks!

I just did the old removal, quickly inset washer, and plug her back ASAP. A little bit of fluid was wasted and I did have half a bottle of OE MTF left to top off, only needed a tiny bit.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:13 AM
 
 
 
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2007, capacity, change, changing, diy, fit, fluid, honda, manual, mtf, oil, pump, service, tranny, transmission


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