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A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'02 Honda Civic, Transmission Problems With Fluid Change

Q: I have an ‘02 Honda Civic and I changed the transaxle fluid as specified by the Owner’s Manual. I changed the fluid 3 times with Ammco ATF (not Honda ATF) and the transaxle slips only in gear shifting when the fluid is cold on a cold day. After it warms up, it’s fine. I avoid the dealership at all costs and was wondering if there is an additive you can add to Ammco ATF that is present in Honda ATF or if there is another alternative to using Honda ATF, for instance, a different brand other than Honda ATF.

- Craig D.

A: First, I would not recommend using a transmission fluid that does not meet the Honda requirements for your vehicle. You can walk into any Honda Dealers parts department and buy the fluid and perform the service yourself. Yes, Honda automatic transmission oil is pricey. Why is that? It’s not regular transmission oil. This, of course, you found out after installing a transmission fluid that is not correct for your Honda. If you want to use regular Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) in your Honda you will need to put an additive in that oil. There is a company called Lube Guard that produces such an additive. Their product is found in many parts stores and comes in different types. Be sure to check the information on the bottle to confirm that you’re purchasing the correct additive for your vehicle’s transmission fluid needs. This does provide an alternative but the best way to go is with the Honda fluid.

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