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How Often Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid in a Honda Civic?

How Often Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid in a Honda Civic?

People rely on their cars a lot. An out-of-commission vehicle will have a significant negative impact on the driver’s life. One of the ways you can avoid this unnecessary stress is by changing your transmission fluid when needed. Changing the transmission fluid is one of the simplest ways to extend the life of your vehicle.

Engine lock-up is one of the leading causes of car problems. Engine lock-up happens when the transmission in your vehicle is working so hard that it grinds, quite literally, to a halt.

Luckily, it’s easy to find the right transmission fluid for your Honda Civic and resolve any issues you’re facing. Here at Cox Motor Parts, we are an authorised Honda dealer specialising in genuine Honda parts, including Honda Civic oils and fluids.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Honda Civic transmission fluid. Before we get into when to do a transmission fluid change, let’s quickly go through what it is and what it does. 

What is transmission fluid?

Simply put, the transmission is a hydraulic oil used to lubricate the vehicle’s components to allow for optimum performance. It protects your vehicle’s gears and clutch, enabling smooth shifts between gears.

For automatic vehicles, the transmission fluid also acts as a coolant by transferring heat away from the working parts of the vehicle when friction occurs. 

How often should you change transmission fluid?

We’re often asked how often you should change your transmission fluid. It’s recommended that Honda Civic models have their transmission fluid changed at regular intervals. However, it’s best to check the owner’s manual. If your car has a manual transmission, it may need to be changed sooner.

Manual transmission

Manual Honda Civics need to have their transmission fluid changed more often than automatics. If your Honda Civic comes with a manual transmission, you’ll have to have it changed roughly every 30,000 miles or so.

Automatic transmission

For automatic transmission Civics, ensure you’re using Honda ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid). You should change your fluid every 60,000 and 100,000 miles. 

If you aren’t sure which transmission fluid is right for your specific model of Honda Civic, read our Honda oil and fluid information guide.

When should you change your transmission fluid?

If your car’s transmission isn’t lubricated and working correctly, continuing to drive it in that state is courting transmission failure. Make sure you pay attention to your check engine light. When the warning light goes off, change the transmission fluid. Or better yet, do it before that happens.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. A great way to ensure you’re changing your transmission fluid often enough is to have your service centre check it during your annual service.

There are several recommended times when your transmission fluid must be changed. If you are an experienced car owner, you’re likely to know when it’s due for its next drain and fill.

If you’re the person that prefers to have your car maintenance handled when you take it for its regular service intervals, then your mechanic will know exactly what to do.

Here are a few warning signs that your Honda Civic needs a transmission fluid change:

  • The transmission in your vehicle is slipping
  • Fluid is leaking from your transmission
  • Shifting gears is difficult
  • Your car lunges or surges forward
  • Delayed acceleration
  • You hear grinding noises when shifting gears
  • Your transmission causes rough idling
  • Poor acceleration

Transmission fluid change vs transmission flushes

The clue is in the wording on this one. A transmission flush and a transmission fluid change are two very different things. A fluid change focuses on draining the dirty fluid from your Honda Civics transmission system and replacing it with clean fluid.

Many people wait until their transmission is seriously damaged before taking it in to be looked at. Transmissions are complex and delicate parts of our vehicles. This approach can result in high costs.

You can avoid serious transmission problems by having regular transmission maintenance, including changing your transmission fluid.

Fuel is one of the most expensive aspects of owning a car, especially nowadays. So, drivers are always interested in finding a way to make their fuel last longer. Changing your transmission fluid regularly, particularly if it has turned black, is an excellent way to improve your fuel economy. 

Changing your transmission fluid is a cheap and simple way to keep your car running at peak performance. It’s a quick job that won’t take long. Don’t put off taking care of your transmission; otherwise, you could end up dealing with costly problems later on.

What is a transmission flush?

Transmission flushes are done in place of a drain and fill to replace transmission fluid instead of fluid changes completely. As the name implies, you thoroughly flush the old fluid out of your transmission. In doing so, you are making room for entirely new fluid.

Should you get a transmission flush or fluid change?

Manufacturers recommend that you don’t do a complete transmission fluid flush often. A full flush releases all the fluid and debris collected in the transmission at once, letting it enter internal parts, gears and filters. Flushing the transmission fluid can dislodge sludge and other particles, resulting in clogs even after adding clean fluid.

Another reason for not doing a transmission fluid flush is that the chemicals used can be harmful. Most car manufacturers advise against using transmission flushing chemicals, and most will void your transmission warranty if these chemicals are found to be used.

What happens if you do not change the transmission fluid?

When you don’t change your transmission fluid, nothing good happens. The dirty fluid will build up particles that will not disperse enough heat and fail to lubricate the system properly. This means your car will run slower and use more fuel as the transmission has to work much harder. Dirty fluid can also cause blockages and lead to your engine seizing.

FAQs about transmission fluid

Are transmission flushes really necessary?

Honda transmissions are extremely sensitive to transmission flushing. Given the cons of doing a transmission flush, it has the potential to wreck all kinds of expensive havoc on your engine. By keeping your transmission healthy and simply changing the fluid when recommended, we advise that you don’t flush your transmission fluid unless unavoidable.

Does changing transmission fluid improve performance?

Changing transmission fluid most definitely helps improve your Honda Civic’s performance. Your car should be running in top form, from cooling to running to fuel consumption. After you change the fluid, your transmission will run smoother, which means your engine will run smoother as well.

How long can a car run without transmission fluid?

The short answer is it shouldn’t run at all. The transmission fluid in an automatic vehicle provides the connection between the engine’s output and gears. If there is no fluid, there is no grip, so the gears cannot spin, and the car cannot move. 

Find the right transmission fluid for your Honda Civic

Manufacturers recommend that you should change transmission fluids regularly. It’s a non-negotiable. Whether your transmission is automatic or manual, transmission fluid helps to cool and lubricate mechanical parts. 

At Cox Motor Parts, we’re experts in genuine Honda parts including Honda oils and fluids

For Honda Civic parts you can trust, check out our products. If you require any help finding the correct part or fluid for your model, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. Discover our other guides to learn more about your Honda vehicle, including our guide on how often to change your power steering fluid.