Manual transaxle lubricant

In the Haynes manual they reference Honda Manual Transmission Fluid (MTF) for replacement. Can I assume that an equivalent might be 10W 30 motor oil?

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No.
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Never put motor oil in your transmission. Go to Honda !
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Not any more. In the interest of preventing damage to the catalytic converter, oil makers have reduced the zinc content of motor oils.
Unfortunately, this zinc is one of those things that was used to help protect the engine, and your gears.
Honda MTL is a similar viscosity to 10W-30, but is heavy in anti-wear additives (which explains its stink). It's not meant for use in engines, so they don't have to worry about $1,000 catalytinc converters.
Use the MTL. Tranny replacements are rather expensive compared to Genuine Honda MTL.
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TeGGeR wrote:

TeGGer, any experience with Redline MTL? It is a full synthetic designed for manual transmissions and also has a viscosity similar to 10W-30. Lots of people use it and report good results. I presently run it in my classic Volvo which originally specified 10W-30 motor oil and I love how the car shifts with the Redline stuff.
John
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Mista B0ne (who hasn't posted here in a while) has seen failures of the bearings' plastic cages with use of Redline MTL. That's a catastrophic failure.
I have no experience with it myself.
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TeGGeR wrote:

Well that is scarry! Plastics can certainly have unhappy interactions with various lubcicants and coolants. Reason enough to stick with the Honda fluid.
Older vehicles like my '72 Volvo have real honest metal cage bearing assemblies. Plastic bearing cages, yuck!
John
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What year of Honda?

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97 5 speed manual.
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1997 Civic 5 speed.
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In my 1991 Civic, I have used the owner's manual recommended 10w-30 oil all its life. However, there is a caveat to this. Some evidence on the net indicates that the constituents of 10w-30 were changed in the last ten years or so to improve its effectiveness as an engine oil, but also making it deleterious to transmissions. The evidence is chatter, nothing authoritative. Maybe there is an authoritative citation on the subject somewhere, but I haven't seen it yet.
The best I turned up (with direction from another) was an Australia Honda site, http://www.honda.com.au/buying+a+honda/parts/ , which says: "Honda MTF Plus Manual Transmission Fluid has been specifically formulated for use in all Honda manual transmissions. MTF Plus is designed to provide smoother shifting operation at all temperatures over the life of the fluid."
There are anecdotal reports of better shifting resulting from the Honda OEM MTF.
I intend to use the Honda OEM MTF at the next change. I think it's worth a gamble of only a few bucks more every few years, assuming the OEM stuff can't make things worse than the 10w-30.

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imola23 wrote:

I would get manual transmission specific fluid, either from a Honda dealer or Redline MTL (available at many better auto parts stores).
10W-30 MIGHT do in a crisis, but is not ideal. You don't need much, so cost shouldn't be a big factor.
John
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Transaxle Fluid and Motor are not even close to being the same!
Maybe it is best you not do any maintenance on the car. Your line of thinking will get you in a LOT of trouble.
G-Man

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G-Man wrote:

Although I agree that a real MTL is a better choice, using 10W-30 is not the kind of unthinkable horror you seem to be saying it is.
In fact, for many years Honda specified 10W-30 motor oil for the manual transmission. This has been a common recommendation by many manufacturers for many years. For example, my 1972 Volvo also calls for 10W-30 in the manual transmission.
Early Honda cars actually shared the same oil circulation for the engine and transmission and many motorcyles work that way as well.
That said, modern 10W-30 motor oils are not ideal for transmissions and it is better to use the Honda MTL or a good aftermarket one like Redline MTL.
John
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My manual specifies 10W30 for my Honda.
Very pleased with the results with Royal Purple Sycromax.
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What year manual?

Will you be pleased at 200K?
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