How to Flush Out a Honda Civic CVT Transmission

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Changing the fluid of a Honda Civic continuously variable transaxle (CVT) transmission is important in the overall maintenance plan for your car. You should change the fluid every 30,000 miles or 24 months, whichever comes first. Regularly changing the transmission fluid will extend the life of your transmission and ultimately your car.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack stands
  • Jack
  • Drain pan
  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet with extension
  • Cleaning rags
  • New transmission fluid

Draining the Transmission Fluid

  • Put the jack stands in place and raise the Honda with the jack to access the transaxle drain plug, which is on the bottom right (passenger) side of the transaxle.

  • Place the drain pan below the transaxle, and remove the drain plug using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet or breaker bar. The fluid might come out with some force, so ensure that the drain pan is in place before removal. Allow the fluid to fully drain from the transaxle.

  • Clean the drain plug with a rag, and replace it tightly on the transaxle. Lower the car.

Replacing the Fluid

  • Using a funnel, slowly add the new transmission fluid through your car's dipstick tube. Periodically check the level, as marked on the dipstick by a cross-hatched area, to ensure the proper amount of fluid is added. The engine must remain off during fluid replacement.

  • Start the engine and shift into each of the available positions. Place the car back into park, apply the parking brake and turn the engine off.

  • Complete a follow-up check of the transmission fluid level. If necessary, add fluid to bring it to the appropriate level.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drain fluid immediately after driving the car, because hot transmission fluid more effectively removes buildup and sediments.
  • Wear gloves while changing the transmission fluid; this is important because it can reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit when hot.

References

  • Honda Tech: Transmission
  • Haynes Repair Manual for Honda Civic & CR-V; Larry Warren, Alan Ahlstrand, John H Haynes; Haynes North America Inc.; 2001
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