How to Replace Transmission Fluid in Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The automatic transmission fluid change for the Honda car models between Honda car require the same process. The transmission fluid protects all of the moving parts and seals inside of the transmission. The fluid bonds to the gears and seals to form a protective barrier to prevent heat friction. The fluid circulates out of the transmission pan and flows throughout the transmission. Once that the transmission fluid begins to break down, it will not be able to protect the moving parts and seals.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace Transmission Fluid in a Honda Odyssey

Park the vehicle on a level surface or somewhere that the front end of the Odyssey is lower than the back end so the fluid can drain.

Pop the hood and remove the dipstick. Put the dipstick in a clean place so you don't contaminate the transmission fluid with dust or dirt particles.

Slide under the Odyssey and put a pan under the transmission fluid tank.

Remove the drain plug with a 3/8-inch ratchet. The fluid will drain toward the driver's side; it should take five to 10 minutes to drain completely.

Clean the drain plug with a rag and replace the drain plug on the transmission tank with a new drain plug gasket to prevent leaks.

Measure the amount of transmission fluid that was removed.

Place a small funnel in the dipstick tube and pour transmission fluid into the funnel. You will need the lesser of 3 liters of fluid or the amount that was drained. Do not overfill.

Drive the car for five minutes to let the fluid settle into the tank.

Measure the amount of fluid in the tank by removing the dipstick and making sure the fluid reaches the top line on the end of the dipstick. If the fluid is low, add a little more and remeasure.

Record the transmission fluid change in a maintenance journal as a reminder to complete the process again in 30,000 miles.

Items you will need

  • Transmission fluid

  • Oil drip pan

  • Drain plug gasket

  • Funnel

  • 3/8-inch ratchet

 How to Replace the Transmission Fluid on a 1999 Honda Accord

Drive the 1999 Honda Accord around for 10 to 15 minutes to heat up the automatic transmission fluid. Park the Accord on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Open the hood.

Jack up the front of the Accord and place a jack stand under each front jacking point. Lower the jack slowly until the Accord is sitting safely on top of the stands.

Crawl under the front of the Accord and locate the transmission fluid pan on the bottom of the transmission. The drain plug has a 3/8-inch drive square hole in the middle of it. The square end of a 3/8-inch drive ratchet will fit into the square hole of the drain plug.

Turn the drain plug counter-clockwise with a 3/8-inch drive ratchet until the plug is loose. Remove the ratchet from the drain plug and finish unscrewing the plug with your fingers. Allow all of the transmission fluid to drain out of the pan into the drip pan. Screw the drain plug back into the pan and torque the plug to 36 foot-pounds with a 3/8-inch drive torque wrench.

Move to the top side of the engine and locate the automatic transmission fluid dipstick on the driver side of the engine compartment. The dipstick has a red plastic handle. Remove the dipstick and insert the long neck funnel into the dipstick tube.

Pour 2 quarts of the Honda Premium Transmission Fluid into the funnel and wait for the fluid to drain down into the transmission. Remove the funnel and inert the dipstick back into the tube.

Jack the Accord back up and remove the jack stands. Crank the engine and hold the brake pedal down with your foot. Shift the gear lever through all of the gears a couple of times to get the transmission fluid inside of all areas of the transmission. Allow the engine to run until it reaches operating temperature. Turn the engine off.

Pull the transmission dipstick back out and check the fluid level on the dipstick with the engine off. The dipstick has hot and cold marks imprinted on it. The fluid level should be on or near the hot mark on the dipstick. Add fluid, a little at a time, until the level is 1/8 inch below the "Hot" line. Do not overfill. The transmission's capacity is 2.6 quarts. Put the dipstick back into the tube and close the hood. Turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drip pan

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • 3/8-inch drive torque wrench

  • Long neck funnel

  • 3 quarts of Honda Premium Automatic Transmission Fluid

 How Do You Change the Transmission Fluid in a 2003 Accord?

Park the Honda on flat level ground. Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels. Lift the front of the Accord until the front wheels are off the ground, and position the jack stands under the front subframe. Lower the car onto the jack stands. Position a drain pan under the transmission drain plug located on the outside end of the transmission.

Remove the drain plug using the 3/8-inch-drive socket wrench from the socket set. The square end of the wrench fits into the square hole of the drain plug. Remove the drain plug and allow the transmission fluid to drain into the pan. When the transmission fluid is completely drained, replace the drain plug and dispose of the fluid properly in the same manner as you would used motor oil.

Remove the orange dipstick located on the top of the transmission in the left side of the engine compartment. Insert the narrow funnel and add 2 1/2 quarts of the transmission fluid to the transmission. Reinstall the dipstick. Raise the vehicle off the jack stands using the floor jack. Remove the stands, and slowly lower the vehicle to the ground. Remove the wheel chocks.

Start the engine and check the fluid level. Test drive until the engine reaches normal operating temperature on the temperature gauge. Park the car on level ground and recheck the fluid level. Add small amounts of fluid to the transmission, using the funnel, until the fluid level is at the top of the crosshatch area on the dipstick.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • 3/8-inch-drive socket wrench

  • Drain pan

  • Narrow funnel

  • 3 quarts ATF-Z1 Honda transmission fluid

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 1993 Honda Civic

Drive the 1993 Honda Civic around for ten to fifteen minutes to heat up the transmission fluid. This will enable more fluid to drain out of the transmission.

Park the Civic on a level area and turn the engine off. Open the hood and apply the parking brake. Jack up all four corners of the Civic and place the safety stands under each designated jacking point. Lower the jack so that the Civic is sitting securely on top of the stands. The car has to be level for all of the fluid to drain out of the transmission.

Slide under the car near the passenger side door and locate the pan on the bottom of the transmission near the front passenger side wheel. Place the catch pan underneath the transmission pan. Loosen and remove the magnetic drain bolt from the bottom of the transmission with a ratchet and a metric socket. Wait for all of the fluid to drain out of the pan and then screw the drain bolt back into the bottom of the transmission with your hand until it is tight. Tighten the plug with the ratchet and socket until the plug is tight. Give the plug another one-quarter of a turn with the ratchet and socket to seat the plug to the transmission pan. Remove the ratchet and socket from the plug.

Pull the catch pan out from under the Civic. Move to the front passenger side of the vehicle and locate the red transmission dipstick on the passenger side rear of the transmission. Pull the dipstick out of the tube and place it on a clean surface. Insert the long neck funnel into the tube and pour in 3.5 quarts of the Honda Genuine Automatic Transmission fluid. Pull the funnel out and reinsert the dipstick.

Crank the engine and let it warm up to operating temperature. Hold the brake down and shift the gear lever through all of the gears and then back to the park position. Keep the engine running and check the transmission fluid level on the dipstick. The fluid level should be on the full mark because the 1993 Honda Civic transmission only holds 3.5 quarts of transmission fluid. Put the dipstick back into the tube and close the hood. Turn the engine off.

Jack the Civic back up and remove all of the jack stands. Lower the vehicle to the ground and remove the jack.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Fluid catch pan

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2-inch drive socket set (Metric)

  • Long neck funnel

  • 3.5 quarts of Honda Genuine Automatic Transmission Fluid

 How to Change Transmission Fluid on 2002 Honda Odyssey

Raise the front of the Odyssey with a jack and lower it onto jack stands for support. Slide under the car and look for the large metal box near the center, slightly on the driver's side. The box is surrounded by bolts holding it to the engine. Locate the large screw pin bolt next to the metal box. This is the transmission fluid drain bolt.

Place a large pan underneath the drain bolt. Use the ratchet to undo the drain bolt. Wait for the transmission fluid to stop pouring from the bolt. Clean it off with a wet rag. Replace and tighten the bolt.

Remove the jack stands and lower the van to the ground. Pop the hood and find the transmission fluid dipstick in the engine, above the transmission drain pan. Pull out the dipstick.

Place a funnel in the tube and pour in three liters of transmission fluid. Replace the dipstick and lower the hood. Drive the car for five minutes and then let the car cool for 15 minutes. Open the hood and pull the dipstick out. Check the level of the fluid. It should be between the minimum and maximum lines. Add more if it is below the minimum line. Drain fluid by repeating Steps 1 through 3 if the level is above the maximum line.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • 3/8-inch ratchet

  • Wet rag

  • Pan

  • 3 liters transmission fluid

 How to Change Transmission Fluid in a 1998 Honda Accord

Drive the car around to heat up the transmission fluid. The hotter the transmission fluid is, the thinner the fluid will be. The thinner the transmission fluid is, the more fluid will come out of the transmission.

Park the car on an even surface and turn the engine off.

Jack up the front end of the car and place the jack stands behind each front tire. There are designated slots behind each front tires on the 1998 Honda Accord for the jack stands to sit under. Put the jack stands in the designated area and lower the car onto the jack stands. Inspect to make sure that the car is securely and evenly on the jack stands.

Locate the drain plug on the passenger's side of the transmission. The drain plug is on the lower right hand side of the transmission and it has a 3/8-inch square hole in the center of the plug.

Put the square part of the 3/8-inch ratchet into the 3/8-inch square hole in the center of the drain plug. Turn the drain plug counter-clockwise to loosen it. Once the plug is loosened, put the fluid catch pan under the drain plug and finish removing the drain plug from the transmission. Let all of the fluid from the transmission run into the catch pan.

Wipe the plug off with a clean rag and put the plug back into the transmission. Tighten the plug back down tightly with the 3/8-inch ratchet. Pull the fluid catch pan out from under the car.

Jack the car back up and remove the jack stands. Lower the car back to the ground and remove the jack.

Pop the hood and locate the transmission dipstick on the passenger's side of the engine. The dipstick is located on the rear of the engine on the passenger's side. The dipstick will have a red pull handle. Remove the dipstick from the dipstick tube.

Put the funnel into the dipstick tube and pour 3 quarts of automatic transmission fluid into the transmission. Remove the funnel and put the dipstick back in.

Crank the engine and let the engine run for one minute. Then check the transmission fluid level on the dipstick while the engine is running. The manual for the 1998 Honda Accord calls for 2.8 quarts, but 3.0 quarts of automatic transmission fluid brings the fluid to the full mark on the dipstick. Once you are satisfied with the transmission fluid level, put the dipstick back in and turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • Car jack

  • Jack stands

  • 3/8-inch ratchet

  • Fluid catch pan

  • Clean rags

  • Automatic transmission fluid

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 2004 Honda Accord

Drive your Accord five to 10 miles to warm the transmission fluid for the changing task.

Park your vehicle on level ground so that no part of the car is tipped as you change the transmission fluid.

Raise your car approximately six to eight inches off the ground using a car jack supported by jack stands. For even elevation, you should use two stands on the left side and two stands on the right side of the car.

Go under the front of your car and locate the transmission pan. It resembles the bottom side of a kitchen baking pan and is mounted by eight bolts plus a center drain plug.

Put your drain pan directly under the transmission pan so that the fluid will empty straight down into your drain pan, rather than splashing onto the ground and creating an unnecessary mess.

Put your safety glasses and protective gloves on to prevent injury during the draining portion of the transmission fluid changing procedure.

Unplug the drain cap using your socket wrench. Fluid will instantly begin pouring out of the drain and into your drip pan, so use caution that the hot fluid does not spill or splash onto you.

Remove the bolts from the transmission pan's perimeter, keeping in mind that a small amount of hot fluid may be sitting at the bottom of the pan.

Dump any remaining fluid into the drip pan.

Wipe the transmission pan clean with your damp rag and degreaser.

Tighten the bolts back onto the transmission pan's mounting position, just as it was before removal.

Remove the jack stands from both sides of your Accord and lower the jack with caution.

Open your Accord's hood and locate the fill port at the top of your transmission. On the 2004 Honda Accord, the transmission is located closer to the driver's side of the car near the windshield.

Add the transmission fluid one quart at a time with the vehicle running and emergency brake engaged.

After each quart of fluid has been poured into the transmission through the funnel, slowly shift into each gear. This encourages the fluid to push through the system, thereby lubricating each intricate component of the transmission.

Fill the third quart of transmission fluid very gradually, since the entire quart may not fit and you do not want to risk the mess of overflow. The dipstick that is attached to the fill port will show you when the fluid has reached the transmission's maximum capacity.

Replace the fill port's cap and close your hood to complete the transmission fluid change.

Items you will need

  • Safety glasses

  • Petroleum-resistant gloves

  • Car jack

  • 4 jack stands

  • 3 qts. automatic transmission fluid

  • Funnel

  • Drip pan

  • Degreaser

  • Damp rag

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.