One More Time: A/T Flush vs. Drain/Refill

For 2-3 minutes after cold start up in the morning, my '07 Accord V6 with only 50K properly maintained miles chugs and is rough under load, especially just before the shift point when it's straining a little.
Cold engine start/run is normal and engine diagnosis is OK. After warm up, car shifts just fine. Consensus is A/T fluid needs to be changed.
Some dealers say flush, some say drain/refill-- but Honda service bulletin says drain and refill 3X only which is what owner's manual specifies also. Also talked to some transmission repair places too.
Not sure what to do here. Doesn't look all that hard to drain/refill myself and that's a lot cheaper than what's being quoted for dealer flush or drain/refill. But if flushing will clean it out better, maybe do that?
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7 years old--my take would be to drain and refill. Flush can cause more troubles then it cures--stirring up debris that's best left alone. MLD
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It is very easy to do, easier than changing oil - so if you can change oil you can do it.
I just did my 07 v6 a few weeks ago because at 90000 it was looking brownish rather than reddish. I have not noticed any difference in shifting, but I didn't have a problem to start with either.
The Honda recommended fluid is now Honda DW-1 (and not the Honda ATF-Z1 that your book says). Personally I would not mess around with using anything other than the Honda fluid.
It's easy to drain, a 3/8 ratchet or breaker bar fits into the plug. It's probably a good idea to use a new crush washer on the final fill, buy one for a few cents when you get the fluid.
You do not refill the trans through the dipstick tube. There is a fill plug approx 8 inches straight back toward the firewall from where the dipstick tube is. Mine had a red mark and is stamped "ATF". The plug is assessable with a socket and extension but mine was extremely tight and required 2ft of cheater bar.
On 5/1/2014 10:18 AM, Travis Bickle wrote:

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Unless you have one of the recalled 02 models, for example, where they ran a new permanent line into the proper fill port as part of the recall. On those models, you must fill through the dipstick tube.
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On 5/2/2014 7:50 AM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

OP said 07 Accord V6
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wrote:

I'd say drain and refill more often, rather than flush less often, would be likely to have best results. Especially if Honda recommends drain and refill!
My experience with Honda trannies with more than a few miles is that once they start acting funny the new fluid helps for only a short while, couple of months. I had all dealer service so assume it was just drain/refill.
J.
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On 5/1/2014 12:00 PM, JRStern wrote:
[Snip}

I would tend to agree but...
How many of us truly trust the dealer to drain and fill 3X?
I can only imagine the bean counter at the dealership saying drain/fill 1X = <3X profit since we save 2/3rd of the tranny fluid which we bill out and 2/3rds of the book time.
Of course, no dealer would do that would they?<g>
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The Honda dealership that I'm familiar with charges $79.95 for a transmission service which is one drain and fill.
If you specify three drain and fills I think they will do it but it will cost more like $240.00.
When you drain most Honda transmissions about 3 quarts of the 6 or 7 that they hold will come out. So a simple drain and fill will get you about a 50 -50 mix of new and old fluid. That pretty much goes down as a normal service. I think most customers probably assume they have 100% new for their 80 bucks, but that's not how it is.
I think the over the counter price of Honda fluid is about $13.00 a quart. That would make the 'parts' price of a single drain and fill $39.00.
On 5/1/2014 10:39 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

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On 5/1/2014 10:50 PM, Al wrote:

My point, exactly.
When one pays for Honda service at a Honda dealership it is not unreasonable to expect the dealership to follow Honda's recommended service procedure - after all, is that not ALL dealerships' claim to "fame", that they will do it right?
It's just too easy to foist another one off on the consumer without even having to bother to ask them to bend over and "drop trou"<g>
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wrote:

You "think"? Have you actually ASKED?
The procedure is simple: drain, fill, drive a mile or two to mix it all up, drain, fill, drive a mile or two, drain, fill.
I doubt they charge 3X the base charge at all.
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On 5/2/2014 7:48 AM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

I don't know why you would doubt it - it is MORE than 3 times more work and exactly 3 times more parts (fluid). It requires coming into the shop 3 times instead of 1, being lifted 3 times instead of one, leaving the shop twice to be driven for a few minutes instead of not being driven at all.
Why would I ask? I already said I do mine myself. I only said that I know the price of one drain and fill at one particular dealership is 79.95 and would reasonably expect 3 to be about 3 times as much. Given the dealership price of the fluid is about $117 for 9 quarts, a shop hour is about $90, plus disposal fees, so yeah "I think" 240 is a reasonable ballpark estimate for three drain and fills at a dealership.
But the point really was that a NORMAL service is one drain and fill.
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Would not surprise me if that's what my dealer did, but it was years ago I last faced this, probably on a 1999 Acura CL V6, where the trannie misbehaved since day one. I finally had the fluid changed (whatever they actually did) around 30k miles and once or twice more inside of four years. I'm thinking the charge was closer to $80 than $240.
Since then I've been leasing Accord I4s, and I think one of them got a little funky towards the end of the lease but the others' trannies all were OK for the three years I drove them.
And the CVT on my 2013 is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, but doesn't seem (yet) to have any fluid issues. Well maybe, sometimes at startup when I engage reverse there is what seems like major slippage, but so far it hasn't left me stranded.
J.
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Find a dealer you can trust. It's not hard.
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