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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'll be the Guinea pig. I'm posting this as information. I'm not interested in being told my HRV is going to fall apart and Honda is going to disown me then sue me for putting anything other than HCF-2 in it. Honestly, I trust Amsoil to produce a better product than Honda's lowest bidder. I don't believe Honda would allow Amsoil to put HCF-2 on the bottle if it didn't meet or exceed the requirements they require for their CVT fluid. I'm not a distributor or salesman. I'm not affiliated with Amsoil in any way other than I love their products and I spend $20 every year to be a preferred customer. I do my own services and I have the money to buy the products so I might do my services a little sooner than some. Now that I got that out of the way, I haven't seen any posts where people have strayed from Honda's fluid so here it goes. Wish me luck!
Some history. I own a 2018 HRV EX AWD. I bought it in July 2018 and then Hurricane Michael hit in October (I live in Panama City, FL). I say that to say I put 25k miles on it and it's May 2019. I was planning on using the 30k service suggestion for the CVT fluid but recently I have noticed a little shudder. When I accelerate at over 3k RPMish and reach my intended speed, when I let off it would shudder some. It's not horrible but it's noticeable. So today, May 23, 2019 I changed the CVT fluid. I used directions I found on here because it isn't real easy to find instructions on it.
I started by loosening the over flow bolt. When I removed it about a quart gushed out. I'm not sure if it was overfilled at the factory but if what I read on this forum it had way too much in it.
Next I drained the fluid. Be aware that it comes out FAST. I have a container for changing oil that has a screw in plug on the top and the fluid came out so fast that it went right across the top of it and over the side. Next time I will get one that is just a pan and empty it back into the bottles before I take it to recycle. I installed a new crush washer and put the bolt back in and torqued it to 36 ft/lbs. That number I saw on a CRV video and it seemed close enough for me. (The drain bolt torque is 36ft/lbs. The check bolt is 32 ft/lbs.)
I poured exactly 4 quarts in before it started running out of the over flow hole. I installed the over flow bolt, started the HRV and ran it through PRND and back down to Park twice stopping at each gear for 10 secondsish. I read 3 seconds but I wasn't in a hurry. I turned off the HRV and removed the overflow bolt again. I added exactly 1 more quart before it overflowed again. Then I installed a new crush washer on the over flow bolt, installed the bolt and snugged it.
I used the trip to the parts store to recycle the fluid as the test drive. The first thing I realized was that not only did the HRV have a shutter but it wasn't very smooth accelerating. What I'm saying is after the fluid change my HRV accelerated noticeably smoother. There was no slipping or shuddering but I took it real easy on that trip. Tomorrow I will wake up and head to Huntsville, AL for the weekend where I plan on putting a good 1000 miles on it through some pretty hilly terrain. I'll try to update this post and let you know how the Amsoil works and I will be honest. Like I said, I'm a fan not an employ. I don't owe them anything. I hope all goes well and I can put to bed the stigma of using anything but Honda fluid. If not I'll post about my repair service and costs!
I hope some one gets some use out of this. Really this was easier than changing the oil. Next time it will be a 10 minute job.

Enjoy your ride!
 

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I will tell you about my experience with Amsoil…I like the stuff, especially their 2-cycle oil and their air filters (which are a depth type foam filter that you soak with filter oil). They sell the only petroleum based synthetic oil I know of. I believe the air filter adds a little power and also helps the mileage a little. Their 2 cycle oil is mixed at 150:1, and still lubricates better. Somehow, I am a lifetime preferred customer.
I have bought 6 new cars in my life…4 of them Hondas. I have used their gear oil in several cars, but only used their synthetic motor oil in 1 car (A Honda civic). It’s engine slowly lost power and my mechanic replaced the engine (a $1,500 bill). He had the time and was interested to know what the problem was, so he started removing parts. Everything looked good except a seized oil ring on one of the pistons. It caused the engine to smoke enough to plug the catalytic converter. I removed it and finally the engine could do it’s job. I had heard others having the same problem before, but it suddenly made more sense all of a sudden.
You said Honda’s lowest bidder for their transmission fluid…do you know that for a fact? I would think they are more than capable of making their transmission fluid
 

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Not taking sides on the quality or performance of Amsoil CVT fluid.

But you can look up VOAs (virgin oil analysis) on BobIsTheOilGuy.com. It isn't EXACTLY the same as Honda's stuff, if memory serves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: After an 800 mile weekend all is well. I'm getting about 3 mpg better gas mileage at this point. I believe it has more to do with the fact that the transmission was grossly overfilled from the factory than anything the Amsoil is doing. Still, I'll take it. I think it is now getting the mileage that I expected when I bought it. (I log all fill ups, service, and repairs with the Fuel Monitor app. I can provide screen shots if needed.) As for the shudder, the car is still funning silky smooth. I'm very happy with the results so far.
 

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I finally thought about this long enough to realize there's a question that should be asked: How hard have you been running the engine on the Amsoil?

800 miles is great for showing consistency and initial results, but it isn't particularly noteworthy for total performance if you didn't push the engine near the max at some point. I took mine on a 2200 mile weekend road trip from Dallas to Orlando and back in January, and I never actually had to push the engine once I was out of those two cities. I'm curious to know if the Amsoil can handle the max power output of the engine without slipping the CVT belt. If it can handle 130 lb-ft without slipping, I'll be thrilled.

Not trying to cast doubt, I promise. I just see that extra 3mpg and start salivating (with minor mods I'm currently +2 against stock), but I also require fairly quick acceleration for high-speed highway merging and want to make sure it isn't going to tear up my transmission.

I also realize there may have been another factor in play with your mileage and "individual results may vary", but this is the kind of thing I love to know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I finally thought about this long enough to realize there's a question that should be asked: How hard have you been running the engine on the Amsoil?

800 miles is great for showing consistency and initial results, but it isn't particularly noteworthy for total performance if you didn't push the engine near the max at some point. I took mine on a 2200 mile weekend road trip from Dallas to Orlando and back in January, and I never actually had to push the engine once I was out of those two cities. I'm curious to know if the Amsoil can handle the max power output of the engine without slipping the CVT belt. If it can handle 130 lb-ft without slipping, I'll be thrilled.

Not trying to cast doubt, I promise. I just see that extra 3mpg and start salivating (with minor mods I'm currently +2 against stock), but I also require fairly quick acceleration for high-speed highway merging and want to make sure it isn't going to tear up my transmission.

I also realize there may have been another factor in play with your mileage and "individual results may vary", but this is the kind of thing I love to know!
I live in Panama City, FL. It is flat and there are no interstates to get on. I pretty much baby Harvey. He doesn't get above 3k RPM much as I try to get the best MPG I can without being an a$$hole. That being said, I drive the same now as I did before. I will get on it for a while and see how it does. I'm curious as anyone to see the results.

As far as the extra MPG, you might be able to remove the level bolt and see if any drains out. As I stated above, I believe my MPG increase has more to do with the fact that it was grossly overfilled from the factory. My MPG goes down significantly when it rains hard and I think the overfill has the same effect.

What mods have you done to get the MPG increase you have? Really all I have done is changed all my fluids to Amsoil. I have changed the Diff fluid but went with OE because Amsoil doesn't have an answer for that.

I am a little over 3k miles into it now with no issues. The shudder hasn't returned and it is still driving smooth. I will put the pedal to the metal some and see how it responds.
 

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@jstinsley Thanks!

The functional mods are an AEM cold air intake (with hydrophobic prefilter because I'm paranoid about my baby), which sets a fat intake filter right in the center of the grille, and a Dynomax Super Turbo Muffler of dimensions matching OEM. It's worth noting I get that best mileage when it's warm out, but since I live in Dallas, that's most of the year. The other two months of the year I average 32-33mpg, which is contrary to what you'll hear from cold air intake enthusiasts btw, and I have some thoughts on why, but I haven't proven anything yet.

This combination reduces pumping losses on the intake and exhaust side of the engine, and since the 1.8L R18Z9 isn't too terribly powerful to start with, reducing losses can make a fair difference. After doing the math, I believe mine is roughly 7% more powerful than stock, which puts me at a whopping 150hp / 135lb-ft. Yes, yes, fear the mighty, um... nevermind. Anyway, the big bonus is better low end torque, and all of this adds up to even lower cruising RPMs.

If you're thinking you don't want to mess with the muffler because you don't want to be an a$$hole, I'm right there with you. I listened to a ridiculous number of sound clips to figure out which one would increase air flow without a significant increase to noise. I read up on scavenging and figured out the pressure shouldn't drop too much or it'll hurt efficiency. "Turbo muffler" is kind of misleading though: Instead of putting the exhaust through progressively smaller holes to kill the sound (restrictive mufflers are usually used in OEMs), it lets the air go through a little longer path and go through a couple extra turns to let some sound insulation help absorb a little more sound. It's less restrictive than stock and more restrictive than cherry bomb or straight-through mufflers, which do next to nothing. Total cost for the muffler and installation was about $92.

Here's the muffler I got: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00029J3B6/

Here's a sound clip of it after installation:

I also tested an Injen short ram intake for R18 Civics for a couple weeks but hated the way it felt and I didn't get better power or mileage with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I finally thought about this long enough to realize there's a question that should be asked: How hard have you been running the engine on the Amsoil?

800 miles is great for showing consistency and initial results, but it isn't particularly noteworthy for total performance if you didn't push the engine near the max at some point. I took mine on a 2200 mile weekend road trip from Dallas to Orlando and back in January, and I never actually had to push the engine once I was out of those two cities. I'm curious to know if the Amsoil can handle the max power output of the engine without slipping the CVT belt. If it can handle 130 lb-ft without slipping, I'll be thrilled.

Not trying to cast doubt, I promise. I just see that extra 3mpg and start salivating (with minor mods I'm currently +2 against stock), but I also require fairly quick acceleration for high-speed highway merging and want to make sure it isn't going to tear up my transmission.

I also realize there may have been another factor in play with your mileage and "individual results may vary", but this is the kind of thing I love to know!
Ok. Let me tell you. It's was easy putting the info out there and driving around taking it easy on the car. Putting transmission fluid in that is almost demonized in the Honda world and telling everyone about it seemed ok until I was asked to push it to the limits. All the sudden reality struck. Doubt. What if everyone is right? I was actually scared to give it full throttle because I was bound to tell this story truthfully. I was going to look like a total idiot THEN have to pay a price for the mistake.

I spent a full 8 days driving like I stole it. The problem with that is not only did I get up to speed as fast as possible, but I tended to drive quite a bit over the limit during that time. Can't say it wasn't fun but my mileage suffered. LOL

My report is nothing. It drove fine. No slippage. I'm a little over 4000 miles into this experiment and all is still well. I'm still anxious to see if the shudder returns. I believe it started about the 20,000 mile mark on the stock fluid. Was it because it was overfilled? I guess in about 16,000 I'll know if it's going to creep back up.
 

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That's great news. If you didn't notice any adverse effects (like belt slipping and power loss), then at the very least we know the Amsoil is safe for Hondas. It may not be a quick +3mpg, but we now know for sure there's more than one viable option if the Honda fluid starts looking a little expensive to some of us.

Thank you for going the extra mile (pun fully intended) to bring us answers!
 

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Ok. Let me tell you. It's was easy putting the info out there and driving around taking it easy on the car. Putting transmission fluid in that is almost demonized in the Honda world and telling everyone about it seemed ok until I was asked to push it to the limits. All the sudden reality struck. Doubt. What if everyone is right? I was actually scared to give it full throttle because I was bound to tell this story truthfully. I was going to look like a total idiot THEN have to pay a price for the mistake.

I spent a full 8 days driving like I stole it. The problem with that is not only did I get up to speed as fast as possible, but I tended to drive quite a bit over the limit during that time. Can't say it wasn't fun but my mileage suffered. LOL

My report is nothing. It drove fine. No slippage. I'm a little over 4000 miles into this experiment and all is still well. I'm still anxious to see if the shudder returns. I believe it started about the 20,000 mile mark on the stock fluid. Was it because it was overfilled? I guess in about 16,000 I'll know if it's going to creep back up.
Hello jstinsley,I have a 2017 Accord with a CVT transmission and I want to change oil using Amsoil. How is your HRV holding up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello jstinsley,I have a 2017 Accord with a CVT transmission and I want to change oil using Amsoil. How is your HRV holding up?
I'm at 48K on it now and no problems so far. The shudder has not returned. I plan on changing the fluid again at 50K and doing an update here. I know it's a little early but it is so easy that there is just no excuse in my mind for me not to do it.
 

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That’s great! I feel more confident and I’m going to do a drain and fill a little under 18000 miles on my Accord next weekend. I don’t like how it feels. I do feel a shudder especially driving to the Jersey shore during this heatwave. I have to say that fluid does have a strong odor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That’s great! I feel more confident and I’m going to do a drain and fill a little under 18000 miles on my Accord next weekend. I don’t like how it feels. I do feel a shudder especially driving to the Jersey shore during this heatwave. I have to say that fluid does have a strong odor.
I have mine stored in a back room and you can smell it as soon as you walk in! I really hope you have as good of luck as I've had with this product. Please let me know how it goes. I feel like a sample of one. I'd like to see more examples and hopefully prove there is another, better option for people out there.
 

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I do appreciate your feedback and discussion. I asked other people and they told me they never had a problem with Amsoil products. It’s considered premium products and yes I’m glad we have choices over OEM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I'm just under 49K and decided to replace the CVT fluid again. I've started a YT channel to document the services I'm doing so I figured I'd do it a little early. As an ~50K (25K on the fluid) update, everything is still going well. The shudder hasn't returned. I did read on another thread on this forum where there is a TSB for this exact issue. The TSB says that it sounds like a loose heat shield. That describes what my "shudder" was exactly. Anywho, It hasn't returned and I'm very happy so far with the Amsoil CVT fluid I am using. It was a little darker than it was last time I think but still in good condition. I guess you can see for yourself.


I'll give another update later.
 

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I'll be the Guinea pig. I'm posting this as information. I'm not interested in being told my HRV is going to fall apart and Honda is going to disown me then sue me for putting anything other than HCF-2 in it. Honestly, I trust Amsoil to produce a better product than Honda's lowest bidder. I don't believe Honda would allow Amsoil to put HCF-2 on the bottle if it didn't meet or exceed the requirements they require for their CVT fluid. I'm not a distributor or salesman. I'm not affiliated with Amsoil in any way other than I love their products and I spend $20 every year to be a preferred customer. I do my own services and I have the money to buy the products so I might do my services a little sooner than some. Now that I got that out of the way, I haven't seen any posts where people have strayed from Honda's fluid so here it goes. Wish me luck!
Some history. I own a 2018 HRV EX AWD. I bought it in July 2018 and then Hurricane Michael hit in October (I live in Panama City, FL). I say that to say I put 25k miles on it and it's May 2019. I was planning on using the 30k service suggestion for the CVT fluid but recently I have noticed a little shudder. When I accelerate at over 3k RPMish and reach my intended speed, when I let off it would shudder some. It's not horrible but it's noticeable. So today, May 23, 2019 I changed the CVT fluid. I used directions I found on here because it isn't real easy to find instructions on it.
I started by loosening the over flow bolt. When I removed it about a quart gushed out. I'm not sure if it was overfilled at the factory but if what I read on this forum it had way too much in it.
Next I drained the fluid. Be aware that it comes out FAST. I have a container for changing oil that has a screw in plug on the top and the fluid came out so fast that it went right across the top of it and over the side. Next time I will get one that is just a pan and empty it back into the bottles before I take it to recycle. I installed a new crush washer and put the bolt back in and torqued it to 36 ft/lbs. That number I saw on a CRV video and it seemed close enough for me. (The drain bolt torque is 36ft/lbs. The check bolt is 32 ft/lbs.)
I poured exactly 4 quarts in before it started running out of the over flow hole. I installed the over flow bolt, started the HRV and ran it through PRND and back down to Park twice stopping at each gear for 10 secondsish. I read 3 seconds but I wasn't in a hurry. I turned off the HRV and removed the overflow bolt again. I added exactly 1 more quart before it overflowed again. Then I installed a new crush washer on the over flow bolt, installed the bolt and snugged it.
I used the trip to the parts store to recycle the fluid as the test drive. The first thing I realized was that not only did the HRV have a shutter but it wasn't very smooth accelerating. What I'm saying is after the fluid change my HRV accelerated noticeably smoother. There was no slipping or shuddering but I took it real easy on that trip. Tomorrow I will wake up and head to Huntsville, AL for the weekend where I plan on putting a good 1000 miles on it through some pretty hilly terrain. I'll try to update this post and let you know how the Amsoil works and I will be honest. Like I said, I'm a fan not an employ. I don't owe them anything. I hope all goes well and I can put to bed the stigma of using anything but Honda fluid. If not I'll post about my repair service and costs!
I hope some one gets some use out of this. Really this was easier than changing the oil. Next time it will be a 10 minute job.

Enjoy your ride!
How much did you take out total
 

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Amsoil states on their site 4.2 QTS. You put in a total of 5 QTS correct?
I use Amsoil DCT in my 15 Jetta TDI in the 6 speed DSG transmission. IT works great and is better them OEM any day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How much did you take out total
I didn’t measure it but my guess is 6-7 qts came out that time. Both times I’ve changed it I put 4 qts in until it came out the check hole. I ran it through the gears and it takes about one more qt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Amsoil states on their site 4.2 QTS. You put in a total of 5 QTS correct?
I use Amsoil DCT in my 15 Jetta TDI in the 6 speed DSG transmission. IT works great and is better them OEM any day.
Yes. It took about 5 qts. I just went over 50k and did another drain and fill. Still running smooth.
 
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