you didn't mention the year of your vehicle, but the fluid sells for $7 a
litre (canadian) and you need 2 litres. The fluid lasts for 50000kms or so,
why the hell would you chince out on this? Thats a little less than $0.0003
This comes up every so often here. I assume you have an older Civic
(mid-1990s or younger), and the owner's manual says to use 10W-30. You can
google, but I'm pretty sure you'll find support for the Honda tranny fluid
being superior to the 10W-30, both operationally and also as far as
maximizing the life of the gears etc. I am told one will actually feel the
difference in shifting. IIRC, modern 10W-30 doesn't contain the additives
that older 10W-30 had.
The next time my 1991 Civic (170k miles) needs a manual transmission fluid
change, I am going to try, for the first time ever, the Honda fluid. Like TL
said, I think the expense is low enough to at least give it a try.
Post-o. Change "younger" to "older."
Some discussion of the subject of switching from 10W-30 to Honda Tranny
fluid (saying pretty much what I posted):
From a post of mine in July:
The only authoritative
citation on the subject appears to be from George M., who wrote that "the
Honda Australia site started to push Honda lubricants fairly recently and
now recommend Honda MTF for manual gearboxes; prior to that they used to
recommend a SAE 75W-80 API GL4 lubricant."
The only thing I found at the Australia site so far is at
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."
Googling yields comments like that at
http://www.inlinefour.com/honmantranfl.html . I am finding nothing
dispositive on the subject, so far.
The primary impetus for the preference of Honda MTL is the change in
composition of 10W-30 since it was first recommended by Honda.
The anti-wear additives in 10W-30 motor oil (specifically zinc and sulphur)
have been reduced in the interest of protecting the catalytic converter.
Since the tranny has no cat, you can put as much anti-wear additive as you
need, hence the formulation of Honda MTL. Ever notice how it stinks?
Basically, Honda's old recommendation is outmoded.
And to the OP: Yes MTL is expensive, but it's still only about $10 per
quart. Have you ever priced tranny rebuilds? Or even a used transmission?
MTL is pretty cheap in comparison.
Cheaping out here is /definitely/ false economy.
Stick with Honda MTF. I've done a lot of research on this subject and the
only other fluid I would use would be GM's friction modified synchroshift
fluid which can only be gotten at a GM dealer and at the cost of $20 per
quart, makes Honda MTF look like a bargain.
Sorry, my mistake in not reading your manual transmission requirement
One very popular replacement fluid for manual transmission which call
for a 10W-30 style fluid is Redline Synthetic MTL. It isn't cheap, but
it is really good stuff.
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