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What would you guys recommend to someone with a 2002 V6 Sedan with 80,000 miles on the original transmission? Everything is shifting fine, no issues whatsoever, but I would like to keep it that way for as long as possible.
I am hearing lots of conflicting information about if transmission drain/fill is a good thing or bad thing to do as "preventative", if the 2002 transmission is garbage or if they fixed whatever the problem is, and also if a transmission cooler is worth the hassle. My regular mechanic tells me to "leave it alone", but they don't do a lot of transmission work, so who knows.
Anyways I have lucked out with this car already because besides random brake and suspension pieces I've had to replace, I haven't had anything major go wrong with it in the few years I've had it. Plus the paint and leather are mint thanks to the previous owner keeping it in the garage and hardly driving it.
 

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J35 _ 5-Speed A/T
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1,772 Posts
I disagree with his suggestion to "Leave it alone".


Keep in mind I am not a wrench-head or mechanic.....so, do your own research on my advice below.


Heat breaks down the protection factor in the transmission fluid. I believe it was at 220 degrees is when the protection factor breaks down much more. So if your tranny constantly runs at 220 or higher, the fluid is going to breakdown fast. That is why a 3x3 drain and fill, NOT a flush, is recommended at around 25k miles.


You could also do a 3 quart drain and fill when your oil is changed. This method would keep almost 100% fresh fluid in the tranny at all times.


In addition, change the 2nd and 3rd gear fluid pressure switches at around 50k miles. This keeps the pressure up for the shifting. Those pressure switches wear out and will cause the speed of the shift to degrade, or slow down. When the tranny shifts gears slowly, the clutch packs generate more heat versus a fast shift. A slow shift will cause more material to wear off the clutch pack.


Adding a transmission cooler would also help that tranny last. It is going to keep it cool in the hot months and sit and go traffic. Get a B & M brand "plate and fin" type tranny cooler.


Only use the Honda DW-1 fluid, use no aftermarket additives.


They didn't fix the issue with the tranny, it was just a bad design along with that $hitty Z-1 fluid they used previously. It had a lot of Friction Modifiers, which made the shifts soft and slow. This was to provide a "comfortable" shift for the driver. But, those slow shifts were part of the cause for failures. The DW-1 fluid has less friction modifiers. Members have reported a noticeable firmer shift when swapping out the old Z-1 fluid to the DW1 fluid.


We have learned over the years, from various members and word of mouth from other techs, to perform all of the above as preventive maintenance to keep the tranny lasting as long as we possibly can.
 
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