89 civic dx sedan

Hi everyone,
A friend of mine received as a gift a 1989 civic sedan DX. Its got a B15B2 motor with auto trannie.
its a sweet ride with only 123000 kms on it, new rad, newer driveshafts, very
clean on top. New exhaust, almost no rust, which is surprising since it was in the salt belt here in Winnipeg.
However when I got underneath to remove the oil filter, I noticed a leak. Not entirely sure where it is coming from. Also couldn't tell if it was oil or trannie fluid.
I figure that the best way to determine what it is would be to check if the trannie fluid is low. The engine oil level was fine.
What is the procedure for checking trannie fluid? My previous reading indicates you have to check while the car is running in neutral. Is this correct?
t
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On Hondas it can be checked with the engine off but make sure the car is on level ground. Hondas aren't the same as some american made cars.
-jeff

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boy am i glad they aren't the same as detroit shiat.
hondaman wrote:

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Yes it is.
1) Drive the car for 15 minutes or so. 2) Let it sit on a level surface. 3) Run the lever slowly through all the ranges, then back into Neutral or Park. LEAVE ENGINE RUNNING. 4) Pull dipstick and wipe it off. 5) Reinsert all the way, then remove and check level against the HOT range.
There is only about 8oz from min to max, so be careful how much you add.
If you need to add, turn the engine off and put a small funnel on the dipstick tube. Pour the new fluid in there. Dexron is fine.
The reason the engine needs to be running is that the transmission's internal pump is the torque converter. If the engine is not running, then fluid is not being pumped through the tranny and the level will seem WAY high.
All automatics work this way, regardless of whether they are American or not.
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TeGGeR wrote:

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Damn. You're right. I missed that.
All the steps I outlined above are correct with the exception of the engine running. As jim says, it should be OFF!
You are supposed to check the oil /no more than/ one minute after shutting the car off. Immediately is better.
Hmph. Engines that run backwards, ATs that need to be checked with engine off. Honda likes to do things differently, don't they?
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Tegger,
Just wondering why Dexron is OK to use as ATF in this car? Wouldn't honda fluid be the preferred?
t
TeGGeR wrote:

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Back then Honda used to say you could use "Honda Premium Formula" ATF, *or* the equivalent DEXRON-II. It sounds from the factory manual like you can mix the two types if you want.
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TeGGeR wrote:

you don't want to be kicked in the ass on every shift.
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T L via CarKB.com wrote:

the transmission dip stick is yellow. you'll see it down there on the left side as you face the engine.
regarding the leak, it's most likely engine oil. check the color. if it's red/pink/purple, it's transmission. if it's straw, it's motor oil. [they are different colors specifically for leak identification.] motor oil leaks can be reduced by using a quality brand of oil - some don't have sufficient seal conditioners and they start to leak like sieves. use of a decent oil [i like castrol for this] re-conditions the seals to a large degree and they seal much better again.

no, not on a honda. read the owners manual. read it when hot and with the motor OFF.

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