Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Honda Odysseys transmission filter they don't tell you about

In this post I will show you where the filter is for your 99-04 Honda odysseys automatic transmission and how to change it. Honda says this is a lifetime filter that does not need to be changed. I decided to change mine because I have heard of this particular filter being plugged up and I wanted to make sure mine wasn't. Transmissions are expensive! These transmissions are the weak link in this particular van anyways so I decided not to take a chance. I was going to do a drain and fill on the trans fluid also so I decided to do both. First thing to do is drain the trans fluid after you have properly warmed it up. It's a 3/8 square drive so just use your 3/8 extension and pull the plug out.
 The drain plug has a magnet on it so you can see how much fuzz is on it when you pull it. My fluid looked pretty bad. I had 34,000 miles on it since it was changed. I have decided to change it every 10,000 miles from now on. Honda recommends doing it every 30,000 miles. After seeing this oil, I don't think it's a bad idea to do it early and frequently. It is easy to do and only takes 3.5 quarts of fluid to fill it up.  
 Here you can see the fuzz on the drain plug. I have seen worse, but I have also seen better.
Clean your plug up before you put it back in. Here is is all cleaned up and ready to be installed.
 Make sure you install a new gasket on the plug. They are cheap and you won't need to worry about having any leaks. If you were only doing a drain and refill you would just refill your trans with 3.5 quarts of fluid and you would be done at this point. Super easy to do. If you want to change your filter keep reading.
 OK, pop your hood and this is what you will find. New cars like to cover their engines with a bunch of plastic crap so it looks clean. You need to remove the cover so you can see your actual engine. Remove the duct from the air cleaner also so you can see the trans filter. That will require 1 clamp, 3 hoses and a wiring plug. It's pretty self explanatory when your doing it.
 Here it is with everything removed. At this point it may look a little daunting. Don't worry, it's not too bad.
 If you look way down at the end of my screw driver, you will see the filter. The abs controller is to the right and you will have to remove the harness to get to the filter. Just slide the lock as far as it will go and the plug will pull off.
The harness is removed and that will open a whole new view for you. You can actually see the filter after the harness is moved out of the way.
You can really see the filter now. You need to remove (2) 10 MM bolts that hold on the line that provides fluid to the filter. I used a wrench to break loose the bolts and then used a gear wrench to remove the bolts. They are a little hard to get to but not all that bad.
 This picture shows the bolts removed with the line pulled out of the filter. You can see the o ring on the line. Replace the o ring if you have one. Now you just have to unscrew the filter from here. It takes a 24 MM wrench on the back of the filter. There was 107,000 miles of dirt on top of the filter.
Here is the filter removed from the trans. It only took a couple cuss words and a little blood and it came right out.
 Here is the transmission without the filter. I took some time to clean off the dirt from the transmission before I installed the new filter.
 Here are the 2 filters side by side. The original one is on the right and the new one is on the left.
 Install the filter the same way you removed it. Just be super careful not to get dirt in your transmission and don't over tighten it. It only gets torqued to 16 ft lbs. Here is a shot of mine installed and ready to go. Make sure you install your line and tighten the 2 bolts up.
 I put in 3.7 quarts of trans fluid while I had some room. I just put the fluid in through the transmission dipstick tube. It's the easiest and most accessible way. I use 2 funnels. One small one that fits in the dipstick tube and a taller one that goes into the smaller one. 3.7 quarts was perfect for a drain and refill with a filter change.
I am a snob when it comes to fluids. I do not skimp on them and I highly suggest you use the Genuine Honda atf fluid for your Honda. Just remember, transmissions are not cheap but the fluid is. You might as well use the right stuff.
 Install the ducting and you are about done. Put the plastic cover on and take it for a test drive. Get the trans warmed up and shift through all the gears. Pull it up on a level surface and shut the engine off. Check your fluid level between 30 to 90 seconds after you turn off your engine and make sure its at the top of the level on your dipstick. Your done now. Your transmission will thank you.
 I like to cut filters open to see whats in them. I have done lots of oil filters and fuel filters.  I decided to cut this one open and check it out just because I was curious. Here is is just after I have cut it open
Here is the filter removed from the housing. You can see some of the gunk in it. I take a utility knife from here and cut off the pleated part.
 Overall, it wasn't horrible. You can see some of the sludge that came off the filter on my thumb.I am glad it wasn't worse than this. I would still change the filter out after at least 100,000 miles just to be on the safe side. The filter line that goes to this filter is your return line. If it gets plugged you can have some trouble.
That was this weekends projects at Olson's Speed Shop. There are some more coming up in the future. Keep an eye out.


Peter Schultz said...

GREAT glad someone will cut open a use filter and show us. good idea to change it out 100k. you still think that?

The Bug Boys said...

I think it's a good idea to change it out at 100,000. I have heard of people changing their transmissions and then finding out that their filter is totally plugged. I have also heard of people changing this filter and then having their transmission problems go away. It is very expensive to change a trans for a 20 dollar filter.

Kayla Dudley said...

In my opinion, repairing a car is not for everyone. One must have a good set of skills to succeed with this kind of task. But with this, I’m sure some people will gain confidence in trying this on their own car. Besides, DIY is a fun activity. But I can’t blame others if they still prefer a pro to repair. Thanks for sharing.

Kayla @

SupremeClutch said...

Is there a atf filter inside the transmission of a 2004 honda odyssey?If so how can I get to it to change it?