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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
That is exactly how much the 2nd dealer had to add to mine. The install installing dealer did not even check the ATF after installing the cooler!
 

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What I can’t understand, is how did one dealer charged for 2 quarts of tranny fluid, when all that’s needed is 1.........or half, but you still own the quart......????
 

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I'm contemplating on adding a hitch mostly for a bike rack but would add the wiring harness in case it's needed for a small trailer, etc. But, after reading this thread I talked myself out of adding the trans cooler as an option. This just isn't right.
 
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But, after reading this thread I talked myself out of adding the trans cooler as an option. This just isn't right.
I was hesitant with installing an ATF Cooler for the following reasons...
  • That fact that it is an optional accessory on the Passport versus a standard feature on the Ridgeline.
  • Honda technicians are not necessarily familiar with installing the ATF Cooler... low volume Passport sales (?) and even less customers installing the ATF Cooler.
  • ATF Cooler install is not easy due to the tight access, even for a Honda tech.
  • Unless the installer has done it more than once, the instructions can be confusing.
  • The instructions does include a blurb to "Inspect the ATF and adjust the fluid level as needed. Refer to the “ATF Level - Check” section in the service information." This is not a trivia process, either.
I decided to have an ATF Cooler installed, knowing there could be potential for problems (risk vs reward)...
  • Had a local dealership perform the install and had to pay the dealership's markup for the ATF Cooler. They would not accept a customer provided OEM part.
  • Labor quoted for install seem reasonable for the level of difficulty. They honored the quoted price.
  • Install took longer than expected because the Honda tech had not perform an install previously and encountered difficulties.
  • I made it known that the transmission fluid needs to be checked and they did. Don't know why 2 quarts of fluid was required, but the added cost made up for the additional labor?
  • All the plumbing and fluid level for the ATF Cooler install looked good. I had one problem with the U-shaped shroud that sits in front of ATF Cooler and radiator. It was not properly secured. I had to return the vehicle for repairs at no additional charge.
I have since driven 800 miles with the ATF Cooler installed and all is well thus far. It would be best if you can find a tech that has done the ATF Cooler install before. In which case, you may be paying a more realistic cost. As others have noted, the book rate for the ATF Cooler install is probably too low.
 

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Mine makes noise after warming up by driving 5-6 miles. Does not make noise before that. As the tranny warms up the noise gets louder.....The noise is only made in D on the 7-8 upshift under light acceleration. That shift usually occurs around 50 mph. The noise has been described as sort of a rumble strip type noise, a buzzing, or a coiled spring unwinding. Noise can also be made at will by using the paddle shifters to make the same 7-8 upshift. If the PP is going too slow you will not be able to make it shift from 7-8. You will see 8 flash then the display returns to 7. There is a video posted here in this discussion that shows when the noise occurs and if your sound is turned up high can be heard. In my PP you can also feel a slight shudder coming from the front when the noise happens. As mentioned previously, Honda says this noise is normal due to the dog clutch in the 9 speed engaging at the 4-5 and 7-8 shift. No one has explained to me why it does not make any noise at the 4-5 shift nor why the noise is amplified by the trans cooler. Please let us all know if you, indeed, can't get your to make the noise under the same conditions. That would be very interesting. Thank you
Interesting read, if you or anyone else has time.
 

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Thing about these modern auto transmissions. Whether they have dual clutches, or internal clutch/brake setups, or dogs or not...it's all about the software. Old style autos "shifted themselves" ... meaning no input from driver or computer. Fluid pushed through various valves and made things happen -- all hydraulic. That's why they feel "mushy" and slow to respond to input from the pedal.

These new ones are dumb on the inside. They don't do anything unless the computer tells them to; they have their own controllers and software. If a particular shift isn't crisp or if the trans "hunts" for the right gear...it's the software. If a particular shift is grinding the dog faces against one another (which is what the 7-8 shift seems to be doing for the drivers having problems), it's the software not using the internal clutch and brake and actuator the way it's supposed to. There's nothing wrong with dog gears. Every manual has had them for over 60 years. Nearly every race car you've ever seen has them, even today. The new Corvette has them on every gear. The key is...you have to release the torque from the input shaft, slam the dogs into each other fast and decisively, then put the torque back on. The Corvette does that with concentric dual conventional clutches, computer controlled and actuated faster than a human could ever shift; an internal actuator pushes the dogs back and forth. The ZF9 does that with a little internal clutch that can act super fast and super accurately.

Given that the software listens to lots of inputs, I wonder if the presence of the cooler is altering pressures and other factors at certain points and the software isn't keeping up with the new information. The noise sounds suspiciously like the dogs are being pushed together kinda hesitantly, rather than fast and decisively.

One hopes Honda will edit the software and sends us an update.
 

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Oh...and despite all this, I'm getting a cooler installed. I tow a single horse trailer around from time to time and I don't want a pickup truck sitting idle most of the year for the 3-4 times I transport the horse.

I'll have the cooler installed by my longtime trusted indy Honda/Toyota shop that has solved more problems for me over the years than I can count. They even do the trans fluid check procedure properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Thank you for taking the time to give us more Info on the workings of the ZF9. Whatever is causing the unusual noise in many of our trannys that have coolers I hope there will be no long term issues. .....Please let us know if you experience the dreaded 7-8 noise after you have the cooler installed. Mine did not start until I had around 2000 miles on the PP. Now it does all the time but only after driving about 5 miles to warm up.
 

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View attachment 4031

The instructions do say to inspect and adjust the fluid level. You would think the Honda technicians would know to do this anyway when installing the cooler. You would also think if a vehicle was brought in with the complaint of transmission noise the fluid level would be checked. Finally you would think that a Honda rep wouldn’t say the noise is normal if it in fact wasn’t normal. All that being said, I would not trust any of the above I would double check the fluid level myself.. if not qualified then make a request for the dealership to do so.
 

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Have a 2019 PP Elite. Also experiencing the same noise on the 7-8 shift. Dealer installed hitch and ATF Cooler in June. Didn't experience noise till October.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
It took a while for mine to start making the noise. Now it does it all the time. I highly suggest you first take it to a dealer and get them to replicate the noise. I have had two do that. Neither had heard of this issue prior to me bringing the PP in. Both had to be told by Honda Tech-line that the noise was normal. Then contact Honda Customer Service and establish a case. The more of us that do that will help in getting Honda to do something besides saying it is a "Normal Chacterisitic".
 

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Apparently was an issue on the pilots with the zf9 and trans cooler too
 

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Interesting read, if you or anyone else has time.
That drawing in that article is very misleading. The dog clutches in the ZF don't look anything like that. The article itself is ok.
A couple of good youtubes on the subject;
May seem a little slow and lengthy, but it's a school environment.
 

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The noise from the ATF cooler just got to annoying over time, so I went to the dealership and had it removed. The transmission is now back to normal and quiet as a mouse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
You are right it gets to be very annoying! I will be towing so I need the increased load capacity. I sent the case to the Dispute Settlement people. Will have to wait to see what they say.
 

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Well that video explains some things raises a new hypothesis. The 7-8 shift is the release of a dog, not an engagement. And...I bet it's not synced like it is when engaged. It releases under load to make the 7-8 shift. And...the oil pressure to release it comes in the shaft through a port at the far end. The symptoms here hint at the dog gear not disengaging quickly and cleanly, right? The fluid/oil not pushing hard enough. What might cause low oil pressure pushing that dog back out...when having a trans cooler?

Hoses to the trans cooler. Not being rigid enough like brake lines. Absorbing some of the brief pressure surge when the box is trying to push out the loaded dog gear. Or just the increased oil volume due to the cooler. But the cooler is causing lower oil pressure in the gearbox somehow.

Just a guess. Maybe a motivated person will try braided hoses on a trans cooler.
 

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Well that video explains some things raises a new hypothesis. The 7-8 shift is the release of a dog, not an engagement. And...I bet it's not synced like it is when engaged. It releases under load to make the 7-8 shift. And...the oil pressure to release it comes in the shaft through a port at the far end. The symptoms here hint at the dog gear not disengaging quickly and cleanly, right? The fluid/oil not pushing hard enough. What might cause low oil pressure pushing that dog back out...when having a trans cooler?

Hoses to the trans cooler. Not being rigid enough like brake lines. Absorbing some of the brief pressure surge when the box is trying to push out the loaded dog gear. Or just the increased oil volume due to the cooler. But the cooler is causing lower oil pressure in the gearbox somehow.

Just a guess. Maybe a motivated person will try braided hoses on a trans cooler.
Sounds logical that stiffer lines would fix the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
I included your post re the possibility of the cooler lines causing the 7-8 noise in both my letter to the Center for Dispute Settlemeent and the copy I sent to Honda of America. Will be interesting if I get any response.
 
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