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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.
The pessimistic part of me thinks they have a different definition of "lifetime" compared to the owner. Similar to how wireless carriers have a different view of "unlimited" data. :p
 

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The pessimistic part of me thinks they have a different definition of "lifetime" compared to the owner. Similar to how wireless carriers have a different view of "unlimited" data. :p
Yes, exactly! This is why opinions have been divided on 'lifetime' fluids forever. It comes down to how long you plan to keep the car, and how comfortable you are taking the chance of outlasting the manufacturer definition of a car's average lifetime. I'm glad that Honda has a recommended cycle for transmission fluid. It just feels a little more 'honest' and realistic, IMHO.
 

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Well, I paid the $10 for 24 access to techinfo.honda.com. Here's what I found:

There is a filler plug on the opposite side of the "transmission" from the drain. Add fluid until it comes out the hole. The manual doesn't say much -- nothing about warming up the car or running it through the gears.

Not mentioned in the on-line manual, but something the parts tech found in his book, is that there is also a rubber filler plug on the front of the transmission. This works fine if you know how much you need to add, but there is no way to verify the level.

Regarding the quantity -- I had added an estimated 2.3 qt, and after removing the filler plug found that the level was just right.

There were a lot of posts here related to the Accord. I'm not sure that's relevant to the Insight. The posts mentioned running through gears that the Insight doesn't have, and the fluid type is different.

Finally, regarding the posts about "lifetime", I have to share a quote from an old Haynes manual for a Fiat 128 I once owned. The manual said "Fiat says the oil will last the life of the transmission. That may be true, but the life will be much longer if you change the oil every 60,000 mi."

Thank you all for your help.
 

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2019 Honda Insight EX
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There is a filler plug on the opposite side of the "transmission" from the drain. Add fluid until it comes out the hole. The manual doesn't say much -- nothing about warming up the car or running it through the gears.
It sort of makes sense that we probably don't have to run it through all the gears since the transmission fluid is used for another purpose in the Insight. Nice to know that the check bolt/hole is how we determine proper transmission fluid level. Glad everything worked out in the end for you.
 

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I found the Insight's service manual that @pcsailor posted awhile back from the Honda repair site. :)
https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/1...a-insight_maintenance-pdfs-here.html#post4324

Transmission Fluid:
Honda ATF DW-1
Capacity:2.0 L (2.1 US QT)
https://owners.honda.com/service-maintenance/minder?year=2019&model=Insight
https://owners.honda.com/servicemaintenance/minder?year=2020&model=Insight

^Maintenance schedule can be accessed for the 2019/2020 Honda Insight now. The info looks to be the same as @pcsailor 's original post back in December 2018. So not sure why the amount of transmission fluid listed is different between the maintenance schedule and owner's manual. :confused:
 

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Background / What we know:
- The Insight carries transmission fluid (2.3 qt / ATF DW-1) to cool the electric motors --> despite not having a "conventional" transmission
- Honda started eliminating transmission dipsticks in the mid-90s (Honda Passport was first), replacing with a check bolt and angled overflow tube to check level --> making regular level/quality checks unavailable
- Honda makes no claim of the ATF being a lifetime fluid --> maintenance sub-item (#3) will appear when transmission fluid change is needed
- Honda defines "severe" use as regular driving in mountainous areas at low speeds, since it raises transmission temperature --> need transmission fluid change at 47.5k mi / 3 yrs if regularly run in these severe conditions (p559).
- Honda recommends that the dealer checks and replaces fluid and discourages owners from doing this themselves (p572).

And reading between the lines:
- I can't check the transmission fluid/quality myself, and need to rely on the maintenance minder OR proactively change the transmission fluid if I think I run the car in severe conditions.
- "Severe" conditions are triggered at low speeds (electric motor running?) and regular hill/mountain driving (high load?), where the fluid temperature increases and less-effectively cools the electric motors.

So my question is:
- To maximize life of transmission fluid, is it better to take hills at as high speed as possible (i.e. engage gas engine / direct drive / clutch rather than linger on use of electric motors)?

- One 'benefit' is that the oil quality/condition can be checked for the gas engine via dipstick (vs no other indicator on transmission fluid), and using the gas engine more would perhaps keep transmission fluid operating temperature low and out of 'severe' range.
- One 'downside' is that the gas engine offers less torque than the electric motors do.

Thoughts? Opinions? I have a large hill (500 ft elevation change) on my daily drive, and have these (overthinking) thoughts/questions above almost every time I navigate this hill.
 

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Now that the Insight (and other Hondas) no longer have a dipstick to check transmission fluid level, is there an alternate way to check whether your transmission fluid is running low or is off-colored?
 

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Now that the Insight (and other Hondas) no longer have a dipstick to check transmission fluid level, is there an alternate way to check whether your transmission fluid is running low or is off-colored?
Since you can't "burn" transmission fluid, I'd only worry if there was a puddle/drip.
 

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Now that the Insight (and other Hondas) no longer have a dipstick to check transmission fluid level, is there an alternate way to check whether your transmission fluid is running low or is off-colored?
Conventionally speaking transmission fluid is serviced in two ways.

There are the people that swear it has to be replaced every X -thousand miles, and do it religiously.

There are the other people that only worry about it when they notice an issues, or have to repair something transmission related.

Most common way to detect low transmission fluid (with a car with an automatic) would be the harder shifts, shifts hanging etc...

On our car, the earliest detection physical would be some sort of "Electric Motors too hot" warning, or a significant enough of a performance change to be noticeable. In the case of the Insight, I'll choose to be a replace when the car tells me to, only because the physical warnings would probably come after damage could have occurred.
 

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On our car, the earliest detection physical would be some sort of "Electric Motors too hot" warning, or a significant enough of a performance change to be noticeable. In the case of the Insight, I'll choose to be a replace when the car tells me to, only because the physical warnings would probably come after damage could have occurred.
One piece that throws me is Honda's mention of triggering 'early' transmission fluid change at 47.5k mi/3 yrs (earlier than signaled by Maintenance Minder) if car is run under 'severe' conditions.

Related to my open question above (post #26):
- Are there ways to check/confirm or manage that you're in 'normal' transmission operating range?
- Can one use the oil life indicator as a way to track 'severe' conditions?
- Am I reading the following correctly, in that the Maintenance Minder will not detect severe transmission conditions, and owner will need to trigger early transmission fluid change if they think their operation is 'severe'?

 

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One piece that throws me is Honda's mention of triggering 'early' transmission fluid change at 47.5k mi/3 yrs (earlier than signaled by Maintenance Minder) if car is run under 'severe' conditions.

Related to my open question above (post #26):
- Are there ways to check/confirm or manage that you're in 'normal' transmission operating range?
- Can one use the oil life indicator as a way to track 'severe' conditions?
- Am I reading the following correctly, in that the Maintenance Minder will not detect severe transmission conditions, and owner will need to trigger early transmission fluid change if they think their operation is 'severe'?

That appears correct, although the technician should be inspecting all fluids (including transmission) for Service code B, which I would suspect prompt them to suggest a earlier service interval.
 

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That appears correct, although the technician should be inspecting all fluids (including transmission) for Service code B, which I would suspect prompt them to suggest a earlier service interval.
Sorry that I'm slow on picking this up... but this is a a new world for me without a transmission dipstick. Through what port would the transmission fluid be checked for Service Code B, now that the dipstick is obsolete? Would it be checked and accessed via the fill point and using a random/foreign-to-car tool or laser level checker?
 

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Sorry that I'm slow on picking this up... but this is a a new world for me without a transmission dipstick. Through what port would the transmission fluid be checked for Service Code B, now that the dipstick is obsolete? Would it be checked and accessed via the fill point and using a random/foreign-to-car tool or laser level checker?
I don't know the exact method, but if I had to guess, they'd get a few drops out and spread across a paper towel to check for coloration. And yes, most likely through the fill-point.
 

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Driving in mountainous areas at very low vehicle speeds results in higher transmission temperatures. This requires transmission fluid changes more frequently than recommended by the Maintenance Minder. If you regularly drive your vehicle under these conditions, have the transmission fluid changed every 47,500 miles (76,000 km) or 3 years.
^The above is the only thing Honda mentions in the maintenance schedule as an exception to the Maintenance Minder. I'm probably going to change it every 3 years just to be safe since I'm low mileage and I'm not sure if the maintenance minder factors in time for transmission fluid changes.
 

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My 2019 Insight TOURING has 48,000 miles on it now. Besides my oil changes, what shall I do next? After thinking it over (I'm not going to trade in the Insight as I'm still in a toss up). May keep it longer.

At 50,000 miles, shall I do Transmission fluid change?..and Differential fluid change?

100,000 miles, Timing belt & Spark plugs change?


What can I do inbetween? Very essentials
 

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If you are driving slowly up mountains constantly then yes.. Otherwise - wait for the minder to come on. The fluid is not under as much strain as a regular transmission - it's used to cool the motors (generator and traction motor) and lubricate the few gears that the transmission has in it. Insightfully - can you help me out with one of our other members who recently had the notification at around 95,000 miles to change his??
 

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I'm constantly driving everyday to work @75mph constantly highway for 1hr & 10 min straight 75mph. (68miles one way to work).

Is that considered hills? Hard on the transmission fluids & Differential fluids?

Hard to believe is that all I've done is oil change every 6k miles and rotate tires every 8-10k miles
 

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75mph isn't low vehicle speeds so you should be good to wait for the maintenance minder (transmission fluid). You can always ask your dealership to check the transmission fluid level and condition. At your mileage, I would check fluid levels of the engine coolant reserve tank, inverter coolant tank, and brake fluid under the hood. They might need to be top up by the dealership if running low. The air cleaner element(engine air filter) and cabin air filter should've been change already. Spark plugs would be best to wait for maintenance minder. Honda doesn't mention anything about differential fluid for the Insight so I would assume our car doesn't need it.

The spark plugs and air cleaner element is free upon your first replacement according to the emissions warranty for B state(within 15 years/150k miles) and A state(within 3 years/36k miles) btw.
 

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