Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

Automatic Transaxles



All Honda automatics use Dexron®II Automatic Transmission/Transaxle Fluid (ATF) or its superceding fluid type.


See Figures 1 and 2

The transaxle fluid should be checked about once a month and replaced every 2 years or 30,000 miles (48,000 km), whichever comes first. Shorten this to every 12 months or 15,000 miles (24,000 km) under severe driving conditions. The vehicle should be driven several miles to fully warm the oil before checking. Before checking the fluid level, make certain the car is parked level with the engine OFF .

The dipstick is located on the right front of the transaxle housing, near or beneath the battery. The dipstick is either a threaded fit (unscrew it) or a small dipstick similar to the engine oil dipstick (pull it out). To check the fluid level, remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and reinsert it.

The threaded dipstick must NOT be rethreaded into the case to check the fluid level. The first part of the threads should just sit on the case. Rethreading the dipstick will yield a false reading.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Do not screw in the threaded dipstick to check the fluid level

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: The push-in dipstick must be fully seated to read the fluid level accurately

Remove the dipstick. The fluid level should be within the cross-hatch marks on the stick, between the upper and lower marks. If the addition of fluid is necessary, add the ATF through the dipstick hole. Add only the amount necessary to bring the fluid level to the correct point on the dipstick. Overfilling can damage the transaxle. The space between the upper and lower marks on the dipstick is less than 1 qt. When reinstalling the dipstick, thread the screw-in type and tighten it just finger-tight; never use a wrench. Make certain the push-in type is fully seated.


See Figure 3

  1. The car should be at operating temperature before beginning. If possible, drive several miles to warm the transaxle oil before draining.
  3. With the engine OFF , raise and support the front of the vehicle. Agility and long arms may allow the job to be done with the car on the ground but it's much easier with the car raised and safely supported.
  5. Place a fluid catch pan under the transaxle.
  7. Remove the lower drain plug by using a ratchet in the square recess; don't hurt yourself by trying to grab a round bolt with a pair of pliers. Drain the fluid.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Automatic transaxle drain plug location

  1. Using a new washer, install the bottom plug and tighten it to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) on Accords through 1989 and Preludes through 1991. On other models, tighten the plug to 36 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  3. Lower the car to the ground and check that it sits level.
  5. Refill the transaxle through the dipstick hole until the level is between the upper and lower marks. A narrow funnel may be required on later models with the pull-out type dipstick. On Accords with 6-cylinder engines, the transaxle can be filled either through the dipstick or a filler bolt hole on top of the transaxle. Tighten the bolt to 58 ft. lbs. (78 Nm). Check the level frequently with the dipstick. Do not overfill.
  7. Start the engine and move the shift lever slowly through all the gear positions. Allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature. This will allow the fluid in the transaxle to warm and provide for a more accurate level check.
  9. Turn the ignition OFF . Remove the dipstick and double check the level, topping up if necessary. Reinstall the dipstick securely.