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How to Change Manual Transmission Fluid, aka MTF


Overview:

I searched for this but couldn’t find it. If I missed it I apologize for redundancy.

I believe you could accomplish this change without lifting the vehicle. However, my vehicle was already up with 4 jack stands. I mention 4 jack stands because it is important that the vehicle be level.


Parts & tools:

Since my vehicle was up on jack stands with the wheels removed, I simply did the change from the left front wheel well. See first image. The bolt in the upper right-hand-corner which is just partially obscured by shadow is the fill bolt. From memory it is a 17mm. The lower, circular, (YES, CIRCULAR), fastener is the drain bolt.

The service manual calls to change out the crush washers. The fill washer is not the same as the drain washer. See image 2. The drain washer is the same as the crankcase crush washer.

17mm socket or wrench. I used a socket.
3/8” ratchet and/or extension.
Oil catch container.
2 qts MTF.
Fill bolt crush washer
Drain bolt crush washer
You’ll need something to get the oil back into the M/T. See this link.
Shop towels.
15 minutes.


Procedure:

Remove the fill bolt first. In the unlikely event you can’t get it off then you can stop right there before you’ve drained your M/T of fluid. I used a long extension. See image 3.

Position catch container underneath drain bolt. You can also get a deflector in place so that once you remove the bolt the oil doesn’t wind up all over the cross-member, but this is not necessary.

Insert a 3/8 drive ratchet or ratchet extension into the square opening in the circular drain fastener. See image 4. Remove fastener. Allow oil to drain. Replace crush washer and re-fasten drain bolt to 33 ft-lbs.

Fill M/T with MTF. The observant amongst you will have already noted that the fill hole is on a horizontal plane. So, you’re not going to just pour the MTF out of the bottle into the M/T. Use a funnel & hose, pump, or suction gun to replace MTF.

Replace crush washer before re-inserting fill plug to 33 ft-lbs.

You're finished, but keep an eye on those fasteners after the next few trips to make sure they are not leaking.

Photos:
 

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I might add that it is always recommended in the case of tranny fluid or diff fluid to remove the FILL bolt first. That way, if you can't get it off for whatever reason, you know BEFORE you've drained all your tranny fluid or diff fluid out. It sucks to have to call a friend for a ride to the store to buy a six point socket instead of 12 cuz you can't drive there without tranny fluid (ask how I know).
 

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Amsoil MTF

jcasaccio, which Amsoil synthetic MTF did you use for your Element? Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid (5W-30) or something else? Has anyone else tried another synthetic MTF with good long term results?
 

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Thanks

Thanks for the writeup. Did it today. Your directions were great.
I let it get a little messy, but given my dealer quoted me $139 last week to do this 20 minute job, I'll take the mess and money saved. Next time I will just do it on an oil change day.
I stuck with the Honda Tranny fluid because it has been good so far (100,000 miles) and this is my second time to have it changed.
 

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So I decided to follow a couple of the treads on here to "tune" up my Element. It says 2 qts of MTF on this thread. I went to the local dealer and he said it was around 2.5 qts. considering he bagged up ATF instead, I'm not putting a lot of faith in their advice. Just looking for a little carification on this if someone can assist. Thanks in advance. BTW the write up was perfect. it just took more time to back to the dealer than it did to drain and refill.
 

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Some ppl say use 2, some say use 1, some say 3.... How many quarts really is needed for a tranny fluid change?

Also is it recommended to chagne the manual tranny fluid filter aswell?
Who says it takes just one quart? I'll bet it shifts REAL nice now.<G>

To be precise it should be filled until it starts to run out of the filler hole. If the car is level then that would be ~2 qts.
 

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Did this according to the instructions. Went very well. Whover said to thread in a transmission funnel behind the front tire, that was perfect advice. Answering my own question, I got the fill plug off with an end wrench - used the closed end, tapped with a hammer.

After changing ATF on my other two Hondas recently, I was surprised that the drain plug wasn't magnetic. Ahh, the main wear items in a manual trans aren't ferrous. Nevermind then.

Fluid was obviously used, but was not ominous in any way.

Refilled with the Honda MTF. Shifts a ton smoother now.

Very easy job. Highly recommended.
 

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Just did this today, fourth time on this car, 141k. Still using original washers, no leaks. Same with oil pan. No pressure, wouldn't leak if you had no washer at all, which is the way it used to be. Just clean all surfaces carefully.

Takes more than 2 quarts, so buy 3. I use a little pump that fits in the oil bottle, just takes a lot of pumps. But I rarely need to do it, and now my thumb is strong.

If you put hose in fill plug with end tilted downward, it will go in further and stay in while you pump or decant into the trans.

I use a short 17mm socket and no extension. Swivel-head socket wrench helps a bit, but not needed as much as a long handle. You could use 17mm wrench, but it might not stick out far enough to get leverage on.

Foot on wrench good for loosening if tight, grab the tow ring for a brace. Beware of flying flip-flops. :^)

I like Redline MTL, Honda approved apparently, can often buy it at Acura dealers.
 

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Two crush washers. The one for the drain (bottom) hole is 14mm, part #94109-14000. The one for the top (fill) hole is 20mm, part #94109-20000.
I'm trying to locate these washers on the H and A website and am not having any luck. I don't see them on the maintenance page and I can't seem to find any search option on the site (?). I see the oil plug washers, AT washer, and differential washer but no MT washers.
 
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