Gen 3 Insight Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The manual calls for transmission fluid changes at some undetermined interval. The way I heard it, there is no typical transmission. Does that mean the electric motor has transmission fluid in it where it connects to the axles?

Funny thing is, the finance advisor, in his attempt to sell me an extended warranty, said that the electrical motor assembly was covered under the basic warranty and not the powertrain one...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
The manual calls for transmission fluid changes at some undetermined interval. The way I heard it, there is no typical transmission. Does that mean the electric motor has transmission fluid in it where it connects to the axles?

Funny thing is, the finance advisor, in his attempt to sell me an extended warranty, said that the electrical motor assembly was covered under the basic warranty and not the powertrain one...
This (non-Honda) Insight serviceability article mentions that the Inverter and DC-to-DC converter are liquid-cooled, and the electric motors are cooled by automatic transmission fluid.

The gas engine is covered under the standard powertrain warranty (5 yr / 60k - attached).

The hybrid components (including electric motor) are covered under the emissions warranty, which extends up to 15 yr /150k in 13 select states.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
How to check transmission fluid level

I did a stupid thing -- thought I was draining the engine oil, but drained the transmission instead. I've refilled it with approximately 2.3 qt of the recommended fluid, but can't find any way to verify the fluid level. It's not visible in the filler hole.

Also, the guy at the Honda parts counter talked with the service tech about the proper method to add transmission fluid. The tech was unsure, since he'd never changed the fluid on a 2019 Insight, but he seemed to recall from his training that he was told to fill a bit, start the motor, shut it off, fill a bit more, and do that a few times until full. Does anyone know anything about that?

Thanks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
The service/maintenance manuals are online, but require a subscription or temporary membership. Can't wait until someone in forum cracks these!:

In the meantime, maintenance info on the Insight is limited as you mentioned... but I found this link from a Honda dealer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with description for transmission maintenance on a 2019 Honda Accord with instruction for the start-up and recheck process (see STEP THREE below).

I pasted all steps below for forum reference, in case the page/link breaks in the future. (Some metric conversions needed, but I think we can manage...): https://www.hondaqueensway.com/en/news/view/how-to-change-the-transmission-fluid-on-a-2019-honda-accord/62418


HOW TO CHANGE THE TRANSMISSION FLUID ON A 2019 HONDA ACCORD
As Honda recommends changing your new Accord's transmission fluid after six year's or 144k-kilometres, (whichever comes first), it's unlikely that you will need this guide anytime soon. But, because these instructions apply to most Honda's and many other vehicles, you may want to keep it handy. Changing your Accord's transmission fluid is not difficult, and similar to changing your car's oil and does not need a Honda Service Specialist. Here's a simple step-by-step guide:

STEP ONE - ASSEMBLE YOUR TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
Here's what you will need to change the transmission fluid on your 2019 Honda Accord:
  • Transmission Fluid - 4.3 litres of Honda Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF-type 2.0.
  • Socket Wrench - A 3/8" drive standard socket wrench.
  • Mechanic's Creeper
  • Drop Cloth - You will want to protect your driveway as transmission oil stains concrete and blacktop
  • A Car Jack and Four Jack Stands - Jacking up the car is more work but, the extra room is worth the effort
  • An Oil Drain Pan
  • A Container for the Used Oil
  • A Funnel
STEP TWO - DRAINING THE TRANSMISSION FLUID
  • Because draining transmission fluid works best when done on a level surface, you may either jack up the car and put jack stands under all four corners, or leave the car on the ground. Jack-stands will give you much more room to work, but they aren't an absolute necessity.
  • Be careful not to confuse the oil pan for the transmission pan. The oil pan is located directly under the engine and has a drain plug at the rear of the pan. The transmission pan is located further towards the back of the vehicle, about even with the car's side mirrors.
  • The transmission fluid pan has a drain plug, on the side, which takes a 3/8 drive socket wrench with no socket on the end. You must stick the 3/8 drive directly into the plug.
  • Loosen the plug in a usual manner. After several turns, you should be able to turn the plug by hand.
  • Prepare for the fluid to shoot out at first - about ten to fifteen centimetres - so position the oil drain pan accordingly. Replace the plug when the oil finishes draining.
STEP THREE - REPLACE THE TRANSMISSION FLUID
  • Locate and remove the transmission fluid dipstick. It will be on the firewall side of the engine and looks just like the motor oil dipstick but, with a yellow handle.
  • Pull it out, place the funnel into the tube, and pour in the same amount of new fluid that you just removed from the pan and replace the dipstick.
  • Warm up the car (with it back on the ground).
  • With the engine running and your foot on the brake, cycle through every gear waiting about three seconds at each.
  • Next, pull, clean, replace, and pull the dipstick again. The oil level should be in the stick's crosshatch area.
  • If it's still low, add oil in one-quarter litre increments.
  • If it is too high, you will need to drain small amounts of fluid until you get the proper dipstick reading.
FINAL NOTE
  • Many automakers do not put drain plugs on their transmission fluid pans because typically when the transmission fluid gets changed, the transmission fluid filter also gets changed. This procedure requires dropping the pan and draining the fluid anyway.
  • Honda Motors puts a drain plug on their pans to simplify the process. It is recommended to change the transmission oil filter with every fluid change.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,340 Posts
I did a stupid thing -- thought I was draining the engine oil, but drained the transmission instead. I've refilled it with approximately 2.3 qt of the recommended fluid, but can't find any way to verify the fluid level. It's not visible in the filler hole.

Also, the guy at the Honda parts counter talked with the service tech about the proper method to add transmission fluid. The tech was unsure, since he'd never changed the fluid on a 2019 Insight, but he seemed to recall from his training that he was told to fill a bit, start the motor, shut it off, fill a bit more, and do that a few times until full. Does anyone know anything about that?

Thanks.
I think you can find the instructions if you pay for a 1 day access subscription to the Honda repair site. https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/logon.aspx



https://www.carcarekiosk.com/video/2016_Honda_Civic_LX_2.0L_4_Cyl._Sedan/transmission_fluid/check_fluid_level
^I found instruction videos for the 2016 Civic transmission dipstick.


Edit: Ignore the video from the link above. The Civic doesn't have a transmission dipstick. Transmission fluid level is done by the check bolt where you wait to see if transmission fluid drips out.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
This video for transmission fluid change in a 2013-2017 Accord shows the shifting process thru gears to distribute fluid (albeit in a stick vs push button transmission). It also mentions an additional "check hole" process beyond just the dipstick check. Not sure if the Insight has the same, so maybe you can advise if this applies:

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,340 Posts
I did a stupid thing -- thought I was draining the engine oil, but drained the transmission instead. I've refilled it with approximately 2.3 qt of the recommended fluid, but can't find any way to verify the fluid level. It's not visible in the filler hole.

Also, the guy at the Honda parts counter talked with the service tech about the proper method to add transmission fluid. The tech was unsure, since he'd never changed the fluid on a 2019 Insight, but he seemed to recall from his training that he was told to fill a bit, start the motor, shut it off, fill a bit more, and do that a few times until full. Does anyone know anything about that?

Thanks.



At least you realized a mistake was made and didn't start driving the car. I saw the above comment for the below youtube video and I think he screwed his transmission, lol. :eek:


 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
For cross-reference, the Insight Owners Manual lists fluid spec (Honda ATF DW-1) and volume info (2.3 qt US / 2.2 L CA) info on p572 and p653.

The listed volume differs from what's mentioned above from service manual excerpt - but maybe it relates to filling to lower level, doing gear shifter check step, then topping off to final level as needed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,340 Posts
For cross-reference, the Insight Owners Manual lists fluid spec (Honda ATF DW-1) and volume info (2.3 qt US / 2.2 L CA) info on p572 and p653.

The listed volume differs from what's mentioned above from service manual excerpt - but maybe it relates to filling to lower level, doing gear shifter check step, then topping off to final level as needed.
The 2020 Honda Insight's owner's manual list 2.3 QT so I assume Honda might have corrected it since @pcsailor 's post. Transmission Fluid level can change depending on temperature and if you overfill the check bolt should leak it out presumably...

Edit:
The 3:25 mark in the accord youtube you posted confirms that the check bolt/hole will leak out more transmission fluid if overfilled. So after waiting for the leak to finish it should be at the proper level. If nothing comes out that means you need to add more transmission fluid.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
The 2020 Honda Insight's owner's manual list 2.3 QT so I assume Honda might have corrected it since @pcsailor's post. Transmission Fluid level can change depending on temperature and if you overfill the check bolt should leak it out presumably...
Both the 2019 and 2019 Insight Owners Manual list the 2.3 qt US spec (unchanged). The maintenance snapshot listing 2.1 qt US is what seems inconsistent / low (?).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,340 Posts
Both the 2019 and 2019 Insight Owners Manual list the 2.3 qt US spec (unchanged). The maintenance snapshot listing 2.1 qt US is what seems inconsistent / low (?).
Since we don't have access to the repair site without paying. I think the best course of action is to suggest @scriddler do the transmission shift test and use the check bolt since he already added 2.3 QT. If he overfilled the extra amount should come out of that hole.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thanks everyone for your replies. I think my best bet will be to follow the instructions above to access the manuals on Honda's web site. The information some provided for the Accord didn't look right. The Insight doesn't have a dipstick that I can find, and the filler hole is on the forward, not firewall side of the transmission.
Regarding the information on type and quantity of fluid, the Honda parts clerk was surprised to see that DW-1 was called for, as that is not normally used on Honda's CVTs. The quantity I drained out seemed to be about 2.3 qt when I poured it into an old oil jug for recycling. I put the same amount back in, so I expect I'm OK. Of course I also "expected" I was opening the correct drain plug. I'd rather be "darn sure".
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,340 Posts
Thanks everyone for your replies. I think my best bet will be to follow the instructions above to access the manuals on Honda's web site. The information some provided for the Accord didn't look right. The Insight doesn't have a dipstick that I can find, and the filler hole is on the forward, not firewall side of the transmission.
Regarding the information on type and quantity of fluid, the Honda parts clerk was surprised to see that DW-1 was called for, as that is not normally used on Honda's CVTs. The quantity I drained out seemed to be about 2.3 qt when I poured it into an old oil jug for recycling. I put the same amount back in, so I expect I'm OK. Of course I also "expected" I was opening the correct drain plug. I'd rather be "darn sure".
We don't have a transmission and if I remember correctly someone here mentioned it's being used for a different purpose (coolant?). Did you find a check bolt behind the radiator on the bottom?


Edit:
The electric motors are cooled by the ATF, so changing that fluid will also be helpful in keeping any moisture from creating internal high voltage leaks.
Found the answer from one of @insightfully's post. So the transmission fluid in our Insight is for cooling the electric motors.


 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
Thanks everyone for your replies. I think my best bet will be to follow the instructions above to access the manuals on Honda's web site. The information some provided for the Accord didn't look right. The Insight doesn't have a dipstick that I can find, and the filler hole is on the forward, not firewall side of the transmission.

Regarding the information on type and quantity of fluid, the Honda parts clerk was surprised to see that DW-1 was called for, as that is not normally used on Honda's CVTs. The quantity I drained out seemed to be about 2.3 qt when I poured it into an old oil jug for recycling. I put the same amount back in, so I expect I'm OK. Of course I also "expected" I was opening the correct drain plug. I'd rather be "darn sure".
Yes, best to go to the maintenance source online. (And if you're so inclined, please download/share extra maintenance material as possible. ;) ) The Insight's electric motors are cooled by the ATF, so it's best to get this right!

Also helpful to know that the 2.3 qt US info is close to what you measured. Refilling with same volume was a reco from the steps for the Accord, which I'd suspect is a general practice (vs model specific).

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
We don't have a transmission and if I remember correctly someone here mentioned it's being used for a different purpose (coolant?). Did you find a check bolt behind the radiator on the bottom?

Edit:
Found the answer from one of @insightfully's post. So the transmission fluid in our Insight is for cooling the electric motors.
Yes - the Insight doesn't have a 'traditional' mechanical transmission that varies the ratio between the engine and tire rotation, BUT it still has rotating parts with gears.

The Insight's engine is geared to the generator, the drive motor to a crankshaft, the crankshaft to a differential, and the clutch also connects these systems. All these parts need lubrication/cooling even without a conventional transmission present, and Honda uses ATF for that purpose.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,340 Posts
Yes - the Insight doesn't have a 'traditional' mechanical transmission that varies the ratio between the engine and tire rotation, BUT it still has rotating parts with gears.

The Insight's engine is geared to the generator, the drive motor to a crankshaft, the crankshaft to a differential, and the clutch also connects these systems. All these parts need lubrication/cooling even without a conventional transmission present, and Honda uses ATF for that purpose.
EVs like Teslas need to get transmission fluid changes, too. :surprise: They seem to require it once during the first service visit.

Edit: Looks like Tesla stopped doing it so no need for transmission fluid change...

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,326 Posts
Every car needs cooling of some sort. :) Some luxury cars (e.g. BMW, Audi, Jaguar) already have similar 'lifetime' transmission fluid reco, and there are varying opinions on how/whether to follow that. Teslas have fewer moving parts, so might be the best prospect out of all cars for 'lifetime' fluid longevity.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top