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Old 02-25-2008, 01:13 PM   #1
silversaturnvue
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

My 2004 3.5 V6 Vue is approaching 50,000 miles.

I was planning to do a transmission fluid service. So I contacted my dealer.
They offer the BG full-flush service for $170.00.

The Honda dealership next door will do a drain and fill fluid service for $70.00.

Not sure what to do here.....should I spend the extra money and get the BG service?
Is it worth it? Or will the drain and fill from the Honda dealer suffice?

One other question........Does this tranny have a filter on it? Does/Should it get replaced with a drain and fill?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 02-25-2008, 05:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Do not do a pressurized flush on this transmission. Drain and refill is the proper procedure (I'm not sure how many drain cycles is specified by Saturn).

Either the dealer doesn't know what they are doing, or they just quoted their standard tranny flush price without realizing it was for the Honda transmission.

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Old 02-25-2008, 05:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Drain and fill. Do it yourself. It isn't that difficult.

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

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Drain and fill. Do it yourself. It isn't that difficult.
DITTO... It's easier than changing the motor coil...

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Old 02-26-2008, 01:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Does it have a filter on it that should be changed whn the fluid is serviced?

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Old 02-27-2008, 10:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversaturnvue View Post
Does it have a filter on it that should be changed whn the fluid is serviced?
No. The most difficult part, from posts here, is getting the %(&_*+_(+ drain plug out. Drain 5 quarts and replace.

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Old 03-01-2008, 11:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Just to reinforce the above: a single drain and fill is all Honda specifies when performing a trans fluid service on their vehicles.

Make sure you pick up some Z1 ATF from your Honda dealer if you're doing it yourself.

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Old 03-01-2008, 07:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb View Post
Do not do a pressurized flush on this transmission. Drain and refill is the proper procedure (I'm not sure how many drain cycles is specified by Saturn).

Either the dealer doesn't know what they are doing, or they just quoted their standard tranny flush price without realizing it was for the Honda transmission.
Is it bad to do a pressurized flush on the Honda Engine in the '04 Vue?

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Old 03-02-2008, 10:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

You can also fill the transmission by getting a 3/8 tube and attached to dip stick hole and attached the other end to a funnel. Easier than removing stuff to get to the drain plug.

You really should change the tranny fluid between 30 and 50K. 30K if constant city stop n go driving and 50K if highway and normal driving. The 100K change is just marketing and wishful thinking.

I've had Honda's and they used the same Z-1 tranny fluid since 1990's and recommended 30K changes then. Trannies haven't changed and the fluid is the same, so why the 100K change? Marketing to get people to buy into low maintenance.

Sure it'll last until 100K without a change, but will breakdown shortly.

Good Luck everyone.

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Old 03-03-2008, 10:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

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I've had Honda's and they used the same Z-1 tranny fluid since 1990's and recommended 30K changes then. Trannies haven't changed and the fluid is the same, so why the 100K change? Marketing to get people to buy into low maintenance.
The 5-speed Honda automatic has been been around that long. I think it first was used in the 2000 Odyssey.

I think it's foolish to think that automakers intentionally set maintenance intervals too long for marketing purposes. The negative publicity from failed transmissions would far outweigh the benefits. And I've never heard any marketing that touted long fluid change intervals.

I've had older Hondas with tranny problems, but they never actually failed, and I'm not sure changing the fluid sooner would have helped. It did help changing the fluid more often when they aged.

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Old 03-03-2008, 10:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjl303 View Post
Is it bad to do a pressurized flush on the Honda Engine in the '04 Vue?
I think I've heard somewhere that it was bad. Since the manufacturer recommends a simple drain and refill, I would be hesitant to do anything more. Besides, it's easier and cheaper to do it the way Saturn/Honda recommends.

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Old 03-03-2008, 10:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Ok....I think I will try this myself once the weather breaks here in CT. My mileage is 42k (about 90% highway).

I've read over most of the transmission fluid change threads.
So i just want to make sure I understand the process correctly.

1. Drain transmission fluid from underneath car (about 4.5-5 quarts should come out)

2. Add Z1 transmission fluid through dipstick hole using 3/8" tube and funnel.


Now, that seems really easy...almost too easy. so I have just a few questions. Thanks for bearing with me, the most maintenance I do on my car is detail it, add washer fluid, air pressure, air filter, and the occasional oil change..........

1. Should the engine be warm when I drain the transmission fluid?
2. Can I access the drain plug without raising up the vehicle? I don't have any ramps, but I guess I could buy some.
3. What size bolt is the drain plug?

Anyother tips/tricks to make sure I don't screw this up would be great.
Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-03-2008, 12:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

The engine and tranny should up to operating temp. and the vehicle should be level. Unless you're really big, you should have no trouble getting it without ramps. I can't remember what size the drain plug is, but be advised, if it has never been out, it will be VERY tight. Not impossibly tight, but VERY tight.

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Old 03-07-2008, 06:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by greyhound bus View Post
The engine and tranny should up to operating temp. and the vehicle should be level. Unless you're really big, you should have no trouble getting it without ramps. I can't remember what size the drain plug is, but be advised, if it has never been out, it will be VERY tight. Not impossibly tight, but VERY tight.

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Also, since there is no dipstick, measure how much you drain out and put EXACTLY that much back in. I'd recommend the DIY drain and fill with Honda Z1 fluid too. There is no filter in this transmission. Somewhere inside (if you crack it open, there is a strainer, but I don't think I'd worry about visiting that unless the transmission was already open for something else. On a difficulty scale, I'd rate this a 1.5 out of 10.

Cheers,

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Old 03-08-2008, 12:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

You will get maybe half the oil out by draining - the rest stays in the torque converter. What you need to do is to do the trans drain/fill at three consecutive engine oil changes. This way, some old oil will still be in the mix, but it will be mostly new oil. After the first change, its 50/50. The next time you drain it, you again replace half the oil with new, resulting in 75/25. The last time, you're left with 87.5/12.5. You could then drain/fill it every year, but theoretically you will never get every last drop of the old oil out of it. This is just like the 'half-life' of radiation. This is a lot of work and probably just as expensive as doing the 'total fluid replacement' and being done with it for 50K miles. I wouldn't do any kind of 'flush', just let the trans internal pump move the old fluid out as it always does when it circulates it through the cooler/radiator as the divided-reservoir chamber puts new fluid in (a piston in the reservoir separates the old from the new as the internal pump pushes the new oil in through the cooler return line). Check with the dealer to make sure there is no artificial pressure or solvents used. Everyone needs to understand this method before condeming it. If your trans can't tolerate the total fluid exchange, it can't tolerate a drain and fill. Simple as that. In reality it can tolerate either.

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Old 03-12-2008, 12:50 AM   #16
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

I guess the Honda tranny is different from other manufacturers. I`ve heard and read many different stories about tranny flush and fills. Everything from damages valves to loosening dirt that clogs the valves etc. I`ve also heard that oil coolers don`t work and that they could actually damage the tranny....so, let me offer my 2 cents from real experience. Not hear-say.

I have an `02 Chev Impala with a 3.4. I use it as a taxi. It had 89 000 KMs on it when I bought it and converted it into a taxi. It now has 260 000KMs. I was told of the horrible tranny`s these cars have. Everyone who knows these cars has warned me about the tranny. And, from watching other Impalas in the fleet I was sure I would have to do a rebuild early too. The first thing I did when I bought it was a flush and fill. Every 35 000Kms or so I take it in to get done. I also use Lucas in the tranny. And, I put an oil cooler on it as well. This is a hard working car. All I can tell you is that it`s still going strong. That`s it period. So, maybe the flush thing is bad for some vehicles. But I can`t just be lucky. There has to be something working here. I`m sure that GM does NOT recommend a flush either...don`t know for sure.

So, flush or drain, at least do something to extend the tranny`s life.

Ian

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Old 03-12-2008, 04:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

'I`ve also heard that oil coolers don`t work and that they could actually damage the tranny.'

Every car with auto trans has an oil cooler. Most just have a chamber inside the radiator with fluid lines in and out. The trans internal pump circulates the oil. With a total fluid change, they just connect to those lines. As the trans internal pump pushes the fluid out, the divided cylinder of the device allows the old oil to be trapped as it pushes the new oil in. Any vehicle which cannot tolerate this could not function, so it couldn't exist. In other words, if the normal circulation of the oil in the trans doesn't dislodge any trash, neither will the total fluid exchange. Also, those who believe you should never change the original oil are kind of stuck, because if the transmission cooling lines developed a leak and lost fluid, you couldn't add new fluid without compromising the trans. That's malarkey. The more often you change it the longer it'll last. In the old days I've had cars that would leak trans oil and had to be topped off every few days. The trans never developed any problems. Eventually I would put a new hose, vacuum modulator or pan gasket on it when I got tired of buying transmission fluid.

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Old 03-13-2008, 02:13 AM   #18
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Sorry...I should have said "an external oil cooler". I understand that there is an tranny fluid cooler on the rad.
I should have clarified!

Ian

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Old 03-13-2008, 07:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
'I`ve also heard that oil coolers don`t work and that they could actually damage the tranny.
That's just hogwash. Heat is far and away the biggest killer of a transmission by degrading the fluid. ANYTHING you can do to reduce the operating temperature of the fluid is a good thing, whether it be cooling the fluid, increasing capacity or simply not asking so much of the tranny, ie towing, getting stuck in the mud, doing burnouts, etc.

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Old 03-13-2008, 08:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 - Tranny Fluid Service: Drain and Fill or BG Full Flush Service?

My VUE had a tranny oil cooler installed by the original owner sometime before I bought it with 26K. When I sold the VUE at 79K, there were no tranny problems.

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