Honda Accord/Civic/Prelude 1973-1983 Repair Guide

Manual Transaxles



All manual transaxles use engine oil labeled for SE use. On the 1973-79 models, use 10W-40 oil. On the 1980-83 models 10W-30 or 10W-40 viscosity; the 10W-40 viscosity is the safer recommendation, especially driving frequency is at high speeds for prolonged periods in hot weather.


On the 1973-74 models, the transaxle fluid should be checked about once a month and replaced the first 3,000 miles, then, every 24,000 miles thereafter. On the 1975-79 models, replace the fluid at 15,000 miles, then, every 30,000 miles thereafter. On the 1980-83 models, replace the fluid every 30,000 miles.

The 1973-75 4-speed transaxle, uses a threaded dipstick with a crosshatch pattern. The dipstick is located beneath the battery. To check the fluid level, remove the dipstick, wipe it off and reinsert it without turning it inward. That is, make sure the threads on the dipstick itself are sitting on top of the threads in the transaxle housing. Approximately 3 / 4 qt. will bring the fluid level from the ADD (lower) to the FULL (upper) line.

1976-77 Models

On the 1976-77 models, a special check bolt in the side of the transaxle is used.

  1. To check the fluid level, turn the check bolt outward until fluid begins to flow from the transaxle or several turns, stopping the flat side of the bolt facing upwards.
  3. If fluid runs out, retighten the check bolt; if not, loosen the filler cap and pour oil in slowly until it begins to run out via the level check bolt. Then, tighten the bolt and filler cap.

All Other Models
  1. Remove the oil level check bolt from the side of the transaxle. If oil runs out, retighten the bolt.
  3. Loosen the filler cap and pour oil in slowly until it begins to run out via the level check bolt, then, tighten the bolt and filler cap.


See Figure 1

  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Drain plug for transaxle

  1. Place a fluid catch pan under the transaxle.
  3. Remove the upper and lower plugs, then, drain the fluid.
  5. Using a new washer, install the bottom plug. Refill the transaxle, until the oil is level with the upper filler plug hole.