Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

Manual Transaxles



See Figure 1

All manual transaxles use engine oil, not gear oil, as a lubricant. The oil should meet SG oil standards (preferred), however, SF is acceptable. For Accords through 1993 and Preludes through 1991, refer to the illustration to determine the proper viscosity. On other models, use 10W-30 or 10W-40 oil.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Manual transaxle oil viscosity chart

Under normal conditions, the transaxle oil must be changed every 24 months or 30,000 miles (48,000 km), whichever comes first. For severe conditions, this interval should be halved. The level should be inspected routinely once a year or more frequently if leakage is noticed.


There's no dipstick on the manual transaxle. Fluid must be checked by removing the oil filler bolt on the side of the transaxle. The bolt is located by the right axle at approximately 9 o'clock when viewed over the right fender.

The vehicle must be level. If you're agile enough, the bolt may be removed with the car on the ground by working from the top. Some prefer to check the level from below. If this is the case, not only must the car be elevated and safely supported, it must be elevated and level, possibly requiring the installation of 4 jackstands. Just lifting the front yields an improper reading.

Once level, remove the bolt. The fluid level should be just to the bottom of the hole and may be felt with a finger. In the unlikely event that the fluid is low, oil should be added through the inspection hole. Adding oil is tricky since it must be conducted into a horizontal opening. Creative use of funnels and tubing is encouraged. Also, a common kitchen turkey baster may provide some help with this. When the oil is up to the correct level, reinstall the bolt and tighten it to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm). Do not overtighten the nut; the penalty could be a very expensive transaxle case.


See Figures 2, 3 and 4

If you have determined that checking and filling the transaxle will require the use of 4 jackstands, be sure to have them handy before starting this procedure. Once the transaxle is drained, it is too late to decide that you don't have a means of properly refilling it. Read the information on level checking found earlier in this section.

The oil drain plug for the manual transaxle is located by and below the right axle. The drain bolt is easily recognized by the round head with a square recess; it does not look like all the other bolts in the transaxle case. Like the engine oil drain bolt, this one also has a washer on it which must be replaced at each change.

  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. Loosening or removing the upper (inspection) bolt will make draining easier.
  9. Using a new washer, install the bottom plug and tighten it to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
  11. Refill the transaxle through the inspection hole until the oil just runs out the hole. Reinstall the bolt and tighten it just finger-tight.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: A ratchet can be used to remove the drain and fill/inspection plugs

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Quickly pull the plug away from the transaxle and allow the fluid to drain completely

  1. Lower the car to the ground and check that it sits level. Remove the filler bolt and double check the level, topping up if necessary. Reinstall the bolt, tightening it to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Use a long-neck funnel to refill the transaxle