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With the exception of oil, the owner's manual says words similar to "you can use another brand of XXX as a temporary replacement, but have the XXX system flushed and replaced with Honda XXX fluid or..." --some horrible thing-- might happen. The manual offers such warnings regarding coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, etc.

Dealers: Is this Honda marketing at its worst, or is there a real reason I shouldn't/can't use other brands of fluids? Never have I owned a vehicle whose manufacturer claims that any other brand of virtually any fluid will cause damage to my engine. Others SUGGEST using their own brand, but this is the first company I've seen that insists, and in some cases even predicts great harm if you don't.

But this is my first foreign car, too. My Ford certainly worked (and still works) great with 100% non-Ford brand fluids, and it's pushing 100k miles.
 

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I would suggest using Honda ATF, M/T fluid, P.S. fluid and coolant. Also Honda oil filters. I work at a Honda dealer and am just giving my opinion.
 

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I would use only Honda fluids in certain areas. The first area is the Manual Transmission. Honda uses a different weight of oil (10W40, I think) than anybody else I have ever seen. Every car i have ever worked on required 80 weight oil for the gearbox. Put that in your Honda and your shifting ease and gas mileage will go to crap. Another Honda fluid to use is the power steering fluid. I've heard from very reputable sources that honda makes the best power steering fluid in the world, bar none. They say it has some lubrication additives and anti-corrosion inhibitors that are simply great. Also use nothing but Honda oil filters. I learned from the Honda racing engine builders that they are superior to anything on the market. I was shown a Honda filter cut in half versus a Fram filter and there was no comparison between them. In the end spend a few extra dollars and your Honda will keep running right for many years to come.
 

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From another article at the Hondaclub.com website:
Now, I can hear you asking “Aren’t all oil filters alike?” The answer is a resounding “No!” All original-equipment Honda/Acura cartridge oil filters have a built-in pressure-relief valve. Most aftermarket oil filters do not, meaning that during the first startup on a cold morning, if the oil is too thick, it can’t get through the filtering material to protect the internal parts of the engine.

You’ve probably seen those TV commercials for synthetic oils that help protect your engine in cold-start conditions. Well, the best oil in the world won’t help if it can’t make it through the oil filter. In cold weather, an original-equipment filter’s pressure-relief bypass valve will open and allow oil flow to continue to the vital parts of the engine until the oil has warmed up and can pass through the filtering element.
 
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